Life is truly full of regrets. Ask your friends: “What is your biggest regret?” I bet it was easy for them to rattle off a whole list of regrets.
Today I realize that I was in too much of a hurry to become an adult, to find my place in society, and to live what I imagined would be a life of unparalleled autonomy and freedom.
The following is a list of regrets from family and friends, as well as a list of things I promise to do while I’m in my twenties.
Make more friends
I regret interacting with so few people. I might have gained new insights if I had socialized with more friends from different walks of life. I’ve been told numerous times that people wish they have placed more value on developing close long-lasting friendships. I love my friends but I believe I owe it to myself to broaden my social circle.
Be more active
I’m a self-confessed smoker with a sedentary lifestyle. However, I’ve always wanted to be more active; to practice yoga, run marathons, and maybe even join a volleyball team. I regret working out so little and eating so poorly. My parents are very active and they eat a healthy diet. They are resplendent with beauty and good health. Their only regret is not having adopted a healthy lifestyle when they were my age.
Work in a field I love
Deciding which career path I wish to follow and the type of lifestyle that would suit me best has been a real struggle for me. So many people regret choosing a career based upon potential earnings without regard for the importance of personal fulfillment. I took a huge risk when I left home to move to Montreal to work and study. Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m glad I took the time to explore my options in order to choose a career that is meaningful to me and will no doubt continue to be for the foreseeable future, rather than spending 20 years doing a job that would make me miserable.
I’m afraid of so many things in life, including change. However, I’ve made a promise to myself to overcome my fears and learn more about myself while I’m in my twenties. I’d like to learn to speak Japanese, try jumping from a plane (with a parachute!), and do humanitarian work in a disadvantaged country. I regret not going out more often. I’m fed up with being anxious and afraid.
Start saving money sooner
I wish I had started saving money when I was younger. I regret blowing the earnings from my summer jobs on clothes. That being said, I’ve learned how to make a budget and to put aside money for travel, a new car, and maybe even a home.
Be more fiscally responsible
Time flies by and before you know it, it’s time to retire. I don’t want to make the same mistake so many people make: failing to plan for retirement. I have to be more strategic with my spending. For instance, I could afford to live in a nicer apartment if I spent less money on shoes, purses, clothes, food, etc. The money I spend on “stuff” is money I could have put aside for my retirement.
I want to visit the pyramids of Egypt, surf the Hawaiian coast and admire the views of Santorini but I don’t have the money to do any of that. Then again, will I be in a better position to travel when I have a busy work schedule, a mortgage to pay, and children to raise? I don’t want to wake up on my 30th birthday regretting that I didn’t travel when I was in my twenties. Sure, I could travel with children but it wouldn’t be quite the same. Time flies by so quickly. I need to figure out how I can make it (travel) happen now.
Life is so beautiful. I don’t want to waste precious time on regrets. I don’t want to find myself, at a later age, wishing that I had lived more and planned better, while I still had the time and energy to do so; which leads me to this: I promise to appreciate the little things in life and especially …
To live my 20s fully … and without regrets!
A Tribute to an Imperfect Relationship