The two are closely associated, often misunderstood and at times hang around our necks like an albatross until we accept what has happened, what has shaped us into the people we are and then we can let it go and set ourselves free.
Sounds pretty obvious, right? Wrong. Wronger than putting ketchup with a 3 Michelin star meal. Wronger than french fries dipped in milkshake (yes it is a thing and yes it does taste strangely nice even though it shouldn’t— my posh chef daughter would sooner say she doesn’t like Johnny Depp before accepting either culinary sins).
Where was I? So, regrets versus life lessons. I was talking with an old friend of mine— old as in we’ve known each other years, not because she’s about to join the ranks of my grandma and her crew. Lessons have to be felt before we learn. We have to feel the pain, the hurt and the stress that culminates into a hodgepodge of drama, tears and at times entering the darkness that we can find ourselves getting deeper into and harder to climb out of. When we reach those depths, that then becomes the turning point of climbing out and shoving that experience where the sun don’t shine and learn, never to make the same mistake again. Only, however, if you have taken from the experience and you can pop it in the “Been there, done it, got the proverbial tee-shirt” section in your Book of Life. Like the acknowledgements section at the back of a great book like Being Ines by Eva Lauder (see what I did there? Yaas it’s cheeky, I know. Allow it🤪).
However, it’s not easy to do this. Yes, you know it’s screwed and the pain was just too much, but some folk continue living this perpetual cycle of making the same mistake, going cold turkey, feeling great and then doing it again. And again. And again, until you really are in no position to comment on other people’s bad situations, because why? Because you didn’t remove that damned albatross around your neck and show no signs of doing so. Life passes you by at a rate of knots, and before you know it, you’re old(er) and still travelling on that same vein that’s been coursing round and round all your life.
That is when, I believe, that regret steps in and slaps you round the face like a football on a winter’s morning. It stings. The realisation that your life has passed you by and you changed nothing. You regret not doing the stuff you’ve always wanted to do and living the life you aspired to as a youngster, who thought that they were invincible.
I’ve been there, and I’ve lived that life. So, I’m talking from experience not out of self-righteous bottom burps. Some folk get the wake-up call and choose to take the re-routed direction of life’s offers, and others invariably continue on the route they’re familiar with, out of the lack of believing that they deserve a better deal, that the cards that fate has turned its hand to is gospel. No more and no less.
Our experiences shapes our psyche but it’s also up to us to break that mould and live life enough to look back and think ‘phew that was close’. If we don’t, that’s when regret kicks in. We regret not being stronger or more ballsy. It’s never too late to cut that chain around your neck and free yourself. There’s always an alternative route, even if we can’t see it clearly, trust in better things.
Take care, Eva x ©