Writing a story is a difficult task. A narrative must have a clear plot, a beginning, a middle, and an end. The setting must be vibrant and vivid enough for your audience to be able to experience the world you are crafting. Your characters and their actions must be full developed so they seem like real characters. However, if you screw up, it isn’t a big deal. You can just erase or cross out whatever you previously wrote if it doesn’t work well for the story. You are the author and have full control over whatever story you are writing.
Fun fact: you are actually writing a story right now.
You’re currently composing your own story as you live your life. Too bad there isn’t an eraser for anything in this story. You’re unwillingly writing a story you cannot just erase the poor writing you previous put on the pages. You made a mistake in the narrative, and you cannot just get rid of it. They remain a stain on the page we know better by another name.
Regret is life’s reminder that there isn’t an eraser for the mistakes and missed opportunities made in the prior chapters of one’s life. Even worse, you can’t just cross out what you want to pretend never actually happened. In writing, when you cross out or draw a line through a sentence or word, you are stating that it has been removed from the story. You can just wipe it out. Life doesn’t work that way. You are left with your mistakes. It remains in your memory as a regret.
We all have regrets.
I’d be the greatest of liars if I told you I have no regrets in my life. I feel like I have had more than most. I’m anxious and awkward which causes me to act against the way I want. Situations that could have gone better are left with less than favorable outcomes more often than not. I can try to use a pencil to remove my mistakes, but the story’s been written in ink. Still, I have to wonder one thing.
If life had an eraser, would I still try to use ink?
What I’m trying to get at is that, while I have so many regrets in my life, I don’t necessarily know if I would try and alter my choices if I could. I’ve made so many mistakes in the twenty-six years I’ve existed on this earth, but I’d probably end up choosing the same choice in those situations. If it wasn’t for those mistakes, future choices that ended up in successes wouldn’t have happened. Hell, even if these mistakes don’t lead me down a more positive path, I learn more about myself. It reveals who I want to be in life. If I regret it, I acted against the person I want to be in my life. I grow more as a person when I fall then while I stay standing.
We need regret.
I know there are people who believe people should live their lives without any sort of regret, but I’m going to argue a little bit of the opposite. Regrets, whether they are over what we have done or what we wish we could have done, are life’s greatest lessons for future situations.
Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.