At what point does a man, who lived his entire life telling people he doesn’t have a single regret, suddenly become aware of everything he wishes he had done differently?
It’s difficult to say. There isn’t a defined time for such a thing. No one, when growing up, gets told that at a particular point in time you will come to regret certain decisions you made. No one is warned of that dreadful moment because it’s never the same for everyone. A few of us claim to have no regrets, a small percentage of whom actually don’t. The rest just can’t seem to recall them at that moment. This, to emphasize the fact that regrets are not something one can lie about. No man with regrets can ever look another in the eye and say he doesn’t have them. It’s that simple.
Regret is not subjective; the definition of it is not up for discussion. It is simply a moment in which man feels sorry for himself. This feeling may or may not be accompanied by nostalgia, but it always includes a bit of hindsight and a wish to turn the hands of time in a manner that will allow him to change what aches him. The presence of aforementioned feelings depends on the degree of regret of course. This here above only describes the average, mediocre type of regret. As the intensity of regret increases, it leads one to imagine not only things about the past, but also the future. Horrid things. Apprehensions. The demons one hides inside himself begin to find their way out, creeping, slowly engulfing the being which has been their home for ages.
Then again, the lesser of regrets can be quite comical. Walking into the wrong classroom while searching for yours, making your way through the door and past a few desks before realizing that none of these faces look familiar. One’s ego may lead him to believe, for a split second, that all these people are in the wrong room. That of course is always followed by that moment of utter embarrassment and, again, the lesser intensity of regret where one wishes that he had been more attentive of his whereabouts. There is no graceful way of excusing yourself from that situation. I myself have forgotten to walk in those circumstances. Right foot forward, heel down, roll to the toes, repeat with left foot.
Baby steps will walk you right out of your regrets. What’s done is done. There is no graceful way of erasing the past. It is yours to live with. Embrace it. That, you can do with dignity.