I have lost count of the number of times I typed and retyped this opening line, rephrasing and fine-tuning the words that I believe will best represent my thoughts.

In fact, I hardly noticed the number of times I have pressed on “delete” and “command+z” on my keyboard.

In the back of our minds, we intuitively know that we can easily correct a typing mistake hence we just go with it, often with less deliberation. When we are making choices in life though, there is no “undo”, “delete” or “ctrl+z”. We, or rather, time continues to move ahead, unavoidably leaving traces of regret at some point in our lives.

“I shouldn’t have said that”, “I was such an idiot”, “things could have been better”, “if only I knew” are the lines of thought many of us can relate to. Thoughts as such occur from time to time, often accompanies with a pang of regret. But the “could haves” and “should haves” will only bog us down.

If we are able to “replay” a scenario like how we always do in a video game, wouldn’t we want to go back to the point of time where we messed up and amend what is broken or something that went amiss? But if we have the option to do so, to rewind and replay, many of us would end up in an infinite loop, constantly reconsidering our life choices, in the hopes that the next decision will lead to the best outcome.

If you were to ask me, memories can be both a gift and a curse, depending on how you access and relive them. If we choose to, memories, self-guilt and regrets, can take over our minds in an instant.

Gifted with an imaginative mind, we can effortlessly picture a close to perfect scenario, one which we could have made better decision on that would have led to a more desirable outcome. However, do we ever really know? How certain are we that other circumstances would not have played a role even if we made a different decision then?
The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.

The reality is, there will be things in our lives that we desperately want to change. It could be a decision we made, or it could be a decision others have made that hurt us in the process. In hindsight, everything makes perfect sense. If only we had known better, but we can't know what we don't know.

Yes, we could be better and happier if we had done things differently. Happiness is also based on whether we can turn past regrets into motivation to create a more favourable present and future.

It is one of the beauties of life, really. Depending on how you look at it. I always believe that one of the greatest lessons in life, is to learn how to accept fate with an an open heart. To accept our mistakes and flaws embrace our victories.

To learn to love the flawed, imperfect beings that we are.