I woke up this morning to a rather ominous (and seemingly pointed) question on my google homepage. It asked, "When you die, what will you regret?". Now, I'm fairly certain the question wasn't actually directed at me (we can never be too sure with our computers, right Caprica), and instead some article that I neglected to read...however, the g.d. question has been festering inside me all day even though it doesn't quite make sense. How does someone regret something if they're already dead? But realities aside, it is thought provoking.

The question reminds me of a movie I watched with my mom when I was in my teens. Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep portrayed two recently deceased characters in Defending Your Life. The characters basically had to demonstrate their readiness for moving forward by screening different "scenes" from their life as proof of their accomplishments. If the characters were able to show how they took chances, helped others, and in general really made the most of their lives; they were free to move on. If not, they had to start life all over again as a brand new person. For some reason the movie has always stuck with me.

Don't worry, I'm not saying I've since based my life choices on some movie I watched twenty years ago, nor am I expecting you to...except for maybe one part. I do believe in actively pursuing life and making the most of it. My biggest fear is that I turn around to my years lived and see waste. I think that is what actually motivates me to try and experience my surroundings (or place myself in new situations). I would hate to look back and see lost opportunities because I was sitting on my ass not willing to put out the effort and try, not willing to change, not willing to see what all I am capable of accomplishing. I guess fear to move forward would be my main regret.

As far as my already realized regrets, I'm working on them. I don't look back at the me of my twenties and feel super good about myself. I don't look back and see the me I was wanting more for her life. It's hard to explain because I did go to school, and I did live out of the country for three years, and I did have some amazing experiences, and I did meet some quality friends during that time; but I also think I was kind of a selfish dick specializing in reckless behaviors. I don't think I was a very good friend, or daughter, or sister, or employee. When I look back, I don't always see good stuff and it kind of sucks.

I know that there are acceptable years of growth and expected mistakes to be made as we change from children and become adults. There are experiences that form who we are later as we figure out what is important to us in adulthood and relationships and responsibilities. I also know that I've always been a bit of a late bloomer in terms of those stages of maturity...but, I also know that for many years I only worried about me, about how my choices made me feel. I don't really remember caring too much about the consequences of my actions and decisions, and I made myself believe I was okay with it. Actually, I don't really remember my contemplating consequences at all which is probably why this is what comes to mind when I think of regret.

I don't think I live selfishly now. I mean, I want to be a good person. I try very hard to consider others before I consider myself. I try to be helpful and understanding. And like I said, I'm still trying; I don't want to hurt the people in my life. I think if I were forced to defend my life right now, I'd do okay. I'm not saying I can't do more or be better, but I think I'd have some strong scenes to show. I believe I'm on a good path now...a pathway where I can be who I want to be, but also a path where I can be proud of who that person is.

Go Your Own Way


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