Just about everyone has experienced something in their life that they regret. Whether it's the way they acted in that relationship, their decision to go that that party, their unwillingness to talk to that girl, or any number of things, there is always some huge event to look back on and wish you could take back. Strangely, I am somewhat immune to the"larger event regrets". It's not that I've never experienced regrettable situations (quite the opposite, actually), it's just that the universe and I have a little understanding that I am define by all these events and changing any one of them would drastically change the person that I am now. For me it's the little, inconsequential things that I regret the most. This morning, for whatever reason, I woke up in an extremely reflexive mood. As I showered and thought back on past experiences, I was transported back to the summer between Junior and Senior year of High School. For some reason my memory fixated on something I wrote in another guy's yearbook*. I had just endured a summer long trip and grown really close to a group of people I hadn't even met a week prior to the trip.
The fun was over and everyone was returning to their families. We were all saying goodbye, likely for the first and last time, and we were signing yearbooks*. Having run out of ways to say "Dude, this trip was awesome. Nice to have met you", I decided to repurpose some stupid little impersonal poem some douche bag had once left in one of my yearbooks. It's not that it was mean, it's just that it was a total waste. It had been an amazing summer. I had grown really close to the whole group. And with one stupid sentence I had stolen away all lasting significance from the trip.
That was almost ten years ago. I'm sure that guy doesn't really care. Hell, in the grand scheme of things, I don't even really care. Hell, the guy probably doesn't even have that yearbook* anymore. None of that matters, though. The truth is that deep down inside I regret that moment in my life. If I could go back in time and write something important, it's not like any significance could come out of the change. Yet somehow, this memory really bothers me.
posted by Christopher Schnese
*footnote: It wasn't an actual yearbook, but for the purpose of this blog post and to avoid having to explain the back story of the situation, a yearbook is effectively the same thing.