‘Letters to Juliet’ is unashamedly a girlie rom-com, chick-flick, and yes, I cry. But towards the end of the film we hear the letter that ‘Juliet’ writes back to Claire – after a period of 50 years:
“What” and “If” are two words as non-threatening as words can be.
But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life:
I don’t know how your story ended but if what you felt then was true love, then it’s never too late. If it was true then, why wouldn’t it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart.
I don’t know what a love like Juliet’s feels like – love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for but I’d like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I will have the courage to seize it.
And, Claire, if you didn’t, I hope one day that you will.
All my love, Juliet”
And it’s true.
“What if” does have the power to haunt you.
What if I had done this, what if I had done that?
All those regrets that hang on those 2 words. Things you wish you could have done, should have said, etc.
But holding on to the “what ifs” doesn’t do anyone any favours – believe me, I know.
I’ve learned that we can’t change the past, no matter how hard we try. We have to live for the present and use our past experiences to shape our future ones, so that we no longer think “what if” but live a full life with no regrets.
At the end of the day, if things don’t work out the way you planned or wanted – for example you didn’t get the job, promotion, house, etc, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be and maybe, just maybe life has something better lined up for you.
That’s a hard one to get your head around sometimes, especially if you feel that your whole world is collapsing around you, but it does get better.
You just have to believe in 3 things: in yourself, in other people and that anything is possible.
And sometimes you’ll find that something in the most unlikely of places when you’re least expecting it.
These days I don’t think “what if” and try to second-guess the future or over-analyse every little minute detail of life, I just let life flow.
I have finally learned that “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf!” and it’s actually great fun.