I learned early that I really don’t like the feeling of regret.
Perhaps it’s the pangs of too strong a conscience or simply what they call Catholic guilt, but I’m really uncomfortable with looking back on something and being ashamed. This is has been a cornerstone of my moral code: don’t do anything you’re going to regret.
So I’ve been prudent with my finances, avoided foolish love affairs, worked diligently towards goals in fields I could be proud of. I labored to get to know myself well enough that I could make decisions with integrity.
I know what you’re thinking: BORING.
As I try to make my blog interesting I wonder if maybe I should have messed up my life more. At least it would give me something to write about.
Here’s the thing though, stories don’t last forever. People who want to be “interesting” have to keep messing up, and half the time they do, constantly having a new crisis.
So here’s to stability and the virtuous state of boring!
I like your thinking!
Jonathan F. Sullivan says
Nice. And for the record I think you’ve got plenty to say, and in a way that’s the antithesis of most of the banal “introspection” and navel-gazing prompted by people with more “interesting” lives. You talk about ideas, which is much more rewarding. 😉
You’re so kind! What did I do to deserve such a lovely pep talk?
Jonathan F. Sullivan says
I read Elizabeth Wurtzel’s piece of angst in NYMag, which has made me much more appreciative of folks like you who actually have something of substance to say, rather than trying to justify their own poor life choices to themselves. (Her essay really rubbed me the wrong way — it’s the perfect example of our culture’s delayed adolescence that I find increasingly distasteful.)
This shows you have character though. And often I learn more from a person of character than I do from the redeemed trainwreck. After all, I wouldn’t want to repeat their mistakes and learn those particular lessons. The trainwrecks might have a more “interesting” story but we can’t underestimate the impact and power of a life well-lived.
Thank you! I’m sure your readers say the same thing about your life well-lived!
Diane Rivers says
Regret is not positive, guilt is not helpful, pain is not pretty. Integrity, on the other hand, is inspirational and powerful. It gives the rest of us hope. Keep doing what you’re doing, exactly the way you’re doing it!
You’re kind, and your words about regret, guilt and pain are spot on. I wouldn’t trade my lack of regrets for the most interesting of lives, that’s for sure.
The thing is though, prudent people like you do get things done and meet their goals. You say boring; I say successful! You can’t really get things done if you’re always a mess.
I hope you’re right!
Rae is right, people who usually have “interesting stories” often just have drama. Drama is SSDD: Same Story, Different Day.
The truly interesting people are the ones who have their act together and can do something different. (And have much better stories and blogs in the long run.)
Here’s to the “boring” ones. Who have the freedom to be crazy without being insane.
That last sentence is right on the money! Thanks.