regrets

regret (noun): a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.

This past week I have been stuck in the past. I haven’t truly realized it until now, but that’s exactly what it’s been. I’ve been overwhelmed with depressing emotions: sadness, fear, anxiety, and, most of all, regret. This overwhelming feeling of regret was what was really getting to me. I have never really regretted things before, and I had no idea what to do with this new emotion. 

Let me give you some context. I’m still waiting to hear back from graduate schools. I cannot plan any part of my future when I don’t know if/when/where I’ll be starting school again. “Where am I going to live?” “Where am I going to work?” “How often am I going to be able to visit home?” “How am I going to move all of my stuff?” I absolutely CANNOT do anything to answer any of these questions and it has been driving me absolutely INSANE.

In a desperation to know something concrete, I started looking toward my past. (Easy to do when pouring over transcripts and finishing the last of my applications.) “What if I hadn’t taken those classes together?” “If I hadn’t crammed them in, I would have done better in them…then maybe I’d already be in grad school.” “Maybe I should have gotten rid of the extra distractions.” “What if I had slowed down and spread out my classes over three years instead of finishing in three?” Maybe then I would have been able to go right in to grad school instead of spending a year at home.” The “What if’s?” and the “Maybe I shouldn’t have’s…” have been NEVER ENDING and it really has been taking a toll on me. 

I was talking to a friend one night earlier this week and finally just asked; I had to know what someone else thought about regrets. He said, “If you regret the past, then you regret yourself because the past is what makes you who you are.” I didn’t like the way he said it at the time; it was like he was pointing out every single flaw that I have in one simple statement. That one simple statement instantly built up all my walls and put me on the defense. I couldn’t believe that someone I care so much about could so easily tear me down like that. Obviously, I overreacted. But, really, he’s pretty smart and I’ve come to agree with what he said. 

I am generally a happy person. I worked really hard to finish college in three years. I could have done it differently, but I learned a lot from doing it the way that I did. I love working as a physical therapy aide, and feel that spending more time in the clinic is something that I definitely needed to experience; I feel more prepared for school. And, even though I never thought I’d admit this, I usually love living at home. I’ve become close with my family and it is nice to have a home to go to at the end of the day, and not just a small apartment. 

I felt singled out when he said that the other night and as if the spotlight was on my flaws, and to say that admits that I do have them. I do. I’m not perfect, hard as that is to admit. I am flawed. Past relationships and experiences have truly made me the person that I am today. I don’t trust easily. I second guess things. I am my own worst critic. I often apologize too frequently and for things that I didn’t actually do. I overreact. But instead of focusing on those flaws, I am going to focus on the positive aspects that have come through my experiences and shaped me. Once I do trust someone, the bond and relationship that forms is wonderful. I work diligently and thoroughly on every task assigned to me to make sure that I have finished it to the best of my abilities. When I do realize something less than ideal about myself, I usually do my best to correct the situation. I am incredibly passionate about the people in my life that I care about.

I’m not yet where I want to be for the rest of my life, but I have come to be content with where I currently find myself. I cannot let myself be overwhelmed with things that are in the past and are out of my control. Earlier in the week I was watching The Big Bang Theory episode in which the guys acquire a time machine. I thought to myself, “Man, I’d love to have one of those.” Today, though, I can honestly say I wouldn’t. I have made mistakes, yes, and I sometimes kick myself for them. But I have learned from them, and that’s the important part, right?

if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

AHHHHHHH!!!! (Can you tell I’m a little frustrated?)

First and foremost, I (usually) don’t have anything against technology. I am completely guilty of constantly being plugged in; sometimes I swear my phone is an extra limb. Occasionally, though, having to do EVERYTHING on the computer is beyond frustrating.

What am I doing? Grad school applications. So, no pressure or anything, but they have to be PERFECT. I’ve heard horror stories about students who think their apps are all submitted and ready to be reviewed and the application is never received!! Luckily, most of my applications have been through a SINGLE portal system. I put all of my information in, pay a ton of money, and then they take care of sending everything out. There’s even a safety net and schools that know I’m intending to send an application to them e-mail me to make sure that I remembered to send it! In the end, all I have to look for is a confirmation e-mail that my application was received.

BUT THERE IS ALWAYS ONE….

that HAS to be different! I didn’t mind when I submitted it as a paper copy. I LOVE KILLING TREES!! I would prefer to have the paper IN MY HANDS and deliver it to someone else’s. Then, there’s no technology “glitches”. If I mess up, IT’S ON ME! No big deal or anything, this is just my FUTURE we’re talking about. It’s not like the PAYCHECK that wasn’t deposited in to my account yesterday. That can be fixed; I knew to look for that. If this particular school doesn’t receive my application, they don’t know to be looking for it, and they probably DON’T EVEN CARE (except that they’ll be missing out on MONEY). 

I may sound like I’m an old fart, complaining about technology like this. But, in reality, I’m sitting here on my computer typing out my frustrations thanks to the same technology I’m complaining about. Irony at it’s finest.