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Monday, October 10, 2011


Prompt: I regret . . .

I regret . . . too many things. This is a major obstacle in all areas of my life. I can regret an action or inaction I made years ago. I can regret something I said or did five minutes ago, a day ago, a second ago. So when I received this prompt from the prompt generator, I realized that maybe I need to review some of my regrets and learn from my actions.
It's interesting, I watched The Last Unicorn again recently and there's this line that the unicorn tells the magician.
"I am no longer like the others, for no unicorn was ever born who could regret, but now I do. I regret. And I thank you for that too."
I always wondered why the unicorn thanks the magician for something she regrets. Her regret is of course becoming a unicorn instead of staying human and living with Prince Lir. I guess that action no longer makes the unicorn like the others, but it also gave her an opportunity to live.
Most of my regrets involve the opposite. They are actions I took or didn't take to avoid living. And they still haunt me in many forms.
Some of my regrets will only be resolved in my mind. Actions I took years ago. Running away from an opportunity to learn something new or take a risk to discover a new part of myself. These are the regrets that pop up from time to time when I'm watching a movie, reading a book or witnessing someone who comes to that same crossroad.
One direction is the adventurous path, where they take a risk and learn something new. The other road is the coward's route that is paved with familiar comforts.
In most of the books I read, and movies I watch, the character picks the adventurous route and discovers an element of self confidence or learns a lesson. The recent even I witnessed, that person took the coward's route and made me realize just how much a regret can haunt you.
Because I am graduating this year, and have already tried so many new things, I feel that I am again on that same crossroad, and the regrets I have of my past build up to the point where I must make a rash decision. I find that instead of always taking the comforting route, I take the adventurous route in some things, and the coward's route in others. I suppose that is normal. It's life after all. Some fears are not that big of a deal, while others can cause psychological trauma for years.
So why did I feel like responding to this prompt? Because I do regret. And what I regret are major things that I could have decided to risk, and learn from. These regrets may leave me one day, when I realize that I can take that adventurous route and not feel threatened or scared. Maybe it's okay to regret. As long as the regret motivates you to make better choices in the future.

I invite my readers: What do you think of regret? Can it be a good motivator?

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