- Quality of Life & Wellness
Regret or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Live for the Future
Since I can remember I have been filled with regret. Why have I felt this way? I do not know about you, but I do regret many things I have done in life. I can’t believe I am only 26 and feel this way. Every day I wake up and think about what I could have done in the past so I could be waking up to different fortunes. Every night before I turn out the light I pray that the gods send me back in time so I can change my destiny. During the day my mind wonders off and thinks of the past. What if? is a very common occurrence when I daydream. What if I had the confidence to volunteer for the dunk tank when I was young? Would that have altered my life for the better? What if I had asked out that one girl in high school that was so magical that she could make my wishes come true? Would I be settled down and be a family man? Or what about all of those opportunities I let pass me by? What if I had the confidence and vision to grab them and run with them as fast as I could? At night I look up at the stars and think back to simpler times, times of my early childhood when the world was a simple black and white. When things made sense. Where did I go wrong? It is stupid to think, but was is the dunk tank? Or the girl? Questions I can’t answer. Who have I become? Why do I live in fear? Not of things like heights or death, but of what people will think of me and how do I become successful in others eyes? Why do I watch my peers and wish I had what they have. I see them being happy, making memories, and I see them living life. I ask myself, I am I not living? What am I doing wrong. Who knows... actually I do. I am afraid.
Regretting the Past
Afraid of Failure
I fantasize about being crazy successful. I dream about what my acceptance speech would be at the oscars. I dream about what kind of billionaire I would be. I dream of possibly being a architect, engineer, or pilot. I want to be part of a team like the Avengers or something. Whats stoping me? The same thing that helps me make my regrets:Feat of failure. After I am done with my acceptance speech I think why don’t I go and make an oscar winning film. Quickly followed by nope, I might fail. It would be cool to be rich but I may fail trying to accumulate my wealth so why try. Or what about being an essential member of a great team where I matter? Nope, I may let my teammates down. Failure scars me to death, What would people think of me if I fail?
Afraid of Success
When I first realized this, I thought I was crazy. How could I be afraid of success? Who doesn’t want to achieve their dreams? Me. I never thought about it until recently, but I think I was secretly afraid of success. I mean, what if I revealed my true feeling to my high school angel and she flung open her arms and we embraced and kissed and rode off in the sunset? What then? I couldn’t answer that. Or what if I worked hard on a film and made a huge blockbuster hit and won an Oscar for it? What would I do then? These are questions that I actually contemplated and have come up short of an answer. What would I do if I was successful at something? I am afraid.
Afraid of the Future
I usually only take the sure route. Why? it is safe. The future is uncertain, unpredictable, and unforgiving. I think only about safety and a sure bet. I failed to walk through many doors simply because I couldn’t look out the window and see what was outside before hand. Many of those doors I should have bolted through, sadly others I shouldn’t have as I was running away from my worries and troubles, which will catch up with me no matter how hard fast I run. We can’t see the future and that has scared me, what if I make the wrong choice? What if I make the right choice? I am afraid of both outcomes. I feel that this is one of the many reasons I have failed to find purpose in my life, I fear choosing the wrong purpose. I fear making a commitment, for what will this commitment do to my future? How will it impact me? How will I get burned? I saw the future as a place to fear and resist not a place of challenge and growth.
If I could call my past self and let him know...
A Step Forward
When I was a kid I lived in an apartment on the third story of the building. My window overlooked the southern half of the block which was occupied my the parking lot for the apartments and an arboretum lay beyond. Sometimes I would sit at my desk and look out that window and think about the future. What would I do? Who would I be? I would Watch the rays of the sun cascade over the forest and ponder my future. I certainly didn’t think I would turn into a man who is filled with fear and regret that is for sure. I dreamed of being a sure, cool, confident man with a passionate career working as an archeologist or astronomer. This past while I feel like I let my child self down, If he saw what I had become he would beat the crap out of me. I see this now, and I hope I can make it up to him.
Keep Moving Forward
I take this new knowledge and then I look back at all of my regrets. I see that I have been a scared kid for to long. I am scared to take a chance, make the jump, pull the trigger call it what you will, but I have feared doing it. I see now that FDR was right when he said “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” I see now that my past was not a cruel act of the cosmos, but me letting my insecurities and doubts fill my soul and drown out my true ambitions and intuition. I see my sixth grade self not going to the tank to get dunked simply because I was filled with self doubt. I was afraid of what others would think of me. I think about that perfect girl from my past and I didn’t ask out simply because I felt that I was not good enough for her, how could she possibly have feelings for me? I saw myself as an inferior person with nothing to offer when in fact I was a promising young individual. The same feelings and thoughts plagued me into adulthood. I wanted to make movies. When I would get an opportunity I would simply drop the ball or back out very suddenly. I always had a great excuse to sink my own ship. I now see that the people I thought were so perfect are no better off than myself. They may not have the same problems as I, but they have their own crosses to bear. Who knows when I am not looking at them wanting their life they may be seeing me from their window wanting a trade...
It can be a good life, if you live it.
The time is now, the place my living room, the character me. I have seen what I have done or didn’t do and I know it is my own doing. I also know that I choose not to let regret of my past nor fear of my future eat me up from the inside out. I will not fall down in failure nor will I falter in my future success. I will do what is best for me. I will be a confident sure man, who knows what I stand for.I have chosen to not be consumed by a bleak outlook on my life. I want to live and risk it all every day in my pursuit being a better man. I am ready to lay down my regrets so I can live today to the fullest, so I do not add to my list of regrets I will have tomorrow if I do not. You can be sure that the next time I see a dunk tank I will dive in and when I see my girlfriend when she gets off work I will tell her how much she means to me. I have done a lot of things I regret and I have done things I am not proud of, but I have learned from my past and I am ready to step into my future, ready to accept the challenges and triumphs that await me there.
What About you?
I hope that if you are looking for advice, wisdom, or just a good read that I delivered. I hope that if you are having the same problems as I that you take what I have learned and can find a way to apply it to help yourself. I would say don’t make my mistakes, but it is regret that is the problem here, we can learn from a mistake. The only thing we can do with regret is to let it go. Let the past be the past, stand up and put your gaze upon the horizon of your future go, and don’t look back.
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