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Living with no regrets used to mean to me that I could live with any decision I’d made as long as it felt like the best one I could make at the time. What this means in reality is that no decision was ever made spontaneously. Much thinking, soul-searching, researching, and wondering was required before I could do or say almost anything.
Which probably helps explain why I stayed in a bad relationship for 12 years.
It also explains why even now “spur of the moment” doesn’t exist in my life. I need a plan, a back-up plan, and a lot of information first. Because I need to be sure…to know this (whatever it might be) is a good decision.
But over time “no regrets” has come to mean something very different.
It’s still owning my decisions and honoring my overthinking ways, but it’s also about owning the things I’ve done that don’t make sense to anyone else.
How will you handle the expense of being a single mom? What about the cost of a divorce?
Are you sure you want to move 400+ miles away just to be with a man?
What do you mean you want to work for yourself? Are you ready to give up the security of a steady paycheck?
You write about sex? That’s a thing?!
I never felt a lot of judgement in those questions. I recognized they came from a place of genuine concern, but they still rattled me. You see, I’m a people-pleaser at heart. I want to be liked or at least respected; I crave approval. If I love and respect you, I need it even more. I learned at a too-young age that approval was necessary for both love and approval. (It’s not, but I’m working on that in therapy.)
These days living with “no regrets” really means believing in myself and my decisions, knowing that my intuition is almost never wrong. I can make the hard decisions, go through hell, and come out on the other side better for it. It doesn’t mean that making a choice, going in a direction, or doing things has become easier. And it doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes — of course I do. Only that I know I can survive whatever might happen.
So I don’t regret that making a decision that leads to a tough moment in life. Do I wish I could have skipped that part of it? Of course I do. But it happened, and it’s a part of who I am now.
Have I made choices that I would have done differently later? Absolutely. That happens to all of us, even when we think we’re making the best possible decision.
Do I always feel brave enough to do the hard things or the scary things? Nope. Sometimes I have to chicken out a bit before I feel brave enough to move forward. Let me tell you a little secret though. You only have to be brave for about 30 seconds, just long enough to make a decision or do a thing. Constant bravery isn’t required.
Having no regrets isn’t about thinking I’ve done everything perfect or right. For me, it’s more about being okay with the decisions I’ve made, perfect and imperfect.
Simple, really. I wouldn’t be who I am today without everything that I’ve experienced — good and bad. And I’m okay with who I am and who I’m becoming.
Welcome to Wicked Wednesday! This week’s prompt is “conviction” and I had no idea what I would write about until I read Molly Moore’s post. I saw so much of myself in it that this is what came out. For something sexier or more interesting, you know where to go.