Words We Heard: ‘My heart and soul are here.'

I am a dweller. I hate to say it, and I often deny it. But let me tell you, I am a dweller. I dwell on the past and the things I cannot change.

I was chatting with a friend the other day about life and how different my life would be if this or that had gone differently. We covered every aspect of our lives. We talked about if my parents had never gotten divorced, if I had attended the University of Kentucky instead of the University of Cincinnati, if she had broken up with an old boyfriend earlier. We spent almost an hour recapping the past.

When I got home, I realized that I often get so caught up in the what if’s that I lose sight of the here and now. I constantly wonder what would’ve happened if I had listened to my one friend about the boy she didn’t like that I wasted too much time on. I wonder what I could’ve done to change the effects of my parents’ divorce. I wonder what my college career would’ve been like if I hadn’t written off business as a career path from the start. I am always stuck in the what if’s of the past. It causes a great deal of unnecessary stress and anxiety in my life that I often try to ignore.

The issue with constantly being stuck in the past is that you begin to have regrets. You begin to lose faith in yourself. But there’s nothing you can change about the past. You just have to live with it. And that is okay. Most of it is out of your control, anyway. You can only control yourself and your reactions and how you move on.

So, next time you find yourself wishing you made a different decision, laugh about it. Don’t let it get to you. Think about the future ahead of you and the opportunities you still have. Think about how your what if’s can help shape someone else’s life.


  • “I’m glad I came, I’m sorry I left, and I’ve never regretted coming back.” –Jay Gilbert in a column for Cincinnati Magazine


  • “Don’t try to change anyone’s mind; try to open your own. Imagine how incredible it would be if everyone tried to find one thing about the other that they could maybe get behind.” –iO Tillett Wright, activist and author, in a keynote speech at the Gurls Talk Festival


  • “Sometimes you’ve got to say no to the good to say yes to the great. So dial up your courage and start saying no far more than you have been, knowing that you aren’t serving anyone when you sell out on yourself.” –Margie Warrell in her article for GirlBoss


  • “I’m 60. I thought I had one last big gig in me, and I wanted to do something that was positive. My heart and soul are here.” –Anne Ilyinsky, owner of Muse, in an interview with Movers & Makers


  • “Being mindful and present allows us to escape our fixation on the past and the future and be open to what is." –Kristen Neff, associate professor at the University of Texas, in an interview with Success


  • “I wanted my son to know that he should never let fear hold him back. Even if my business were to fail, which it's not, but even if it were, that he would know that Mommy went for her dream.” –Jenna Shaifer, founder of Ombré Gallery, in an interview with Women of Cincy