You’re Too Young To Have Regrets… Right?

Shit is about to get real deep and personal. It took me over 4 minutes to get a pancake out of the toaster earlier today which led me to this post. Well, that and an article I stumbled upon about people’s dying regrets. I wanna talk about regret and how I feel, particularly with my age group, that the notion that we must not regret anything has been hammered into our brains since before I can remember. Or maybe it’s just me? I don’t  know. How we ‘must not regret anything because at the time, it was exactly what we wanted’. I’ll give you a tenner if you haven’t heard that quote or seen it on some pretentious Tumblr picture. Well I call bullshit.

never_regret

Credit

I’m 23 years-old – no age at all and I find it borderline offensive (which is saying something because I rarely find anything offensive) when people try and drill into you that, ‘you’re so young, you should have no regrets’ as if dismissing the fact that the strange direction your life has gone is a mere blip – just because you’re young. Now, when I was in school, my dream was to be a fitness instructor. I loved sports and P.E. I did extra P.E, was in the tennis team, did after school trampolining and badminton and went to the gym in my own time. I loved it and that was the plan. To go to sixth form and get an A Level in P.E then head off to university with hopefully the grades I needed to do sports science or whatever the course was you needed to do to get yourself on the path of becoming a fitness instructor.

Unfortunately, my school’s sixth form wasn’t running A Level P.E the year I started – because there wasn’t enough people who wanted to do it. I had two choices: go to another collage that did offer the course I wanted and leave my friends behind (even though the other collage was only 5 minutes away and I would have seen them all the time anyway) or stay with my friends and just choose another course because it was easy and convenient and give up what I really wanted to do.

They say you should never regret anything because at the time, it was exactly what you wanted. And judging by the name of this blog post, you can guess what choice I made.

At the time, it wasn’t what I wanted. What I really wanted was to change colleges, do the course and hopefully go to University and fulfil my dream of becoming a fitness trainer. What I did instead was stay at my sixth form because it was easier, more convenient and all my friends stayed there. I took a course I hated which teachers that didn’t like me and spent every Wednesday and Friday hungover and not paying attention. What did I think was going to happen had I not stayed? That I was going to lose all my friends? Well that happened anyway, a few years after. That I wasn’t going to fit in? I was a young, pretty, fun-loving girl, of course I was going to fit in.

I truly believe that everything we do in life affects what happens to us in the future. I don’t think that had I taken a different path, I would still be in the position I am today. I don’t believe that all roads lead to the same place. I constantly wonder what would have happened had I just had the guts to do what I wanted to do. How it would have affected everything that’s come since. After my bout of the flu in 2011 which triggered my extreme anxiety that I still desperately struggle with to this day – had I been at University, would I have just sucked it up and got on with it? Would that flu just have been what it is – the flu. Not the start of 5 years worth of struggle which has led me to quit jobs, quit college courses, lose friends and lose a whole entire part of myself somewhere too.

Now at 23 and having not fulfilled any dream I’ve had since the age of 5, it pains me beyond belief to think how my life would be right now had I just followed my fucking dream. Life is weird – sometimes wonderful, sometimes not and humans make mistakes, we make the wrong choices, follow the wrong paths and sometimes, sometimes, those wrong paths don’t lead to something better – they don’t lead you to where you were ‘supposed to be’. So never be ashamed to have regrets – whatever your age.

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32 thoughts on “You’re Too Young To Have Regrets… Right?

  1. Unlike you, I feel I am entitled to have regrets, I am 72 after all and seem to be drowning in them. But on closer insection, it is usually the things I didn’t do that have the most regret attached to them. ( and it is almost too late to do anything about them!)

  2. Okay, I’m sat at work reading this and I’m trying really hard to not cry because I feel the exact same way. I completely cocked up when it came to making my A-Level choices, and chose subjects that I thought I should have done instead of the ones I wanted to, and I seriously regret that to this day, even though people tell me I shouldn’t. I’ve done alright for myself since year 13, but I can’t say I’ve been 100% happy with the choices I’ve made. I’m 23 too and only just starting to carve out a life that I’m happy with. And there’s no shame in having regrets, no matter your age, as regrets make us who we are.

    • Oh no I hope you didn’t end up crying! That definitely wasn’t the idea haha! I’m so pleased to hear you’ve started to carve a life out for yourself that you’re happy with now. That’s a lot more than I can say for myself and were the same age so I very much admire that. I hope everything works out for you and someday you can look back at your regrets and not feel as defeated by them (: xx

      • Only a little sniffle in the end haha! It’ll happen for you as well, it takes time and sometimes the strangest of options can make you the happiest in the end! xx

  3. Wow, I don’t even really know that to say! I have quite a few regrets too to be fair. I applied to do Adult Nursing at Uni and didn’t get in but they offered me a course of Health & Social… I accepted as I just wanted to go to Uni & now I regret it massively, I hate it. The course is so vague and theres no way I can become a nurse because of it! Sucks to have regrets!

