The Christmas season is upon us. This time of year always makes me nostalgic and contemplative. Along with the joy of the season there’s also a certain amount of grief. Not crippling grief just a twinge every now and then as I wonder what things might have been like. I don’t think that will ever go away, no matter what the future has in store for me. As I think about the past there’s one phrase that always pops in my head; “no regrets.”
A lot of people say it. A lot of people claim they have no regrets. But I don’t think life is that black and white. Some say they don’t have regrets because everything that happened made them who they are today. Then again maybe that’s just another way we as humans try absolve ourselves of our follies. I’m inclined to believe that people think about regrets in the wrong way. It’s not bad to look back and have regrets. Letting those regrets rule your life and make you afraid of living is when they turn bad. If I’m honest I cannot look back on my life and say I have no regrets.
I have a great example. A few years back, right out of college, a close friend (one of my former roommates in fact) and I had a terrible falling out. We both said hurtful things and didn’t speak to each other for about two or three years. Then I started having dreams about running into her. In my dreams I actually felt relieved to see her. I missed my friend and wanted to reach out to her again. So I did. I sent her an email and we got coffee. We realized we couldn’t remember exactly what the big fight was about. I’m relieved to say that we’ve managed to get beyond the unremembered fight and are a part of each others lives again.
But that doesn’t take away the regret of the lost years. I still feel sad sometimes when I think about it. We missed each others weddings! We missed out on years of friendship. How can I not regret that? What I can do is not let it stain what’s going on right now. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that I still feel melancholy about the fact that I missed one of the biggest days of her life, the day she married her fantastic husband. I agree with the people that say those past mistakes make you who you are, but I won’t say that I don’t regret missing out on those years of friendship.
What do you guys think? Do you truly have no regrets in life?