01 June 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen occasional regrets:

  1. I learned to dance when I was young. Now my imagination still does crab rolls and splits, pirouettes and long, high leaps. Every inch of me still knows what that feels like, I just lost practice and the physical reality feels a bit trapped. Its like I'm in two places at once. Like a posh car with no wheels, the engine makes all the right purring noises, but we're not going to move.
  2. I used to have a three octave voice, my classical teacher even gave my lessons at half price when cash was tight because she was sure I had a career. I took up bikers and smoking instead. These days I know what my high D sounds and feels like and every part of me gears up for it, except the throat, it sounds like somebody trod on a frog long before then, and just wheezy silence up the top.
  3. I still know the rush of being centre stage with a dark, full concert hall, the buzz of playing pretend and dragging others in to the story, intensely alone and just as intensely in touch - its an auric thing. Haven't been there for twenty years, though, and I'd have nothing to do if I got there again, now. Nightmare.
  4. I wish I'd been less tied to duty and propriety; to the nine to five, to career building (which all went out the window when I had kids, anyway.) I wish I'd joined up with something; anything; Greenpeace, or a touring theatre company. I guess I wish my life had been about changing the environment to get to the experiences and not limiting the experiences to fit the environment.
  5. I wish I'd dyed my hair green when I was twenty. In those days it would have meant instant dismissal from the kind of corporate dinosaurs I used to work for. I made a conscious decision not to be me, not to step too far outside the approval zone.
  6. I remember higher energy levels than this. I just wish I could tear around from project to project, all day.
  7. I wish I'd lived, just once, in walking distance of a serious library. There's something about information and secrets and lives and windows on different worlds all stacked up to the rafters in tangible form. Books have magic, and they seem, en mass, to give off oxygen. No air conditioning or heating can change the ozone sensation around enough books. I'd have liked a chance to swim in that, to camp out there.
  8. I wish I'd come to a halt at twenty years old, not for the physical differences but because at that age all anyone asks of you is that you find out who you are and realise your potential. I could spend a lifetime doing that, but its not so long before society seems to expect you to have worked it out, and stems your freedom to come and go. After that there's precious little room to explore because you're not supposed to need it. People look at you like you've got it all going on. You know that old phrase 'you make your bed and you lie in it'? I don't feel like I've made mine yet. Somebody set me loose in a bed warehouse, please, because I want to try them all; I don't even remember choosing a frame.
  9. I wish I worked in a university, or anywhere like that; just a place where all the people you mix with are full of 'what ifs'. I wouldn't care if half of them talked total BS, so long as they were always imagining, always challenging, always firing off each other.
  10. I wish I hadn't gone through the phase of guilt for the things I lost, because I had them, so they're inside, and some never knew what they felt like. Regret stops you looking forward.
  11. I wish I hadn't gone through the phase of disappointment for the things I've never tried, because staring into an empty bowl stops you looking at the world around you - as much use as losing your keys and gawping at your empty key hook, instead of searching the house.
  12. I wish I hadn't been so hooked up on one goal that I brushed different opportunities aside. I guess its like the difference between going 400 miles by bullet train, and walking.
  13. I wish I could be as full of potential, of possibilities, of amazement at life as my children are now, but that would make me the child and I'd be no use to them, plus I'd miss the joy of seeing them grow. It takes past experience to spot the same things in a new person.
I think you'll find that the above all cancel each other out. You can't be everything all the time. Sometimes you have to exchange one set of tools for another, but if you didn't regret that once in a while, if you didn't value the things you lost or gave up, you'd never get the thrill of watching someone else achieve them.

And no, I have no idea where that all came from. Call it a glitch, or a spiritual zit, or something. Sorry about that. I'm just going to toddle off now and find the TCP.....




Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

written by Cheryl the Mad Baggage

27 comments:

Louise said...

I think we all have our own occasional regrets. Although I love my life I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had gone to private school as my mum wanted me to.

I guess the trick is only to regret things now and again.

My TT is up

Norma said...

Well put. I don't think I've ever seen a desire for a library in a TT so that thrilled me (I'm a retired librarian). But hon, I spent my professional life working within the university, and trust me when I say, some days the only interesting thing that happens is the coffee break.

Cheryl said...

Yay!
Thank you for injecting some realism vis universities. Valued input :-)

Tricia said...

It's never too late to chase your dreams and try to fulfil them. :) Imagine a life with no dreams or regrets - it would probably be pretty boring.

Chaotic Mom said...

Wow, this was a deep list. You've learned quite a bit through those disappointments, eh?

Natsthename said...

You're right, you can't be everything at once. This is why I try not to have regrets about the past. Instead, I try to learn something from each mistake I've made and try to move on and not repeat it.

This was a great list to remind me to take the time to reflect. Thanks, Cheryl!

Lisa said...

Hiya ... wow .. nice list! (ha!) Sincerely, though, it really is a good list. You have a rather philosophical way of viewing things that resonates with me.

All of it, regrets, joys, disappointments, longings make you who you are today. We are offered lessons to take and grow from there (I believe, anyway) and seems like you are smack in the middle of one of them.

Keep puzzling it out ... I enjoyed your writing and your perspective.

