As old Blue Eyes sang ‘Regrets, I’ve had a few’, we all do.
I’m not sure I entirely agree with the sentiment here. Regretting chances we didn’t take implies that we regard the path we did take to be a flawed, a second best path, or even a failure. For me, decisions and turning points I’ve regretted in the short term have usually turned out positive in the long run and I can’t consider the taken path a failure when I’ve no idea how that imagined and untaken path would have worked out.
As an example, taking the current job was a mistake. Being made redundant from the previous job with no pay off and not being paid for several months prior meant my options were limited. I understandably grasped at the first good paying job on offer. Yet the increasing delusion with work, up to then pretty much my primary focus, allowed me to find the time and space to work out that there were much more important things to explore and put effort in to. It significantly changed my priorities.
Do I regret giving up on the academic path ? For a while I certainly did regret it. It made my life a lot harder than it might have been. And yet the rewards have been there that I would not have otherwise known. I’ve mixed and debated with luminaries in my field and because I learned what I know from real life hard work they never considered my lack of academic qualifications to be any obstacle to my input and insight.
I used to regret the lack of social and sexual dynamic that I saw in my peers all around me. That feeling that I’d ‘let the side down’ by not conforming to the marriage and children deal that was expected and pushed so hard at you. It only took me 30 years to understand why I felt the way I did and when I knew the reasons for sure there was some relief that I’d not given in to those pressures and conformed just for the sake of it. The misery potential for myself and a prospective partner would have been unfair on everyone. I never felt capable of the love and romance that we were told underpinned such things. I wanted companionship and knew that wasn’t enough for most people who I might encounter. So I avoided that, too.
Sure, I regret the D/s relationships that failed. At the time, particularly the one with my former mistress. There was no falling out, for her own sanity she had to eschew being an active domme. If there was one relationship that had the potential for lasting a lifetime, that was the one. And yet, as seems to be true to form, the long term result is a friendship that’s deeper and more profound than what we had as domme and sub. And beyond that it eventually led me to my current domme and the release of melody for real. You just never know what’s around the corner. Sometimes it isn’t the speeding truck about to mow you down.
And that is probably the major ‘what if’ regret of them all. What alternative life would I have had if forty years ago there was the opportunity to transition ? Like most regrets it’s a non sequitur. Anyone doing so back then was a freak to be shunned and disdained. I wouldn’t have had the fortitude to cope with it. Never mind the emotional and intellectual fortitude to understand myself in that situation. I’m not saying it’s easy now, though I have those extra forty years of experience that colour my understanding of where I am. Above all, I am a realist rather than a dreamer.
Yes it is a bit late in the day to finally know for certain that these things are real, but it’s taken me this long to develop the emotional intelligence and security to know what it all means and live with it. I’m fairly sure that if I’d gone careering down that path all those years ago, I wouldn’t be alive now.
Perhaps the only true regret is that for so long I pursued other people’s dreams for me that I assumed were my own. To eventually realise that these were illusions and my own dreams and needs were totally different has been hard to encompass.
I can’t dwell too much on the regrets as there’s so much to work with in going forwards. Still, once in a while, forgive me if I give some wistful thoughts to ‘what if’ . . .