1. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    Regrets in your Life...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Snoopingaround, Oct 30, 2014.

    I don't know about you, but I have a mountain of regrets about my life. I feel that my teens and early twenties were pretty much wasted in a morass of laziness and general stupidity. During those years, I wasn't really doing anything, wasn't accomplishing any goals, didn't have an agenda or master plan. I was just going through the motions, watching too much television, playing too much video games, working half-ass at 3 different jobs, and studying just enough in each class to pass in college (somehow I graduated). I wasn't aggressive. I didn't appreciate how fragile life is, how important each and every moment that you live must be. I was a passive spectator. A day dreaming, risk averse, non-confrontational, slothful fool. I had lofty dreams and great ambitions, but I did practically almost nothing in way of getting them realized.

    So I feel very much that I deserve what I have now. No fortune. No empire. No custom designed and manufactured cars. No professional MMA career. No role in a action/martial arts series. No hot Eastern European model girlfriend(s). No adventures in South America. I was not supposed to be an average Joe. I feel I was destined for greatness, eminence, and renown, to live a life beyond the ordinary. I was supposed to be a man of distinction and merit. But because of my cowardice, my lack of work ethic, my unwillingness to do what is necessary to achieve extraordinary things, my lack of balls-to-the-wall ferocity, my ineptitude and my weakness, I am here. So what if I have a roof over my head and can pay my bills? I can say that doesn't really mean shit to me. There are so many no-name schmucks and passionless worms that populate this world. They are the majority. Honestly, I did not expect in my naïve and ignorant youth to end up essentially in the same category. But of course, this was an inevitable result of the path that I was on, a path of inaction, a lack of consistent efforts and striving. So this is my perdition, my Fall. I was born divine and dirtied my soul with run-of-the-mill mediocrity. This is purgatory for my sins.

    My solace is that perhaps one day I can climb out of this pit, this cesspool of failure and redeem myself. I am still young. I can do this. I will do this. The Holy Light of Divinity will shine upon me. I shall have my vindication.
     
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  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is so sad.

    The saddest part is that you seem to feel that expensive things will make you feel as if you have achieved something in your life, as if the only way to make your life worth living is to accumulate more things. Check out Darkkin's life.

    I started reading the above thinking "youth is wasted on the young", having been similarly dilatory at the same age...but without the technological temptations to sloth that you suffered! However, what I chiefly regret is the things that my children have done - spent a year working in Japan when knowing only enough Japanese to flirt with...studied Kung-Fu in a Shaolin temple in China...played at the Albert Hall and the Carnegie hall - and that I didn't even consider doing.

    Try this http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/microadventures-3/year-microadventure/
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I do have some regrets, things that I wish I had done differently. I'm noticing more and more each day that for every thing I probably won't ever be able to do, there are things I can still do now. You mentioned achieving some of your goals, well, what are the goals you know you can achieve now? Granted, I'm the one to talk all things considering but still. You're not dead, so there's still time. Get to it. :D

    <walks off to practice what he preaches>
     
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  4. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    I find peace in the little things, like singing in the shower, (loudly and slightly flat, the dogs don't mind). I take a page from Gene Kelly and go whirling about in the weather, I love walking in warm rain. But that first heavy snow, when the twilight is purple, the snow so dense it whispers as it falls; it is the place where dreams linger, numbering among the most curious places on earth, and it is known to me. Would I trade that memory for a completed master plan, money? No.

    Life isn't laid out in black and white, we are the prisms that lend the seemingly colourless, its myriad of tones and shadow. Was my path a little more normal at one time, yes, but fate decreed otherwise. I have seen the damage the loss of hope can do, I will not be broken. I find joy in the little things, multitude in number, I possess one skill few seek to develope: The ability to see beyond disappointment. I have been through hell, but I fight everyday with words, thoughts, and observation. You ask if I have regrets what can I say, not really. I take life as it comes.

    But one thing that is on my list of things to do is learning how to ballroom dance. I made it to Scotland, so this is actually feasible.
     
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  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For every regret I have ever felt, there is also an upside. I stopped focusing on the former many years ago, and I'm all the happier for that choice.
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't tend to regret things in my life unless an empty bottle of whisky is involved.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    To be honest, stewing in regret is a sure fire way to become insane. Yeah, if I were smarter, braver, I could probably be running a webcomic by now, or hosting a Youtube channel. If I had taken a computer science degree rather than a history degree, I would probably be doing other things. But then again, I wouldn't be working as a volunteer archivist studying into the papers of a centuries old family. I wouldn't be about to volunteer at my local history museum.

    Here's how I see it:

    a) The things that are out of your control, that you no longer can do for whatever reason... While difficult, it's best to just let them go. Stewing about it will do you no good. Instead you'll waste the time you have now wishing for an alternate past, and years later, you'll feel even more regret because you spent that time you had then wishing for the time long ago when...and I'm repeating myself here.

    b) The things that are in your control? That you can still do? Do it. I could still do a webcomic if I wanted to, it's all a question of me practicing my drawing abilities so I can draw on a level higher than a third-grader. Youtube? Research what makes a great youtube channel, plan out my Youtube channel and gather the equipments. Whether I personally would want to do them or not is irrelevant. Point is, there are actually things you could still do later in life if you find the time to do it. You will find the time if you are earnest about it; writers do that all the time.

