My regrets so far:
– staying in the same university job for 2-3 years each; I wish I moved jobs more often and did at least one summer season at a theme park
– I wish I was less responsible: I wish I had watched the sun rise more mornings and slept through more lectures
– I wish I had more to regret.
But I don’t. I played (and continue to play) it safe. Instead of needing an alarm because I irresponsibly collapsed into bed only hours before, I would wake up naturally at 8am, after having a full 8 hours of sleep, thank you very much. I didn’t have ‘wild days’, or wake up with cases of LC (‘loser complex’, a phenomenon of South African origin, where your fun night’s activity is processed with soberly regret). I haven’t really changed at all; relative to psychology lifespan textbooks, my rationality peaked in my 22nd year even if its at the same level now. It’s too late to regress to adolescence now. Sure, I’ve always had fun, never relying on alcohol to lubricate the move from chatter to the dancefloor; in many ways, I’ve seemed drunk and high owning nothing to the substances themselves. I’ve made a number of friends and a more impressive number of acquaintances; I’ve learned to live in the moment, appreciating the moment for its worth, rather than forcing it to be something its never alluded to being. I’ve read books, in the morbid hope of understanding/ experiencing that which I have not experienced firsthand. Regularly, my consciousness would awake to find my body was climbing a mountain or diving under a wave. My Mum’s advice of ‘leave a party when it’s still fun’ afforded me the luxury of leaving with the fun memories and missing out on the fights and gate-crashers with poles and police investigations. I’ve studied at university for more years than my younger self anticipated, realising that each year goes by regretfully quickly. I missed the boat of dieting or following fad trends for the most part, but instead ate what my body craved when it craved it. Self-control needs more development. That sounds like something I might appreciate more when I’m 35-ish.
Life has been interesting and varied. I’ve self-indulged in analysis and over-analysis, of both events and interactions I have experienced, and those I’ve seen or read. I take risks so safe they’re more like the obvious next stepping stone. I wish I had more regrets from my younger days. But if I still wouldn’t do anything now I would regret later, is my regretful cry simply ostentatious? Or perhaps, is it greed, a craving of more varied shaped experiences to expand my understanding of human nature? I think it’s the latter. I hope it’s the latter.