From time to time, my mind wanders back to conversations that, for one reason or another, led to an epiphany, or at least to me seeing things (or myself) in a new light. I was thinking the other day about the night, in college, I walked around the cemetery with this guy I was kinda sorta into and that I was kinda sorta going out with. It was one of those long nights you could make a movie out of (and someone did). Before you get too horrified, the cemetery wasn’t the planned destination of this walk. It just happened to be there. Also, this story isn’t about that walk.
This story is about what he said when I pressed him to tell me about what things I should fix about myself (By the way, college self (and future self), that is ALWAYS the wrong question to ask someone, anyone). He said, “Well, you’re great, but…you kinda don’t do anything.” I was taken aback but I wasn’t shocked. I lived in the world of ideas in college. I was more about exposing myself to big ideas than about creating experiential memories. Not a lot has changed since then.
As I was reflecting recently on this, I realized that my reticence to “doing things” has always been this motto, or mantra, or expression: NO REGRETS. Regrets always seemed to be the worst thing you could have. For me, it shows a lack of forethought, a lack of wisdom. I know what you’re thinking. There’s a reason why people say “hindsight is 20/20”, Mak. No one can really know the future, Mak. I know, I hear you. You’re right.
Yet, there’s a part of me that wants to ALWAYS make the RIGHT decision. Maybe, it’s because I’m an older sister. Maybe, it’s because I’m a people pleaser. Maybe, it’s because I’m a perfectionist. It doesn’t matter. This has unconsciously been part of me for so long that it has colored my decision-making process. So, because no one can know the future and the outcome can’t really be known until the action is carried out, I hesitate. I stop. Maybe, because I think that, as long as I don’t make a choice, I won’t make the wrong choice.
Recently though, freedom came. Respite came from the tyranny of “No regrets”. At least from my interpretation of “No regrets”. It’s okay to regret things. It’s okay to make a choice without having 100% of the information (whoever has?), come face-to-face with an outcome you weren’t expecting and deal with it accordingly: “I regret this. Can I change this? Yes, what steps can I take? No, I can’t change this. Okay, What steps can I take to accept this?”
It’s okay to regret things.
I feel more mature already.