I Believe in Regret

Chris - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe regret lingers not just to remind us of poor choices, but to assist us in actively seeking positive experiences that will shape a new future. My fear of regret is so powerful and resilient that I consciously attempt to make decisions that will keep me out of regrets’ smothering anguish. Most fear failure and therefore never try, but my fear of regret is running outta sand. If you understand your existence as an hour glass you may have a different outlook of what you want to accomplish, acknowledging life is slowly fading away from the moment of our inception.

I often think about my life as an old man and hope that I will not be filled with this debilitating emotion that stunts peoples’ happiness. I pray that any regrets that I might have I will use to constantly and positively progress my life. I want to accept the lessons I learned no matter how difficult they are to face, and use them to make my life better and other too.

I have always been more fearful of regret itself than the anxiety of actually feeling it. I have motivated aspects of my life out of this fear. Fear that I will not achieve or do what I have always thought of myself as being able to accomplish. The fear that when my beard is gray, and my nose and ears are big I will reflect upon my life and wonder why I let myself down. I do not only fear this, but I’m petrified.

I am the first college graduate from my family. School was always important, but it was not compulsory and certainly never funded by anyone. I’m going to college not out of wanting a higher salary, but because I always thought of myself as doing something that required more from me than pouring drinks. I won’t be the guy sitting at a bar, like the one I currently bartend at, wondering where my life went.

Wiping the wet ring off the bar as they pick up their eyes how envious of my youth they are. They offer advice as if I will choose the same life’s path as they had, and I wonder if regret compels them to share their shortcomings. They offer warning of the impending danger of a squandered youth like a yellow light on a traffic signal, saying, “Oh you should do it while your still young or, I wish I had…………”

I use their regret as a reminder to pay attention to my hour glass; as to not suffer the same fate as I believe many people feel. An unfulfilled life is not an option for me, and I believe in experiencing all of life even if it isn’t always positive. I’m less concerned with making poor decisions, I know I will have made plenty of those in the end, but I fear when I’m reflecting on my past I will wish to have lived more.