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.
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.