Single biggest regret?
May 2, 2006 4:19 PM   Subscribe

What is your single biggest regret in life so far?

Please excuse me if it's either too chatty or been asked (although a search for that phrase "single biggest regret" turned up nothing too close to the question). There were some threads on "what did you wish you knew back when you were 21" but I think this question is more unique and good for graduation season.

I wanted to put some ground rules on it -- like you can only regret a choice you realistically did have (like not someone who was 5 at the time saying "I wish I bought $2000 of Microsoft in 1985" (It would be worth like $2 million now, btw)). Or, I regret that my mom never breast fed me.

BUT, wow, that can get complicated and might be good for a collateral or other new thread. I think I'm going for a survey where people instinctually name a regret.....I think it will be neat to see what pops up without rules. (Still, I think stating choices you had and turned away is being truest to this question).

So, I'll start: My single biggest regret in life so far is that I (early 30s at this point) no longer talk to a very close friend I had while growing up.

And, you know what, I'm sort of glad that's what's at the top really.

I hope other people's are similarly therapeutic......
posted by skepticallypleased to Grab Bag (29 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: chatfilter, might want to re-ask on metachat

This will be closed.
posted by fire&wings at 4:27 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I had buried the body a little deeper, but it was late, it was raining, and I was cold.
posted by keswick at 4:33 PM on May 2, 2006

i wish i hadn't taunted happy fun ball
posted by pyramid termite at 4:36 PM on May 2, 2006

I regret having sold my 500 options on ETEK two days before they were purchased by JDSU for $100 over trading price...

posted by Izzmeister at 4:41 PM on May 2, 2006

skepticallypleased, what's to stop you from giving this friend a ring? Go ahead, bump that time your fly was down on a public bus up to the number 1 spot.
posted by nomad at 4:42 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish that I'd bought a more expensive home -- and earlier. We were trying to save up a big downpayment, but the market spiked and it was suddenly small. I couldn't believe the housing market could be as high as it was. I thought it had peaked, so we bought a fixer-upper condo. I figured we could renovate and add value, even if the market dropped. Unfortunately, the market grew another 50%. Because my condo was less than half the value of the home we could have bought, those more expensive homes are now about $1M, whereas mine is nowhere near that, so my equity doesn't even help. And we had to live through renovation hell.
posted by acoutu at 4:43 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I never would've hurt the one person who means everything to me.
posted by ktrey at 4:50 PM on May 2, 2006

Getting married.
posted by Hogshead at 4:58 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I had gone to Duke. I was accepted and had a scholarship that paid half of tuition. But I ended up going to my diploma mill state university because I had a full ride. I still ended up with $40k in student loans (including grad school). I am happy in my life, but I think I would have had much better education with many more opportunities if I had gone to Duke.
posted by kimdog at 5:07 PM on May 2, 2006

Every lie I've ever told. Life would be so much simpler if I'd always been honest.
posted by randomstriker at 5:13 PM on May 2, 2006

When a choice between stagnation and possible embarrassment (with a possible big payoff) presents itself, I choose stagnation time and time again. Making a move on that girl, picking a harder project in class, making a point in a meeting. Fsck. Basically I'm chickenshit, but I'm working on it.
posted by aeighty at 5:14 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I would have gone to University when I had a chance. My programming diploma from a tech college has served me very well but I always have that little regret of not having a degree in the back of my mind.
posted by cbushko at 5:30 PM on May 2, 2006

In general, stuff I didn't do when I had the chance. I regret some stuff I did, but, what the hell. Stuff I wanted to do/nearly did and chickened out of really bugs me though.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:38 PM on May 2, 2006

I had a choice between being transferred to northern Italy for 3 years, or attending Baylor University to get my MHA. Both options were covered by my employer. I chose the graduate school, and while it was beneficial in some ways, there is no doubt in my mind that I made the wrong decision. The Italy thing was, more or less, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I still could have pursued my master's degree via some other school or forum.

