It’s a term we swing around so loosely, but, does one actually live their lives without any regrets?
This morning I was finally unpacking (I moved, more on that later), and I had Pandora blaring my “A Tribe Called Quest” station (90s Hip Hop or bust!). Bobbing my head while organizing my life, things were going swell. That is, until 93 til’ infinity started playing, and all hell broke loose. On a side note, if you don’t know who Souls of Mischief are, you must go to youtube and search the above mentioned song, it’s legit.
Anywho, the first time I had ever heard that song was about 3-4 years ago when I was attending university in Flagstaff, AZ. I worked at the Student Tech Center on campus and had bosses who had great tastes in music. One day, Trey, my supervisor and I were going on and on about 90s hip hop and he happened to play 93 til’ infinity and I absolutely fell in love with the song. In fact, those years I really developed a stronger love for the genre which I still have to this day.
So where does the regret come to play? Well, when I first started going to NAU, I HATED it. It was a massive culture shock. Trapped in the mountains with a bunch of hippy dippy nature people, I was so out of my element. You see, I am somewhat of an escape artist. One of the perks of living in Southern California is that if you get bored of your scenery, you can escape to somewhere new within a 2 hour radius. In Flagstaff, that was not the case. Tack on a passive aggressive roommate who only communicated by post it notes, my “home life” resembled the Cold War/ Cuban Missile Crisis.
Being the persnickety person that I am, within the first few months, I already started planning my escape. I knew that I only had to be there for 2 years, I decided to keep myself at an emotional distance from others. You can’t miss anything/anyone you don’t know, right? Well after the first 6 months, things did get better. I started making friends, going out, and creating a pseudo-life, with everything still, at an arm’s length away. Hell, even my graduation was a “wham bam thank you ma’am” spectacle. I literally walked, bought chipotle, then dusted out of town with my family. My parents were pretty incredulous at my indifference and lack of emotion at this point. Seriously, I left Flagstaff a half hour after my graduation with the intention of never going back again (sidenote: I’ve been back a handful of times now).
So, what am I getting at here? Well, you know those pseudo-friends/life I was telling you about? It turns out they may have meant more to me than I initially realized. When 93 til’ infinity started playing through my speakers, I’ll be honest, I didn’t remember the title of the song or the artist. I just remembered how it made me feel. 3 years of buried feelings just started pouring out. I felt of blend of nostalgia, pain, regret, sadness, and a tinge of happiness shoot through me all at once, and rather intensely I might add. How could a song, that I vaguely remember bring back so much unresolved feelings? Music is strange in that way I suppose.
In spite of my first crappy few months away at school, I really did enjoy my time there. The people at the STC were my friends, dare I say my family. Spending my weekends at school trading music jams with my colleagues are some of my best memories ever. I fooled myself into thinking that I could just cut out that part of my life and soldier on, but that’s not the way life works. In short, I regret how I handled things. I regret that I didn’t invest more emotionally. I regret that I didn’t really say goodbye or feel the loss of leaving Flagstaff. I feel regret.
Obviously I can’t turn back the hands of time, however, I can learn from my mistakes. I struggle at letting people into my little bubble, but I have made strides of improvement. There is a bigger feeling fulfillment when I legitimately connect with others. It’s scary with the vulnerability that I am allowing, but it’s a better feeling than listening to a song that rips you to a time of unresolved feelings.
I can’t change the past, but I can change how I react in my future. My goal is to really connect and enjoy moments when they happen as they are. When you spend your time looking for the next adventure, you could be downplaying something beautiful that is happening right in front of you.