I have never been the kind of person who believes in “regrets”. I believe the whole concept of “regret” is a wasted emotion.
Undoubtedly, we all have incidents in our past where we might wish we had done things just a little differently. We might have zigged when we could have zagged, failed to tell someone we loved them when we really did.
Even if we tried to.
Such events could easily feel like “regrets”, but for a long time I have chosen not to live that way.
Holding or keeping a regret is just looking to the past, and there is no future in that. There is simply no possible way we can go back and fix those things, so why should we worry about them?
We can make amends, or do things better the next time around, but we can never go back and fix things “the first time around”.
There have been many things in my life that most people would not hesitate to categorise as a “regret”.
I choose to see them as learning experiences, as chances to grow, and as opportunities to learn about myself and how I react in certain situations. Perhaps so I get to learn how to do them better the next time around.
These situations have in many cases caused me deep emotional pain, even over extended periods of time – but I still refuse to view them as bad experiences.
They are responsible for who I am, and without the pain, and without the anguish, I would not have learnt from those experiences. I would not have learnt who I am.
I am the proudest father of the most amazing daughter in the world. I would not have come to be her father without having made some quite poor decisions.
Not that I am saying that getting into a relationship with her mother – (which has since ceased) – was a stupid thing – far from it. I would never have met her mother if I hadn’t gone through a crazy set of decisions that set me back significantly.
If I hadn’t have left my first IT job at the end of 1998 to take up what at the time seemed like an amazing opportunity – (but wasn’t) – with IBM.
If hadn’t then subsequently left that job in the wake of the breakup of the other serious relationship in my life, then I would never have found myself working with the future mother of my daughter.
If I had my time over, I would have stayed with that first IT job for a lot longer. As a result, it is quite possible – (and probably likely) – that I would never have met her, and my daughter as she is now, would never have come to be.
I have no doubt I would have met someone else, and probably had a family with that someone else – but that first child would have been a completely different person.
They all might have been poor choices, but at the end of it all, I’m in a wonderful place.
That’s why regrets are stupid – even the worst choices we ever made can lead us to where we are meant to be.
Some call it destiny. I call it “life”.