Saturday, March 26, 2011

No Regrets

Most things seem to happen for no apparent reason at all. But some things work out perfectly every once in a while, as if by design. People who have regrets don't believe this. People who have regrets are also people who blame someone else for what happened to them.
    It may be childish or fantastical, but I think it's nice to think that some things happen for a reason, even if they don't work out the way you originally had in mind. We're only human and sometimes our design isn't fully thought out or doesn't take certain things into account. But the universe, whether you want to call it that, or God, or destiny, can see things from every angle and see the game 20 moves ahead. For this reason, the universe can arrange things to play out perfectly from time to time. Sometimes, it takes us some time to realize that it was for the best that things happened in such a way.
    Pessimists and regretful people have a tendency not to see things as having worked out for the best. Maybe it's self-importance, wanting things to go their way or the highway, or maybe it's just closed-mindedness, that if things didn't go a certain way, they went the wrong way. It's unfortunate, because if you only look at the world from that perspective, you end up missing out on some of the beautiful and amazing, if unexpected, things that happen.
    I find regrets to be a waste of time. Regrets mean that you focus on something that happened in the past, and if that is still eating away at you, weeks or months or years later, part of you is being wasted and consumed by something that shouldn't matter anymore. It only still has bearing on your life because you allow it to. While my life has certainly not gone according to any plans I made at any point--eight years ago, I was going to move to New York when I was 18 and be a writer, and that didn't happen--I can't say that I regret anything that's happened to me or that I've done.
    Other people, were they in my shoes, might regret some of the things in my life. I spent three and a half years on a degree that didn't help me get a job very easily. But I did get a job. A great job that I really enjoy. It has absolutely nothing to with my degree, but I never expected to go into philosophy after all. I expected to have a bachelor's degree, some more knowledge than I started with, and to be a more well-rounded person, and that's all true. So how can I possibly regret something that put me in a good place in my life, even if it took a little longer than expected? Answer: I don't.
    There are plenty of other things that could have thrown me off track and made me regret that they happened or changed me in a way I didn't want to be changed. But even all the bad things that have happened, all the things that went wrong thus far in my young life, put me where I am today and prepared me for other things I would face. They made me stronger, and for that, I can't really regret those things either. Even if they sucked when they happened, I can't really blame anyone for what happened, even if a person was the catalyst that caused that particular event to happen. Blame is a by-product of regret, and if you don't regret anything, you can't blame anyone for where you are today or what has happened to you up until now.
    As they say, you can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs, and sometimes the things that don't go according to plan are the eggs that the universe breaks to help you make your omelet. (That came out so much cheesier than I meant it to, but oh well.) Next time something goes wrong, give it a chance to work itself out before automatically writing it off as the universe being out to screw you over again. That seemingly unfortunate, unexpected event may lead to something great.
Sing in the rain.

6 comments:

Bob said...

You're young and single I presume. My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy, if not, you'll become a (BETTER) philosopher ~ Socrates. What if you regret and blame yourself for your circumstance? But are mostly powerless to change the circumstance perhaps to a Cornelian dilemma with very bad outcomes possible.

Constant Writer said...

Young, yes. Single, no. If you've been reading closely, you should have caught the boyfriend reference on more than one occasion (also you might have noticed that this would mean I can't have a wife). Furthermore: Marriage bites.
The entire point of this post was to advise people to stop having regrets, not to have them but blame yourself instead of someone else. Blaming yourself just as useless as blaming someone else. It already happened, and no matter whose fault it was, you need to move on.
I'm also confused as to how you managed to conclude I was unhappy that you felt obliged to advise me to get married to be happy. I thought I'd explained that I was a happy and content, optimistic, because I had no regrets...
Think first, type second.

Bob said...

Sorry, Yes, I haven't been reading as closely as I should have but the quote was by Socrates and I posted as I remembered it. I didn't however change the gender reference. I do blame myself for my regrets, but they have caused me to have an unending affliction. I'm moved on from my regrets but others keep bringing me back. I need a physical move which I am planning. Also you didn't answer my question! And who around you has regrets that perhaps involve you? PS. I'm not trying to argue and criticize, but open up your brain and mine. Maybe in the process it will help me somehow. And I apologize for the assumption you aren't happy, but it was part of the quote.

Constant Writer said...

I think what we got here is a failure to communicate, on both our parts, and we both misinterpreted the intention of what the other person was trying to say. Sorry about that.
To answer your question, albeit somewhat lamely: If you do regret and blame yourself, I don't know what to tell you. Not knowing the specific circumstances, I would think you're probably being hard on yourself. Life is messy and a lot of people are involved, directly or indirectly, in almost everything we do, and while people may be the CAUSE of one thing or another, BLAME is something that should be avoided. Blaming solves nothing and does nothing. It's best to acknowledge that something bad happened, and just try to do better the next time around.
To your other question, I think my mother regrets some things that have affected me, but I think that's probably true of most parents, wishing they had done something differently. But I think my rationale applies there as well. We do our best, and while we can't always do better the next time (if there isn't a next time), we did what we could as well as we knew how. Nothing can work out as cleanly as we'd like it to, but we can't focus on stuff that already happened. We have to use that as a guide to help us do better in the future. That's why I think people should have no regrets. We just have to move forward, and use what we've learned to help us do that and do things better or differently than before to try to get them to play out a little better.
I hope I've answered your questions. I tried to, anyway. And that's all I can do :)

Bob said...

Hi. Thanks for the reply. I feel better knowing we both understand the conversation a little better. Anyway, I'm trying. My new mantra is "Be Above It All Bob!" I wish I could explain more but I don't feel comfortable doing so. Regarding your mouse' little things can be annoying.

Constant Writer said...

I feel better too having been able to clear up some of the misunderstanding!
I think that's an excellent mantra to have! It's a great outlook to face life with, and while it's challenging, working towards 'being above it all' is a good thing to work on.
Little things are annoying, but we should all work on being above those things too. They're worth even less of our time than stressing about the big things.

+Constant Writer

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