I once etched into a table in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, "Regret kills. Live with none." I somehow have still not learned to live by that phrase I engraved over a year ago. I'm beginning to wonder how regret is created. Is it the actual events that happen to us or the endless string of "what if's" you create in your own mind afterward? Sometimes I'd like to believe that we create our own misery, because by that logic we should therefore be able, at our own will, to halt the repressive anguish we put ourselves through. But truth is, it is a hybrid of it all. The opportunities that seemingly fall into our laps, the decisions we voluntarily make, and the interpretations we conclude at the end of it all.
Fifty-one hours on an uncomfortable bus strangely become more physically bearable when your mind is trapped in a never ending contemplation about regret. I spent my bus ride from Lima, Peru to Valparaiso, Chile, tormenting myself over missing out on yet another opportunity, which caused an intense analysis of all the events of my life. My biggest concern is feeling that I've been given all the chances and abilities to be someone great, only I let fear get the best of me. Someone who had more courage to realize their potential would achieve unimaginable feats, yet I can't seem to. I guess it just makes me jealous of this imaginary figure I fabricated in my own head and that envy soon transforms to bitterness.
There are so many other ways I wish my life turned out. I should have kept playing piano. I should have joined the wrestling team when the coach asked me to. I should have went to the bathroom before I walked her home. But dwelling in all those missed opportunities will kill you. It only prevents you from moving on. Sooner or later you have to let go. Sometimes you have to look at the brighter side of things and realize that maybe things could have been a lot worse. Sometimes you have to understand that perhaps had you went that way instead of this way, you wouldn't have the few things that do make you satisfied with yourself. Sometimes you must believe that things turned out the way they did for a reason, even if it means lying to yourself, just for that trivial purpose to be content with who and where you are.