“You can’t say ‘if this didn’t happen then that would have happened’ because you don’t know everything that might have happened. You might think something’d be good, but for all you know it could have turned out horrible. You can’t say ‘If only I’d…’ because you could be wishing for anything. The point is you’ll never know. You’ve gone past. So there’s no use thinking about it. So I don’t.”
From the novel Lords and Ladies by, Terry Pratchett (1992)
I’m not a big person on living with regret. This is not to say that I don’t have a few but I do my best not to dwell on them. Reflection is all well and good as is learning from the past, but I won’t sit there wondering about what ifs. That way leads to damnation, sorrow, madness and most likely binge drinking.
That simply will not do.
In my personal life I am known to unabashedly speak with all honesty about my perceptions of things, I try to do it in an entertaining way. Sometimes of the time it is well received, sometimes it is mistaken for good-natured ribbing, a lot of times in my life I have come off looking like a mean-spirited, or bitter jack ass. These are the risks I take every time I open my mouth.
Once you say something or take a course of action that is it, you own that now, forever. If it wound up hurting others then you can apologize and try to make amends for it, but it’s still out there in the world. Life has no take backs or mulligans you have to keep marching forward living with yourself.
I have had quite a few bad episodes in my life. Fall, is a series of pieces that describe the aftermath of one of those episodes. It’s still a work in progress but another installment looms on the horizon1
Once, while extremely drunk2, I proposed marriage to a woman who I had only known for two weeks. She drunkenly accepted. Two drunken fools both too stubborn to admit that what we had just agreed to was a very ill-conceived idea based on all evidence. The next day neither of us would be the one tho say it was a mistake. We lived together, engaged for two years before we really did anything about it.
In less than two weeks we will have been married for eleven years.
Seems a unintended consequence of being that stubborn was that we spent enough time together to actually fall in love. So admittedly sometimes potentially bad decisions can work out in our favor. We have had our share of troubles but I sincerely doubt I would be as happy without her.
As I side note I chose a quote from Terry Pratchett this week because, not only is he my favorite author, his latest installment of the Discworld series is released in the U.S. on the 18th of March. I am looking forward to it becoming the first book I’ve read in its entirety since I quit drinking3
- I had to stop writing it for a while because it got painful to the point that I started to shut down a bit while I was writing. Thus the last entry feels a bit dull to me. ↩
- I should find it appalling at this point that most of my personal stories involve the phrase “extremely drunk” but such is life. Things have changed. ↩
- It became such a habit of mine to read while drunk that doing so sober has been a bit tougher of a challenge than expected. ↩