You can regret anything

I don’t know why I do this. I call it the regret game. It’s completely worthless, and it causes a lot of pain. But it can be kind of exiting like cutting yourself with a razor blade.

When I was younger, I made it a point not to regret my life, and I think that this was my first mistake. Trying to be overly perfect creates too much pressure on one’s life, and it leads to unnecessary stress.

My parents were of the ancient mindset that hard work got you places so I worked hard in school. I’m not blaming my parents for my problems, I did that yesterday, and I’ll probably do that tomorrow. Today, I’m just talking about what actually happened.

I remember it well, when I in fifth grade some kids whispered about how smart Alison was. Without blinking, I told them that I’d beat her. I had shitty grades before this, so I have no clue where I got such confidence. I’m pretty sure I did not beat her, but I did very well, and my parents assured me that I’d have success and a good income. I believed in the world of Revenge of the Nerds. The studios geeks will inherit the earth and the cool people will be reduced to being their servants and lapdogs. Again, I ask, where did I get this nonsense from?

I worked hard in high school as well aside from a few classes where I started off badly. In those, I pretty much threw in the towel. Giving up, I don’t regret. That was smart. I passed anyway. Plus there was less stress. Finally, there was a lot less work.

I spent the bulk of my grade school, high school, and college life holed up in my room studying my ass off. Since I seemed to be so good at it, and because it was the only thing that brought me any kind of success, I plowed forward making it a goal to be a doctor. This was a job I knew nothing about. The more I learned, the less I liked it. Therefore, I limited my contact with the actual field in the hopes that I wouldn’t change my mind before I got there.

I believed in delayed gratification. Getting there, might suck, but once I did, I’d be in some kind of Xanadu with a big house, a hot wife, and lots of people sucking up to me. I know where I got these ideas. From friends, family, and TV.

While on my way to fame and fortune, I got into debt, something else I regret. I _knew_ signing any kind of loan was a really bad idea, but I was assured by friends and family that I’d soon be able to pay it off. If I could do one thing different in my life, I would take the PHEAA application and burn it. If they kicked me out of school then so be it.

So there’s the story. It’s possible to do all the right things and wish you hadn’t. If I could have done it over again, I would have joined every club in school I was vaguely interested in. I would have cheated on every test so I wouldn’t have to waste any time studying. I would have taken more drugs and cared less about what people thought about me. I would not have done anything that didn’t give me an immediate payoff. I would not have worked hard. I would not have gone to church. I would not have taken any job where I wasn’t excited about it.

I probably would have regretted not “making something of myself.” So I guess the point is that no matter what you do, you can regret it. I often regret the things I did not do as much as the things that I did. Basically, I would have followed this code:

1. Experience as many new things when you are young because when you get older, you’ll just get too tired to care and probably tied down with baggage.

2. If something is boring or crappy don’t stick it out. The people who win the Olympics and other feats of endurance are not any happier than the average coach potato so don’t waste your time.

3. Talk to as many people as possible. Be nice to everyone EXCEPT

4. Don’t let people treat you like shit. Stick up for yourself. Nobody is better than you. If someone is a jerk then they are definitely beneath you.

Reading is one of the few things I did that I did not think was a waste of time. Only, I wish I read a more variety of topics instead of just Science Fiction, though the SF was worth it. I just wish I spent more time whining about women reading instead. I wish I spent most of the nights I went out to bars at home with a book.

I wish I spent more time skateboarding rather than studying Chemistry or Medicine.

But if I did, I’d probably have regretted it. I’m really good at regret. It’s kind of fun.

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