I am carrying a lot of regrets. I do know that it does not benefit me to dwell upon the past and what I might have done ”wrong” (if there is such a thing as doing wrong, but that is a philosophical road which I do not intend to take at this moment). Still, I find myself every now and then looking back at my life so far and regretting choices I have made. I can see moments in the past where I have chosen certain paths not because they were what my heart desired, but because they were what I thought was expected of me and also because I felt as if my options were limited to either something bad or something worse, in which case I would choose whatever felt least painful.
The root (or one root) to this might lie in my childhood. As a child, I was never taught to listen to my soul or follow my heart. I was taught to obey, to fall in line, to mind my words and to live up to whatever other expectations society would lie upon a young, bright girl. I was taught to deny my spirit’s callings, to question my own judgment, and to follow the road that had been paved for me. So I tried. And I tried. I reluctantly did what was expected of me. It was never joyful. It was always driven by pressure. But I got results that pleased others around me. In many ways, I would say that I have managed to succeed. I did finish school, with decent grades even though my absences were rather extensive. I went to college in another city just to get out of my poisonous home environment. Somehow I managed to graduate with two Bachelor’s degrees, however that happened. Eventually I got a decent job and then I got another job and then I met a partner and we bought a house and we had a child and we are supposed to live happily ever after now, right? And yes, in many ways life is good to me. I have a lot of privileges and of those I am grateful.
But what have I actually achieved? At what price? I am a shadow of a broken spirit. I am shattered soul, cut to pieces and arranged in order to fit into a mold built for someone else. I have lived up to everyone’s expectations, but there’s no gold medal here. No shiny prize. The happily ever after wasn’t here.
So I grieve. I grieve my lost potential. I grieve the life I never got to lead. I cry. I cry for myself and for the souls of everyone else who never got to do what they would have done so beautifully, wholeheartedly, lovingly.