Heavy topic ahead.
Life moves on and on and we are forced to deal with all of our choices, no matter how big or small. Inevitably, we are not going to have agreed with everything we chose to do.
Hopefully, we can live without regret. But not always.
Here were some of the answers.
Working For MeGiphy
Being so preoccupied with what I was supposed to do that I never did what I wanted to do.
Since the chance has been afforded to me, I'm getting on a soapbox in order to help others not do what I've done.
For people coming to this thread in the coming days/weeks, please don't take this comment as instruction to say "f*ck it all" and binge netflix, or spend your last $100 for the month on stupid sh!t.
You don't actually want to waste time like that. I actually did things like that, and it was important for me at the time - I needed to 'turn off' and melt my brain a while.
But in my case what I actually wanted was to do something with myself. Take Chances, Make Mistakes. From my experience, I can tell that the chances I would have taken would have been well-thought-out, and either failing them or succeeding I would have gained something useful - important experience at the least, and very possibly incredible wealth or exciting careers at the best.
I would have followed through on my chainmail business. I would have joined the local renfest group. I would have gone all-in for roadtrips with friends. I would have an amazing body through martial arts training. I would have failed harder in romance. I would have told people important to me how important they are. I would have showed the f*ck up and done something to get people out of a situation that was very bad.
Instead, in many ways, what I'm referring to as "what I was supposed to do" is the times I took a safe road. I have a BA in psych because...well because "it suited me". 8 years later I'm starting a (surprisingly satisfying) career in IT....I should have just started with IT and I would be making nearly double at this point.
THIS ARTICLE: https://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person/ , back from the time that cracked.com was worth reading, was part of the turning point for me.
I needed to get my sh*t together. That article helped me get my sh*t together enough to begin focusing on the things that I want to do.
I regret not asking my parents more questions about their past before they died.
I have a similar regret of not asking my great grandma about my families history and how it was like living through WWII in Poland before she passed away.
Not saying yes to a girl who asked me to a high school Sadie Hawkins dance, where the girl asks the guy. This was almost ten years ago, and I still think about it
We all have regrets like that. I remember being in high school and this girl I really liked asked me over one day.
I was stoned and declined. She started dating another one of my friends a few weeks later, but we always had a flirty relationship.
I'm married now to the absolute love of my life now, but still wonder what might have happened.
Death And Taxes
One that haunts me is I didn't answer the last call my dad made to me. He had been dying of cancer and was on a significant amount of pain meds. I was having a sh*tty morning and after months of stress, and helping care for him traveling between states, just wasn't in the mood for another jibberish conversation. He left me a rambling nonsensical voicemail. He lost consciousness soon after and died in hospice.
I doubt he was hurt or would even remember it if he was alive today. Still kind of sucks.
My biggest regret is not documenting more of what my dad told me. We had months of time to sit knowing he was going to die, often on his porch when I was in town, and chat about life and stuff. But I didn't write anything down and I have a pretty bad memory for details. I enjoyed the time and the conversations but don't remember much about them.
My second biggest regret is accumulating debt. I make a ridiculous amount of money but the debt is going to have a huge negative impact on my and my family's financial situation for the next 3-5 years and that's assuming no surprises pop up (and they always do).
Giving my friendship away to people that didn't earn it.
Dear God, this. So much this. I've had more bad experiences in the past 365 days with people who don't and never did deserve a minute of my time and I was too dumb to realize the friendship wasn't being reciprocated or was being used for nefarious purposes on their end.
Still hurting from some of the events, and I may not completely get over some of it, but hey, I'm still here, I'm learning from my mistakes, and I'm moving on from the toxicity.
Capitalism Is Crushing Us All
Not finishing college. I've been on my own since I was 16 and I stayed in high school regardless. I did 1 semester in college and then left because I couldn't afford it.
Now I'm 48 and stuck in a job that I hate and I have no prospects because work experience doesn't hold value anymore.
I work in admissions at a college and it's the saddest thing to me when I see students who want to drop out. I tell them that I am the poster child for why you should stay in school.
Every time I think of big regrets they would have resulted in significant differences in my life. Since I didn't meet my wife till I was 35, and then only by random chance, all of them would have resulted in missing out on that. So nothing I can think of is worth that
I think it has to be when I told my best friend that I was a homosexual, he was completely fine with it until he told his religious father. Didn't want him being around me and that was pretty much the end of that. Closet thing to a best friend I've ever had.
Shame your friend didn't stand up for himself and find a way to keep in touch, which I gather didn't happen.
But You Got Out
I spent far too long in an abusive relationship. When I finally got out, I was utterly broken, had zero self respect, had given him all of my savings. Years later, I'm still recovering. I'm so much better off now, but I occasionally still cry out of simple, sheer regret about that time.
Twenty Years Can Still Turn Around
When I was about 30, I got married and then I got fat. For the next 20 years, I complained about being fat and tried all sorts of fad things trying to get healthier and lose weight, but they never worked. I'd start exercise one day and stop the next. Or I'd go for a week not eating carbs, then eat a whole pie out of the blue and that was it.
When I was 49, I had been reading about CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) on the r/loseit subreddit and saw the photos of people who were losing weight just by being accountable and counting their calories. I was like - no way. "All the studies" show that counting calories doesn't work! If I couldn't lose weight by eating only potatoes (which didn't last long), there was no way I'd be adding up my calories every day long term. Even so - I was 49. I had been fat for nearly 20 FREAKING YEARS. 20 years of baggy clothes, being tired, spending all my spare cash on fast food and snacks, not being happy with a single photo of myself.
So, I told myself I'd try it for a week. I gave myself a modest calorie deficit, and was shocked that I documented everything I ate that week, kept to my budget - and actually lost 5 pounds! So I did it the next week, too, and again lost 3 pounds. I then thought, well, I've done it for 2 weeks, let's do a month. And I did.
It's now been 377 days that I've tracked, and I've lost 95 pounds in that time. IT WASN'T HARD. I ate what I wanted - I just got used to eating much smaller bits. I really haven't exercised much (I need to, though, as parts of me are now a tad saggy). It still shocks me that I've been able to lose nearly 100 pounds - and I'm still going.
I feel GREAT except I have SO MUCH regret for the stupidity and laziness I did that caused me to waste so much of what could have been 20 awesome years. It's not that I think being regular-sized would have made me a big success at anything, or that my life would have been problem free. But, I know I would have been much more active, my moods have certainly evened out since I've stopped eating so much sugar and fat, I could have been wearing cute clothes all along - and my 30s and 40s could have been my Fun Adult years. Now I'm 50, and while I can still be sporty and active and feel better about myself and be more even-keeled, I'm like - I COULD HAVE BEEN DOING THIS ALL ALONG! All those nights I watched TV and ate dozens of cookies - those are not the memories I'll cherish when I'm legitimately old. And I regret the loss of years of those good memories.
All ya'll in your 20s-30s-40s - IT'S NOT TOO LATE! It's like what happens with Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz - she had the ability to do what she needed to do all along! You just have to be willing to do the work, and not try to 'game your system.' You're going to be 50 or 60 or 70 eventually anyways - don't you want to be your BEST version of yourself when you get there? I used to hate when people said this, but now I know it to be true: If I can do it, you can, too.