Ignore the Roar of Regret

Jennifer - Memphis, Tennessee
Entered on October 4, 2011
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Regrets…Have none. They’re the gateway to the past, never to the present. So, make mistakes, revel in them; but never allow them to be regrets. Live long, free, and as happy as possible, but have no regrets.

Regrets are nothing more than time wasted on refusing life’s lessons. Mistakes are what give us the potential to go beyond great. They empower us to have empathy and greater wherewithal in our decision making. Take delight in mistakes. Take delight in knowing you’ve earned becoming a better person from them. Do not snuggle them tightly and call them regrets. Do not limit your personal growth for intangible repentance. Do not do as I have done.

I once loved an idea. I loved that idea so much that I would’ve done anything to make it reality. I wanted to attend a university; to be a part of the city it was in and the culture it promoted. I wanted to walk the city streets wearing shirts that proudly displayed the school’s mascot. I wanted to call Pittsburgh home. I wanted to spend the next four years of my life being a Panther at the University of Pittsburgh.

For two years, whenever I thought of that idea I loved so much, I would mumble to myself that love is a losing game. I was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh along with twenty other schools. Opening that acceptance letter would be one of the happiest moments in that decade of my life. I was going to hang the letter on my bedroom ceiling so that I could see it every morning and have a reason to get up.

Before I could, I saw my scholarship packet. It was the least amount of money I had received from any school. The idea and my happiness died. I didn’t take a chance on myself by taking out extravagant loans or asking my parents for help. I didn’t try as hard as I could’ve to get alternative funding. I went to a different university and hated it for the first two years because I was consumed by regret.

I hated my first two years of undergrad at the University of Dayton. I hated the city for being so small and lacking the bridges offered in Pittsburgh. I knew I had made the mistake of not trying hard enough, so I didn’t see what was in front of me. I couldn’t enjoy anything. I was still reveling in regret. I kept thinking of what I could’ve done, only to find that I was exactly where I needed to be.

I didn’t get to be a Panther. I didn’t get to live in Pittsburgh. I did find my best friends. I did find what I’d like to do with my life. What I didn’t get pales in comparison to what I found. I only wish I hadn’t wasted my time on regret instead of enjoying life.

Mistakes…Do make many. As for regrets, have none.