I am a very stupid person. Seriously, I am. Forget what you may have observed about me on this platform or anywhere else. I could have been quoting someone else. I stumble on the realization that I’m stupid everyday but then I start to think about why I am and, voila! I slowly begin to realize I may not be so stupid after all.
Why is this important? Well, I recently found out that these realizations happen mostly the same way. When I look back on my fork-in-the-road moments, and how downhill it always seemed my life went after I pick a direction and ignore the other. I begin to ask myself, WHAT IF? What if I had done this and not done that, would I have suffered the way I did? Would I have spent a lot of time recovering? Would I have even known what pain felt like? Would I be in Canada by now or shot dead by the police in some dark corner? What if….
I do this almost every time but I’ve developed a way that allows me play the “what if” game for fun and bants. And when the game is over, I have no serious regrets, just mild nostalgia.
But something happened recently that made me realize I will always have one big regret. One big “what if” moment that will always cast a shadow over me.
So SubDeliveryMan posted a tweet;
And I wanted to @ someone, the only person I could think of but I made a mistake, I thought about it too long. And I managed to convince myself (I still don’t know how I did that) that I didn’t really want to talk to that person. I would have loved to but I didn’t want to.
So it got me thinking about all the times I thought myself out of things I wanted to do and how differently my life would have been if I had taken those actions. Regret almost set in. I say almost because if not for what happened on one night in July, 2015, my life would be one big sack of regret, but then again if that night had gone the other way, I wouldn’t be alive to have any regrets.
What if I hadn’t gone to that motel on a February night in 2009? I would have had a second class upper.
What if I had stayed in Benin in 2012? I wouldn’t have met S (Not TNC’s) and may still be in a relationship.
What if I had stayed in Abuja in 2013? I would have had a relationship with S.
What if I didn’t quit my job in 201……(Lol, Nope. I had to quit abeg).
I have a lot of these “what if” moments between 2005 and 2015 but every wrong/right decision I made or didn’t make pales when I realize that it is what saved me. Even though it has cost me a lot of potentially close friendships and maybe one or two relationships but well, we win some and lose some. I’ve always found a way to live and be at peace with my decisions, no matter how disastrous they turned out. However, I have just one big regret. And it involves a girl. And I keep thinking, even now, that if I had handled August/September 2015 a little differently, I wouldn’t be where I am right now, psychologically & emotionally.
As Humans, it is extremely hard and may be impossible to completely have no regrets or “what ifs” and I guess it is completely normal. Every choice in life sets us on a completely different path and carries its own set of “what ifs” and consequences that we could worry about. And the truth is, who can absolutely say the endpoint is constant and any path taken could have led to the same place?
This is our life. There is no use asking what if. No one could ever give you the answers. Not even yourself. Rather than plague our thoughts with the unknown, we should focus on and accept only what we do know – and all we know is the path we’re currently on.
I still think that regrets are good, but only as lessons learned and as experience markers, but they stop being good when they make us doubt and second guess our decisions, when they make us mistrust ourselves. Regrets are never good when they stop you from finding happiness.
My regret still lingers and maybe it always will, but I’ve come to an understanding that makes the regret controllable. Part of the understanding is that, no one can give me the answers I seek (except maybe her, but that’s a story for another day).
So whatever regret/what-if you have, I need you to know and understand, even though it’s never easy, two things;
No one has the answers you seek, not even you
All you have is now, this path you’re on. This moment.
Well, you can have more than this moment and correct your regret if you know a way to bend the space-time continuum, but as Barry Allen has showed us, that never ends well.
I have my regret and I’m dealing with it (at least I believe I am).
What’s yours? And how are you dealing with it?