My Book of Regrets
Do you have any regrets? Certainly I do and, while writing this, I realized that many of mines have something in common.
I remember to have heard somewhere "It's important to not have any regrets", but I think everybody has some. It's inevitable, they must have. Or… How do they live?
Since I have memory, my life was made of choices: I tend to overthink everything, and I am used to pondering a lot before taking any decision.
This always had a reasonable impact on my social life, especially regarding sentimental affairs.
I can't even try to realize how many mental journeys I have done, every single day… It's just my way to process the changes in my life: I
like to imagine conversations before they happen.
The first regret I have memory of is from elementary school: I had a huge crush on a little girl, we were engaged "as kids", and I was totally in love. After five years, she changed city and went to another school. I am a bit ashamed to say that I never completely went over it. I still dream her, once every one or two months. We didn’t live so far, and if I weren't so damn shy, I could have gone to her place and tell her my feelings, but… decades have passed since then. I mean, I had years and years to make a quite simple leap of courage, but for me, it always seemed impossible. So, this is a huge what if in my life that still haunts me. I got used to living with this shadow.
As I said, I'm quite ashamed of that: I am in my thirties and I have a stable relationship which lasts from more than ten years with another person (and so does that girl), but the regret of not having said something, at the right time, still bothers me.
Maybe I just missed an occasion… Or maybe I could suffer some kind of abandonment trauma, that could explain my other recurrent dream: my ex. Yes, I said that. I wish it wouldn't happen, but it does: every month or so, I also dream about my ex. That's another story that maybe I'll cover in another post, but for now I'll skip it because it is not related to regrets – it's about selfishness.
In brief, also in this other occasion, the gone opportunity to tell what I felt really made me feel bad… And I think that, sometimes, it evolved in a regret.
Work or Study?
I am aware that I was, and I am, in a privileged position even because I can write this on a blog: I know I’ve been lucky, I don’t want to sound superior at all. Not every kid can have the range of choices I had.
When I was nineteen, and I had just finished school, I had the intention to continue studying at the University, but I didn't really have a clear idea about the path I wanted to follow. I signed up for Electrical Engineering, even if I suspected it could be a tough challenge, but honestly, it didn't appeal to me. Long story short: I was lucky enough to find a good job in IT in late 2007, just before the economic crisis, and ended up to never start Uni. I had the opportunity to attend lessons while working, but I was making shifts, and I've always been too lazy (other than shy), so I avoided that.
Well, as you can imagine, another regret is not having studied at a University, maybe moving to another city, like many friends of mine did – and I envy them a bit.
Going back some more years, when choosing the high school, I was afraid of Latin as a subject, so I didn't choose the lyceum when I was thirteen. I went to a "lower level" school without Latin, and surely it influenced a bit on my resume, in the long term. Anyway, even if there is a small regret about this school choice (mostly given by personal pride), I'm definitely happy with this pick, and here we come to a core point of my thought: you can never know the consequences.
For example, if I hadn't chosen the "lower class school", I'd never met my actual girlfriend… But it happened seven or eight years after the choice itself!
Every choice is a bet, but not a drastic one, as if playing Russian roulette. I think that all the options we can choose will bring a lot of joy and happiness, but surely will also bring unexpected gloom, maybe in the very long term. Or perhaps in the opposite order. We will all suffer, in some way, but we'll be happy too, because life doesn’t change because of single choices. If we're not content now, it's just a matter of time. Maybe the choice isn’t even relevant for that.
Words Not Spoken
My real regrets, anyway, are for the people who aren’t here anymore. Departed friends, or relatives, are the ones who really make you think I should've talked with him or her one more time, or more often. Sometimes, I happen to think about that message I haven't sent to a friend, to hang out after some months we were working in separate cities, and I feel bad because it’s too late.
Or worse, recalling the last, horrible weeks of my grandparents, I think that one more visit wouldn't have costed anything to me, but it could’ve been a spark of joy for them.
I wouldn't call these remorses, because I think I did nothing wrong… but I didn't do anything, too. That is the bug that is slowing, constantly, crawling in my head. I already stated that I overthink everything, and sometimes a regret evolves in guilt. Guilt of having done nothing. Am I the only one who feels like this?
Well, I’ve been like this for years, and it became a quite ordinary way to think, for me. I'm not happy with it, but I guess there's much worse.
If I can find a moral in all this: just say what you think and feel to the ones you care. Don’t be afraid to speak, but rather the opposite.
🎮 Trek to Yomi (it's longer than I expected!)
🎧 Eternal Return by Windhand
📖 Still The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke (wonderful!)
For the first time, I opened up a bit since I know that a handful of people will read this (and probably they don't know me). This was quite personal stuff, but without too many details – and not too much awkwardness, I hope.