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Hindsight is 20/20, as the saying goes. When we feel that sinking feeling deep within us that we made the wrong choice, that hindsight feels a lot like regret.

Regret can be an opportunity to learn from our past mistakes. We can't change the past but we can do better moving forward.

But at the same time, there are some things that we can't do better with, like spending time with a loved one that passed, or making a different decision in our youth. Redditors shared those moments so we could learn from their mistakes.


Redditor IdenticalPaltielUM asked:

"What is one thing in your life you regret the most?"

Avoiding pain.

"It's tough because on the one hand I have some good kids out of the mix. But I can honestly say I regret marrying my spouse. I wish we had never dated. There were problematic things at the time, and with more maturity, hindsight and life experience I understand that we weren't compatible."

"I was in my 30s when I first heard great advice: 'When you make a decision, it should be rooted in want, not fear.' I realized at that point that I had made most major life decisions based around the fear of what would happen if I didn't. I thought that was sound decision making, but while I thought I was avoiding pain, I was also avoiding happiness."

- HotIronCakes

"That's very sound advice, thanks for sharing. I never thought of it like that, but you're right. You need to take risks and do what makes you happy."

- Starry-Sky

"Kind of scared of this tbh. I'm 19 but I haven't ever had a relationship that I thought I 'couldn't live without them' or that they're the one, how you describe it. I don't want to marry out of necessity, and ever settling for someone. Also, seeing my parents horrible relationship just made me feel so adverse to love, and scared that I'd ever put my children through a broken home."

- Cold_Ad136

"Your not alone in this it's a common issue in todays youth it happens to more of us than most people realize."

- Unique-Attorney-4135

Smoking cigarettes.

"I regret the day I started smoking cigs."

- 1980pzx

"Right there with you. I have 4 left and I'm not buying anymore. I have to stop drinking as well to ensure my will power is strong enough. Gonna be boring for awhile but it will be worth it."

- PlayaHatinIG-88

"My best friend from my child hood introduced me to ciggs and I smoked for 17 years after that happened. I got into e-ciggs, until I ultimately stopped that, and finally got off ciggs too. I think cold turkey is the best way to go, but if you need some help going from an e-cigg really helped me cut it off."

- beejee05

Talk with your loved ones.

"I wish I had taken more time to sit and talk with my father. Never really had a heart-to-heart with him."

- skyluna411

"Boy that hits home."

- saltyseaman38

" I should honestly try harder since my pops is still alive. Knowing how I feel, I'm going to be begging my kids for heart to heart conversations as they get older."

- BlackGuysYeah

Live a little your first year of college.

"Not making an effort to be sociable my freshman year of college. I was so determined to not fail on my own that rather than sitting back to breathe for a day or two, my days were straight studying and working. Mixed with paralyzing social anxiety, I missed out on a big chance to develop friendships and networks that would have made me a much happier person later in college and now, all because I was too afraid of making myself look like an idiot."

"Simple advice for those in their first year of uni, go to the campus-wide and club-specific events. You will meet people who will more than likely be a part of your life forever. And the experiences will teach you more than school ever will."

- OneX32

"Same. Now I'm forever alone. I wish so, so, so much that I could restart my life at 20 again. I would've done so many things differently. If any younger folks are reading this, heed the warning."

- cryptonewb1987

"While the advice to socialize at uni is good, just because you didn't doesn't mean you have to be 'forever alone.' Just find an activity you like doing as an adult and you will meet people with similar interest."

"For me currently it's playing volleyball, but it can be anything."

- QuoteNatural

Call your mom.

"I got annoyed my mother would call me so often. She is now 10 years gone, she died from cancer."

"I would sell my soul for a phone call."

- knobtremor

"This is something that I've been slacking on. I love my mom to death and she knows I do. We have a good relationship, but there's a lot of things I could have done better. I've been trying to do more with her and hang out more often though cause she's getting older. I don't know what your relationship with your mom was like but I imagine she loved you with everything she had as all moms do."

- WhombatWhacker

Kids grow up so fast.

"Not appreciating and really taking in the time when my kids were little. It goes by so fast. You just spend so much time trying to survive, you forget to relish the moments."

- GroverFC

"I want you to take comfort in the fact that on the other side, for your kids, those moments were cherished and burned into their memories."

"Those weekends that flew in the blink of and eye were long summer weekends with their parents. Time is different based on age and it's moving fast for you, but it was the longest part of their lives."

- gullman

"I'm not sure how all you guys are now, but as someone who worries about time going by too fast - start keeping a journal."

"Sometimes kids do an amazing thing (can't speak from experiencdz I don't have them) and you'll want both you and them to remember them forever. Sometimes you just don't think to record that thing. Life does happen so fast."

"But, by the end of the day, you will remember that cool thing your kid did. The cool stuff you personally got up to. Once you jot it down you'll be able to go back to it forever. I've been keeping mine for over 5 months at this point, and to be able to go to any point over the last 150 days and see what cool stuff I was getting up to at that specific moment."

"At this point I feel like in blabbing on about it to everyone on Reddit, but a lot of us worry about the time escaping us, and it really does help."

- IamEclipse

"I just found an old journal my Mum made of all the stupidly hilarious things me, my brothers and sister said and did when we were younger and I think it'll be something treasured by the family for the rest of our lives. I highly recommend keeping a journal or just something to jot down the best moments when you can remember; because in 5 years your life will be so much different that you'll be looking back at today as the good old days or the good old memories and it'll suck to hit remember some of them."

- Ethstren

Sit up straight!

"Not taking care of my posture. Life comes at your spine pretty fast."

- NightSkyRainbow

"How do you fix your posture?"

- Flamesfan27

"Watch a YouTube video on how to do it. There's plenty of info out there. It's a lot easier than you think. Just takes some time."

- ekaF_seirotS

Though we may never be able to know the things we will regret when we are years into the future, we can take a page out of those who have already gone through some of life's hardest decisions.

Keep the ones you love close, cherish everyone moment, and remember to call your mom.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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