Thirty-five years seems like an awful long time to go without experiencing the exquisite pain that is regret. Many might ask whether or not that is even possible. I assure you, it is.
You see, in all that time, I came to “regret” many things. Notice the quotation marks. If you could see me right now, you would notice that I flash the air quotes every time I type the word ‘regret.’ Let me give you some examples:
- I "regret" the time I chose to try and hang onto that fistful of candy when my bike careened out of control, rather than attempt to salvage the situation and lose the candy.
- I "regret" the time I backed my kick ass big wheel through my mom's flowerbed out back.
- I "regret" the time I thought it would be cool to box with my friend's older brother.
- I "regret" the time I goofed around at batting practice and was subsequently forced to endure a rousing game of Wimp Ball. (I'll define Wimp Ball in another blog)
- I "regret" the time I ate so much Crazy Bread at a friends house I was sick the entire next day. (The fact that my illness got me out of going to church was little consolation.)
Do you see what I am getting at? I have had many "regrets" throughout my lifetime. Some big and some small but all, ultimately, meaningless. In fact, I would describe everyone of those situations and a thousand others like them as nothing more than part of growing up. You make a bad decision, you suffer the consequences, and you move on. That's not regret. That's just being human. No, regret is something altogether different.
2008 was a year of actual regret for me. I choose not to go into any detail right now but those that know me know of what I speak. I lost something precious to me. Something for which I should have fought with all of my energy and skill. But I didn't. I allowed it to slip away, never to be recovered. Most will say that it isn't totally my fault and those people are probably right. That does NOT change the fact that for my part, I allowed it to happen and by the time I sat up and took notice, it was far too late. The door had closed and I had missed my opportunity. I have expended copious amounts of brain cells trying to figure out a way to undo was has been done. The only solution for me is to press forward and make the best of what I still have.
True regret is a cruel mistress. She will dog you for your entire life and while it is possible to go on living and loving and everything else, regret will always be there, lurking in your past. Fight for those things that matter. Truly matter. Never allow regret to become a part of your life. I will move on. I will be happy again. I will experience new and great things. I will build upon that which has passed and through it all I will carry this regret with me........but I won't allow it to define me.