The only thing I probably regret right now is not making more memories.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 18, 2022. It has since been updated.
Growing up, I was always told by my parents to focus on what's important. They said it was important to get good grades to make it big in life. I listened to them, assuming they knew best and spent all my time buried behind a mountain of books because the last thing I wanted to do was to disappoint them.
While my friends went out to the arcade and to all the latest movies, I stayed back home because that was what was expected of me.
As they uploaded fun pictures on social media, I shared images of the newest books I'd picked up from the library. Yes, I was the geek, and I had only a handful of friends. Honestly, though I did feel a pang in my chest at times, I considered myself elite. I was different from the rest, after all.
Little did I know that this was my coping mechanism. After my school, I got into a prestigious college, but even there I didn't learn to make friends. It was hard for me to open up to people and let them into my little bubble.
But you know what they say, even the worst person will have someone to call a friend, and though it took me some time, I found a group of people who grew up like me. We bonded over our mutual hatred for extroverts because deep down, we wanted to be them, in shiny glamourous clothes and makeup on fleek instead of geeky glasses and baggy hoodies.
College was done with, and all of us went into the real world, something that we were not prepared for, at all, but with constant encouragement from each other from different corners of the world, we all got by.
I'd like to consider myself a late bloomer because work was nice, and I met a few people who painstakingly took the time to help me get out of my shell. It was almost like a total makeover because, with their guidance, I reinvented myself. I felt comfortable in clothes that were no longer baggy and had confidence in my strut. I was good at work and finally, people were noticing me and wanted to get to know me.
It took me a lifetime to get here, but now, I have photos with other people on my social media handles. I have a life outside of work and I've also found someone to call mine. All in all, life has never been better, and when I look back, all I want to tell myself is to go out there, take those silly, pouty selfies with my friends, wear too much makeup, and just live a little.
I feel like I should have laughed a lot more, taken a lot more pictures with my friends and just generally had some fun instead of staying at home, judging the others. I mean, sure, I have my fair share of memories with the people I love now, but imagine if I hadn't been afraid to open up in the first place.
The only thing I probably regret right now is not making more memories. After all, those moments are never going to return.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Jan Hakan Dahlstrom