Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Regrets? Not So Many

Sure, I’ve had a few, but not so many and here's why.

Twenty years ago this month I was on a five week Contiki Tour of Europe. During the overnight crossing from Italy to Greece a fellow who became a life-long friend and I were talking in a quiet, secluded spot on the ship. It was after 1 a.m. and we’d been drinking.
I held my glass of Metaxa loosely in my hand over the railing as we gazed out into the warm Mediterranean night. I remember the dark water sloshing underneath us. I remember there was no one else around and I remember that Russell had just asked me about having any regrets. I’d just opened my mouth to answer when my trip roomie interrupted us.
She had quite a crush on him, despite his boyfriend being on the tour, and we knew the moment was lost.

I regret not ever answering Russell’s question. But that’s about the only regret I’ve had in 20 years. I decide right there, as my drink came dangerously close to spilling into the Drink, that I was going to live a life of as few regrets as possible.

I’ve done my best at it. I think there’ll always be something to look back over wistfully, perhaps sorrowfully. What if I’d…?

A few weeks later we were in Munich at the largest beer hall in the world. Pat Cash had just won Wimbledon and the 39 Aussies on the tour insisted we celebrate.
Some of us were nearly kicked out of said beer hall for making too much noise. I almost regret not getting the boot. It would have been a better story.
Anyway, I decided I absolutely had to know how my favourite soccer player, Rudi Voeller, and the team he played for, Werder Bremen, had done.
So fueled by two litres of beer and an earnest desire to not have any regrets I sat at a friendly table and asked.

The trip wound down in Amsterdam. We had a night in the Red Light district at a live sex show. I missed part of it (something about smoke rings) because I went downstairs to use the washroom and got into a conversation with Leslie, a male stripper from Brazil. He told me life was dance and asked me out.
In a small way I regret not going as it would have added greatly to my life experience. In a big way I do not regret it as it might have led to bigger, more exciting regrets.

Since then I’ve followed my dreams. I’ve written some manuscripts and even submitted them. I’ve learned hypnosis, done more traveling, and I’ve followed a new age path.

It’s what’s right for me. If I don’t do that, then I’ll regret it.


Crabby McSlacker said...

What a great post! Deep but also quite fun. I love some of the labels, for example: "beer hall," "regrets" "male stripper" "sex show."

Googlers might be intrigued as well, it now occurs to me. Perhaps we'll meet some interesting new readers in the next few days.

Dawn said...

I do believe you've been hiding an interesting past from us, Leah!

But isn't it the way, if you take the time to get to know people, that we're mostly quite interesting underneath.

Lots of people have been very kind and generous to me recently and I think about some of your posts about being a "love warrior". If you try to put nice stuff out there, sooner or later it seems to come back in unexpected ways.

Virginia Lee said...

Living without regret isn't easy. It's why my motto tends to be, "It's always worth a shot."

I enjoyed this post immensely, Leah. I'm glad I stopped in here today.

Leah J. Utas said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Crabby. I was wondering about the Google intrigue myself. I'm very curious how it shakes out.

Most people are interesting, Dawn. You're right. As for me, I've tried to do interesting and exciting things.
Yes, nice does come back to you.

Hello Virginia. Thanks for stopping by. Love your motto.

bunnygirl said...

I read not so long ago that people are more likely to regret the things they didn't do than the things they did.

If you're following your heart, doing what you believe to be right, and acting on the best information you can get at the time, I don't see how you can end up regretting much!

Great post! It sounds like you've had some wonderful experiences!