Living Without Regret

On top of the world on a beautiful night
On top of the world on a beautiful night

This Saturday I take the plunge.  Out of an airplane.  Hurtling towards Earth at speeds of 120-130 mph.  Eek… No problem, right?

Well, last week I had an intense moment of fear and for almost the entire day had to fight myself, so I wouldn’t cancel.  Phew, I’m exhausted thinking about it.  But I didn’t cancel and the next day my anxiety had subsided to a more manageable level.  Thank goodness too because I don’t want to add this to my list of regrets, which is far too long already…

You know, regret’s a funny thing.  Somehow it seems to set off a chain of them.  Take one of my biggest regrets which is playing field hockey in high school.  A sport I did not truly enjoy especially since I felt like a flamingo in a field of foxes.  Not to mention dealing with the headcase of a coach who once told me, “If you want to see any playing time, you better learn to suck up to me.”  Right.  I regret not quitting after she said that to me.  Because that lead to regretting the choice of my first and extremely expensive college, where instead of choosing a place I wanted to go and do things I wanted, I chose to prove myself with an opportunity to play college level field hockey.  Even though I earned a starting position and received rookie of the year, it wasn’t worth it.  And there you have one chain of regrets.  However, I remember vowing to stop regretting and change things.  So I left that college to attend a more affordable one where I started pursuing my interests like writing, ballroom dancing, and connecting with nature.

But another chain of regrets was just waiting for me to cross its path.  Fast forward to the end of college when I was a professional ballroom dancer and had a career-ending knee injury.  I never took time off from my second job and college even with being on crutches for six weeks.  Hell, the very next day after surgery I crutched around campus in the middle of an upstate New York winter to take a test then went to work after.  Because I didn’t have a choice.  If I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid.  And when you’re fully supporting yourself and paying for college…  options are limited.  Yet that’s not what I regret, no.  I regret working so hard to support myself and put myself through school that I didn’t major in something I wanted or take time to experience college or pursue my dreams (dancing and writing) instead of going to college right away.  All I could focus on was making enough money to pay rent, car payments, gas, utilities, tuition, textbooks, etc etc… which led me to stay in bad jobs because I needed  the money… a big thing I wish I didn’t do.  I can’t tell you how much I regret not being strong enough to walk away from those situations (ranging from terrible toxic workplace behavior to I probably should have called the cops) and trusting things would work out.  Especially when my hair started falling out from stress, I couldn’t remember what my car looked like and my skin broke out in hives every morning.

But you know what?  Even though I regret all that, I wouldn’t change anything.  If  we went all butterfly effect then I would have never met my best friend and love of my life.  We wouldn’t have our seven furkids either or our beautiful little house or all the fun memories together.  So I might have pangs of regret, but if I had to do it all over again I would.  Because the best thing that’s ever happened to me came out of the worst.

Yet, when I am spiraling in a negative vortex or being an anxious mess, I am so sick of regretting everything.  Life is too short for regrets and I will not regret this opportunity.  So Saturday’s the day to kickoff a new life.  A fuller life with less no regret, more happiness and creating a path towards peace.  But if I should die… thanks for reading!  It’s been real!

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