I hate regret. I find it to be a useless emotion, and rarely indulge myself to feel it. All of the decisions I've made in my life, even the bad ones, have gotten me to where I am today. How can I possibly regret any of them?
Despite the fact that I try to be pragmatic about life (even the emotional parts), I've still followed my heart a lot. I've followed love to two different states, although I did so with clearly defined school or career plans. (One has to be practical even in love.) I moved to Texas at age 23 with applications submitted to both Baylor University and the University of Texas to visit for my third year of law school. I was accepted to both, and I chose Baylor because it was an easy commute. At the time I felt very bitter about the impending demise of the relationship that took me to the Lone Star State and missing my third year of law school with my friends. But if I didn't have that experience I wouldn't have met my best friend, and I wouldn't have come to the realization that I am stronger than I ever imagined. I wouldn't have met the boy I was dating when I moved to Michigan, and I wouldn't have moved here at all. I wouldn't have then met my husband, and I wouldn't have these friends, this career, this life. I wouldn't have my son. All of these decisions, some of which were suspect at the time (and still are in retrospect), have led me to where I am today.
My decision-making hasn't always been happy or emotionally healthy, but it made sense at the time. I remember moving to Michigan from Norfolk, Virginia and driving the moving truck into a snowstorm so severe that the Ohio Turnpike was closed. I recall getting to Michigan on a 7 degree February day. I remember the first time my fabulous heels were ruined by stepping in a melty snow puddle. I've second guessed the decision to move to Michigan dozens of times in the last decade.
On the other hand living here is where I've come into my own. I met this man at work who was old fashioned and charming and hilarious. I figured I'd better marry someone who made me laugh like that. We got our precious dogs. We've developed a network of amazing friends that I can't imagine not having in my life. I have a job doing something I'm passionate about. I'm living in a place with a great running climate that allows me to enjoy it most of the time (although I do miss super hot weather). We have adopted the most wonderful little boy who immediately captured our hearts.
Sure, some of my decisions have been questionable, but the end result has shaped who I am. Sometimes I feel the tentacles of regret threatening to pervade my spirit, and it takes all of my resolve to chase them away. Regret is sort of an odd cousin to my nostalgic nature, and if I wanted to it could move in and make a nice home in my head. There's just no place for it.
Life is a series of decisions, and they're not always going to be great. Learning from those choices has made me a stronger person. That leaves regret out in the cold.