The Difference Between Mistakes and Regrets

It’s been a big week for me. I’ve been dealing with some personal issues and I’ve had some trouble maintaining routines – including writing on this blog. So thank you for bearing with me!

I’ve been lucky enough to keep my temporary job at summer camp, and that’s provided ample work and distraction for me. Since it’s an arts camp, all the employees are artists themselves – filmmakers, writers, actors, etc. and it’s nice to be with people who feel like they are part of my ‘tribe.’ In fact, in the near two years I’ve been in LA, I haven’t had such instant connections with people as I’ve had in the camp.

One of my fellow staffers is turning 30 in August, and we’ve been talking about what that means. For her, it means taking a huge adventure to move across the globe to pursue her artistic discipline. But of course, it’s a big decision and scary one. It got me thinking about decisions we make in our 30s.

Do you ever feel like the decisions we make in our 30s are loaded? Like, they carry an exceptional amount of weight because this is a ‘do or die’ decade? We’re making choices about career and family that may have implications for the rest of our lives. That can be somewhat paralyzing when it comes to making choices.

But yesterday, a wise person told me there’s a big difference between making mistakes and having regrets. You can make a mistake and not have regrets. You make choices and in doing that, you are powerful and exercising your agency as a human being, and for that you can never have regret.

I remember a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert where she talked about not regretting decisions you’ve made in the past, because you made them with all the information you had at the time. I loved that. Regret doesn’t make sense in a life where we’re constantly evolving and growing as people.

So, here’s to not being so precious about each and every step in our 30s.

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