I know some people don’t subscribe to this idea of regret. I can understand that. I wish I could look at it that way too, that it was just another experience. It was, but one I think I rather not have experienced if I had the choice.
My regrets are mostly to do with myself, and my relationships. I’m quite lucky that decisions about my education have so far been good ones, if not the best. (I hope I will make good decisions for my career, but most importantly my love life!) I thought going to Form Six was risky, but the risk paid off because I got to do a degree that I enjoyed very much because of it. I don’t know if I wanted it, because I had no clue what linguistics was about until I studied for it, and when I did find out, it wasn’t all that bad… I don’t get phonetics and syntax, but I like morphology and grammar and English civilization and translation. (Despite moaning about doing work – I’m lazy, remember!) I had bad work experience, but nothing traumatic. You need bad experience sometimes because it builds character.
So, right, back to myself and my relationships. I regret the way I behave sometimes when I react at the height of my emotions. I can be pretty melodramatic, and I blow things out of proportion. When I calm down, I feel so ashamed because it would be a small conflict, but I made it so big that it became big. Actually, sometimes it can be a big thing and I am not being melodramatic, but the way I react makes me embarrassed, because even if it was a big thing, I could have approach it in a more dignified manner, couldn’t I? Then the other person would look like a total ass and I would look even better because of that! 😀
As for my relationships, I have some I regret. I regret being close to Ms Ick at one point in college, because I find out that the reason she was being buddy buddy with me was so she could find out more about me and then go badmouth me to her other friends. The keep your friends close and your enemies closer approach. I feel stupid, because I actually liked her. She was witty, confident, friendly, everything that I am not and admire. When I found out, I felt betrayed and foolish, because I couldn’t see through her fakeness. She never had any intention to be my good friend, but demonstrated all the social conventions of seeming to want to be mine. I’ve never been treated like that before. I’ve had friends with whom I grew close to and then we drifted apart, and I kinda regret those friendships too, but not the bitter way I do with Miss Ick. Even till the last day of our class together at the party, I refused to take a photo with her. I refused whatever she asked to do with me.
And then there are other relationships I did not regret having, but regretted the way it ended. These are all my romantic relationships. Of course I wish it didn’t end if I could choose, but I regret how I didn’t keep in touch with them. But I think it is probably a good thing because I have a hard time letting go of the past, and I think if I am in touch with them now old feelings would resurface… I also regret how and why it ended, because I have contributed to those reasons. Maybe if I am more mature, less demanding, more secure in myself, things would have been different. We could break up later anyway, but at least it wouldn’t be my fault as much? I would’ve tried my best?
Sigh, regrets. I do wish some things didn’t happen in my life. That said, I do not deny these events. I may be ashamed of them, but I admit them. To pretend they didn’t happen is to deny a part of me in that moment of time, because had the circumstances been different, I would not have regret it. That would be a bit contradicting, to deny things simply because I do not like it.
Regrets are like mistakes. They are mistakes, the kind you wish you had known better. And like mistakes, they are lessons of their own kind. They are better lessons than ordinary mistakes, because you can make the same mistake over and over again, not really learning it, but with regret, the lesson sticks better in your head and you would make a conscious effort not to repeat it. Which doesn’t mean you won’t make that mistake, but if anything, regret does teach you something about yourself. What you choose to do about it is up to you.