Saturday, June 27, 2009

No regrets

Somewhere around age 31 I decided to live with a "regret nothing" policy. My late teens and twenties were pretty whacky, if I have to use a word to describe them. I wasn't one of those kids that had a real clear direction for my life; I started working for real money after classes at PCC and decided I liked real money and the things it would buy me. That was it. After that I pretty much went where the Universe threw me.

Over the years I have had friends who have, after a few months of friendship and probably many beers, confided that they don't want me to know about their past because it might change my opinion of them. My answer to that was, and remains, your past is what shapes you, and if you had done anything differently, you would not be the person you are today, and therefore, perhaps not someone I would have wanted to be friends with.

I recently interviewed for another position within my company. One of the questions that my interviewer asked was if there is anything that I regret having done, professionally or personally. He stumped me, and I admitted that I couldn't think of anything because of this policy that I had embraced years ago - regret nothing. I told him I would really have to think about it, because I have conditioned myself to not dwell on poor choices and to go forward and make the best of them, adapt to their outcome, and move forward (I think he liked my answer, he seemed somewhat stumped himself. Looking back, actually, it's a pretty good interview question. You can tell a lot about a person by their answer, which is pretty much what all interview questions are about - not the answer, but your reaction to the question. But I digress. Imagine.).

There are plenty of things I might have done differently, I think. Not that I WISH I had done differently, just things that might have changed my future if I had made different choices. Those choices I made are what they are, and ultimately, here I am because of them.

Have I made mistakes? Have I hurt people along the way because of my actions? Sure, because that's human nature. I don't think I ever meant any deliberate harm, I AM a good person, I think. There are casualities along the way, but that's not anything to regret - that's just life.

But sometimes I wonder where I would be now, what I would be doing, if things had been a little different along the way. Lately I have been wondering about one thing in particular, from a long time ago, and if things had been just a little bit different back then, one little situation tweaked a little bit more to the right or left, maybe this one thing would have turned out the way I wish it did.

But I know it doesn't work like that. You can't spend your life wondering "what if" - you pretty much have to believe you are in control of your destiny. Fake it, if you have to. That means trusting your decisions today and being content with the tomorrow those decisions create. Regret nothing, because it makes you the you you are today.

Sure I wish I didn't have so much debt, or that the clean-freak gene had been handed down to me, or even that I had someone to take out the garbage and kill the spiders. But every choice I have made over the years has placed me here, in this life, doing these things I do. And really, that's just fine with me.

Because I mostly like the me I am today.


At 8:43 PM, June 27, 2009, Anonymous Barbie said...

I really liked this blog. Every now and again, I wonder where I would have been if I hadn't spent 15 years drunk on my butt. Literally. But, as you say, that is what made me who I am today and with almost 28 years sobriety under my belt and extremely happy about it, I don't give it much thought. But, to be honest, every now and again, I wonder....hmmmm, could I be President, Mayor, Governor, a CEO of a major company that doesn't lie and rip off the government? It's tempting to think that way, but, bottom line, I am where I am and that ain't all that bad...

At 7:21 AM, June 28, 2009, Blogger Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

Joyce, you have never struck me as someone who dwells on the past and I have always loved that about you. What is the point.

Barbie-- that is awesome - congrats on your 28 years and going strong.


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