What’s your biggest regret?
It’s a heavy question. A loaded question. Something that may make you sigh wistfully or tense up in severe pain. Which is probably the gambit of reactions these folks were running through when they thought things over on Reddit:
Get ready, it’s about to get real.
1. The snow day
When I was 10 and my sister was 7, I wanted to go play in the snow and none of my friends were out so I invited her to play with me. She was super excited but it was going to take her a while to get her snow clothes on and I was already dressed so I said I’d wait for her out front.
While waiting, a friend came by and invitee to play and I went not even thinking twice about my little sister.
I came home an hour or two later to find out that she went outside and looked for me for a while and came in broken hearted because I wasn’t there. I’m in my late 40s now and while she’s never once brought this up, I think about it often and cringe and get pretty down about it. What a s**t thing to do. I cannot imagine ever forgiving myself for it.
2. College days
Taking out loans to go to a traditional 4 year university.
If I knew then what I know now I would have just worked my way through community college and there’s a good chance I’d be exactly in the same spot as I am now regarding my career. The biggest difference would be that I wouldn’t be in debt till I die.
3. When I was 10
I know this is a relatively small thing, but when I was around 10 and I was on public transport with my dad one time, he said he’d like to read to me.
Like the little s**t I was at the time, not only did I focus on playing Lego Batman on my DS as he was reading to me, but I actually told him I was going to do that. The audacity.
I’ve always been lucky that he was and still is the kind of guy who doesn’t take that kind of stuff personally and was totally fine with this arrangement, but I just wish I gave his gesture anywhere near the respect it deserved. I rarely even looked at him as he read.
4. The grocery store walk away
When my parents split up my mom had to raise us by herself and we were really poor.
Eventually we had to get on food stamps to survive. My mom was devastated. She was a very proud woman and was working two jobs but it wasn’t enough and it absolutely crushed her to have to get assistance, it made her feel like a failure who couldn’t take care of her own kids.
I remember we were in the grocery store and getting ready to pay. She was going to use food stamps to pay and she was so ashamed that she turned to me and said “If you don’t want to stand in line with me you don’t have to”. She was trying to spare me the embarrassment.
So I didn’t stand with her, I went off and looked at a toy or something. I remember looking back at her, she was sheepishly fixing her hair and trying not to look “poor” as she worked up the courage to face the cashier.
I have regretted walking away so many times over the years. I was just a kid, but I wish I could go back in time to go stand next to her and tell her how proud I am to be her son and how thankful I was for the sacrifices she made just to keep food on the table for us.
It honestly breaks my heart every time I think about it.
5. Listen up
Not protecting my hearing.
I’m 52 and have had tinnitus for 20 years now.
I should’ve worn earplugs when mowing the grass, going to concerts or loud movies.
I shouldn’t have turn my Walkman up to 11.
6. 8th grade
When I was in 8th grade, I saw my 6th grade brother walking down the hallway towards me and body-slammed him as hard as I could into the wall.
He limped away, ducked into an empty classroom, and started crying.
I wasn’t a violent kid and was generally a pretty good big brother. Immediately afterwards I just felt so f**king bad and had no idea why I did it.
We’re really close now, and I still apologize for it 15+ years later. It honestly f**king haunts me that I did something so unnecessary and cruel to my own brother.
7. They just ran
One afternoon I got mad at my mother. She had been prescribed an excess amount of narcotics. 90 days worth. For an addict like her, she’d finish that in maybe two days. I picked the prescription up and withheld it. Her doctor told me I was breaking the law, even though she was a known addict.
I gave it back to her and refused to hang out that night. I’d go every night to sit with her and talk so she’d be doing something other than drugs or having sh**ty people over. But I was pissed off.
Next morning I was off. Nothing felt right. My grandmother and I stopped by to check on her. She was dead on the kitchen floor. Her friends came over and they started doing drugs. Heroin kits everywhere, weed all over the table, and that damn bottle of pills.
Her neighbor said at 2 am a bunch of people hightailed it out of there. She had OD’d and they didn’t help her. They just ran.
Why the f**k didn’t I just go over there that night. Still bothers.me even though I know I could never stop her from being addicted.
