I’ve missed birthdays, graduations, engagements, weddings, baby showers, family gatherings, even some funerals, parties, and countless other events that are important to most people. Other than saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t make it.“, I’ve never had a better answer because there is no better answer, only excuses. Nobody likes such people. In an alternate reality, I know I wouldn’t – but people keep expectations of you. And once those expectations aren’t fulfilled, it breaks their heart, and they feel hurt.

This path has always been rigid, loaded with sacrifices. Many people in my life that I’ve liked, loved, or cared for leave at some point, some even sooner than I anticipated – I’ve been heartbroken at that moment. I’m still getting used to it & I doubt I ever will. I’ve recently accepted that we can never ask, request or beg anyone to stay in our lives. Because the ones that want to, will stay no matter what, and those who don’t – will leave no matter what. The last thing I want is someone to have regrets for being with or around me. I don’t want anyone to miss out on something they’ve always wanted to do.

This life might not be complicated as most people think it is, but it’s serious, disciplined, and regulated for its own sake. And I wish that things were different. I’ve come across situations where it’s been stressful & I’ve been inundated with hard choices. We have to let people go from our lives, for better or worse, and it has hurt.

There have also been situations where I’ve burned bridges for my own sake – because deep down, I knew nothing good might come out of it in the long term. “To get somewhere, you have to leave something behind“—Newton’s third law. I doubt there is any regret in this case, but occasionally once in a blue moon, it’s hard not to think, what if?

I’ve made mistakes in life every step of the way, but rarely any major ones – I’m glad I made mistakes in academics, work, research, etc., as I learned the most while I was learning from my mistakes. I’m not very proud of the mistakes I made in relationships. By relationships, I do not mean romantic – but of all types. Sadly, there is no manual/handbook for human life. Every individual is different, and everyone sees and operates in life. I’ve unintentionally hurt people I would never dream of hurting. I’ve beaten myself to a pulp for it in my head. I only wished I could take back the words I said to strangers or acquaintances only because I wasn’t in my right head because I knew the power of my words.

And all I can say is – it is okay to make mistakes, but we shouldn’t let them hold us back.

There have been situations where I’ve felt to go back in time and fix my mistakes which have kept me awake at night. I so wanted to go back in time and either not make those mistakes, encourage myself to be better, or remove myself from the occasion to avoid the mishap entirely. These are all would’ve, should’ve, could’ve, and they don’t help us.

But this whole thing would be very selfish of me. Why? Recently I got hurt because of someone’s act. If I did go back in time and manage to stop myself from trying to help this person in their low state, it would be self-centering of me to let that person go through it, knowing I could help and make the situation better. Even if the fallout of the whole ordeal was less than ideal and I felt burnt.

The question then becomes, Do I let this person go through knowing what will hit them by erasing my entire existence from their life OR continue with everything that I do, live the same timeline knowing that I’m going to get hurt. The movie “Arrival” has a similar plot, where the protagonist sees her future & her getting hurt and still goes with it anyway. Burdens like these are not easy to bear. The hardest choices take the strongest of wills. If you already know how you will end up, and you still go through with it, accepting that being hurt in the end is not worth all the trouble, you are brave.

We have to let it go – so that it doesn’t hinder our present and definitely doesn’t ruin our past.