Living with Regret

If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.

Unknown

I’m sitting in front of my computer right now, hands shaking. It’s not low blood sugar this time. My fingers hover above my phone, less than an inch away from the green call button. What if this job doesn’t want me? I ask myself. Forever the sentence that replays in my mind every time I look for a job. The feeling of worthlessness is more than overwhelming when others repeatedly ask me if I’ve found a job yet and why I haven’t.

It’s like I’ve spent my entire post-high-school years barely making it by. From my first fast food job to getting fired from a retail job most recently that barred me from collecting unemployment during this pandemic. I’ve never been comfortable with my finances. I spent my first year after high school repairing my car. It cost me almost as much to buy the car as it did to keep it running. Don’t get me wrong I love my car, but my GOD I’ve gotten so used to my “check engine” light being on that I don’t even worry about it anymore. How many years have I truly spent trying to collect enough money to feel comfortable. Is it my desire to spend unnecessarily, or my misfortune to constantly have something big to pay for? Is it my anxiety about finding and starting a new job, or my inability to be the “chosen one” of hundreds of applicants?

I could talk for hours about how unlucky my life has been. It would absolutely kill the mood. But call it an epiphany. I been pondering the last few days that if i stand still, dreaming about my future is for naught. The future I’d have would be bleak and meaningless. While I believe that we can find happiness in whatever career we have because happiness is a choice, I don’t want to spend my entire life working in the food industry. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to do something big. I want to do something that brings joy to people. That’s part of the reason I chose my career path as a barber. I can bring a smile to someone’s face while listening to their troubles or joys. People trust their barbers and barbers love their occupation. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to do something else. I dream of some day being a writer and an influencer. I dream of playing archery in the Olympics, no matter how far off that dream feels. I dream of things that no one would understand. I’ve known since childhood that I’m made for something more than what I have in front of me.

If we never take a step in the dark, will we ever find ourselves? A leap of faith is all we need. Comfort zones are controlling; they hold us back and keep us from reaching our highest potential. I’m not going to be a hypocrite, I love my comfort zone. I hate feeling awkward and making an attempt at something I have no knowledge in. In job hunting, I have a bit of experience. In interviews I also have a bit of experience. But that doesn’t make those things any easier. I still get nervous at interviews because I know I’ve been turned down before and it can very well happen again. Although these things weigh on my mind, in my heart I feel proud of myself for trying. For attempting. I’ve come to terms with my fears and I understand that while I might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, I have done my best. and even if I haven’t done my best, I refuse to live with the regret.

I have regrets just like you. Things I wish I did, things I wish I hadn’t done or said because they embarrassed me. They’re stupid to dwell on, but we all do that sometimes, especially at night when everything’s quiet and it’s just us and our thoughts. One of my favorite songs is called “Lost in the Moment” by NF. The song starts off with a killer message:

This may be the last sunset I see.

I’ll take it in. I’ll take it in.

This may be the last day that I’ll breathe

I’ll breathe it in. I’ll breathe it in.”

It’s a beautiful chorus and it’s always had so much meaning for me. I would definitely recommend you give it a listen, the lyrics are powerful and it’s just overall a beautiful song. You can find it on my Spotify playlist “NF” here. Our lives are not promised. They’re not ours. It can be taken away at any moment. So often do we waste time, thinking we have more, but not a single breath is guaranteed.

A thousand moments that I had taken for granted -mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.

Unknown

In this time of staying-home, it can seem like we’re not doing anything productive. And we don’t need to always be productive, but we’re doing something more important than anything. We’re connecting. We’re spending more time with our families than some of us have in years. As much as it might feel like we’re wasting time, and I’d much rather be spending quarantine with my family than regretfully living without them. In this life, may we find peace and happiness in the quiet moments and may we never feel like those moments are wasted. Living with regret is something that everyone does. But we can do our best to minimize the lost opportunities. Take a chance, take a risk, try something new, go skydiving. Well actually…I’ll pass on the skydiving, but I’ll do my best to make the most of my life.

May you choose to do the same.

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