When is Regret OK?

“No Regrets”

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.

a-cold-war-style-faceoff

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.

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.

this-moment-is-your-life 

TBT to When My Dad Almost Put Me in a Mental Institution

Lounging in boy shorts has been a pastime of mine for some time now. For those of you who’ve been reading this blog, it’s no secret that pants and I have made a “conscientious uncoupling”.  As it turns out, my lack of enthusiasm for pants could be considered a genetic trait, if you will.

Rewind 8 years ago, (8 years?!!) to my senior year in high school, my life was good. Being the overachiever that I was, my last semester allowed me to take only 4 classes since I had already acquired 8 units of college courses through playing in several university orchestras and some math classes at the local JC (I got shit done back then). Since my plate was full, I opted to just go home everyday at lunch, hit the gym, take a nap (I discovered the gloriousness of naps),  and then go my rehearsals at UC Riverside in the evening. As I said, life was swell. I had a taste for independence and managed to pseudo-achieve it at 17 (or so I thought). My schedule rocked and I could not have been happier. That is, until one day, my dad had gotten sick and stayed home.

Kelly smart

Due to my modified schedule, and the fact that both my parents had careers, I was free to roam at home by myself most days. Kobe and I would have our afternoon nap post-gym and I went about the rest of my tasks for the day. One fine spring’s day, I came home as I would any other day, I came home to one of the most awkward situations since Robin Thicke’s pathetic attempt to get his wife back (yes, it was

I unlocked the door, and went through the kitchen only to find my dear ol’ Dad in the kitchen making a sandwich, naked as the day he was born. To add insult to injury, this dude was on the phone talking business! Our eyes met and he looked like a child getting caught trying to sneak some cookies from the jar. I’ll never forget the look on his face as long as I’ll live. Now fortunately for me, the good Lord intervened and saw to it that the cutting board had been pulled out so I would not be scarred for life.

After a quick nano-second, I roared,Dad!!! What the hell are you doing?!!!” Not even missing a beat, he replied, “I’m making a sandwich, what are you doing home?” (He was/is terrible with remembering details and schedules). I then reminded him that I only went to school for 4 periods and went on to say how creepy it is to make sandwiches in the nude while talking on the phone. To make matters even worse, the bay windows were open shining heaps of light.

Awkward_Turtle_by_Sidoneon

After the brief weird encounter, I grumbled off, got ready for the gym, and went about the rest of my day. To this day, my dad and I laugh about it, and thank God that the cutting board had been where it was, otherwise I would not be the girl behind this laptop you read about today. Had that event taken the unfortunate turn that it could’ve, I have no doubt that I would be in a room with padded walls, unable to cope with the real world. Welp, I guess my love of no pants had to come from somewhere. Who else has had an unfortunate encounter with a family member?

Fake it Til You Make It

When it comes to things I want, I’m quite ambitious (unless we’re talking about the opposite sex, then I run and hide. But that is a different story for a different day). Particularly with work. I really have no clue where it comes from, but if I see something that I want, I go out and get it. One instance in particular was the time I worked at my university at the student technology center.

Just a little background info, I transferred to a school in Arizona from Southern California. Up until new student orientation, I had never been to that region, so I was moving 400 miles away from home, going in completely blind. It was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far. Ok, so going to school out of state isn’t cheap and a girl needs funds to keep up a Starbucks addiction, thus began my search for employment. I particularly wanted to work on campus because of the work-study program (untaxed paychecks!). I came across a job titled “student tech” and thought to myself, “hm, let’s apply for this one”. Now I should probably preface this by saying I seriously lacked in technological aptitude, but hey, who needs to know how to do their job anyways?

So I filled out the application and submitted it. Shortly thereafter I received an email asking me to complete a short test to vet my computer skills. Since I didn’t have any, I paid my little brother who is tech savvy $20 to take it for me. After the test was completed, the manager asked me in for an interview in the following 2 days. Since I was going up there to get the keys to my apartment and meet my roommate, I figured, why not kill 2 birds with one stone? Of course I was excited, I was getting to start a new chapter in my life and I might have potential employment. Now on to the interesting part.

For the sake of efficiency, I decided to do the interview first before hanging out with my new roomie and her mom. I quickly stopped into the apartment, exchanged pleasantries, and explained that I needed to jet to the interview, and I was off. Since my apartment was literally right next to the university, I thought I would have no trouble finding the building. Wrong. Typically, I’m pretty solid on directions but that day, I was batting a thousand. Worried that I would be late, I called the manager trying to figure out which building it was. She was great at giving clearcut directions. I should also mention that in Flagstaff the elevation is significantly higher than what I was accustomed to and I was wearing heels (something else I was not accustomed to). So I’m stumbling around, sweating, out of breath, trying to get to this building on time. I must disclose that the building was right smack in front of me the whole time.

So I finally find the office and the manager. I was sweaty, breathless, and walking like I had a limp (I only wear flats now). She escorted me to a room with a dozen socially awkward males working on computers. As she opened the door, all of them stopped what they were doing and stared at us as we walked by to go to the conference room (Cue even more sweating). I then sat down at a long rectangular table facing a panel of 3 student tech seniors, the manager, as well as another manager. We exchange the proverbial niceties. I quickly rambled off some facts about myself and then the interview began.

The panel interview worked like this: there were 10 questions they took turns asking me. Now, keep in mind that I had primitive computer skills. So I was faced with a dilemma, I could bullshit the answers and sound completely idiotic, or I could be honest and say I did not know (even still, idiotic). I chose the latter. Question after question, I would say I don’t know, and my confidence was waining and I felt like a chump. Not only was I wasting these people’s time, I felt like a moron. I felt like I was in Guantanamo being questioned on suspicions of treason (I would later come to realize that I was only in there for less than 20 minutes). The last few questions were softball ones so I answered a few (4 out of 10 ain’t bad O.o).

At one point I wanted to run out of the room from shear embarrassment. I was asking myself “I really didn’t think this through, I mean did I really think I could get away with this?”. So after the “interrogation” the manager paused and said “We normally don’t do this right off the bat, but the job is yours if you want it”. I must have had a look of bewilderment because she followed up with “We need someone with your interpersonal skills. Computer information is something we can teach you, being able to talk to human beings, we can’t”. She was pretty funny (we’d later go on to becoming good friends after I graduated and still are). I walked out of the conference room, the dozen socially awkward boys were still staring me down, but I didn’t care. I came, I saw, I conquered. I was on cloud nine.

I worked at the student tech center my whole duration of college. Funny enough, I was promoted to a senior role after being there a year. The one thing (among others) that experience taught me was that you can’t succeed if you don’t try. Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to get what you want. If you want it, go get it. The feeling of accomplishment is so worth it. Worst comes to worst they can tell you no, but you never know until you try. I think for my next profession, I’ll become a successful writer, who knows 😉

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