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What I Regret the Most

by Ashley on September 7, 2012 · 5 comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about regrets lately.

Kerri wrote about it here, and ever since I finished her post, I’ve been turning this new idea over and over in my mind.

Maybe having regrets isn’t such a bad thing.

Most people like to say they have no regrets and in the past I’ve  lived by that as well, but I don’t believe it to be entirely true anymore. Of course I’m happy with the major decisions I’ve made that have gotten me to this place in life, but there are three things that, looking back on, I wish I would have handled differently.

What I Regret The Most

Compromising Who I Am To Fit In.

I can think of two specific instances when I wanted to be part of the “cool” crowd so badly, that I allowed myself to tuck away my values, my morals, and my beliefs, just so I could fit in.

In high school, I tried out for the drill team. With over 10 years of dance experience, I knew I could rock it. What I didn’t realize is that such a tight group of girls would be full of politics, cliques, and bitchy attitudes. I quit after a semester, when I left practice crying because I wore the wrong color loetard and was told my consequence was to run a mile. I regret letting myself stay for that long, when I knew it was unhealthy for my self-esteem and mental health.

I fell into the same glittery haze in college when I joined a sorority looking for a friends. After six months of stressing over paying dues and feeling like I didn’t quite mesh with the other girls, I quit. I wasn’t being myself because I knew the person I was inside wouldn’t match what they were looking for in a friend. It’s easy to look back now and realize I only left with one friend from that experience because I was hiding behind a plastic facade.

Choosing a Guy Over My Best Friend.

The unspoken rule is that you never choose a boyfriend over a friend and I regret that I ignored this rule. My first year of college, my best friend and I had a crush on the same guy, except he liked me back. I know that I was desperate for love and attention because my parents were going through a divorce. That’s why I chose him. And we dated for the next five years. But still, I regret hurting my friend, allowing our friendship to end, and letting my relationship be more important. A year later we exchanged Facebook messages and I apologized for hurting her, but I still haven’t fully forgiven myself. I often think about my friend and where she might be today. I hope she is happy.

The Last Year With My Dad.

My dad was an alcoholic and the year before he died, I knew he was getting sick. I noticed his skin tone changing, the weight falling off, and his mental clarity beginning to fade. I didn’t know he was dying, obviously, but I knew he was changing. I wish I had taken advantage of those last few months when he was here and gotten to know him better. I wish I had asked him about his childhood, about his favorite memories, his biggest life lessons, and his proudest accomplishment. I wish I had taken a road trip, gone fishing, and spent hours together in the kitchen so he could teach me his famous recipes. Since he’s gone now, I can only wonder. And I think that’s the biggest regret of all.

What is your definition of regret? Is it a bad thing to have regrets?

 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess September 7, 2012 at 8:34 am

I know exactly what you mean. When my mom got cancer the year flew by. I wish I knew just how sick she was. I wish we’d done things differently. I wish I was there more. The thing about that regret is that there’s nothing you can do to change it, which I think makes it hurt and stay the most.

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Lorraine September 7, 2012 at 9:39 am

I never truly stopped to think of “no regrets.” Of course we all have regrets. I don’t think we should dwell on them but there is no harm in recognizing them. I’m writing this down in my post idea files. :)

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Kahea September 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’ve never lived by the motto of having no regrets. Because it’s just not possible for me. I regret things big (like not being home more often the year before my grandfather passed) and small (what I wore yesterday). Yes, I definitely try to recognize the lessons learned from “bad” situations (e.g. spend more time with fam, and don’t leave the house without checking the mirror), but that doesn’t mean I wish it hadn’t gone another way.

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Gina September 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I’d say my definition of regret is being ashamed or disappointed in something one has done in the past. I have regrets, but I don’t think they’re necessarily a bad thing because I’ve learned lessons from them and they’ve taught me what I do and don’t want in my future. So I guess I can call my regrets “negative experiences that I’ve learned from.”

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Vic September 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I think regrets are important, but we shouldn’t focus on them TOO much. Personally I think regretting something (however small or big it is) teaches you something about how you truly felt about a situation – and you don’t always realise that at the time. They can also show you things to ‘avoid’ in the future – when I was younger I had a similar experience with a guy and friends, it wasn’t that someone else liked him. I just wound end up spending ALL of my time with him and I didn’t make much time for my friends. I really regret that and I know that I could never be in another relationship like that. So maybe I don’t see them as regrets as such – more like life lessons! Fantastic post – really made me think!

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