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?