by thebirdieflies

Dear Future Me

I was reading a thread on Quora about common regrets that people have in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s.

For posterity’s sake, I’ll reproduce them here:

Answers below mention (in no particular order):

  • Not Having Children.
  • Not Getting Married Early Enough.
  • Getting married too soon.
  • Being Lazy In Your Twenties.
  • Getting Involved In Community Service/Politics Earlier.
  • Not Taking Health Advice Seriously.
  • Not Having Enough Fun (or Sex).
  • Not Being Ambitious Enough.
  • Losing Contact With Old Friends
  • Not Traveling.
  • Not Taking Risks.
  • Not Spending Time With Loved Ones.
  • Not living true to yourself
  • Not expressing your feelings courageously
  • Not allowing yourself to be happy
  • Working too hard.
  • Not quitting your bad job/relationship early enough
  • Not asking more girls out
  • settling for the wrong person
  • thinking you have all the answers.
  • Not doing better in school
  • Not marrying rich/well
  • Not Renewing A Library Card to Read more.
  • Signing up for facebook, E-harmony etc
  • Not standing up to bullies while younger.
  • Not Regretting Early Enough
  • Regretting.
  • Not telling people that are gone that you love them.
  • Time wasted on deleting unwanted emails.
  • Not investing wisely.
  • Choosing the easier route.
  • Nothing.
  • Ignoring Mental Health issues (self-medicating)

Apparently, “regretting” also makes the list. Too much time spent regretting past actions. Or not regretting early enough to take corrective actions.

I don’t think life is possible without some regrets. It’s just not possible that you are always satisfied with whatever you do. So when you do have regrets, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Why does life have to be so complicated? A thousand variables, a thousand ways to go wrong/regret, yet, you can never guarantee happiness/success by fixing each of them.

Perhaps life is complicated only because we make it complicated.

There is no time line for regrets, marriage, investing, traveling, studying, reading. No single “right time” for x, y or z.

You do what you do when it makes sense for you.

No one else’s list, advice or experience can prepare you for life. Make your own list, advice and experiences. And don’t regret too much.


Present Me


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