Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I've been thinking about regrets quite a bit in the past weeks, and had an interesting conversation with my co-worker today on that very topic. She happens to have a different opinion than me on the matter, which is always good to hear. I tend to assume that most people think and see things the way I do, an assumption I've recently discovered to be somewhat off-base.

As a general rule, I only regret things that I have done, even if the decision to do Said Thing seemed right and logical at the time. And, interestingly, when thinking about it, most of my regrets have to do with interpersonal relationships. For example, I regret having spent so much time with a certain young man.* Although it may have seemed like the right thing at the time, and although we had a great deal in common, and quite a bit of fun together, I still regret every minute spent with him and every word shared with him.

In the same situation, my co-worker would claim that it was a good learning experience, even though it might have arguably been a "mistake", thinking that that particular man could be The Right One. She doesn't regret her mistakes, even if the consequences are somewhat unbearable.

Admirable. Is this normal?

On the other hand, I have rarely (if at all) regretted not doing something. There have been things that others have encouraged me to do, but for some reason I didn't want to, and until now there have fortunately been no regrets. For example, in high school, my mother wanted me to go to the Prom. She even told me that I'd probably regret not attending - it is, after all, a pretty important event in the life of a normal American high school student. But I stayed home (and probably read a book or played the piano), and to this day haven't regretted it. As a matter of fact, I'm kind of proud of the fact that I could do my own thing, stand against peer pressure, and not really care what others thought of me at a somewhat young age.

What about you all, my Dear Readers (if I still have Dear Readers... it has been a while...)? Do you tend to regret that which you have done? Or that which you haven't done? Or both? Or neither? It'd be interesting to hear some thoughts on the topic.

*this could be high school or college or post-college... the general idea and the regrets are the same. :)