[F4Thought] Why Regret The Chances We Didn’t Take ?
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’ . . .
February 27, 2020 @ 3:49 am
Regarding speculations about ‘what ifs’: is it possible to calculate what outcomes might have been arrived at had ‘another’ course been chosen at a particular moment than the one that actually was?
Thinking of life metaphorically as progressing up the trunk of a tree or bush from ground level: as one ascends, more and more branches divert from the main trunk each leading to a further proliferation of increasingly smaller branches.
In this model, each branch (and sub-branches it leads to) represent choices that were available and could have been taken according to one’s best judgment at the time.
[I can’t help but sense a correlation with another thread here about ‘Inner Voices’ inasmuchas these ‘Voices’ may lend influence to the decision-making process].
But in simple summation though, it seems that regretting the past is ultimately fruitless as it’s impossible to know what any single ‘different’ choice might have led to given the myriad unfolding possibilities at each new turn.
February 26, 2020 @ 11:14 pm
I like your take on regrets a lot. A few years ago, it was impossible for me to get over choices I’d made that turned into regrets, but eventually I started seeing that choices, even though they might seem like they were the wrong one at first, offer you new opportunities too which you otherwise would have never gotten.
March 3, 2020 @ 7:15 am
I think it’s the only way to approach this and remain sane. It’s the new opportunities that are important, not the missed ones. 🌹🌹
February 24, 2020 @ 11:04 am
Sometimes it takes a while to work out why things happen or we do things, in the end though there is usually a reason. I agree with May, it’s what you do next that counts. A great and thoughtful post Melody.
February 24, 2020 @ 11:08 am
February 23, 2020 @ 4:50 pm
What ifs are so normal – it is what u do after them that matters.
Do you know I had a dream last nigh that I was waslking down an ordinary road and a cow was walking towards me the other way. A friesian similar to the one in your post, then before it reached me it just keeled over onto its side. Dreams eh! x
February 23, 2020 @ 4:58 pm
Things are what they are – yet I know too many people who wish they’d made a different decision and let it eat away at them.
I don’t have a hope in Hades of deciphering that dream for you 😂 Apparently that was a Russian cow 🐄🐮
February 23, 2020 @ 4:30 pm
I agree, looking back and regretting the choices we have made doesn’t do any good. Many things that we thought were bad decisions actually put us on a better path for our future.
February 23, 2020 @ 4:36 pm
I’d hope that most us could look back and think “you know, all in all, I did pretty good”.
Thanks, J 🌹🌹
February 23, 2020 @ 3:07 pm
I think that we will always have what if moments but as you say so well here, some of us take a while to work out what we actually want!
February 23, 2020 @ 3:09 pm
Thanks, eye. “What if” can be a fun diversion, but it can’t be anything more than that as we can’t go back to that moment in time and change it. We have to work with what we’ve got 🌹🌹
February 23, 2020 @ 3:10 pm