    http://www.denajayne.co.uk

    xo

    • Agh I’m sorry your course didn’t work out and the new one wasn’t what you thought it was. I’ve had that – I started a course to become a teaching assistant and that wasn’t what I thought it would be either. I ended up quitting that too. I hope everything works out for you sweetie xx

  4. I felt sad for you as I read this post. It is so easy to make the wrong decisions particularly when we are young, and sometimes it takes us forever to get to where we want to go. I think it is wonderful how you have highlighted this, perhaps it will make other young people consider their choices more carefully. It is a difficult to do but is really so important that A level choices/six forms etc are chosen on the basis of doing what you love, rather than on where your friends are going. I have made a lot of wrong moves in my life, and ended up in lots of jobs that I hated, so I do understand where you are coming from. But it is never to late to follow a dream, would you ever reconsider going back to study PE? Otherwise perhaps you will always be wondering ‘What if?’

    • You’re so right – the decisions we make when we’re young, in school or college or university really are so terribly important. I feel the teachers drill that into you so much but we don’t realise how true it is until years later when you’re in a situation like I’m in myself. I couldn’t go back and study P.E any more as I’m so terribly unfit now I would literally make the worst fitness instructor ever haha and my anxiety would probably prevent me from that. I’ve accepted that that ship has unfortunately sailed but I’m hoping to find my way soon, somehow xx

      • Sounds like you’re making your way in life, and doing a grand job of your blog, and book tour business. I couldn’t be a fitness instructor either!! Not now and not earlier either – I’ve always been a bit lacking in the fitness department! xx

  5. Wow, that’s definitely a massive “what if”. I really hope you find your way back to something you love.
    I ran my own business at 20 and had it for 4 years; I always regret giving it up and although I used to wonder how my life would have been if I’d kept it, so many things that happened after that led me to this point, so I can’t say it was all bad x

    • Oh wow can I ask what business it was you had? 20 is a very young age to have your own business so that’s very impressive! I guess we could spend our whole lives wondering what if.. And it wouldn’t do any good would it? xx

      • Thank you so much! I had my own Gothic clothing shop and website 😊 and if I still had it, I wouldn’t have met my current boyfriend or started blogging! Xx

  6. I’m putting my hands up not in surrender but more in to say, “Girl, speak the truth!” Sometimes we have to learn life’s lessons by extremes, and age should not be a defining factor in that. In my opinion, I think that anyone who claims they haven’t had any regrets at all hasn’t lived life enough.

    • Haha thank you very much. I do hope I’ve somehow highlighted a point that doesn’t often get highlighted. I know most people will have regrets and not all to the extreme. But whatever you regret, I feel that everyone is entitled to have them. Regardless of what the media or whoever says! xx

  7. Its okay to have regrets but in my opinion there is still time for you to make your dreams come true. Life ends when we die, and if you are still alive its because you still have time to make your dreams come true.

  8. There is no age limit on regret. Everyone has regrets about something in their lives throughout all stages of life. You have a chance to course correct at this stage in your life. Listen to those who made their own mistakes and follow from their example. You got this thing called life. Hang in there.

  9. Everyone is entitled to regrets, I’m mixed, I regret some of the decisions I’ve made over the years, I’ve let people railroad (persuade) me into decisions that are more suited to their personalities than mine and I’ve missed out on opportunities that I’ve really wanted. But had I not made the choices I made I wouldn’t have met my Husband and made other choices which have been good so in the long term things have kind of balanced out! I’m sure I will have lots more regrets over the years though! Sending you huge hugs though xxx

    • Aww Claire I agree I don’t necessarily think all regrets are good or bad. Some regrets you have AT THE TIME will then lead you to somewhere or something better in the future. Some unfortunately won’t. But we won’t know until we try xx

  10. Wow that’s a smack in the heart for me, I am currently going through my regret time and I have decided that screw it I am going to do next year what I always wanted to do in my teens and go and see more of the world. I always wanted to travel and spent years being afraid that I wouldn’t meet anyone while travelling and that people wouldn’t like me and other ridiculous reasons that were all lead by fear. But I have finally decided that while I regret not doing it at a younger age I still have time – so I am currently trip planning beginning in New Zealand next year.
    I think that you have regrets regardless of age, there are a lot of things I wish I had done differently or preferably not at all but the main things I regret are what I didn’t do. A bit like you with your dream job I missed out on mine and I often wonder how different things would have been.
    x

    • Ah that’s something I’d also love to do – I don’t know where or to what extent but I’d love to see more of the world and I’m determined to not regret not doing that! I’m still young so have plenty of time and so are you! Well done for following that dream. Make the most of it (: xx

  11. Great post! I am 21 so have had my handful of regrets and “what if…”‘s… I find it weird how at one point of our lives that we believe we’re doing the right thing and for whatever reason, that may change later on.
    Sarah | MoshingZombies

  12. Pingback: Happy Birthday Jenny in Neverland  | Jenny in Neverland

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