Some people appreciate art, including tattoo—so do I. Since I was a kid I find tattoo as a nice body art, it is like an expensive drawing in a canvass. I first started think about getting it since I was in high school, but I deliberately waited a long time. I got my tattoo a year after having my degree, and like others I regretted it instantly. And by regretted it I stepped outside that tattoo place and had a huge emotional meltdown.
I was shocked by myself because prior to the inking session, I had prided myself on having definitely no regrets. I made a lot of mistakes and dumb decision but I always felt I made the best choice I could make, given who I was then, and the information I had on hand. I learnt a lesson from it. It somehow got me to where I am in right now. And I wouldn’t change it. In other words lamenting things that occurred in the past is an absolute waste of time; we should always look forward and not backward, and try the best to live a life free of regrets.
‘’Things without all remedy should be without regard; what’s done is done.’’ This is such an admirable philosophy that something we might all agree to sign on to, a nice quotes said by Lady Macbeth to her husband. But on the other hand I think that to live functional and being human, you need to learn to live, not without regret, but with it.
Regret is the emotion we experience when we think that our present situation could be better or happier if we had done something different in the part, we took different path before heading to something. And it is painfully easy to imagine that you could have made different decision that would have led to a better outcome. We feel regret when we think we are responsible for a decision that came out badly, but almost came out well.
We have a vast body of literature on consumer and financial decision and the regrets associated with them—buyer’s remorse, basically. But then some researchers to step back and say, well OKAY, but overall, what do we regret most in life?
I think top of the things we regret the most in life is EDUCATION, all of our regrets pertain to decisions we made about education. We wish we’ve got more of it, and take better advantage of education that we did have. We wish we’d chosen to study different field. Others very high on our list of regrets include career, romance, parenting, various decisions and choices about our sense of self, and how we spend our leisure time—or more specifically, how we failed to spend our leisure time. The remaining regrets pertain to these things; finance, family issues unrelated to romance or parenting, health, friends, and community. Our financial decisions account less for our total regrets. So if you are confuse which one you buy, Samsung or iPhone product, let it go. Don’t stress much yourself. Odds are, you’re not going to care about it after few years.
For the things that we really care about and do experience profound regret around, what does the experience feel like? It feels terrible. Regret feels awful. But it turns out that regret feels awful in four very specific and consistent ways.
First is denial. When I went that time after getting that tattoo, I stayed up until late night. There’s exactly one thought in my mind—Make it go away, and I want my mom now! This is primitive emotional response. We’re not trying to solve the problem. We’re not trying to understand how the problem came about. We just want it to vanish right away.
The second characteristic is a sense of bewilderment. So the other thing that night that popped out in my mind was— What was I thinking? There is real sense of alienation from the part of us that made a decision we regret. We can’t identify with that part. We don’t understand that part. And we certainly don’t have empathy for that part—which explains the third component of regret, which is an intense desire to punish ourselves. That’s why in the face of our regret, the thing we can consistently say is ‘’I could’ve kicked myself then.’’ The fourth component is that regret is what we called perseveration. To perseverate means to focus obsessively and repeatedly on the same thing. Now the effect of perseveration is basically take these first three components of regrets and put them on infinite loop.
But there’s also a fifth one, and I think of this is a kind of existence wake-up call. I spent the rest of the night before I fall asleep with the thought of skin grafts or a laser. Then I thought about how my mom will cover for this act of idiocy. The whole point of acts of idiocy is that they leave you totally uninsured; they leave you exposed to the world and exposed to your own vulnerability and fallibility in face of a fairly indifferent universe.
The intensity and persistence with which we experience these emotional components of regret is obviously going to vary depending on the specific thing that we’re feeling grateful about. Sometimes we do make decisions that have irrevocable and terrible consequences, either for our own or for other people.
I think as individual we supposed to live with three things that will help us to make peace with regret. And the first of these is seeks comfort in its universality. Having tattoo is not a taboo in most society nowadays, besides at the first place when I have my tattoo it’s by my own will and choice. The second way is to laugh at ourselves. In my case, this wasn’t a problem, because it’s very easy to laugh at yourself when you’re 24 and you want your mum because you don’t like your new tattoo. All of us that experience regrets that contains pain and grief understand that humor and even black humor plays a role in helping us to survive. It connects the poles of our lives back together, and sent a little current of life back into us. The third way we can make our piece with regret is through the passage of time, which as we know time heals all wounds—except for tattoos, which are permanent.
