I made the mistake of going on Facebook today – apparently some woman is having her second child, it’s the talk of erm… Britain. (Maybe she’s important somehow, like maybe she was working on the cure for a disease or something? I mean, the media is kind of going crazy, so she must be soooooo important!)
Anyway, among the drivel about a peanut-sized fetus, there was this gem about how I am totally going to regret these ten “choices” in ten years. I mean, that’s vastly important information so I thought I’d better read it, before I get that tattoo of my driving license on my arm.
Except, as I read through these ten things, I found I was kind of underwhelmed. I was expecting (stupidly) an insightful list of things I totally think are a good idea now, that I will regret later. That’s what the title led me to believe. What I got was disappointing common sense, things that aren’t even choices, and a few things that are not so black and white as the article suggests.
1. Wearing a mask to impress others.
Okay, so obviously this refers to pretending to be someone you’re not, and not to literally wearing a mask all the time (unless you’re trying to impress members of the KKK or people who really love gimp suits, obviously). In which case the article is totally right – if you pretend to be something you’re not all the time to impress other people, you’re going to feel shitty. Firstly with exhaustion, and secondly with the realization that no one really knows and respects the real you, which is pretty lonely.
On the other hand, there are times when you should probably put your best face forward, and that might involve a little mask wearing. I doubt anyone has ever regretted showering and acting polite when they felt shit on the inside during a job interview, if you catch my drift.
2. Letting someone else create your dreams for you.
Every sci-fi in history says this is totally a bad idea – not least because people in your head will attack the person fucking your dreams up.
But seriously, living your own life is just common sense. Nothing to see here folks!
3. Keeping negative company
Okay, everyone likes nice people. You should hang out with nice people, people who make you feel good. But this one totally contradicts with things happening later on in that it’s kind of selfish and douchy when you think about it. I mean, nice people aren’t nice all the time – people fluctuate. Don’t give up on your buddy because they were honest with you about that haircut you love but they think is hideous, or because they were a bit mardy with you that day their husband died, or because they don’t want to hang out with you when they’re in the depths of a long depression. Just like you, they have fluctuating moods and personalities and are not perfect all of the time.
4. Being selfish and egotistical
I donate to charity whenever I can – time and money, I give everything to support causes I care about. Some people would say I have a selfless side; other people would rightly realize that I do get a bit of a kick out of doing good, so some of it is still kind of selfish; other people would say I don’t do enough because I don’t deal in absolutes. I mean, I sleep at night rather than spending all day and all night helping folks, so I’m just not giving enough. The problem with selfishness is that it’s almost entirely decided relatively – as in by comparison between you and some bugger else. So, basically, stop worrying about being “selfish” by other people’s standards and just do what you think is right.
5. Avoiding change and growth
What can I say – some change is good, some not so good. Avoid the good, go for the bad. Wait… that’s the wrong way around!
6. Giving up when the going gets tough
Over the summer I had a shit job. Most of us have been there – it looked okay, and actually it turned out to be a steaming pile of shit. But I stuck it out based on the notion that I shouldn’t just quit because it was crap and thus kinda hard to put up with.
In doing this, I ended up putting up with stuff that no person should ever have to put up with, including but not limited to: four hour daily travel, eight hours without a break, doing everything on my own, sexual harassment (that was ignored), and an unsafe working environment. My nerves now completely shot, I have quit.
Sometimes, you should preserve. Others you should run for the hills. Learn to recognize which is which to avoid regret and unnecessary bullshit.
7. Trying to micromanage every single little thing
This is explained in terrible wishy-washy bullshit in the article (which I find ironic given later advice!), but the principle remains that you can’t manage every aspect of life. Sometimes things just happen and you can only deal with the consequences of it.
8. Settling for less than you deserve
Hold on a minute… the article said don’t be selfish, and yet this involves that very thing! Sometimes in life, this totally applies – if you work a certain number of hours, you deserve a certain amount of pay, for example. If you pass all of your assessments for a qualification, you deserve to be awarded that qualification. If, however, you are nice to a chick that’s a friend, and she doesn’t shag you, you can’t exactly claim you were swindled – no one said you “deserved” that as a reward. So, bear that sort of thing in mind.
9. Endlessly waiting until tomorrow
We’re all going to die! HOLY SHIT WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! And we haven’t got a clue when, it’s true. So while that does mean trying to get the most out of your life, what it doesn’t mean is not making any future plans simply because you can’t be totally sure you’re going to be alive by then. Future plans are still awesome, and some tasks take longer than a day to complete.
10. Being lazy and wishy-washy
Have you ever spent the day sat in front of the TV? Of course you have, you lazy bastard. There was so much more you could have done that day – maybe you were even thinking that as you watched Jamie and Adam blow the shit out of stuff on Mythbusters. So why didn’t you do it? Are you lazy and unreliable? Are you afraid of taking responsibility for shit?
Or, just maybe, you really needed a fucking rest. Just because you aren’t leaping from buildings or running a marathon every day doesn’t mean you aren’t doing something quite important. Just like sleep, taking a regular break to be lazy is very important. Think of RSI, but for your whole body and brain. Yeah, you can go back to watching Mythbusters in your pants now – do it for the welfare of you, man!
You got to the end!
In which case, you deserve a reward. Like my number one tip for not regretting anything ever? Don’t choose to regret stuff. You aren’t perfect, and shit happens. That, like you, is perfectly okay bro.