Each month, we upload a new writing prompt on our sidebar, encouraging people to write in on the topic. July’s writing prompt is REGRET.
Do you think there are benefits to having regrets, or do you think we should leave those feelings in the past? What is your biggest regret and why? How has your regret(s) changed your or shaped your life?
Here’s how our staff answered…
I hate the word regret. Something about it just doesn’t roll smoothly off of the tongue. My philosophy for life has always been to live a life without regrets, which is not as impossible as it sounds. I think that we all make decisions that we aren’t proud of. We all have, at one point or another, woken up the next day and thought “Man, that hair color was a horrible idea” or “What did I do last night (and where are my clothes)” or “White Russians and Margaritas do not mix”, but rather than carry around regret I try and make the most of whatever situation my original poor decision landed me in. My hair turned out a bit more colorful than I originally intended, but it makes my chin look sharper and more attractive. I can’t remember all the details of the night before and I am pretty sure I vomited in a bath tub…oh well, I will know not to do that again, or at least what the consequences will be. I believe we only get this one life. Why waste it on feeling regret for every bad decision? We cannot hope to ever control or even know all the consequences of our actions. – Jessie
Every day I think am I doing the things right now and living the way I wish to be so that my tomorrows are happy? I’m a perfectionist, so every decision is thought through to the extreme. In short, the idea of having a regret worries me so I plan as much as I can. Some would say to loosen up and not worry so much about decisions, but that’s easier said than done. I think of it like this: If our lives are roads, I want to take the scenic route, even if it means it has a few potholes and comes to a detour. It’s the dead ends I’m trying to avoid. For the most part, we can plan that route for ourselves, so I do to the extent that I can. A piece of me always wonders in a daydreaming sort of way how my life would be if I took a different turn in various spots: choosing a different college, choosing a different major, taking a different job, etc. How can you not when the reality is these major decisions did shape us? I wonder, but I do not regret these types of decisions as I know they were conscious. Even so, some days I wake up and wonder philosophically, “how did I get here”? These 10 things are great reminders when life doesn’t go as planned. – Stephanie
I used to find myself regretting a lot – that I wasn’t prettier, that I wasn’t funnier, that I wasn’t smarter, that I wasn’t thinner, that I didn’t do this, that I hadn’t tried that. But as I grew, I realized regret was something that sucked up a lot of my precious time. Although it can be hard to shake regret all together, I’ve stopped regretting the big stuff I can’t change and instead focus on the here and now: here is what I can focus on, now I’m going to either appreciate it, or change it. That goes extra for the mishaps in life that are inevitable; these things happen, and instead of regretting them, I do my best to forgive myself and learn from them. Life’s much simpler when I allow myself the ability to a make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect – not even Beyonce. – Crystal