Wednesday, January 30, 2013


If I had a chance for another try
I wouldn't change a thing
It's made me all of who I am inside
                                      -Tom Delonge, "Rite of Spring"

It's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't.
No regrets
         -Cheeseball saying on shirts, mugs, hats, and other Bad Boy-type paraphernalia

The notion that people shouldn't feel sorry for anything they've done is prevalent in modern society, as is its sister idea, which is, of course, that people need to seize the day, to carpe diem, to grab the bull by the balls because, to quote the ubiquitous acronym of douche bags far and wide, yolo. In today's world, if you're not just doing it, something is wrong.

And that is so wrong.

Wrapped up in all that no-regret malarkey and seize-the-day stuff is really nothing but a whole lot of selfishness and built-in excuses for people to be irresponsible and do whatever the hell they want. Have a prior commitment but something way better comes along? You better cancel the first thing because hey, you only live once. Gotta do tons of homework and study for a test but there's something super fun going on that you really, really don't want to miss? It's silly to study when clearly you should be seizing the day. Fuck somebody over in a horrible way that's going to haunt that person for the remainder of his or her life? We all know that everybody makes mistakes, so let's just call it a learning experience; it's better than regretting not having done the horrible deed and regretting not having done it for the rest of your life.

Life, after all, is all about you.

Only it's not.

But let's just say it is. Let's say that life really is all about you. Let's say that life is all about you and that you've heard and read that it's better to regret something you do than something you didn't do so many times that you truly believe it. You look at your life, a life full of things-I-didn't-do regrets, and you decide you've met your things-I-didn't-do regrets quota. So you decide to do something. You decide to do something you know you shouldn't do, but goddammit, you want to do it, and you know, you just know, that if you don't do it, you'll regret it till the day that you die.

And then you do it.

And then you're fucked.

You're fucked because you did something you knew you shouldn't do in the first place, but you did it anyway. So, really, you're fucked because you're an asshole.


A few years ago, I reached my own personal things-I-didn't-do regrets quota, so I decided I was going to do something. I decided to do something I knew I shouldn't do, but goddammit, I wanted to do it, and I knew, I just knew, that if I didn't do it, I'd regret it till the day that I died. I also knew, because I'd read it and heard it seemingly everywhere I looked, that it would be better to regret something that I did do more than something I didn't.

And so I did it.

And so I was fucked.

But the thing was, as much as I was fucked--and believe me, I was damn good and fucked--I didn't regret it. I didn't regret it because it made me--me.

Could I have been any more of an asshole?


Years and years ago, I read a quote by Drew Barrymore similar to Tom Delonge's lyric from "Rite of Spring," and because I love her enough that Drew is Griffin's middle name, and apparently because I can't think for myself, I blindly adopted her perspective. For years, I professed the idea that every single thing I'd done made me the person I was and so every single thing I'd done was just fine and dandy because if I hadn't done them, I'd be someone else. I not only professed this idea, but I believed it, too.

Child, please.

What I now realize in my old age and infinite wisdom is that having no regrets is just putting an asshole spin on not taking responsibility for the things that we've done. Whether these ills encompass hurting others, hurting ourselves, or some combination of the two, saying, or believing, that no regrets are in order for our negative actions is immature and despicable, and if, in our hearts and minds, we truly have no regrets for the wrongs we've committed, we can never be all right, not as a world, not as a society, not as a people, and certainly, at least not for me, not as one's self.

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