I Believe in Regret
I believe regret is the most powerful emotion. So many people go through life passing by chances that will change their life forever. They say things like, “Oh, I have plenty of time to do that,” or, “I am too scared to do that.” In reality, no one has enough time. I do not want to be one of these people. Life is too short to worry about the stupid things like being late to practice or whether or not you are getting that new iPod for Christmas. Life is about the experiences we have and what we do to enrich it. I want to live my life to its fullest. So, if I want to eat that Snickers bar I will! Who cares if I ruin my diet? Although it is a small reward, at least I will have that one minute of peace and serenity to indulge in myself. I should not let fear prevent me from climbing that 1,000 ft. mountain, jumping out of a plane, etc. The truth is, by the time my youth has passed me by I will have realized how much fun it would have been to do these things and how much braver and more confident of a person the experience(s) would have made me.
When I pass up a chance with a person I do not realize it at the time. I have said things like, “I do not like him anymore,” or, “He will be fine. I mean it was really only a crush,” I have no idea if that “he” was my missing puzzle piece. By the time I realize he was the “perfect one” he will have already moved on from that part of his life to a new life in which I am not involved. Even if that new life does involve me, it is probably not in the role that I want it to be. This feeling of regret enhances the feeling of the bond I had with this person and it makes me realize how much I truly need them. So I say to myself, “Go on, take a chance! Colleen, confess your undying love and devotion.” If I think a boy is cute I should not let the thought of, “I cannot tell him he will reject me!” prevent me from doing so. So what if I get rejected? Yes, it will be embarrassing if he rejects me and yes, it will hurt my feelings. But at least I do not have to spend the rest of my life with, “What if?” festering inside me like and unmovable burden. The truth is there are thousands of people in the world that will find me attractive, not just one.
So I will begin to take chances. Live on the edge. Life is too short for me to always second guess myself. I do not want to spend my life saying, “I wish….” and, “How would my life be different if….” If I see something I want I will reach for it and take it. Like the quote, “Reach for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll still land among the stars,” states, each failure comes with its own rewards. The attempt itself, not the end result, is worth enough. I will no longer let fear be the controlling factor in my life. I will make decisions on my own. I have seen how being in the protection of my bubbles has kept me from many things, and I do not want to spend my life always letting chances pass me by.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.