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Why I don’t believe in regret

Regrets. I’ve had…none, actually. Don’t see the point. That’s not to say that everything has gone according to plan or that I absolve myself of all past crimes and misdemeanours. I most certainly don’t. But regret feels like a gargantuan waste of time. A reason to kick yourself over something you did that you wish you hadn’t when it’s a bit late for that. It doesn’t solve anything. I am one of those annoying people who instead thinks that most people make what they believe is the right decision at the time. That most of us muddle along getting shit wrong and having to navigate our way out of it. Regret keeps you looking back and wishing things were different instead of letting yourself get back on the horse.

It also implies you should have been getting everything right all this time, when we are all basically deeply imperfect creatures who make mistake after mistake after mistake. We mess up. We bump into walls. We are open when we should be guarded. We don’t take risks because we’re scared of the outcome. We’re idiots. But most of us mean well – and we have no chance of not being idiots if we don’t allow ourselves to get things wrong and bank that experience in the ‘don’t do that again – do this instead’ file. To my mind, not regretting things is an admission of not being perfect, not the other way round. It’s not the same as not caring if you’ve hurt someone or behaved badly – it’s a decision to make sure you are better next time.

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