Truth is I have had this post in my head for such a long time. These thoughts that constantly grind away and sometimes begin to consume me.
Regrets are hard. They have such a negative connotation attached to them. I wish I had done this… I wish I hadn’t done that…. If only….. The part I find most difficult is I am a believer in some kind of fate. You know the type that would say every life choice brought you to where you are right now and that is exactly where you are supposed to be. So when I think back at life and decisions I have made with the thoughts I wish I had… the mini-me on my shoulder whispers ‘Yes, but then you wouldn’t have met Mr. G and you wouldn’t have four precious girls in your life.’ I then begin a negative spiral into guilt as if my I wish I had thoughts were in any way negative reflections on where I am in life.
During my early thirties I thought it best to tackle these regrets head on with the ‘Live life without regrets’ mantra. This is a positive way of looking at life and has really worked for me for the most part. But it is the regrets of choices made earlier in my short life (also known as my teens and twenties) that are the regrets that still visit me in moments of deep reflection.
Perhaps writing them down and getting them out of circulation in my head will help? I doubt it. However, I have compiled a list of my I wish I had… thoughts. For better or worse.
I wish I had not fallen in ‘love’ at 16
I wish I had have realised earlier what real love is, and what ‘love’ isn’t
I wish I had the foresight and confidence to know that I didn’t need someone to be whole and having a boyfriend wasn’t the be all and end all
I wish I hadn’t thrown friendships away for a boy. Friendships that were worth so much more and have never been felt since
I wish I had followed my dream of going to uni and studying performing arts and not thrown it away on a boy
I wish I had experienced ‘the big smoke’ even if it may well have chewed me up and spat me back out
I wish I hadn’t got married so young
I wish I had have explored my potential in my twenties rather than waste time ‘home making’ and ‘working a day job’.
I wish I hadn’t had to hurt people along the way, mostly myself
Who knows, maybe even if I had have changed any of the above fate still would have led me to where I am today. Maybe I needed to go through all the ‘stuff’ and have these regrets to become a stronger person. Maybe. Yet it doesn’t make the regrets any less.
There are no such thing as no regrets in life.
It is impossible to make it through life without making mistakes. Big mistakes. Mistakes that at the time seemed perfectly like the right and only thing to do. Anyone who tells you they have no regrets are sadly lying to themselves. What they really mean is they don’t dwell on their regrets, they simply move on.
Maybe one day I’ll be there.
In the mean time I bring myself back to my word for 2013: Present. Be conscience in every moment. Make every second count and store it in colour in the memory bank. Little precious moments that matter. Anecdotes that will be told for years to come. Picture perfect memories for good or bad. And put 100% focus into everything I do.
Regrets and the I wish I had…’s will always be there, they are life’s insights and life’s lessons. They do make me who I am today. No matter what.
Do you struggle with the I wish I had’s?