This is the intro I wrote years ago for my book called “Moments I Regret” (which I am still writing – over 100,000 words and growing every day). Reading this reminds me that I do have talent as a writer, even if it seldom appears.
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It’s funny how some memories hang around for a lifetime while others are quickly forgotten, tucked away in some file cabinet in your mind where you’ll never run across them again. Unless, of course, it has a smell associated with it. Then, one day, out of the blue, you get a whiff of that smell and the memory comes flooding back like it happened twenty minutes ago. It’s wild how a smell is such a powerful thing especially since smelling is becoming so much less important in our world.
But going back to memories. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and all of us realize the mistakes we’ve have made after we’ve made them. Some are huge and life-altering, others not so much. It’s kinda like choosing a line at the grocery store only to find out it’s the slowest or the fastest. No, it probably won’t change the course of your life, but then again, it might.
Sometimes we think about what we would do differently if we had the chance to do it over again. But, of course, we can’t do it over again. So, we sit and dwell on the mistakes we made that are forever living on our memories. Maybe that is the true meaning of life – learning how to live with your mistakes.
Oh, I know. I hear the advice you are all giving me “But it’s those mistakes that shape the person you are today” or “You learn more from your mistakes that you do your successes” or “There’s nothing you can do about it, so just move on”….
To that I say “Wow. Thank you very much! I’d never thought of that stuff before! Those quick one-liners makes everything all better. I’m now the happiest fucking person alive. Thank you so very much for those great words of wisdom!”
Funny thing about advice; Most of it is total shit. Hello? Do you think I’m that stupid? These people think that uttering some simple cliché will make all the years of pain and regret go away? Shit. I’ve been dwelling on my mistakes for years … analyzing them, agonizing over them, inflating them, deflating them. And here you think you can come along and you got just the thing to cure it all?.
“If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen!” “For every door you close, a window opens!” AHHHHH! I know everybody means well and they are really trying to help. But we live in a “Take a pill” society. We all think that every problem can be miraculously fixed with the flick of a switch. “There. All better. All I had to do was flick that switch. I wondered what the hell it was. Now I see, It’s the ‘all better’ switch”.
Here’s my advice for people who like to give advice: “The best advice you can give is to shut the hell up!”
I’m sorry, I just get pissed with people who give those stupid one-line cliché’s. I mean, don’t get me wrong. Not all advice is bad. After all, most of the advice I give to other people is extremely valuable. The problem is they just don’t want to listen to it. Or their little minds can’t comprehend it. Usually I have to put it into easy terms that their simple minds will understand. I try to come up with a simple line that is easy for them to remember. Something like, er, well, like a cliché, I guess.…
Uh… yeah, so anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, memories.
There are many I have stuck in my mind that I dwell on from time to time. Most, well actually, all of them are regrets that make me go “Why the hell did I do that?” And, of course, I can’t change the past, so I have to be content with just letting them haunt me.
The funny thing is, for the most part, some of these events are actually pretty minor in the big course of things. Were they life-altering events that changed the course of my life? Well… no. Were they huge events that affected many people? Uh… again, no. So, why the hell do I even remember them? Why the hell do I have so much regret over them?
The appropriate answer here is: I don’t know. My only guess is that these memories were stored in the part of my brain that is like the corner display in a department store. You know the ones where they show off the hot new merchandise or an enticing sale item. So, every time my thoughts pass by this spot, I can’t help but stop and notice the memory that was stored there and then I dwell on it all over again.
So, here they are. I call them the ‘moments I regret’. I thought if I write them down, maybe then I can remove them from the display case and throw them out with the rest of the garbage.