January 25, 2012

my two cents: on regret(s).

I believe in regrets. I appreciate the people who don't, and I find the saying "no regrets" both wise and optimistic, but to tell you the truth, there are some things that I'd handle differently, if given a second chance. There are some things I said that I wouldn't say, and—more often—some things I didn't say that I would love to speak aloud. As a writer and someone who probably talks too much, it's the unsaid that I tend to regret most.

I'm fortunate enough not to have any significant regrets, nothing so earth-shattering that it leaves me up at night. My regrets are mostly little things, tiny tweaks I'd make to the random moments of my life. 

Given a second chance, I'd have written more letters to my grandmother. Told my third grade teacher that she inspired me to embrace art, to value creativity and learn to apply it elsewhere. Tried more vegetables when I was younger. Helped my mom cook more often.

I would have acted a bit more, auditioned a bit more. Learned Spanish in college. Attempted to surf even though sideways balance just really isn't in the cards for me. I'd have ditched the SPF 4 and actually embraced sunscreen. I'd have never worn pocketless jeans, Abercrombie t-shirts with sayings, or any of those weird hair clips that aren't bobby pins. I'd have never missed a diary entry.

Given a second chance, I'd have forgiven myself more easily and held others to a higher standard because I'd have known that self-respect reigns most important. I would have recognized real love more quickly and acknowledged when to let go of the relationships that had run their course.

I would have skipped the unnecessary apologies, the meaningless guilt, and the heavy boots that came with holding on to things for far too long. I would have ridden my bicycle more often and allotted more time for art. I would have saved the petals from the first red roses Radley ever gave me, the ones that came just weeks after meeting, a week before our first date. I would have taken more pictures.

Like I said, nothing earth-shattering. Just tiny regrets, small second-chance dreams that teach me what I value and what I need to do with the rest of this life I've been given.

Do you have a "no regrets" attitude? 
Or are there things you'd have done differently?


Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Honestly, I can't get enough of your darling blog :) Not only are you a wonderful, insightful writer, but you inspire me to look at my life in a different way. Thank you, and keep writing!

I do, I do. said... [Reply to comment]

You know what, each person has everything you expressed here in their mind. The only difference is that, some speak it out, some keep it unsaid.
Life does make you realize such things, so is life's beauty! :)

Nikskie said... [Reply to comment]

sometimes i make a really really major bad decision that i regret until i can't even think or eat in a few days. but, we have to let it heal. and from that we really get the lessons. it's not always easy on forgiving ourselves of what we regret,but i try to be positive

DT said... [Reply to comment]

I too regret the unsaid.. I tend to let go of things so that they don't get too serious or to avoid arguments.. and then later I have all those things I wanted to say hammering me from inside.

chels.e. said... [Reply to comment]

beautifully written. i to often wish i had acted or spoke in a different way. there are plenty of little regrets filling my world. i think the important thing is to learn to appreciate those regrets. they are going to happen regardless of our intentions, so maybe the goal should be to recognize them and appreciate what they taught us. :)
-p.s. i love your blog!

a.vera said... [Reply to comment]

That was beautiful and very inspirational. Thank you for sharing that!

Laura Marie said... [Reply to comment]

@Brooke Wow, thank you, Brooke! Appreciate it :)

Ashley said... [Reply to comment]

I agree sometimes there are just certain things we wish we could of done differently or said. if only we knew what we knew now then. but whats great about the past is no matter what choices or decisions we make it makes us who we are no regrets or with regrets all of it shapes us. :)

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

I have regrets sometimes, about little things, like you were talking about. No big regrets really...And even if I did have a big regret, it's not too late to change it. Well, maybe depends on what it is. But hopefully, if it's something like, 'I wish I traveled to that place back then..' or something like that, you can still do it.
But it is a great motto live your life without regrets.

RetreatingAndAdvancing said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
RetreatingAndAdvancing said... [Reply to comment]

I'm not the "no regrets" person. There are some little regrets like yours in my life, and I've also got two or three bigger ones. None of them are really earth-shattering. Sometimes I just can't stop thinking of what I've done and said instead of enjoying the present and living in it. If only we knew some things before! I should learn to forgive myself, even if it's heard sometimes

Lovely post!

aislin said... [Reply to comment]

This post is lovely! As is your blog, so happy I found it. I couldn't agree with you more. As much as the idea of 'no regrets' sounds so adventurous & daring, it's also very selfish. I know we can't go through life thinking about all the little pasts we should've done differently, but giving acknowledgement to them and making a better change for the future is part of growing.

HayleySF said... [Reply to comment]

Wow - I think you have hit the nail on the head. So many of us think 'no regrets' is a positive optimistic view of life, but in reality I regret something I do everyday. My guilt does nothing but weigh me down - over and over again. I am who I am. I make mistakes. People like who I am. I should embrace it and understand I make mistakes, learn from them, and move on quickly. Life is too short to wonder/ponder over your regrets.
Love you blog btw!

Karina Cifuentes said... [Reply to comment]

I completely agree on regretting what I don't say. For me, it's mostly in a work environment when I don't speak up my mind. But it comes with practice!

Visit my giveaway!

Francesca Forzoni said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for this x


Laura Marie said... [Reply to comment]

@aislin Wow, that's so true—it is selfish, well said! Oh, and welcome :)

Laura Marie said... [Reply to comment]

@HayleySF Thanks, Hayley! :)

Sabrina Katherine said... [Reply to comment]

Cheers to the terrible wardrobe from high school, and to wishing I had given myself more credit by holding others to standards that garnered respect.

I miss you, L. And I believe in regrets, but we would never be where we are, or who we are, without them.

Love your face, and, as always, your heart.

LauraCA said... [Reply to comment]

I like to hold both views. There are definitely things in my life I wish I could change but they are also what has made me who I am today. This is something I have thought about many times and if I would actually change anything in my life if I could. I think I would actually stick with everything. The rough relationship I went through made me appreciate the good ones. They made me have a softer heart and more understanding. Things I didn't like from the relationships made me change my actions for future ones.

Some choices I have made have had serious outcomes that affected me greatly. Others in my situation would be ashamed and never tell anyone. I even have one experience that my dad told me to never tell anyone about, yet I have with those close to me. I am not ashamed of it because it is me. It hurt but it strengthened other areas of my life. I would not be where I am today without it.

I had a former boyfriend once tell me that he has kicked himself many times for breaking up with me. I wanted to slap his face because he was the first person I really loved. If I had had the choice, I would have married him but then I wouldn't be with my husband now and I wouldn't give that up for anything. I am glad he can't change his regrets.

Life would be so much easier if we could go back and change some things but then we wouldn't be who we are. Live your life the best you can, remember things of the past, learn from them, change what you can, and love who you are and what you have done.