Thursday, October 19, 2006

Opportunity and Regret

I received another invitation last weekend. This one was from some Laureate Scholars program, and was an invitation to go to China, Australia, or Central and Eastern Europe (including Hungary and Venice!) Of course I knew immediately that there was no way I was going to be able to go, even if it was a legitimate offer (which I haven’t checked, since I can’t go anyway). But the very idea that I could go to another country – and I’ve always wanted to go to both Australia and Europe, especially Venice, and Chris still has family in Hungary – makes me regret that I didn’t stay in school back when I was young and free and didn’t have responsibilities so that when I got these kinds of offers I could actually go.

And then I realized that even if I had stayed in school way back when, I probably wouldn’t have done nearly as well as I am now, and that I am getting a lot more out of my education now than I ever would have before.

All this has had me thinking about opportunities and regrets. Mostly regrets. You know the old saying, it’s what you don’t do that you regret. I’ve decided, at least for me, that this is pretty much true. To this day, I still regret that I agreed not to go to that Pink Floyd concert in 1987. It was in Joplin or Kansas City, I can’t remember, and it was the last tour before they had that last disagreement and split up forever. We had the tickets and the acid, and everything was set. I hadn’t asked if I could go, since I knew there was no way in hell Mom was going to let me go to a concert in another state. Hell, I wasn’t allowed to drive to the next city! But she found out and we agreed to a trade, she’d do something I’d wanted and I wouldn’t go. That didn’t quite work out as planned, and I’ve always regretted it.

So if I regret what I didn’t do, how about the things I did do. The thing that immediately popped into my head was, of course, my drug use, and the relationship that I was involved in back in 1998, and all of the drama that went along with it. And I realized that, No, I don’t regret that, not even shooting up meth. If I hadn’t been in the situation that I was, I would never have accepted Sandie’s life-saving invitation to move here and start over. (Have I ever really thanked you for that? If not, I need to, very badly, because I really do believe that you saved my life.) If I hadn’t moved here when I did, I wouldn’t have gotten the job that I did. If I hadn’t gotten the job that I did, I wouldn’t have met Chris. And I never would have met my perfect match. (Oh, isn’t that just so sappy?)

So even though it was a terrible time in my life, and I did things that I swore I would never do, and at the time I felt like I was running away from everything rather than running TO something else, if it hadn’t all happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I just cannot regret that.

But I am going to regret, just a little, that I’m not young and single and able to drop everything to go to Australia or Europe.


Blogger Sandra D said...

Heee! You're thanking me for it; Cathy's been cussing me for it.

Anyway, you're welcome. I'm glad you're here.

3:21 AM  
Blogger bookworm said...

Mom's just mad cuz I made her move here!

She's all worried now about Grandma cuz Debbie's in Texas most of the time, and now that Mom's here, there's only Margie and Phil to help Grandma out. I half expect Mom to invite Grandma to move in with her.

8:28 AM  

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