Things Could Be Different

People seem to have the same tagline:

Never regret anything

    I think it’s bullshit.  I regret a lot of things.  I’ve made some really poor decisions that still has me trying to soothe the bite marks left in my ass.  I believe in the obvious fact that I would not be who I am without those decisions; I would not argue that statement but who’s to say I am satisfied with my life and who I am?  I wouldn’t deny that my kids would be different people depending on your view of fate and destiny but would that matter if I was also a different person?

  People say it doesn’t matter how you feel now as long as it meant something then.  Have these people never heard of consequences?  They say an experience of any kind is a lesson learned.  That’s one of the many mottos I live by but does it mean I should ignore my feeling of regret and shame when I look back on the actions and decisions I made that I know led me to where I am today?

   I’m not sure of the difference between regret and remorse and I don’t feel like sifting through Google results until I feel I have a full understanding of each right now.  I have always associated remorse with guilt and regret with disappointment.  I feel disappointment all the time and I think that’s where a lot of my depression comes from.  I’m disappointed in myself; I’m not exactly disappointed because of the decisions I made but more because of the reasoning behind them.  My passion in and for people has always been misplaced.  I acted more on anger, internal loneliness and misguided emotion than I did on true, clear thought.  How can I not regret that?  If I wasn’t such an impulsive responder to emotion, I know things would be totally different.  If I could have harvested my fear and turned it into courage meal I ate for breakfast as a kid, I wouldn’t have let certain people take advantage of me.  If I had been patient enough to consider why I was always so enraged as a teenager and how to fix it, I could have reacted to that instead of rebelling in such a way that I only received negative results.  If I hadn’t been so willing to bend in favor of  whomever blew the wind I would have stood up for myself as an adult and been in a better place when fate, who plays things totally out my control (no room for regret there), took the wheel and decided I needed a rougher path.

   The results of these decisions and actions range from continuous personal struggle to having little to offer but advice on what not to do.  I wish, truly wish, that I could be one of those people who accepts all those things we could have done differently but didn’t and just move on with life.  I don’t sit at home growing bitter from the acid of my regret pool I backstroke in daily but I do allow for an extended pause for thought each time I am reminded of how “things could be different if only…”  I understand what’s done is done and the past is past and whatever cliché you throw at me but I cannot shrug it all off.  Can’t I embrace my regret and use it as a tool and not give the impression it’s all:

No worries!

   Life is too complicated.  Regret is about more than making mistakes you have to learn to live with.  It’s knowing you had an opportunity to not make a bad choice and you did it anyway.  It’s looking back and shaking your head at being so stupid.  It’s knowing that you weren’t as ignorant at the time as you want people to believe.  It’s knowing you were weak when you should have been strong.  It’s knowing that you had a lesson to learn and you learned it but you so could have learned it in a much easier, less destructive way.  I have regrets and they scare me because I know I could be a different person with a different life and I know what that entails…I feel remorse for not letting that bother me as much as it should.

Don’t hold this against me if later on down the road I’m all “Regrets?  I have none of those! You silly old person you!”

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3 thoughts on “Things Could Be Different

  1. I enjoyed reading the honest description of your experience with regret. I also chose to write about regret, if you’re willing then check it out and tell me what you think. You and I had some similar thoughts.

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