You Have Only Have One Life: Do Not Live With Regrets

You Have Only Have One Life: Do Not Live With Regrets

Terrorism puts life in perspective. In June, I will hit a quarter century and I still live in my home city of Preston in my parent’s house in my same bedroom. I lived away for three years at university in Liverpool. But when those three years were up, I moved back to Preston to do my A in International Journalism for UCLan.

That was a mistake.

I shouldn’t have returned here.

The reason I know it was a mistake was because of a recent conversation I had with my best friend whilst we were decorating his house. Back when we left high school, we went separate ways. I went to college and he went on to eventually get an apprenticeship. Our lives have gone from there. However, we came up with another narrative that we missed out on.

Our hypothesis

If he had come to college with me and studied what he had planned to instead of going for his apprenticeship, he would have come with me to Liverpool. I would still have studied either Creative Writing or Journalism and he would have studied accounting. My university life would likely have been very different. We’ve had lived together and I’d probably have been more outgoing with what I did whilst in Liverpool.

Following on from our graduation, we wouldn’t have returned to Preston. We agreed the likelihood would have been that we flat or house shared together and got jobs in Liverpool or somewhere else. It would have led me down a different path and the honest truth is that returning to Preston is my regret.

Rectifying that mistake

We have only one life. This life. Right here, right now, on this earth. I seek no other.  Request no other. I reject any offer of another life. I want this singular life alone.

For to have this one life is to understand that there is a single chance to get it right. There are far too many deathbed confessions of sadness and regret to not force life into a narrow perspective.

Much of our lives are determined by fear. Our minds attempt to rationalise our fear-guided choices and try and make sense of them. This is so we do not feel regret or guilt when we surrender our dreams and our desires. We must acknowledge that it is fear that leads us down many of our paths and leads us to lives of regret.

Fear brought me home

Fear brought me home to Preston. It is fear that keeps me in Preston. Preston unknowingly holds me back. I fear that if I leave Preston, I will lose my closest friends despite knowing the lunacy behind that very idea. I fear leaving because I know I will miss them. Anxiety keeps me locked within my cage of familiarity and family comfort. But that is all about to change.

I am a writer who hasn’t found his voice. Preston stifles it. One of my greatest inspirations, Christopher Hitchens apparently found his literary voice when he moved to America. I am not suggesting such drastic action, but I will make a change if an opportunity arises.

Regret murders love

When it comes to life regrets, love is the motherlode. When it comes to love, the spark is what matters. You will find that person who lights a bonfire inside you and you know exactly what that is when you feel it. It happens with both people and ambitions. If you are not doing something or are not with someone who lights a searing fire inside of you then you are making the wrong choice.

Life is not about contentment.

There are centuries of stories about people settling for contentment and ease rather than taking the plunge. Love is hard. Love is difficult and downright messy. It is risky and can result in pain. But the truth is that if you do not chase it. If you let it pass by because of a sense of fear, you are betraying it. If you have a chance, take it because the regret in not taking it will be far worse than any potential pain.

Wuthering Heights

The perfect example of this is from a book I despise. Wuthering Heights tells the tale of two lovers who reject the chance to be together. They go their separate ways. When they do reunite years later, they destroy each other’s lives in the name of their twisted love. I despise that book because the characters are ruled by fear and regret. Love is the most powerful of human emotions. It is the only one that matters.

If you feel it for another and have a chance, step into the ring. Share it with them. Never waste that chance. There is only one life. No second chances. Take the risk of love. If the opportunity is there, you must never miss it.

However, on the slip side, do not waste your life chasing something that is never going to deliver. Life is not to be spent waiting. If something does not come to you. If that car ahead keeps pulling away from you even as you speed up to catch it, then let it go. Never waste your life waiting.

Life is for living

So live it.

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