Ramble #1: Living with Regrets
Plus my irrational fear of aging and thoughts on Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist"
I caught up with a dear friend recently, someone I greatly respect for her positivity, confidence, and “grip on life”. She’s one of those people who can easily shake off the burdens of yesterday and surf the ups and downs. She has this charm that invites you to open yourself up and tell her your deepest and darkest insecurities — she makes private people (like me) want to be vulnerable.
We sat across from each other in a dimly lit izakaya as we talked about relationships, naturopathy, weighted blankets, and the perfect bread-to-patty ratio for burgers. And because they say you should only seek relationship advice from the happily married, I asked a lot about the first topic.
She asked me, “What is the worst thing that can happen to you in a relationship?”
“That I end up marrying the wrong person.”
“There is no such thing as a ‘wrong person’, only a choice you’ve made that you’re unhappy about.”
And that made me think. A looooot.
Specifically, it made me think about all the things I’ve labeled as “regrets” in my head. To regret — to think that a past choice was wrong — implies that there was a right one you missed out on. But who said that the other choice was going to be right? What if things turned out worse than they are now? So, isn’t regret just a present decision to be unhappy about a past attempt to be happy?