regret, pt. 5


I didn't really tell anyone I was leaving when I finally got around to it. Not even the handful of people I actually liked--it was better, I thought, to make a clean escape. Some of them didn't know I was going until I was gone. And it was a good feeling, lying there in the dark on the couch of my new apartment, a hundred miles from the life I'd built for myself, staring at nothing at all. Freedom is always a good feeling, even when it's a little terrifying.

But I'd gotten used to the old life, with all the plans and expectations and projects. I'd never call it comforting, but it was familiar. It had taken a lot of work to build, too, and I'd just abandoned it. I mean, yes, it had been a prison, but it was my prison. I'd designed it in an effort to find meaning in a world that seemed to have none. And abandoning all that work now meant that this quest was fruitless, didn't it? Was it even so bad back there? I could have stayed for a bit longer, made it work out with a little more effort, couldn't I? But going back was impossible.

There's a famous line, mostly used by the hopelessly naive, about how the only things they regret are the things they didn't do. Sadly it's more true than I'm prepared to admit. I've done plenty of things I regret, of course, but the list of things I didn't do? It's practically infinite. And I regret all of them, almost as much as I would have regretted doing things differently than I had.

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