I am a young man filled with regret, and that has defined me. From the time I was able to think and form memories I have questioned what my purpose was and to this day, I have absolutely no clue as to what I am meant to be or do. While I wouldn’t believe myself to be a bad person, I know that I have many failures, many mistakes, many shortcomings. Being a rather recent college graduate with no job, I am often asked what I want to do. While I know I want to be something and that I want to help others grow and evolve, I have no idea as to what I can do before that time comes. There have been times when I was told I am talented, smart, a good guy; but I don’t feel that way. Much of that comes from not what I am doing now but what I did in the past (or failed to do).
If I could go back and tell my past self one thing, it would be to simply try. I remember as far back as middle school was when I essentially gave up on academics. Though I never failed a class, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I was in the bottom rung because of my lack of effort. I was lazy, I was inattentive, I was overconfident in my own ability to be successful. I believed that even without an education, I could find a way to be successful, I was a fool. Even outside of school, I felt like I could be better than others simply through my innate ability. But now I understand that working hard isn’t about getting better than others, it’s about getting better than you were yesterday. That realization came far too late in my life, just a few short years ago. It’s something I wish had hit me much earlier because all of the signs were there, I just wouldn’t look at them.
I regret not working hard, I regret not taking school seriously, I regret not working part-time during school breaks or taking up internship opportunities, I regret being such an overconfident, lazy prick that I was. Every chance I get, I try to tell those younger than me, those in similar situations that I currently am living with so much regret and doubt in myself all because of that. While I know they’ve heard it before because I’ve heard it before, I can’t help but tell them and mention that I was just like them, maybe even worse off. I tell them that while it may seem like they’re immortal now, in time they will understand that immortality does not mean invulnerability. Though I cannot change the past and while I would try to if I could, I understand that this has allowed me to shape myself into a more mature and focused individual; if even a little bit.
I’ve always loved the idea of teaching others and sharing my views and ideas. One of my passions is helping others and I consider this regret necessary to help me achieve that. I have been told I could make a great teacher, I think I would too. I am a life-long martial artist and have years of experience teaching, one of my dreams is to own and operate my own academy. Yes, I regret my past, but I know that it has made me humble and one of the first steps to being successful and happy is to be humble. I am a young man full of regret, but that will not define me.