“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”

― Fernando Pessoa

I didn’t always have the courage to speak up, and when I did, I often found myself expressing not what I truly felt, but rather what was hurting at the moment. There were moments when I longed for something that could seal my lips, a way to contain the words that wrestled within my thoughts. An undo button for the sharp, thoughtless words I’d uttered, a chance to retract what had come out poorly. I often wished for extra credit to make amends, to pick up the phone and apologize, recognizing it as a valuable investment. I yearned for a potent eraser to remove the tattoos that bore names, and symbols of journeys once embarked upon. Time was another commodity I wished for, especially during those instances when I was in a hurry and missed a train or plane as if an extra moment could change the course of my destiny. I often fantasized about a groundbreaking invention, a magical elixir that could dissolve the weight of missed opportunities and erase the persistent stains of regret from my life.

“We all do things we desperately wish we could undo. Those regrets just become part of who we are, along with everything else. To spend time trying to change that, well, it’s like chasing clouds.”
― Libba Bray

I was afraid that I would miss the opportunity to hear the apologies I deserved. I had overcome terrible situations and felt grateful that I had survived those challenging times. There were moments when I had to prioritize my own dreams and even elbow my way to the top, which sometimes made me appear selfish. I took pride in achieving my goals and making it out of difficult situations. In the process, I often left behind people who had cared for me, helped me, and stood by my side when everything seemed to collapse like a house of cards. Regrets began to slowly grow within me, like an insidious cancer, and they only made their grand entrance during the final stages. Their presence was unequivocal and they cut through what little remained unfolded in my life. I couldn’t help but wonder if, someday, someone would receive a sad call and be informed that “we regret to inform you that…”.

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
― Shannon L. Alder

My mind didn’t keep track of the time, but my body certainly did. I was aging quickly, and I didn’t realize how fast the wrinkles marked my smile and how my hair started to shade grey. When I was young, anything that didn’t serve me at the moment was simply pushed into the closet, pretending to be lost forever. But there came a day when I could only wear the things I had pushed aside and tossed onto the shelves. The mirror showed me that I couldn’t hide them anymore, and what was lost in my mind, I had to bring out. Regrets from all the times when, busy chasing dreams, I had ignored precious moments and the people who had offered me love. The wheel was stuck, refusing to move, and time remained stubbornly unchanged. Nothing seemed to help when, with empty hands, I had to carry the weight of disappointments and regrets.

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.”
― Steve Maraboli

Regrets… I had too many of them, especially for someone who feared rejection. I often got hurt and suffered in silence, where no one could see. Tears would drip onto my pillow, and I’d bite into the corner of the fabric with disappointment gnawing at my heart. It was like a betrayal or a misunderstanding, something I’d never quite grasp because I never dared to ask.

― “She spoke her truth, brutally honest, and then she took her heart and walked away, leaving me behind. She was angry, perhaps feeling insecure, and I believe she still regrets the sharpness of her words. Looking back, I regret not chasing after her, not asking her one more time what lay beneath those painful words.”

We often misinterpret things because we filter them through our own perceptions, and sometimes, emotions find mysterious ways to surface. When hurtful words are spoken, it’s usually by souls in pain, protecting their fragile hearts. I’ve learned not to rush to judgment but to try to understand because once the chapter is closed, all that’s left are regrets.

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”

― Ted Hughes

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