I have an immense amount of regrets in my short life. Hear me out though, before you stop reading. My regrets don’t put me down. Rather, they lift me up. Before we begin, let me ask you something. What is it to have regrets? Close your eyes and think. Don’t say a word.
I know you just had a flashback of things that went down years ago and were possibly out of your control. Perhaps, there are things you would’ve done differently. Maybe instead of doing things, you would’ve not done something for once.
Years of internet conditioning through memes and quotes and posts on Tumblr somehow associate the word “regret” with an extreme sense of failure. This relation is embedded so deep within everyone’s idea of regrets and having them that most people outright say they don’t have any.
While not having regrets seems like a wonderful existence to lead, I feel it is hollow. It is hollow because if you’ve never had regrets, you didn’t come across life impacting choices. In my opinion, that is sad. Maybe you aren’t looking deep enough. Maybe you think having regrets is an outright negative aspect of you. Perhaps that is why you shut them out.
In my life of some twenty-one years, there’s a lot that could have happened or gone down differently. While that is true, I also know for a fact that there is nothing I could have done differently. In fact, even in my failures, I was doing the best I could in that moment and mindset. So, unlike most quotes you read, my regrets aren’t rooted in my action or lack thereof, instead, they’re on an existential level.
I exist because my regrets exist. These decisions, these choices, they made me who I am. Without even a single one of them, I would’ve been an entirely different person.
If I didn’t come across dropping out from architecture and losing my relationship in that fallout, I would’ve never had the chance to explore life as much as I did ever since 2015. However, I do regret dropping out from architecture as much as I regret losing a perfectly fine relationship which obviously had problems of its own like all relationships.
If I didn’t sign a form saying that I didn’t need placements or a job through campus, I wouldn’t have been able to explore my writing as much as I did nor would I have been able to learn through Coursera or do whatever I am pursuing now. More on that on my Instagram later. If you don’t follow me there, make sure you do. I post writing with photos that are (sometimes) appealing enough.
However, I do regret not taking the other option and getting a job like most of my friends did. I’m sure it would’ve been a great experience. As I wrote a couple of months ago though, if you choose one experience, you lose all others. This stands true here as well. In choosing to give up the placements, I experienced something entirely different. That different focused my energy to learning more and more instead.
The question here then is not the absence or presence of regrets. Instead, it is about whether you can face them. It is about whether you have regrets and you understand that the path you chose is the only one you could because you gave up every other path in doing or not doing something when the time required it. Regrets are therefore, in my opinion at least, a general condition of the human nature.
The beauty of life isn’t in not having any, it is instead in having regrets and knowing that you did what you did and whatever happened, happened and that you’re at peace with it, that you’re at peace with life. Telling others you don’t have regrets is basically, denial. Those are my two cents.
What do you think of my interpretation? Feel free to use the comments section below by clicking on the button. I would love to have a discussion on this.