8. Stupid pranks
As a college senior, I was an adviser to this suite of freshmen. Three of them played these stupid pranks on two of them for the entire school year. It started as jokes but it ended up just being harassment. Both of the harassed suitemates transferred the next year.
I tried to reason with the three pranksters/harassers. But now, I regret not confronting them instead of trying to reason with them. At some point, if people are intentionally causing suffering, a harsh response is the correct response.
I was just a dumb college 4th year but I wish I had had the insight to do more.
9. Yes and no
I regret and don’t regret this one.
I was 13 at a theme park with my class. It was our last day of school so we went to a big park to ride some rides.
For no particular reason (other than thinking I was funny) I kept telling kids in my class “Dont die” as they would climb onto a roller coaster. Some kids looked scared, some laughed.
Finally a 20 something guy with his girlfriend also in line turned to me and shouted “Kid, shut the f**k up”. his girlfriend quickly tried to calm him down and said “he’s just a kid”. Boy did he look pissed.
For me, it was like I had been slapped out of a trance. I thought “Holy s**t… I’m annoying?!” best thing to ever happen to me I think. But d**n do I cringe when I think about it
10. All of it
About years 18-26 is all regret.
I try to tell myself that if I hadn’t lived those experiences, I wouldn’t have met and married my husband, so going back to undo things if I could, would actually ruin the life I have now.
11. No boundaries
Being too friendly with my neighbour. Now she won’t respect our boundaries. I found her IN my house one morning when I got out of bed and went down to the kitchen. She’s always asking us to watch her kids but like, not even asking us, just literally left her kid home alone and asked me if I could go watch her while she went to bring the other kid to school.
I would have said no, but she just walked away and I wasn’t about to leave a 2 year old home alone. I guess she just assumed I would do it??? We own, she owns, there’s no way of putting an end to this without making things awkward.
12. Saying no
This may sound odd , but saying yes over and over again to everything my parents want. It’s really hard for me now to say what I really want because I was always like „yeah sure mom And dad I’ll do that so you are happy“ instead of doing what made me happy
13. Brutal school
There was a girl in my high school who sent her boyfriend a picture of her bare breasts. He immediately sent it to all his friends, they sent it to theirs… even teachers saw it.
People started calling her Pepperoni Nipples, and I once heard my drama teacher and his assistant singing the Oscar Meyer song reworded to be about her. She was a very popular girl up til this point, a cheerleader who ran with the rich kids, and I was the kind of teenager who assumed I was an outcast (I wasn’t) and that everyone was out to get me (they werent).
Shortly after the nude pic event, one of our classes reassigned seating, and she and I were sat next to each other. She was so, so kind to me. Friendly. Even gave me a nickname. And she told me she went to a college party in the city, and saw her picture printed and hung on the fridge at this party. She burst into tears and left.
While I never made fun of her to her face, I absolutely joined in ridiculing that girl. I just wanted to be a part of the joke, I wanted to feel like I was part of the crowd, but all I succeeded in doing was perpetuating the harm done to her, a literal child, who was being shamed and ogled by both her classmates and ACTUAL ADULTS.
We are friends on Facebook now (a good 13 years later) and she seems happy, but I still think about her and feel guilty. I hope she has a lovely life, and I hope that this kind of s**t never happens to anyone else.
14. The peacocks
Once when I was 14, I was walking through my local park with some friends. This park had peacocks. As I was walking through with my friends we spotted some peacocks with their babies.
My friends started throwing oranges at them, they peer pressured meeting into joining them. I pick up a dirt clog because it was smaller and intentionally threw so I would miss.
Instead, I hit a baby peacock and killed it. I just froze and the baby peacocks and the parent peacocks surrounded it. I began to feel remorse that God will not let me forget.
I approached the peacocks and buried it while my friends simply went on with their lives. I’m 34 and that scene still plays in my head…
15. Drive safe
Driving too fast. When i was younger i took a turn too fast and got into an accident and killed two people.
I struggle to live everyday knowing the pain that my actions caused.
There’s lessons to be learned from these.
What’s something you regret?
Share it with us in the comments.