Je Ne Regrette Rien

24 March 2003

Je ne re­grette rien. I regret nothing. We were talking about this last Sunday night. I do regret lying to parents or teach­ers on spe­cific oc­ca­sions perhaps, and I regret taking this or that when I wasn’t sup­posed to, but I don’t regret any po­ten­tially life-changing action taken or not taken. I don’t regret going to the school I did, the sub­jects I took, the uni­ver­sity I went to, or the degrees I did there. I don’t wish I studied more or studied less; or trav­elled more or trav­elled less.

I think I should have regrets. (One of the im­pli­ca­tions of having no regrets is that, if given the chance, you’d live your life again in exactly the same way—and this cannot be right!) So, where are they? There’s a few possibilities: (1) I’m not yet old enough to be able to figure out what my regrets should be (i.e. not enough perspective); (2) I don’t take a chance on things I might regret; (3) I’m in denial.

There’s a good chance these are all true. Par­tic­u­larly (2): I do fear regret, and perhaps I do make the easy, safe life choices. Well, I guess we’ll see.