One of our readers wrote in and suggested we blog about one thing we regret from our past. Thanks for the suggestion. Here are our thoughts.
Regrets can either make you stronger or do you in. I agree with Frank Sinatra.
“Regrets. I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.”
Well, I’ll mention a couple.
· I regret any commitment I did not keep, including standing on the altar and saying, “I do.”
· I regret any bad habit that has hurt my health.
· I regret missing a chance to say, “I love you” to any person who is no longer here to hear it.
· I regret wishing time away. I want some of it back.
· I regret every dream I gave up because someone convinced me it was silly or unattainable.
When I was a child, I dreamt of being a ballet dancer. People told me I wasn’t tall enough, thin enough, talented enough, etc. But it was my dream. I wanted to go to New York and pursue it. When I was in college and decided journalism was my passion, I had visions of grandeur. I was going to save the world with my reporting. A professor told me I didn’t have the chops. Now I know differently.
I’m not sorry for the roads taken. I’m sorry I was foolish enough to listen to people who enjoyed stomping on my dreams.
If we all learn from our mistakes and regrets, they have served their purpose. I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on them. But, sometimes they come to visit in the wee small hours of the morning.
I try not to dwell on the past. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I guess those have shaped who I am today. I really have only one “big” regret that I would go back in time to change. Believe or not it’s not my former marriage. It’s the whole college experience. While I was lucky to be a varsity swimmer at a Big Ten school, the stresses that went along with it were unbearable at times.
My typical college day was to awaken at 4:45 am, ride my bike to the pool for practice, then go to classes (hopefully staying awake!). At 3:30 pm I had to be back on it for weight training, followed by two more hours of swimming. After that, it was training table until 8:30. On the weekends, we competed in Saturday dual meets – sometimes at home and sometimes far away. I rarely slept. It was hard to find study time without distractions. I was a small fish in a big sea. My grades were ok but not the A’s that I wanted and had received in high school.
When my parents told me to pay attention in college – because it will have impact on the rest of my life – they really were right. Fast forward to today. I am applying to graduate school in a program I very much want to participate. I am not sure if my grades will cut the mustard in today’s competitive environment. Here I am at 45 worrying that what I did in college will impact me 22 year later. It’s true.
If I could go back and change my college years, I would go to a smaller school and compete at the Division II or III level – focusing more on my schoolwork and less on sports. I probably would have chosen a university on the east coast – my favorite place in the world. I hope I would appreciate the knowledge and opportunity more so than I did back then.