Everyone imagines handling that experience differently. Everyone wishes they would have stood up to that bully or had the guts to ask that person to dance or tried out for that team.
Yet, regret doesn’t have to be this empty void. Regret can simply mean that the experience left us with the feeling of wanting us to do better. An experience we can look back on and learn from.
The thing is, each of our high school experiences is one mistake laid on top of another. Because when we are doing something for the first time, we are faking it. Because no one goes into it already have it mastered.
It turns out it isn’t just high school but also our first job, going to college, first time riding a bike…you are not that good the first time through.
And how do you know you had a good high school experience anyway? Was it the grades? The popularity? Or was it what you actually learned?
I can safely say that memorizing when the War of 1812 took place isn’t a good measure. What mattered was when we did something for the first time.
That feeling is how we know when we are alive.
Opening new doors doesn’t come very often the older we get. But that is a choice we make. A choice to play it safe, to dial it back. As a result, we lose what it means to be human.
When is the last time you did something for the first time?