This I Believe

Mariann - Mendota, Illinois
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Mariann Daniel

My Lesson About Regret

I believe that regret is inevitable but that’s ok because you learn from it. My life is littered with small regrets; pieces of garbage I wish I could just throw away. However, sometimes there are those really big regretful moments that I learn from. A regret that I learned from that is still fresh in my mind is the day my aunt called me–July 6, 2006. I did not pick up and I never called back. My aunt died the next day.

In 2001 I had a horrible reaction to the death of my grandfather who had lived with us since I was a little girl. I had just graduated from my small private grade school and I entered the public high school shy and reclusive, and nervous around large groups of people. I avoided them, was depressed, and had few friends that I could actually keep. I spent so much time depressed and sad, mourning a life that I had never lived. I attest this to not being able to talk about how I was feeling to friends or my family.

Some may experience regret young, Some may experience it old sitting in a rocking chain thinking about what a waste their lives have been. I am glad to have experienced mine young. That way I am able to apply the lessons I have learned from my regrets to the rest of my life. I can change my future by learning from my past. My days, as everyone’s, are limited, but if there is anything that I’ve learned in my short time here, it is that in avoiding situations, in avoiding adventure, (like being more open and trusting) that is where regret is found.

I now look back on those years and consider them my one major regret in life that has taught me my best lesson—never wait. Eventually, I believed that I could retake control of my own life. I am not saying my life is free from regret. I still make mistakes that I regret, but the lesson I have learned from my belief so far is that even though regret is inevitable, it does not have to control my life. I have learned to cherish my family and pick up every phone call. I learned to never burn the bridges I have built with people and that believing in myself is important. It may seem like an easy lesson to learn, but learning that you cannot avoid regret is a lesson that I reluctantly learned.