    If anything else, let the regret be your motivator to do better, not an excuse to sit down and feel sorry for yourself. That is one of the worst mistakes you could ever do to yourself.
     
  8. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    In reply to Shadowfax, I am not a materialist or consumerist by any means. I don't spend any money on anything I will not be actively using or don't need. But yes, having a lot of money is a certain and objective measure of success. So, why not seek to have a lot of it? To me honestly you sound like one of those "passionless worms" I was talking about in my post. But like I said don't worry about it too much my humdrum friend because you are in the majority of people.

    And to Link the Writer as well as Cogito, I largely agree with your points. Your views, if genuinely held, is a fine mindset to have. I mean, to any man with an ounce of wisdom this would be the logical and sound way to look at it. But the problem is, in the end it doesn't really change the fact that you and I and everyone else with deep regrets about life have to still struggle with this pain. I messed up, and am living with the consequences of it today.

    There is a path, a higher and purer mindview to have on this area of my life. I am not sure what it is yet. "Just do better and let your regrets motivate you" is quite frankly not good enough. Maybe Nihilism? But that philosophy is too drab and surrendering for me.
     
  9. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're being too easy on yourself. What makes you think that all you had to do was try, and you'd have those things? Empire, fortune, professional MMA career...LOL. That's if you try endlessly AND are super talented/ lucky. Also, there's a long list of levels of people between those at the top and those who spent too much time playing video games and watching TV.
     
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  10. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it makes you feel any better, you were doomed to never attain true happiness and contentedness from the start because your upbringing exposed you to the corrupting notions of pride. At least in Plato's mind.
     
  11. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think this comes down to the definition of the word, but I like to think I have zero regrets. If I get the feeling I should've done something, I either do it later or ask myself why I didn't do it back then. Maybe I actually had a good reason, and looking back, I can learn from it. But I won't dwell on regrets. Example: Sometimes I feel kinda crappy I didn't pursue track and field seriously 'cause I was pretty good and would've had plenty of support. Then I remember the career of an athlete is very risky and time-consuming. If you aren't one of the lucky ones, you won't be able to support yourself with that one skill for the rest of your life, as happened with my brother, so I rather do something I'm equally happy with but which provides more stability and less stress. Ironically, my brother is now a teacher as well, which was the career I chose after graduating from high school. :D
     
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  12. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    Wow man, this thread really brings up my personal demons.

    I am 21. I really, REALLY regret how I spent my high school years. I did nothing. My situation wasn't so good, but the school I went to was pretty decent and I should have studied a lot. Aimed for the A and A+ grades. Did some extracurricular and focused on what my career might be. On top of that, I should have socialized a lot more too, and beaten my social anxiety a lot earlier than I did. For my 18-20 years I regret that I only took one year of college, and not only that, got a C average for that year.

    I really want a good life, with travel, and just a little more financial freedom than my mom did while raising me. But I think I can still get it and plan on starting towards that goal asap. If there is still time. There is still hope.
     
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  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    There's a flip side to this. There are people out there who work like demons, achieve their goals ...and still feel empty. They think by 'achieving' everything they set out to do, their lives will be fabulous. Well maybe on the surface, but until they get to grips with being happy with what they've got, they will still feel unfulfilled.

    While I don't recommend being slothful to the extent that you have no job, no home, are starving on the streets and nobody loves you, I do think maybe goal-directed behaviour isn't necessarily the key to happiness. Look at rich people. So many of them are driven to keep getting richer, no matter what, because just being successful isn't enough.
     
  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I know several people who did what you did ...sorta wasted their school years. However, when they went back as adult students, they had a totally different attitude, approach and set of experiences to work from ...and they did very well. A couple of them went from flunking out people to straight-A students. So by all means, go for it!
     
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  15. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    @TheApprentice

    I'm going to tell you this. Don't make life about what you didn't do. High School was a ripple on the pond, long behind you. You're 21, not withing into old age. Many I went to college with didn't finish for one reason or another until their mid-twenties. Some of them simply weren't ready for it.

    You're at a good starting point in life, just about everything is there, waiting. All you need to do is put your foot on the path. I've been to a five year high school class reunion. They aren't all that impressive.

    For me, high school was hellacious. Kids were cruel and a couple of the teachers, moreso. Things got a lot better once I was beyond it. I needed out of the airless pond and into the ocean. I found my footing in college, along with an excellent group of friends, who accepted me quirks and all.

    Stateside(US), 21 is the legal drinking age. It shouldn't be the guilt-of-awesome-things-I-never-did-in-high-school-but-should-have. It's high school. Let it go. Seize the future with both hands and jump in.

    Out of curiosity, I do keep up on things. And one observation I've made is that I've been able to achieve more with my little bit of optimisum than some who had everything handed to them. (Be careful what you put on Facebook...). Value doesn't rely on price, but effort and the sense of self.

    One of my favorites quotes helps puts things into perspective.

