I am generally not one for regretting most of my decisions of the past because it has finally sunk in that it is not a good idea to beat myself up. It's not that I don't reflect about the past because I often do but I believe that my emotional, physical, and spiritual condition at a particular time overrides my decision making process to the point that if I had to do things over I would probably make the same decision most of the time. For the sake of making conversation here is a list of some of the things that I wish I could over if I given the chance and was in the state of mind I am today.
1. I would have stayed in Oregon and not come home to Bakersfield after going to school at Oregon State. I have never liked living in Bakersfield and I can't wait to move someday.
2. I wish I would have dated more when I was in college. Between the ages of 19 and 25 I did not have one serious romantic relationship with a Daughter of Eve. What was I thinking?
3. I wish I would have went out for the Basketball team in high school. I was one the best players in Bakersfield in high school but had such a fear of failure I was afraid to go out for the team. I was so good that I frequently held my own playing against college players in pick up games and some of the guys I played against were starters on the Junior College state championship team. I was a scoring machine, a white version of Allen Iverson.
4. I wish I had traveled to Europe before I got married. I had planned to travel to Switzerland and study at L'abri, a popular religious study center but I ended up staying home, getting married and paying off my wife's student loans.
5. I wish I had experimented with at least one drug. To this day I have never experimented with any drug, not even beer and I just can't relate to people when they talk about drugs or drink a beer from time to time. I am like a fish out of water in most social situations because I don't drink beer, wine, etc.
6. I wish I had taken more risks in life. I have played it pretty safe most of my adult life. Lived in the same city, worked at the same high school for twenty two years and belonged to the same religious sub-culture for twenty five years. I just feel at times like I may have missed out on so much.
7. I wish I had pursued my creative side when I was younger by taking art classes, learned to play an instrument, or something. It wasn't until I was in my forties that I discovered that I had a very strong artistic side to me.
8. I wish I hadn't passed up two opportunities to see Dave Matthews and U-2 in concert years ago. I have a real cheap side to me and just couldn't pull the trigger on spending some bucks on a live concert but I now realize I really missed out.
9. I wish I hadn't gotten so engulfed by my religious and political ideology for so many years. In hindsight, I think it was counterproductive to much of my life and contributed to some of my marriage problems and lack of social skills and kept me insulated from the other half of the world for a so many years.
10. I wish I discovered some of my real "issues" when I was younger. For many years I have spent so much time and energy dealing with various symptoms with little to show for it and have only figured out the major pieces of the puzzle of my life in the last five years. Better late than never, I suppose.