Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Girl You Never Got To Say The Right Words To

Something that I came across that I thought worth sharing:

“If you do something that turns out wrong, you can almost always put it right, get over it, learn from it or at least deny it. But once you have missed out something, it’s gone. There will be the girl you never got to say the right words to, the band you never got to see live, the winning streak you never got to cheer, the brilliant retiring professor whose class you never took, the relative you never got close to. It is a long list no matter what. Try to keep it as short as possible.”
- Gordon Drizchilo, quoted in University of Pennsylvania Daily Pennsylvannian

Reflecting on this, I tried to imagine that one day when I am old, retired and seated under some tree in my rural home, will I look back on my life and regret stuff that I should have done but did not because I was either afraid to do or had developed some convenient excuse? Or will I tell my grandkids that when this and this happened, I was right there in the mix? I have come to realize that sometimes I can be a bit conservative and build excuses for not doing certain things that I ought to do. Sometimes I can come up with an idea that I think is really good and then over the next few days, before sharing it with anyone, poke holes into it myself and prove that it ain’t anything brilliant so I shelve it before I actually share it with anyone. I tell myself that the world is full of many bad ideas and it does not help for me to add another bad idea. Yet I also know that at times, for example I have written a proposal that I myself is not convinced with only to see others get excited and invest in it – with me left wondering what the fuss is this all about. In life we can be our own harshest critic.
And was there a girl I never got to say the right words to? Well, let me just say that I have spent some time trying to write some fiction. As I have said above, I believe there is a lot of bad fiction about, some of which I have actually paid to read, and I keep thinking that it serves nobody any good for me to add to the clutter. But maybe with the inspiration I have seen from the quote above, I can give it a try and share it with others? And as Gordon has put it, if it is bad, I can at least deny it!

Is there something that you looked back on and said I wish I had done this?

19 comments:

  1. I can honestly say there is nothing I regret not doing. I've tried to live my life taking advantage of the opportunities that came my way. Thus I have no regrets ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Waking up to find myself 85 years old & not even half way through my 'life list' is my greatest fear. I say, write that novel...and another...till the urge to write stops.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't pretend that I have never done things that I have later regretted - but I hope I have learned by my thousands of mistakes, and now take the bull by the horns and shake it until its teeth rattle!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Always an interesting topic to reflect on.:)
    Like Joyful, I also make the most of the opportunities that come my way and am generally not afraid to try things or go for my dreams so I have no regrets about things I haven't done. Well, except perhaps situations where I could have shown m,ore kindness and gentleness but didn't. Of course I regret those.

    I have a few things I do regret doing but since I believe that we don't have to be burdened by our pasts, although I regret them, the regret doesn't cripple me.

    I also say write that book! You just never know what may happen!:) I have always wanted to be artistic, like paint and such and so I started and I wouldn't say I'm amazing or anything but I have SO MUCH FUN with it.:) And that in itself matters.:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You only live once; live fully.
    http://fikirazangu.blogspot.com/2011/03/reruns.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. I guess we all have regrets, but mine are more to do with what I did rather than what I didn't do. However, I've learnt to use my regrets as stepping stones........Do write that book - give it all you've got..nothing to lose!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey y'all, thanks for your wonderful feedback! @ Joyful - when I grow up I want to be like you! @ Nyambura, nice to know you are a writer - maybe you will be the one to critique my work! @ Jane.Healy - I am trying to envision someone shaking a bull by its horn and its teeth rattling! I get the point though!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ Colleen I hear you when you say "although I regret them, the regret doesn't cripple me".

    Buogha - yes you only live once so I better make it count!

    Corinne - the things you did! Yap, I can think of some that I did and regretted, and maybe I will write about them one day. As Colleen says, the idea is not to let anything burden you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. For me it's the exam i didn't study...I would have been in a better place if I had done so...but then we blame everything on 'God's Will'

    Then may be I wished I were bit pro active in making soul mates

    Then I always wished I had some courage to question the injustice around

    ReplyDelete
  10. I surely have certain things that if given the chance I would do them differently,some times I ask my self a lot of what ifs... and if I didn't procrastinate so much in my earlier decisions may be life would have been different by I guess I'll never know. right now I guess I have to make the best of the decisions I made in life and the path they have put me on

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jon, from your blog I know your thoughts on making soul mates! Erico, as you say, it is about making the best of the decisions we have made!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a list. A huge list. Much like you, I have questions some decisions or even when people get impressed by things I've done, I wonder what the fuss is all about. Yes, there is even that one boy I never told I have a crush on. Sometimes I think it's human nature to have these woulda coulda shoulda moments. I do try to make the list short but it is so hard! The best I do these days is put one foot in front of the other. That one thing I didn't do yesterday? Just gets piled on the list. Maybe, just maybe, one day I'll have the courage to go back and tackle some of them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. carolkmail, you mean you just let the boy off the hook because you could not muster enough courage? The list will always be there, the trick is to keep it short!

    ReplyDelete
  14. i have to disagree with you on some aspect, that the only way to tell a good idea is to try it out and see the outcome. Rationalization should never be equated with truth, for the subjectivity of truth according to an individual does not constitute real truth. if you believe an idea to be bad, its your truth, but not the real truth. So, let the world see the outcome of your idea, and the real truth will stand out only through the validation which is the implementation of an idea.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for your comments Pitzevans. I think the point I was trying to make is that you should just try even if you have doubts...at least that is what I have resolved to be doing!Will be checking out your blog soon!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Quite an awakening read.
    I have quite a long list which I would attribute to, like you, thinking that its already out there or its not good enough. I am only now learning to be 'gentle' with myself. It's a journey that will hopefully lead to a shorter list of coulda shouldas.

    ReplyDelete
  17. As you have said we are always jugding ourselves, thinking about 'what people are going to say or think about us' and am guilty of this though I wont tell you how many girls I never really got the chance to talk to! Hehe. I tend to think people who develop the attitude of 'I got nothing to lose' enjoy and own the world. Like Eleanor Roosevelt puts it you'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't, but many would rather not do for fear of imaginary Ridicule/reprimand.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mackel9 - next time talk to the girl!! Very spot on with your comments

    ReplyDelete
  19. ....nowadays I am controlled by envy. When I read something, meet someone or go somewhere and I feel the tug of envy/jealous. I know right there and then, that's my soul talking and I have to stop and listening.

    ReplyDelete