I was recently speaking to a coworker who is younger than myself. We were discussing recent regrets that we have lived, and whether we wished we could go back and change them. My coworker spoke decisively about wanting to change her earlier choices, and I took a more pensive approach.
As I have reached my mid-30s, I have found myself thinking back over my life—the various choices I have made and how it affected the course of my life. After much thought, I have concluded that much of the regrettable parts of my earlier life have actually borne new paths that I ventured forward on. These purported setbacks have reaped wonderful rewards later in myself.
So many moments I can point to where I can, and very often have said that I regret not doing something differently, but not so much anymore. I now see the benefit of age, where the older I get, the more I am able to see how these moments would have irreversibly altered the outcome of my life. These repentances have led me to eventually choosing a career I would not have ever considered. Each possible modification would not have led me to meet my wife. It’s highly probable that any change might have meant never moving to the city I have called home for the past 13 years.
“Ultimately, moments of regret disappear the longer you venture on your timeline,” I concluded. My coworker’s expression conveyed that I was not wrong.