Whenever we’re asked that if given the chance to redo one thing in life – most of us would say something like “I have no regrets” or “I learned from everything’s that happened” or any answer with the similar thought.
Well, not for everyone. I have always believed that this fantasy of having a second chance on doing something again promises a feeling of finally getting it right, a fulfillment of something you’d think would make things even and a satisfying story that would finally write your happy ending.– even if the chances of it ever happening is close to none.
It all started when we’re all young and naïve – as millennials we grew up having ‘bestfriends’ in school. People whom we treat with utmost trust & love. For the latter, sometimes it’s confusing because it’s a new feeling we’re having questions how to properly express. Regardless, we try to express it the way we know how. Sometimes it won’t even start something, but for the others – we are lucky to continue on and enjoy the reciprocation.
I was a transferee back then, and I didn’t know anyone nor did I have any friends. He’s the cream of the crop, and I would always be amazed on how dedicated he was in making sure he gets the top marks. Come next year, we were seatmates. Being part of the top students in our batch – I’d always ask questions about our homework especially when it’s Mathematics, a subject I never liked.
The good part always comes first and you’d always feel the high especially when it’s perfectly expressed – handwritten letters, text messages or even the sweetest silence when you’re sitting beside each other while in class. Who cares how it started really, because what mattered was the fact that we are on the same page – in terms how we felt for each other. Weekends were the worst, because we were not allowed to go out that often because we are still ‘young’ and you’d just want to go to school just for you to get the chance to talk and see that person.
Out of school trips were amazing – it paved way for a lot of moments we wouldn’t normally have when we’re in school. That gave us the idea of the world out there, no matter how unsure we are of our own future. Plans started to be made even at a young age, and it proved to be a sign that we are definitely on our way to a path we both wanted to take.
But there would always be time for conflict. I got hurt, and I felt the need to take revenge. Regardless of how truly sorry he was – I felt like I was entitled to be angry and just ignore everything. Despite the persistence we tend to always just remember what caused the pain, what makes us want to say goodbye and what covers the wound.
Graduation ceremonies didn’t reflect to me as a time to say goodbye to my friends, instead it seemed like a start of something that would either give me a chance to forgive him or worse, a time to hurt him further. It was a new chapter but it felt like an ending to a story, which was exciting and at the same time be very confusing.
He went to study in the country’s top university and ended up to be a Cum Laude on top of his Engineering course. Even if it was expected, that’s when I started to realize how much I lost. Fast forward, we had our own separate lives – entered into other relationships, and I still feel the regret. Regret for the unanswered questions, the ‘what might have been’ and the ‘what ifs’.
We always wonder for such fantasies. The reason? We don’t really know. What we know is that it causes an unmeasurable amount of craving for happy endings or at the least – closure.
Such a cliché, but I defy the notion. Because really, what do we do for all that we lost? Do we just let them go? Do we just accept things and move on? Do we just kneel and pray? We think we know when in reality, that’s the hardest thing to do. Regret will always eat you up from time to time, without warning or prior notice.
We feel the regret for things we know we had the chance to fix but were just too blinded by the pain to recognize we had the time do so. Regret for the things that should have happened, or regret for things that didn’t even materialize at all.
However, we don’t dwell on that. We humans were raised to just let go of the things we can’t control for the following reasons: To ease the pain, to lessen the unnecessary burden and to find hope in what the future will bring. We were taught to just let it be and leave everything to fate and hope for the best.
But beneath it, lies this sleeping monster of wanting that ‘one’ person where you see all your ‘ideals’. Maybe that’s why they say that once in our lifetime, we’ll have that one ‘great love’. A person you’d wish to grow old with, face life together through its ups and downs & be with you in your death bed.
We’d also like to believe that this regret will turn into a realization. That this longing will someday be fulfilled. That our questions be answered by either the person, or through a new experience. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we would just need it to serve its purpose – to teach you a lesson.
After all, it will always end up to be a choice. Do we want to move on and leave everything behind? Do we want to let go of these movie scenes we’re wishing to happen? Do we want to finally be contented with what happened and say no regrets?
Or do we really want to?