I have no deep, dark secret regret that I’m going to expose here, but I do have things that I have stewed over for far longer than necessary.
1. That I didn’t figure out a way to do a semester in Spain when I was in college. The year I would have gone to Spain I ended up being an RA (resident assistant, i.e., floor monitor) in the dorms which I loved, but it meant I didn’t go to Spain that year and the following year I did the semester program in Chicago, which is a city I love dearly, but it is decidedly not in Europe. College was my chance to grab that opportunity and I let it pass me by.
2. That, on the last night of a week-long service project in St. Catherines, Ontario, I kissed the boy I had a crush on. Worst kiss ever. Ever. EVER. I believe that I likened it to mouth rape (not that it wasn’t consensual, just that there was no way it was pleasant). Being the nice person that I was, I never indicated that it was horrible but immediately no longer liked the guy (he was the “bad” boy who smoked and I was the good girl who didn’t do such things) which was unfortunate because he still really liked me. A week after we returned home, he had a dozen roses sent to my house and a letter than said he “loved me more than his MOTHER.” Just thinking of it still makes me shudder. I quickly squashed his little heart and thought it would be the end of it, sadly for me, he ended up coming to the same college and while we never spoke again, I can assure you there was one person at school who actively avoided me at every turn.
3. That I could not afford more generous gifts when all my friends were getting married. I wish you could retroactively go back and get your friends gifts like five years after their wedding – which I suppose I could totally do, but it would be strange (sorry, friends). Or, maybe it’s more that I wish I had been more creative with that I had – I love finding or making the right gift for a person (or in that case, a couple) and having it be something they can uniquely appreciate.
4. That I asked a woman at my parents’ church – thinking she was someone completely different – if she was carrying her grandchild. It was her baby and she was an advanced-age mother. I was horrified and didn’t explain as convincingly as I could have that I truly thought she was one of my parent’s friends who did indeed have grandchildren. I still feel bad when I see her. [I can be comforted that at least I didn’t call her, “sir,” as she also had pretty short hair.]
5. That I have watched approximately 60% of the reality television programming that MTV has produced. That is time I will never get back and I learned absolutely nothing from it, except I am not meant to ever be on an MTV reality show because I have morals and integrity and do not have a drinking problem.
6. That I am not more patient with my husband and my kids. We could all stand to have more patience but goodness do I regret my lack of patience almost the moment it reveals itself. And yet, it’s still there, causing trouble. I also regret the lack of patience I had with my parents, mostly my mom, when I was growing up.
7. That I did not save all the notes and memorabilia from middle school and high school “love” interests. I dated a guy in college who I thought I was going to married (I didn’t) and in a fit of misguided dedication to him, I thought I would throw away everything from those who had come before him – a romantic gesture, to be sure – but those things would have been great for going through and showing my kids when they got older (even more fun if I had daughters). I wouldn’t have saved them for the fond memories but more to provide laughter and examples for my boys of what not to do to woo a girl. While many girls seem to have a problem of getting a guy to declare his feelings, I had no problem with that but rather a problem of not returning their feelings (see #2 above) and attracting some very strange boys. Tied for favorites was the middle schooler who sent me a picture of himself shirtless, laying on his bed, holding a condom (ick, ick and ICK) in an envelope he reused and the moody, goth guy in high school who explained that one reason we were meant to be together was because our names were similar (Michael and Michelle) and included a drawing of a monster man thing with my name tattooed on it. Just awesome. How could have I thrown such gems away?
8. That I handled my first job out of college so poorly. Not to say that I didn’t do my job, or didn’t learn anything, but when it got hard, I quit. I sent an email to my boss (I worked from home in Chicago and she was in Connecticut) and gave my two-week notice. It was a great opportunity for me right out of school and I wish I would have appreciated it more or stuck around for longer.
9. That I didn’t buy my first home (when I was single) in a more desirable neighborhood/better school district. I never considered that I would still be living in that house after I got married, had children and was preparing to send them to school, but I (we, now) are still in the same house. And the housing market is kind of stinky and our work situation, while reliable, is stressful because of working opposite hours so even if we inclined to take a hit on the house, adding the stress of selling a home to our list of to-dos seems unwise. If only I thought 8 years into the future when I bought my home. If only.
10. That I didn’t start this blog sooner. I love writing it, it’s been a great creative outlet and a great way to return to journaling in a non- “dear diary” type of way.
This post is linked to Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday.