I regret nothing. There was once a time in my life where I regretted most things: Stupid things I had said foolishly, poor choices I had made that led to unfortunate consequences, and missing opportunities only on account of my own personal shortcomings. Then one day, or evening, or at some point… The realisation struck me no matter where or when I was, and although it might be nice to recall the moment it all made sense, I don’t regret having forgotten.
See, I finally realised that regret isn’t victimless; it isn’t action, but nor is it inaction. Regret won’t change the past, it won’t rewrite the memories you wish to change, and the only thing it will ever do–the only thing it can ever do–is hurt you by replaying your worst moments and highlighting all your faults, only on account of what? Nothing.
More importantly, I realised this: Suppose I did go back and change things, what then? Take for example this, the first guy I had a crush on. I liked him, I really liked him, and I wanted very badly to tell him, to share something with him. But it never happened. And I regretted that. I said, “If only I had talked to him…” And my mind went wild with fantasies of talking to him, of romantic dates and time shared so intimately afterwards, simply being with him enough to make my mind swell and my eyes soften in wistful imagination.
But then reality struck. As the scenes progressed, forced further in endless self-torture of all that could have been, I started seeing what might have been instead: The two of us together, forced under the scrutiny of disapproving family and friends–if we even made it that far. Maybe he wouldn’t like me, maybe, even looking past the chances stacked against us, we would break up a painful, gut-wrenching break up. And when all was said and done, I’d only be left regretting what I had first regretted never having done.
Or in simpler words, if I could change the past, I would no longer be who I am today, and if I were no longer me, I’d not regret what I’d done anyways. It’s a paradox, in one regard, but in the larger, it’s a waste of time, energy, and potential. Whenever I find myself full of regret today, I change that thought from grief to a chance to grow: I try better to improve upon myself, try harder to fix my faults and be a better person. Once I stop wasting time wishing away reality, things happen, and more oft than not, it’s a good thing.
I could go on further, give examples upon examples of the lessons that have taught me this, but I feel inside me an urge to write, something in specific I’ve had on my mind for a while, and I know now I will regret not giving myself that chance. So instead of complaining later on of my actions now, a simple sidestep will let me save this despair and leave me to breath fresher air.