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Mistakes & Regret

August 31, 2006

mistakeI woke up this morning with this sense of doom. I felt like something bad was going to happen or was happening, and yet nothing I KNEW came to mind. A number of people I know are going through probably THE HARDEST things you can go through in this life. I got an e-mail from one, and checked in with the other, and everything was all clear.

Then I pulled this card and thought OH, GREAT.

We have all made mistakes. The big mistakes take time to be made. They are almost like targets, giant bull’seyes awaiting our contact. If we’d only look up, we might be able to DODGE that end point, but we often don’t look up until we go SPLAT. I have mistakes that have shaped my life profoundly. I am who I am today because of them. If I was a more EVOLVED person, I’d thank these mistakes, but they just don’t FEEL THAT GOOD TO REMEMBER. As time goes on, however, I avoid remembering less and less, and this is comforting. It means, I can go back to places that mean something to me. It means, I can face myself a little more head on.

My whole life I’ve seen how regret over mistakes has shaped lives. If you avoid facing the regret, it leaves you with a life malformed, sometimes halfbaked. Regret hurts. There are people I still wish I could say I am sorry to, and others I wish I could kick in the nuts (like I should have done so long ago). But it’s the not facing our choices that hurts us the most. Eventually, regret will get us one way or another. Like a bill collector, it will find us and make us pay WITH INTEREST.

Today, as I write this down, the regret fills me with all the memories of mistakes I still hurt over. It won’t kill me, but it sure ACHES. My regret is just a place in me that needs a little more light and time. Okay, I say, here it is.

  1. maria permalink
    September 1, 2006 1:07 pm

    So powerful, Summer! Really, really powerful. I wish there was a button one could press to erase those painful memories, but keep the lesson they gave us so we wouldn’t have to repeat it. Love the street sign illo … and I love the hopeful ending, too. Light and time, yes.

  2. The Sensualist permalink
    September 1, 2006 7:27 pm

    The words on the flyer just gave me goosebumps on my arms and legs. So powerful and such great writing…it says everything with such mystery and magnitude. wowRegrets,……if only we could banish them…

  3. September 4, 2006 7:42 pm

    Hi, Summer. Found you through 52 Projects. I identify so much with what you’ve said in this piece about the way your own regrets are piled on top of and merged with your parents’. Thank you for sharing your work!Anne

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