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Living with What Ifs and Regrets

Living with What Ifs and Regrets

My biggest fear has always been living with what ifs and regrets. When it comes to life we tend to forget it’s not very long. That we don’t know how long ours is going to last or we think we’ll get a second chance to do something or think now isn’t a good time. The issue is we don’t know what the future holds, and we have no way of going back and fixing or changing the past all we have is now. 

What and if are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?

-Letters to Juliet

Now is more than just the present, now is the only time you can take action or control. This is why every single day I do my best to live with no regrets and I don’t go to sleep wondering “what if”. Those things can and will haunt you forever.

The big thing is though when you do have those “what if”, “if only” and even those moments of regrets what can you do? Or will they just haunt you forever? 

  • Know the difference between a good time and a once in a lifetime
    • Missing a night at the bar where someone famous walked in is not a once-in-a-lifetime experience I hate to say it, but it is not. It’s more about the time you can’t get back. Things like making sure you head home for Thanksgiving as opposed to staying in your apartment alone.
  • Figure out what things you wish you could change (not saying places or things but more of moments/memories)
    • Far too often we don’t always think about the things we wish we could change unless we feel like we aren’t successful or it’s too late. Take time be it a year, a month, every season, or even every day, and reflect on the things you fell short on, the things you want to do, the things you did or did not say, and even just what you want to do.
      • Start a list I’ll be honest some things you may never be able to get a second chance but a lot you may be able to.
      • Think of the list as your personal world tour to right your wrongs or apologize for your past actions or even cross things off the bucket list.
  • Right your wrongs
    • As kids and even at times as adults we don’t always say or even do the right thing. The thing with that is it’s never too late o say I’m sorry or at least try to make amends with things you were wrong about or maybe even changed your mind as you got older.
      • Apologies can change so much for people. I have had someone who bullied me all through middle school and high school find me in college and apologize for the things they did and said to me. I myself have even gone and found people to make apologize for saying or doing something wrong that hurt them years ago. The thing is you never know what people carry around with them and a simple heartfelt apology can go a long way.
      • Write a letter, DM them on social media, send them a text, call them, or even go talk to them. Make the first move. And if the person is not here anymore; I personally have found it very releasing to write a letter and then burn it. Some I know call this sending letters to heaven.
  • Speak your truth
    • Life is short. Don’t leave words left unsaid. If you love someone tell them. If you believe in something say it. Far too often than not people’s biggest regret are the things they did or did not say.
      • The big issue when it comes to words is your life that is limited its another person. I love you you may think can wait until tomorrow but that is not guaranteed. Make sure the people in your life know you care known you love them.
      • Day what is on your mind. Be comfortable and confident in your words!
  • Create the Second chance
    • This sounds odd but maybe you missed a helicopter ride to a glacier or bungee jumping off a bridge and those moments you thought you may never get back. But you can create new moments and try for a second chance at them.
      • I’m not afraid to revisit a place multiple times especially if there are things I missed or could not do.
      • If you miss something keep a record of it and start planning a trip around that event or thing do not let it go!
  • Let somethings go 
    • You can’t change what college you went to, or who broke your heart. You can’t change your past actions. Living with the thought and idea of “what if I made a different choice keeps you from enjoying the one you did make. Everything turn, choice, and thing you did lead you to this moment. You can’t go back and change what you did but you can focus on now and shape the future the way you want. 
      • This is the hardest to do especially when things aren’t going our way. We tend to wonder if the path we choose to go down was the best path. The old saying is that “grass is always greener on the other side”.

Another big thing I constantly do is live by the following: 

Confused about something: Ask a question. 

Have a dream job: Apply for it 

Miss someone: Reach out

Broken Relationship: Fix it 

Have a dream: Chase it 

Regret, what if’s, if only, and I should haves’ can haunt you forever. That is not how I want to live or how anyone should live. I said it a ton life is short take the time you have to do whatever you can and need to do. Just remember if you do reach out to someone they may not want to hear what you have to say and that is just life. It sucks but says your peace get it off your chest and respect whatever they say.

The words we don’t say are what haunt us for sure. I hope you don’t let them ruin your life, and if so you take charge to do your best to fix your mistakes and appreciate the paths you have to take that lead you to where you are. It’s scary to think that we can live with regrets and just accept them but we also have the ability to live without them. I hope you live a big beautiful full life where the words you did or didn’t say, the actions you did or did not don’t keep you up at night; and if they do I hope you have the courage to fix them. It’s going to be scary but I know toy got this. If you ever need help or don’t know where to start; I’m always here to help. -Your unofficial big sis KMH

I’d rather live with 10 minutes of fear than a lifetime of regret

-Dude Perfect



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