I will begin with telling you that this post is not going to go in the direction it was intended to, but here it goes. This is probably going to sound stuck up, because everybody has regrets. But I will be honest, I really don't have any. Let me elaborate. Sure, there are a lot of things I did that make me cringe when I look back on them. For example:
- mouthing off and being a smart ass - slacking in school
- quitting the violin
- staying in relationships with "toxic people"
- starting smoking
- saying things to people that were hurtful and/or rude
I could probably go on with this list forever. But here's one of the reasons why I don't regret them anymore. When I decided to quit smoking, I quit cold turkey. And it was ridiculously difficult. I regretted ever starting and wished I never had. But then I thought about it. If I hadn't started smoking, I wouldn't have met my friend, who convinced me to join a band, which introduced me to my ex, who introduced me to new friends, who introduced me to other people, who impacted my life, which ended up leading to me moving to the US, going to college, meeting Mike and having our son. DEEP EXHALE. (I promise, that is the longest sentence you will ever read on this blog!) It is SCARY and mind blowing how far this goes back. If I hadn't done some of the crap I listed above, I. Would. Not. Be. Here. And I like "here". I'd most likely be a completely different person in a completely different place with completely different people. Talk about butterfly effect! Every single time I catch myself saying: "I regret...", I end up having to stop myself and finishing with "Well, crap. If I hadn't done that, .... wouldn't have happened!"
That's not the only reason I don't consider past mistakes or bad choices regrets. Another example: I've said and done hurtful things to people, whom I deeply care about and I've put my foot in my mouth more times than I can count. But doing this has helped me learn several very important things: to work on my attitude, never lash out at people in anger and which things you just don't say or do, for starters. And importantly: how to suck it up and admit that you were a jerk and sincerely apologize when you have done something wrong. I am far from glad that I've hurt people in the past - it is the last thing I ever want or intend to do. And I know that making these mistakes, learning from them and continuing to do so, is essential in preventing from ever making them again.