Reminded of the 'what ifs'

Jan. 28, 2022
by Andrew Meuleners

This week I was listening to my older son talk about what was going on in school. In one of his classes, they have a unit on careers, which has gotten him to start thinking about life long term. He has been asking questions about what my wife and I wanted to be when we were his age.

That got me to thinking about how life changes dramatically for some, and for others it just seems like they have always known what they want to do with their life.

It also got me thinking about the decisions that we make in our lives, and regrets, if any, that we have. I have friends of mine that say that they have never regretted anything that they have done. I find that next to almost impossible for someone to say, especially since I was around them for many of their more questionable decisions.

I certainly regret several decisions that I have made in my life. The things I regret the most are the decisions that I made not to do something. I am not a person who takes many risks, unless you count driving fast. In my younger years I loved driving fast, and I had a whole slew of issues with that joyous thrill of life. I wrecked two cars, got several speeding tickets, and cost myself a lot of money.

Other than that, I am a person that has been ruled by rules. I was concerned about appearances, I didn’t want to disappoint my parents. I have had my fair share of worry in my life, probably too much, and I would stress out so much that I would make myself sick. Most of the time I was more concerned about being the level headed person than being the cool person.

I was the one who looked out for everyone else and made sure that everyone got home alright. I was the friend who parents liked because I didn’t get into trouble, I was a good student, and for the most part I wouldn’t lead anyone astray.

That’s not to say that I didn’t have my moments, times in which I lived life outside of the box. Unfortunately, many of those times that I did live outside the box seemed to always end in disaster, which led me to have even more anxiety about doing anything too risky.

There are times that I think about what if…What if I decided to go to college out East. What if I had called that girl back. What if I didn’t turn down that job. Regret is part of life. It also doesn’t mean that life has not been meaningful. It does not mean that you, would change anything in your life, because I would not. I would not change any moment of my life, but there are moments in my life that I think “what if.”

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