MY BIGGEST REGRET

Do I have many regrets in life? Nope, not really. Perhaps spending too long in love with the wrong person, but that wasn’t a regret. That was a lesson learnt. Maybe I regret all those chicken nuggets I ate last year, but they tasted so damn good at the time.

I do have one regret though that won’t shift.

That I jumped straight out of university and on to the career ladder. A ladder in an industry so fiercely competitive if I stepped off, someone younger, brighter and even more ambitious would be snapping at my feet like a hungry crocodile.

I didn’t even give myself a summer off, nevermind a gap year. Friends took off to explore the world. I stayed at home to explore recruitment sites. I was so determined to get a job with my degree in journalism that as soon as university finished, on the final day, I started to apply for internships and freelance work.

I worked, and worked, and worked. Until I became an editor. Which was amazing. I’d achieved what I set out to do. Except I had this niggle in the back on my mind that I’d reached the point where I would never be able to take off travelling ever again for the summer. I wouldn’t ever have that carefree travelling experience you do before you get a job, get a place to live and generally start adulting. I was in a rush to grow up and I regret doing it so quickly.

I have responsibilities. I have two mouths to feed as well as my own big one. What would happen to Shirley and Audrey the cats if I just went off. I have a flat. I have a car to pay for. I have so many adult responsibilities, I question why I didn’t just take the leap when I left uni to go exploring the world for a bit while I still could.

My best friend is just preparing to leave for Oz for a year, and I think seeing her quit a job she was unhappy in, bag up her clothes and get ready for probably the biggest adventure of her life has roused those familiar feelings again.

Of course I can go on holidays now, to far flung places on a better budget than I ever could have done as a fresh-from uni twenty-something, but that’s not what exploring the world is about is it. As cliche as it sounds, it’s about discovery, finding yourself, learning to live with what you have available and growing as a person.

But I also grew as a person after university without setting foot on a plane. I discovered how driven I was, and how I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I discovered how hard I could work, and how I could achieve one of my greatest goals before I was 30.

I’ve been thinking for a little while about taking a month off and going on a Trek America style trip away to the US, but it’s conflicting so badly with the idea of saving for a mortgage and settling down even more than I have already. One thing to take away from this, is the feeling of not allowing myself to have regrets. Certainly not regrets over what I haven’t done. So who knows, I might just start small and book a couple of weeks away for some solo travel.

Do you have any regrets is in life?

About the author
Victoria is the editor and founder of award-winning interior design blog Apartment Number 4. When she's not scouring Pinterest for the latest in home decor inspiration, she's out shopping trying to recreate the looks herself.

6 Comments

  1. I can feel every word that you wrote here. I couldn't wait to get a job and become independent which I did even before I got out of University.4 years working and I got married and now I feel I just didn't take time off for myself.

  2. Inspiring thoughts Victoria. I didn't take that gap year after college but definitely took my time in figuring out what I wanted to do before finding a real job, although sometimes it's all about timing and the possibility (luxury) of not having to work for a bit. I also like to look back at the things that I might do differently if given the choice as lessons learned rather than regrets. But I'd say do it, go on that solo trip, explore the world. It's really an investment for a happier more fulfilled you, so everyone will benefit from that! 😉

    Happy Monday dear!
    Saida | She talks Glam

  3. Great post Victoria. I have similar 'regrets' or moments of thought.
    Although I didn't go to university, I always wonder what if I had. Would I have that close knit group of friends that everyone else seems to have that I don't. Would I of moved away for uni and be living somewhere completely different now? – But then it always comes back to me that, even now, I don't know what I'd of studied. That was my main reason for not going and even now, I don't know the answer. I didn't want the debt for nothing. For basically maybe getting/having a social life and meeting some friends.
    I also always lust for girlie holidays. I've never had a close knit group of friends or really anymore than two girl friends, so it was never something I ever did. But over my late twenties I began to think I'd missed out.
    I think you should definitely do something. Especially before another life changing moment of getting a mortgage. Go do it!

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

  4. Interesting post hun, I've never had that yearning to take a year off and go travelling. I can see the appeal but deep down I know travelling abroad alone is a big step and for me probably not as fun as going on holidays. Saying that it's good to be open to new experiences and cultures. I hate saying 'one day' I'll do this and 'one day' I'll go there. I try and do as much as I can and give things a go. Ticking things off my bucket list, quitting my job recently was scary but I'm so glad I did it!

    It's never to late to do anything! Taking 1 month or 6 months off is not that long is the grand scheme of life 🙂 Good luck!

    Hanh | hanhabelle

  5. This is such an interesting post. I graduated last year and I started a 9-5 job straight away, and I really regret this because 1.) I was messed around in my job and 2.) I didn't give myself enough time to take a break. I was so keen on getting a job straight after uni and moving into a houseshare that I didn't give myself enough time to relax and process the last few years, and I regret that.

    Since then I've moved back to my home city (London) and I have gone freelance. I would have loved to have taken a year off to travel but I couldn't afford it (still can't). However, since I changed gears I've been able to relax more and socialise as much as I'd like to. After all that I went through last year I could never go back to a 9-5 job, it just drains me.

    Chichi
    chichiwrites.com

  6. I can relate to so many of the points you made in this post. I wish I had taken advantage of opportunities to travel more when I was in my early 20s. Whether it was a summer internship away from home or jumping on more project with travel opportunities when I started to work. Now with a 9 month old at home, traveling isn't as easy.

    Lyndsay
    http://www.dkhamiltonauthor.com

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