I regret hesitating

Courage, the Cowardly Dog (© Cartoon Network)
Courage, the Cowardly Dog (© Cartoon Network)
Courage, the Cowardly Dog (© Cartoon Network)

I regret nothing I did. I regret everything I didn’t do.

A Gemini person is kinda like Ying & Yang – you always have complementary opinions about something due to your inner conflicting personalities. On the bright side, it makes you a sympathetic person since it’s easier for you to understand others’ perspectives. However, if you’re not confident enough, it might turn you into an indecisive person.

I’m fully me when behind a keyboard or a pencil. That’s why my poetry book gives so much of me away. When I face someone that read the book I feel awkward, almost transparent or naked, like he or she knows too much. That’s why I was once called a dark horse by a teacher – someone no one bets on but ends up winning the race – because there’s so much more about me that no one gets to see. And I’m the only one to blame. Well not the only one, I wasn’t always like this, but that’s another story for another time.

So what do I regret? I regret not doing everything I think about saying or doing. From thought to action I create so many obstacles, so many what ifs and maybe I shouldn’t that the opportunity is lost.

I’ve lost count to the number of times I thought about doing something and end up doing nothing – like when I come up with a joke, I think it’s not good enough or not appropriate, right when someone else says it, and everyone has a laugh… “oh, I was just about to say the same thing!” except I didn’t, and now you look funny and I look shy.

The number of times I could…

  • Say “You look pretty today”
  • Wave at an old lady by the window
  • Clearly state my opinion even if it’s contrary to others’
  • Walk next to an old friend and don’t wait for him/her to notice me
  • Give a big hug to that friend I really cherish instead of the standard howdy

And did nothing instead.

What really bothers me is that I think about the actions but lack the courage to perform them. It’s like the whole world is watching my every move waiting for something to throw back at me. I know I’m a happy, playful, passionate, even naughty kind of person but it’s hard for others to believe it soleny based on my actions.

For fear of being unpolite, I’m neutral. No one has strong feelings (bad or good) about me because I too don’t have strong actions. I’m just average. Once I met this girl that I invited for a walk. Her subtle body language was an indicator that she wanted more. And I wanted too, but I did nothing besides smiling and being nice. Next day she invited me to dine out and watch a street show. She was right in front of me at an arm’s distance. I could embrace her, I wanted to, but I did nothing. That night I hardly slept, thinking about everything that could have been, consumed by regret.

I want to, I know how, I have the opportunities, but I don’t seize them… I lack the balls. Don’t be like me. Do what your guts tell you and do it now. Say sorry later. Life is short and each day a blessing, live it to the fullest. If it helps assume you’ll be dead tomorrow. You’ll be astouned with the courage that comes from that thought. Anyway one day you’ll be right.

So my main resolution for next year is to fix this sad little behavior: to do what my heart tells me to do and ignore the fears created by my brain.

  • Margarida

    So what happened with the resolution? I was kinda hoping a new romantic follow up story…

    • Maybe that story is still being written… 🙂
      Let me tell you that 2016 is being a crazy year, with lots of previously impossible achievements!

  • João Machado

    Dude! That’s me in a nutshell. And the way you wrote it it could’ve been me writing it. The biggest blocker is the fear. Of what, it depends. Sometimes it’s rejection, other times is of stepping out of your comfort zone; sometimes is the fear of being misunderstood or losing what you have. Or even of what other people could think of you because of your actions.

    It’s tough. I’ve been living my life knowing the answer is just to step up and do it (whatever ‘it’ is). And I’ve tried it. With mixed results. Sometimes it works well, sometimes not so well. And it takes a lot out of me. It drains me. It gives me a jolt of adrenaline and a bag of exaustion. That thing extroverts live for, you know? To introverts that feeling is both exhilarating and fatiguing. But in the end I never regretted it. And when it goes wrong, what do I think? “Hey, I had to”.

    I want to say that practice makes perfect. That you should start with small things and work your way up to those you have the most difficulty dealing with. But it’s not that easy. There will always be some blockers in your brain. There will always be that fear. And the worse part? The opportunities that you don’t want to miss are those that catch you by surprise and leave you flatfooted. What you have to learn to deal with, is the fear itself. You have to value the opportunities when they come. Recognize them, and value them over your fears. And recognize that that same fear is your friend. It gives you a straight animalistic indication. It points you to something you don’t want to miss. Or lose. It keeps you on your toes, sharp. It says to you “Ok, now that you have my attention act accordingly and don’t mess it boy”. And if you mess it, at least you acted. The good news is that doing something is actually something you can improve on!

    We’re straight up thinkers. And we overthink stuff. So I’ll not tell you not to do it, but you have to train yourself to play with it, and not be dominated by it. And I know very well how harder it is to do that than to say it. It is, however, quite rewarding. Whichever the outcome!

    I like to give the example of an arcade car game. Those with tough checkpoints you have to make or it’s game over. The game itself is fun, but you want more out of it. When the timer gets low, and you need to make that next checkpoint, what do you do? Keep driving normally and hope you get there? Nah, you put the foot on the floor and risk everything to get there. Doesn’t matter if you crash, you have to make the checkpoint. Or it’s game over.

    Just my 1+1 cents

    • Many thanks for sharing your experience in detail. It’s welcoming to know I’m (we’re) not alone. I totally relate when you say you hold back because of “the fear of being misunderstood or losing what you have” and when you do act “it drains me”.

      I too believe it’s more rewarding to act, whichever the outcome. At least you’ll do better next time and you won’t feel the regret of not knowing what would have happened. In Narnia’s “The magician’s nephew” they find a bell, a stick, and a warning saying “ring it and face the consequences, or don’t and be consumed by regret”. Much like like.

      Following the game analogy, on Mass Effect 3 you have Quick Time Events (QTE), moments when you can deviate and act differently. You have a second to decide before the opportunity is gone and you never know the outcome. Much like life.

      Let’s make 2015 a regret-free year 😛