Dear future me,
I want to talk to you. I am afraid of the generation you belong to. I am afraid that you forgot how important it is to reflect about yourself. I am afraid that you are rushing through life, just looking at images without reading the description to them, without taking a closer look. And I am afraid that you forgot how important it is to read what was written down by past generations… because you can’t hear them anymore… because they had to say something that might be just as important to you. I know that your time is limited and that you are probably busy with running in circles, but they said the web is eternal and this electronic letter will reach you someday, somehow… And if it doesn’t work out, at least I tried. So, I ask you, please take your time to read this, your crazy fast-moving world has to wait now, you won’t regret it, because regret is never about the things you did do.
I want to talk to you about something. I want to talk to you about regrets. You might ask yourself right now why I want to talk about such a sad topic and if it is really necessary, if it is worth your precious time. It is. I am younger than you and I still have to learn a lot about life, but when I know something for sure, it is that I have to say something you should listen to and in the end you’ll know why.
Have you ever asked yourself what you regret in life? I know that you do it now, but do you know how important this question should have been to you before I asked you that? People are constantly suppressing the answer to this question, also known as the reality. Try it out, go on the streets and ask people about their regrets. Their answer will be most likely “I don’t have any regrets, because all my decisions made me who I am today.” or at least something of that nature. But some people will be honest and go into themselves and realize that this is not the exact truth, that there are things that they actually regret. You might be shaking your head right now, but people forget that regrets aren’t about the things you did do. Remember the time you wanted to study abroad? The day you had the chance to say I love you? The job offer you were so keen on? The time you wanted to go travel on your own leaving all your problems behind? Do you remember that you said no to all of this? That you didn’t do what you actually wanted to do? Because you were afraid, because you didn’t want to take risks and because you were just too young to know better. Of course you remember all these things. There is an inner feeling that you can’t let go of and that tells you that you should have done all this. You remember it, because you’ll be reminded of these things every day. This is what regret is about. Regret is not about the things we did do in life, but about the things we didn’t do.
Perhaps you don’t agree to that right now because you want to prove the contrary. You think that there are things that you did do and that you regret today: crying after your ex-boyfriend for too long, studying something you didn’t like, following the advice of the wrong person, saying something you shouldn’t have said. But are these really regrets? Do you regret that you know it better the next time because you learned from it? I don’t think so. Because all the things you actually did do in life are the things that made you learn and that let you become the person you are today and I am pretty sure that you aren’t regretting that. What you regret are only the things you didn’t do because you learn nothing from staying in your comfort zone.
I didn’t write this letter to tell you how you should live your life. I wrote it because I wanted to congratulate you and remind you that you are doing a great job. I want you to read this letter and I want you to be happy because you realize that you did leave your comfort zone and that you tried something new… that you moved away without knowing what this will be like… that you travelled the world… that you started taking piano lessons because you always wanted to… that you broke up with him because you knew he wasn’t the right guy… that you bought that house because you always wanted to live at the seaside… While reading this I want you to remember that you should keep that going. Because at the end of your life you’ll look back happily and realize that you didn’t just exist, but that you actually lived.