    'What good's a life that leave nothing behind, not a thought or a dream that might echo in time.' - What is Eternal, Beethoven's Last Night

    - Darkkin, the Tedious
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, high school is really NOT the be all and end all, is it? I liked high school, but didn't really find my feet till afterwards. I have never attended a reunion. I still keep in touch with the friends from high school who mattered, and the rest of them ...just don't. Probably the least significant phase of my life, to tell the truth. Even grade school feels more important now!
     
  17. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I'm a failure in every single traditional sense. But the 'successful' people are starting to look at my way of thinking and muttering, 'I think he's on to something.'

    You don't need to be successful. You need to be content. You need to be happy with what you have, and enjoy the moments for what they are. Not try to enjoy them, but find a peace in yourself where that joy is natural. There is no reason we need to achieve anything or do anything extra if we're happy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
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  18. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    My regrets are not so much about my experiences in high school so much as what I could have accomplished for my future. I am just a little upset I don't know anything that could be good for a career at age 21. Seems like so many of my old friends have so much figured out.
     
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  19. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Try communing with Old Marley, (of Dickens fame, not Bob), he knew a thing or two.
     
  20. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I wish you good luck. Sometimes it takes a while. And sometimes you might decide that a 'job' is better than a career, because it gives you the mental freedom to do what you really like to do in your time off. Don't be discouraged. This is not an easy time for any young person, really. It's so hard to plan, when you're not sure what the future is going to hold.
     
  21. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I am striving to live without regrets. So far so good, but no one can tell the future.
     
  22. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    To quote a cliche, "Happiness is not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have."
     
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  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's glib, but I think it's absolutely true.
     
  24. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It pains me to say it, but this describes my brother to a T. He has a great job, money, kick-ass car, Rolex, a great husband, a beautiful home in Virginia, he's very good looking and quite bright. He's miserable. He's told me as much. There is some ineffable thing in life that he keeps searching for and never finding and this unrequited quest leaves him exhausted and emotionally hollow. I love my brother, this isn't about trashing him. I worry about him.

    People get sold on prepackaged ideas of success and what worthiness looks like. It's almost always bullshit because it always ends in some kind of sales pitch. I knew I wanted to be an interpreter since I was a little kid living in VERY upstate New York. Half the neighborhood was ex-pat French Canadians. I thought there were two kinds of quarters, one with a guy in it and one with a lady on it. My best friend across the street, Jon Jon, was French Canadian and he had no friends because the poor boy had a pronounced stutter, so of course, he had to be my friend. I started learning French from his family. My parents encouraged it. I was going to be an interpreter and work at the U.N. and I would be very grand indeed. Later in life I learned that as much as I love languages, it's not terribly lucrative. Good thing I really don't care about money or bling or flash. I don't work at the U.N., but I do work at a very respectable level within my career field. My path brought me into the presence of General Norman Schwarzkopf, a very congenial man in real life, and General Colon Powell, who in the end did not require our services because his Russian was quite decent. It's never been lucrative in the monetary sense, but in the sense of feeling fulfilled and happy and ever intrigued by what comes next, my cup runs over.

    I wish I could impart this ideology to my brother, but I think it's too late for that. Even when we were teens, living in Melbourne, FL, where Wickham Road is the defining border between the haves and have-lesses, my brother was always to be found over there, with the rich kids, on the other side, searching.
     
  25. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Sorry to hear about your brother. :( It seems he must've gotten the wrong idea about success in life; convinced himself that if he didn't have this one thing, he's a failure at everything.

    I think the old adage of 'follow your dreams' has a dark side. It's fun and all to imagine yourself as being super famous and rich, a celebrity but this adage forgets three things: One, it forgets to mention that sometimes dreams are unobtainable. I suck at singing so no, I'm not about to take out the ol' guitar and wow your ears with some country music from my lovely Alabamian lips. If I did that with my abominable scratchy voice, all of you would want to shoot/stab/throw water at your radio. The dream seems lovely, I can romanticize it in my head all I want where I'm the ol' Alabamian roaming the United States singing my soft country music, but I would have to accept that it can never be and move on.

    Second, it forgets to mention that there's no shame in not wanting it. The bit about me being a country singer? Even if I did have a sexy singing voice, I honestly don't like the idea of being an entertainer so I just don't do it. The adage pushes 'follow your dreams' message so hard so that it implies that if you don't, you're somehow a failure to yourself.

    Third, it forgets to mention that if you can obtain your dream, you have to actually work towards it. We discuss this a lot with new writers in this very forum. The only way any of us can be published authors is if we sit down and write. No one's going to write our stories, and our characters certainly won't get anywhere outside our heads if we don't bother writing them. Same thing in my hypothetical scenario: I would have to learn how to sing properly, learn how to handle a guitar, all that stuff. Thinking about it and strumming on the guitar once a month won't cut it.

    Also, on a random note, in the 1970s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie, there's a number near the beginning where the mother sings to the protagonist, Charlie, to be thankful for what he's got. I always wondered, "Ma'am, he's below poverty line, you are all starving and have four elderly people who are bed-ridden. I think he gets to be miserable that he's not rich." :D
     
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