But, of course, hindsight is 20/20, and if I had NOT opted for grad school, I likely wouldn't have ended up in Montana, which was arguably the BEST decision in my life. So it all worked out in the end.
posted by davidmsc at 5:41 PM on May 2, 2006

Not applying to Harvard when I was looking to transfer colleges. Now I'll never know if I could have gotten in. Silly, but that's one.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:41 PM on May 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

I wish, I wish, I hadn't killed that fish.
posted by Zozo at 5:43 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I had never smoked that first cigarette.
Now I'm a recovering nicotine junkie.
posted by BillBishop at 5:50 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I had reciprocated a sexual favor to a long-ago boyfriend, when I was way too shy. Kind of too late now.
posted by theredpen at 5:52 PM on May 2, 2006

I regret that my dad breast fed me.
posted by horsewithnoname at 5:54 PM on May 2, 2006

When I had the chance, I should have taken a shot at what I have always dreamed of doing with my life. But I didn't think I had the chance. Now I think otherwise. But my life is awesome, and I still sort of kind of get to do what I really dream of (I just don't get paid bags and bags of money to do it - which would be nice).
posted by JekPorkins at 5:57 PM on May 2, 2006

Hitting post too so
posted by moift at 6:01 PM on May 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

I wish I hadn't posted this.
posted by ChasFile at 6:04 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I had lived by myself for a while instead of moving straight into an apartment with my boyfriend, now husband.

I've always had to answer to someone, always had to let someone know where I was, and when I was coming home.
posted by obeetaybee at 6:07 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I had used my long free summers during college to travel. Now that I have a full-time job, every free week is precious.
posted by smackfu at 6:16 PM on May 2, 2006

I always remember my Housemasters advice whilst I was a pupil at school.

When the chance to sail at a prestigeous and challenging week-long regatta clashed with my exam dates, he said, and I quote:

"Go sailing; you can always take exams"

I *don't* regret applying that advice to the rest of my life at all...
posted by DrtyBlvd at 6:19 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I hadn't believed the guy who told me his scabies wasn't contagious. I caught it, and it took 3 months to get an appointment with the dermatologist. It was a pure hell of itching without cease, that kept me up nights and left me scratching myself so hard I left bruises.

(He's a mefite. Hi! Still in denial about the fact that you gave them to me? Asshat.)

There are many things I could add to this list. But let's just make it generally: having sex with people who didn't give a shit about me or my emotional well-being. I wish I could take it all back. They weren't worth it, and it hurt me in the end. Sometimes quite catastrophically. But I did finally learn. Whee.
posted by beth at 6:33 PM on May 2, 2006

Man, this one hurts just to think about...

This was back in my travelling days. I had no money, no responsibilities, and no destination in sight. Just a beat up Toyota and a free spirit.

I met a woman while camping in the mountains of southern Colorado. She was very beautiful, and we had strong chemistry. I slept in her tent for a few nights, but never made a move on her even though she showed much interest in me.

Several days later, we sat on a cliff overlooking the San Luis valley, and had a conversation that I knew would be our last. As she walked away, I watched the hawks circling in the sky, and knew that something had just happened.

I spent the rest of the summer travelling, and had a great many strange and wonderful adventures. However, after that day on the mountain, nothing was the same. I still felt free, but I knew that something was missing. I felt that I had reached a peak and was coasting down.

The summer ended abruptly and with much drama. I eventually stopped travelling, and started down the path that led me to where I am today.

I'm not in a bad place by any stretch - I've been very successful in my career. However, I'm still chickenshit when it comes to women, owing to a genuine fear of intimacy. It was this fear that I gave into back in Colorado - one that I should have fought with every fiber of my being.

While I know that she was just one girl on one mountain during one summer in my life, I still have this nagging feeling that, had I made a move, everything would have turned out differently.
posted by Jake Apathy at 6:53 PM on May 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

No contest. I wish I hadn't fallen in love with my ex-wife.
posted by Decani at 6:55 PM on May 2, 2006

I wish I would have majored in something practical in college. A Sociology degree doesn't amount to much in the real world. I loved my classes and my professor, but it doesn't compare to an education or business degree. Now I'm 36 with 3 kids, 1 more coming in the fall, low paying (but enjoyable) job, and a stay at home wife. I won't be going back to school any time soon.

I'm very happy with my life. If this is my biggest regret, I can live with it.
posted by Jesco at 6:57 PM on May 2, 2006

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