My Mind Wanders As I Wonder


Looking back
I wonder if I
should have done
any of the things that brought
me here, to today.

Mistakes were
made, that is for sure.
But I learned
from them, then.
Would it have just taken more
time to learn lessons?

were made with the best
in mind. Yet,
were they the right decisions?
They were, at the time.

But if I’d
made other choices,
perhaps I’d
have become
a wife and mom, like I’d hoped
to be. Just maybe?

eludes me most days.
I wonder
if I could
have done things differently to
change that about me.

Or would my
melancholy ways
have always
my days, leaving me in the
same place, regardless?

Looking back
(I have decided),
is the best
way to learn
how to move forward, because
I can’t change the past.

Paula Wanken

Shared at Poetic Asides for PAD 2015 – Day 27: Looking Back


  1. Holy cow, PW… What an amazing series. Technically perfect, perfectly insightful, and wise. You’re in full flower here.

    I’ve been reading you quite a while now and have followed those tribulations and recoveries you’ve chosen to share. It pleases me to know that you’re coming out on top & are looking forward, learning from the past.

    This series proves beyond doubt that you’re a wonderful person and one hell of a writer.


  2. Ooh! I loved this. This echoes something I’ve long thought: we all make the best decision at the time. When given two options, the best and the second best, no one ever picks the second best. It’s only in retrospect do we see differently. Loved the truth of the ending — big hugs and kiss for you! Thanks, Mosk


    1. Mosk…as in my comment above (to Ron.), you’ve also been such a great encouragement to me. Both in your own writing, by example, as well as in your words shared here in response to my writing. Thank you! xo


  3. Paula, I have definitely learned in my life that suffering brings wisdom, or to say it another way, wisdom always comes with a price. You have had many hardships, and it is good to see that you see a somewhat silver lining in all the dark clouds. I can relate to that, as I have done quite a bit of that myself over the years, and part of that process was brought about by much of the foolishness of youth and making LOTS of mistakes, some of which I still bitterly regret, usually because I was the one doing the hurting of others. Trust me, it may seem like the grass may be greener on the other side, so to speak, but we all make some major and some not so major screw ups as we try to struggle along. It may look easier for other people, but that is because some people are better at hiding their pain than others. This world is full of lots of pain and misery for everybody, and none of us will be free of it until we reach the end. I know you are a strongly committed Christian, but one bit of Buddhist wisdom that comes to mind is learning not to cling to things so tightly as a way of avoiding suffering. I am very obsessive, so not that good at it, but thought I’d offer it up as something to consider. Like holiness, I guess it is a lifelong process that we constantly have to work on. Good luck with sorting through those hard lessons, and I do pray that you will one day find some relief.



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