A telephone conversation with a friend about college days, fueled by the beautiful backdrop of the local Birmingham, Alabama radio station’s throwback marathon of some of the 90s finest bass-laden, hair sweating songs (think if you dare of Uncle Luke, KP and Envyi, Kilo Ali and 95 South) prompted me to ask my friend if there were any regrets in how this person’s college career was spent. The answer, almost before the question, was a loud, resounding “NO”!!! There were possibly other words said that I won’t say, but you get my drift.
Since that conversation I’ve thought about regrets, especially from college and whether or not I had any. Sure, there were choices I would have made differently if hindsight were foresight, but it’s not. It is what it is. I’m growing to know that each and every thing that happened or didn’t happened, those things that hurt me, scared me, shocked me, disappointed me, delayed me, even knocked the proverbial wind out of me…especially if I was the orchestrator of the situations that allowed them to unfold, helped make me who I am and for that I can’t regret.
The poor choices made me wise. The sad moments revealed my support team. The immaturity made me grow up. The bad guys made me recognize and appreciate the good. The struggle made me stronger. The missed opportunities made me available for the ones assigned to me. The questionable fashion choices, often of few fabric and plastic Payless shoes, made me compassionate toward today’s young lady who too bought into the less is more mindset. The mismanaged funds make me creative. The failed friendships made room for the lasting ones. Even the 1.8 GPA my first semester of my freshmen year made me hustle oh-so-hard to finish school and finish big with 16 internships while in college, and so on and so on and so on.
It’s often so easy to live in the wonderland of regret, then wonder why we can’t ever fully exist and thrive in the wonderful land of the present. I prefer the present. Not that I’m always proud of my actions (or reactions, especially during the days of the red Geo Metro drive-bys slowly zooming past a certain fraternity house), but it happened, and there’s nothing I can do about anything I’ve done except not regret it. I can learn from it, move past it, share it, avoid it in the future and laugh at it, especially when nudged by the gentle reminder of songs starting with the words “Come on, ride the train, hey, ride it, woo woo”, but I can’t regret it.