Some short thoughts about regrets, my pink vase and first loves

Do you have any?

The boy you dated in high school? The loan you're struggling to make repayments on? A big bender? Drunk crying? Sharing a secret? Losing your temper? Giving something away you want back? Hurting someone?

Maybe you regret NOT doing or saying something? A missed opportunity that plays on your mind?

We've all made mistakes.

But would you take a do over if you were offered one?

A few years ago, unsure of exact timing, I cleaned out my room. I was trying to change the pale pink theme in an attempt to grow up. A new doona cover, cushions, throw rug, some shelves, a lamp... you know the drill.

I had this Kmart vase, it sat empty on my bedside table and I didn't even like it that much, but it matched my room.

One day Mum brought home some fake flowers from a $2 shop and glued them into it to sit up nicely. I loved it after that.

But, it was pink, so I was determined to get rid of it.

My friend was into selling things on Buy Swap Sell at the time, she convinced me to give it a go.

I listed the vase for $5.

A lady bought it. We exchanged goods & cash in my driveway. One of those awkward stranger exchanges, small talk, a lot of smiles, some awkward laughing, she put the gold coins in my hand, I handed her the vase.

I remember walking back inside with my gold coins. Instantly I knew the value of those coins was much less than the value of that vase and the impact it had on my room.

A few months later my room went back to the white and pale pink theme, it's still like that today. And, I still miss that vase.

I haven't sold anything on Buy Swap Sell since.

Of course, this is a small 'regret'. But had I not made this mistake, I would not know the dangers of impulse selling, or the importance of appreciating the items I have.

I do have big ones.

Like sitting on the shower floor crying, body shaking, heart aching kind of big ones.

I went through a phase of doing that a lot.

It's hard to explain without going too far into it. But, I stayed in a situation long after it should have been over. I lost myself in it. I stuffed up... time and time again.

I guess that's what comes with being a forgiving person, being hopeful, being naive, and believing in the fairytale of... first loves.

My memories of the exact situations, events, feelings are so faded now. It feels like a lifetime ago, a fuzzy dream where you can't quite remember the characters, you can just make out the shapes.

But, the lesson is still very clear.

I had to go through it all to learn that sometimes the plans, ideas, beliefs we have change and it's okay.

Good things can end, and it hurts, a lot, but not forever.

I had to learn to not 'give up' but know when to let go. Letting go is better than ever having anything halfway. I f**king hate halfway.

I came out the other end with a strength within myself.

At first, for a while, I thought that strength meant not feeling or falling, not getting close enough to anyone so that their actions could effect me.

I think I needed that time, I needed to build that little wall up so that when I knew, I knew.

And then I did feel deeply and fall hard and I realised the strength was actually to continue being me; but carrying those lessons with me.

I'm different now.

Maybe age is a part of it, but I think past experience is a bigger part.

These are just two extremely different examples in a lifetime that's filled with them.

If I could take back every time I embarrassed myself, every time I felt numb, or made a mistake or stuffed up... I wouldn't.

I didn't know it at the time, but, I needed them all.

That's a thought I always come back to in hard times.

I think every hard time has been made a little easier with all the lessons and strength built from the ones before it.

Without going through everything we have, whether it seems small and insignificant or consequential and life altering, we wouldn't be who we are now, or where we are now.

Every decision, mistake, lesson, challenge and achievement in life has lead me right here.

And I don't want to know who else or where else I would be without them.

So, if I was offered a do over, I'd very politely, but very quickly, say no.

Would you?