My biggest regret

My biggest regret for a long time was not taking a break between university semesters to travel. The idea did occur to me at the time to take some time off to visit Europe, like many of the people I had read about in teenage novels. None of my friends were into it, however. We were all studious to a fault. School first, fun later. As if there was some sort of race to see who could pile up the most degrees in the shortest amount of time. It was always a competition. I did have one acquaintance who took a solo trip to Australia in the middle of our second year. My best friend thought he was just lazy. We all doubted he would return.

So, I didn’t go anywhere. I promised myself I would as soon as I graduated. Of course I didn’t. The opportunities were there. I passed them over in favour of working at a hotel stacking chairs. Too much fear to go it alone, I guess.

In later years my biggest regret was not recognizing my passion for all things canine. If only I had spent more time with my childhood dog, maybe I would have realized this love sooner, maybe I would have studied something more useful in school than the Decembrist revolt, and maybe I would have found a career of which I could be proud. So much time wasted writing papers on ancient Roman medicine, so much time lost.

Regret is useless, we all know. If I hadn’t worked at the hotel, I wouldn’t have met my PH. If I hadn’t chosen Bismarck over my Siberian husky at home, I probably wouldn’t have met Shiva. A Kristine without a Shiva is a very sad thing indeed. Now I am glad I didn’t do those things, though the wistfulness remains when I look back.

I am not sure what my biggest regret is right now. I hope this doesn’t mean I am in the midst of making the mistakes I will later rue. I regret when I abandon myself or when I ignore my own desires for the sake of doing things I think will make others happy. I regret turning down chances for joy due to fear of judgment from others. More and more I am learning how to be okay with being myself; less and less do these regrets niggle. Maybe one day I’ll even give myself that European backpacking trip.

On the other hand, I am thirty-two years old. If I do make it there, I will be staying in hotels.

2 thoughts on “My biggest regret

  1. So much seems regretful, and yet – ? I still love when Frankie crooned “Regrets I have a few, but then again – too few to mention”. You’re doing it YOUR way. Even if it doesn’t seem like it.
    If you do make it to that European backpacking trip, I’ll stay in the hotels with you 😉

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  2. I try not to regret everything, as you said I wouldn’t be who I am, where I am without my life going as it has. There are some things I have done that I am not proud of, lived through some experiences which I wish I hadn’t. But it’s the good, the bad and the ugly that makes me me and I am ok with me. In fact I am loving me at the moment!

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