Oh, and about the leaving comments on other lists - perhaps finding a positive thing about it is a good exercise. Even if you don't agree with what they are saying, perhaps there is something nifty about how they said it. I try to make it a game to see what unique thing I can find about the list or the blog in general and comment on that. (But I'm geeky like that, yo.)

Peace

Wendy Boucher said...

You could turn this list into a beautiful essay and sell it for publication.

VERY nice list!

IKaren said...

I think we all feel all those things... even if they cancel each other out. but I'd never be 20 again. I enjoyed your post about playing 13 &comments. ususally I do ok, but everyone once in a while you find a list that is so weird there is nothging you can say.

Red said...

I know what you mean about the discrepancy between your memory of dancing and the physical reality... I used to be quite sporty and now, after many years of a sedentary job, even a quick run round the park makes me wheeze. Shame that our bodies cannot keep up with our imagination!

But you know what I think? I think you should dye your hair green now!

K T Cat said...

I think I'm in love.

:-)

Your regrets reveal the depth of your person. The road not travelled not only exists for all of us, but branches off from the path we take every day. Lots of regrets is just symptomatic of lots of interests.

EmilyRoseJewel said...

Regret is something we all have and should not do it, but do. The positives of regrets, are to learn from them and use the future the best way possible. I have mine, such as I wish I had been more outgoing in my younger years and took more risks, but I use these things today and am a better person now, which frankly, my life is better now that I have my husband and son. Great list! Mine is up!

Pink Chihuahua Princess said...

I really agree with you about the library. I've just become a big reader in the last year or so, and you are right. Books do seem to have their own magic. I always thought it was cheesey when people would tell me "books can take you places," but I'm finding its really true.

Happy Thursday!

YellowRose said...

I think we all live with some regrets, with some what if's, but as we walk down the path we have chosen, we can always choose to veer off in different directions so those regrets can be turned into something postive. Great post.

anneberit said...

I remember clearly when I first dyed my hair, not green, but red. I was so scared; afraid to come out looking like a freak. Later I found it was so much fun; and since then I've done it plenty of times. It made me feel that I, in a small way, had crossed a line and done it and nothing bad happened!

Why not go and dye your hair, or a small part off it, green. One regrett crossed out and you're on your way figuring out what you want to do in your life....

Hugs

Sherri said...

Wow...what an inciteful list...I wished for ballet classes as a child, but they never happened, so I enrolled a couple of years ago...it's ok to start in your 30's! And I love to sing, but how I wish I had the kind of range you have...I basically have an octave comfortably. And I totally get about the working for dinosaurs and wishing to have broken out when I was younger....Oh I GET most of your list...that's for sure!

...my list is up:)

the_yecart said...

I think regret is good for the soul. I regret lots of things, but I've learned from them and I try not to make the same mistakes again.

I make new ones! :-)

One Scrappy Gal said...

I wish I had died my hair green too in my 20s.

I'm in my early 30s now... and if I died my hair green or purple...my bosses (kids) wouldn't care. But dare I be that brave? :)

bart said...

thanks for the totally honest list, and the courage you find to put feelings to words in your own inimitable way... you've run the rapids of life and probably still have more to come, but your qualities of analysis and self-perception are amazing at moments and probably that's why you're the survivor you always were...

keep well...

Lauren said...

Your list made me sad and I refuse to start thinking about my regrets so I must leave now.

My TT is up too.

Janet (fondofsnape@gmail.com) said...

Fortunately, I did live close to a library and walked to it often during the summer...I was a child who LOVED to read, and it was soooo cool in there and the small...dang I miss that!

I've given up having regrets...life's too flippin' short!

Wendy said...

I have often wondered what my life would be like if I had taken different paths in life. I've never lived on my own, I've never traveled for pleasure, I've never.....my list is endless.

Lifecruiser said...

This was a really personal and thoughtful list indeed.

Well written too, it sounds like it really came right from the bottom of your heart, sincerley.

Maybe it's not too late to do something about some of the regrets? Not exactly like you'd wished it to be, but something similar or completely different instead? Make up some new ones?

An unusual list, which makes it very special :-)

TLC said...

Cheryl, I think this was your best list yet. Very real. Thanks for being so transparent. Remember, regrets are one of those things you just can't afford, because to look back is to stop moving. When you stop moving you stop growing. Once in a while sitting, ruminating or waxing poetic is necessary and even good for you. Just don't get stuck there.

Useless Man said...

Nice list :-)

Seriously though, I love reading these lists as they really reveal the author for the casual reader. Some readers we're going to like, love, admire, and some we're going to simply hit next blog on.

Either way, I commend all of you for taking on this wonderful task each week. In many ways it's more naked than Half Nekkid Thursdays.

As for my list? I haven't got one. I'm useless.

fazamania said...

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chosha said...

Interesting. My artistic regret is drama. I did some plays in high school and I was reasonable good at the acting thing, plus enjoyed the production, lighting, sets, props side of it, too. I never had any lofty ambitions, but I wish I'd kept it as a hobby over the years. Even if I start again now with an amateur company, I still see the years in between as a lot of lost opportunities.