So it’s been few years back since I’ve got my tattoo. It’s actually not that hideous. Some people when they see my tattoo, for the most part they find it simple on how it looks. But I don’t mind it because it’s not really they’re opinion that matter the most, it’s on what the story behind with the simple text tattoo in my wrist. I mean it!
Some of our regrets in life are not as ugly as we think they are. I love this simple art written in my wrist because my mother means a world to me.
It reminds me of constantly the most important lesson regret can teach us. If we have goals and dreams, and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them, or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets, but not to hate ourselves for having them.
The lesson that I ultimately learned from my tattoo is, We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we can do better.
PEOPLE DEFINE HAPPINESS
When a guy broke my heart somewhere in last quarter of 2013 my friends and I decided for a long ride going to South of Cebu to enjoy the white sand and the tempting crystal clear water. Long hour that occupied of silly talks and in between they let me cry, and handed me a drink. There I was, a heart broken but a smile and a good laugh with friends painted in my face, and it is something like hope rising in my heart.
Happiness is people— the friends who will weather any crisis with you, the camaraderie we share, and the moments that remind you that no matter what, you are never alone. Now that I am in my mid 20s, I see how incredibly important it is to have a strong support system of positive people you trust and who you know will be with you through the good and the ugly. The true secret is no secret; if you have good people, happiness will never escape you.
HAPPINESS IS THE ATTEMPT
That time I was striking and eager to stand by my own feet and manage my own financial concern. When I was in between jobs and figuring out what the heck I am going to do with my life, I started writing. I wrote the thing about my sentiments in life, the learning I gain in my journey until today, the things I wish I had figured out sooner, the process of transitioning adulthood—I am overwhelmed with the comments of strangers about my writings and somehow made a connection with them by replying their comments. I never had the courage before to let my words speak something in public. I didn’t believe in myself enough until I got to a point where I had nothing left to prove. What I found in that one little leap of faith is that trying new things adds to the joy of living. No endeavor offers surefire certainty, but the chance to do something that carries the weight of potential success is truly amazing. Happiness is the attempt—not the destination but all the steps it takes to get there. To try makes heroes out of us all. And there is no finer happiness than feeling like you’re even just little bit superhuman. And what I have learned from that is the happiness is showing the world what you’re made of. Perhaps, even more so, happiness is living a life you’re unbelievably proud of.
I just turned 24 this year. Sometimes I’m tempted to moan about this journey into adulthood. But then I see where the journey has taken me. As you get older, you find that it doesn’t take much to sow and reap joy.
I started my year out of the country and I consider it as a long break that is required for myself to see a better version of me the next steps I will make. It’s my choice to grow up emotionally and lay the healing process to time.
Just one afternoon, I spent time with a new found friend in one shopping center to buy some baby’s stuffs, and talked about everything under the sun. There was no huge event, no surprises, no lavish plans, but there was good food, hot drinks and great company. I wished I had learned this earlier on in life that happiness is about appreciating the small things. The sooner you find the courage it takes to be grateful for even the smallest thing, there’s nowhere you can go that will even leave your spirit too dejected for long. I’ve found it helpful making a list of the things I am grateful for, be it the weather outside the window, my favorite song in my playlist, or even a smile of a stranger. In finding these small treasures in the everyday nuances of life, I’ve found a silver lining, things to always be inspired by or hopeful about. And that just about kicks my sadness in the butt.
I believe that sadness is a stems from a discontent. Dissatisfaction from life and the way things are going. But there is an infinite number of ways to change that. You are the hero of your own life and you can make the choice to be happy and to launch into the adventures that will catapult you into something beautiful. When we become part of better stories, we choose to involve ourselves in things that go beyond ourselves. We create connections, join chapters with other people. Happiness is giving back. By far, the best happiness we can get from life is the chance to make another person happy.
I’m not saying to be sad is wrong—sadness is a natural condition. I believe what is wrong is falling in love with your sadness. It’s too easy, it’s not healthy, and there is a far better life waiting for you beyond that heavy heart. Sadness costs. Happiness, on the other hand, is free and weighs as light as cotton.
YOU MEET SOMEONE.
YOU TWO GET CLOSE
IT’S ALL GREAT FOR AWHILE
THEN SOMEONE STOPS TRYING
TALK LESS. AWKWARD CONVERSATION
NO COMMUNICATION WHATSOEVER
MEMORIES START TO FADE
THEN THAT PERSON YOU KNOW
BECOMES THAT PERSON YOU KNEW.
THAT’S HOW IT USUALLY GOES, RIGHT?
SAD ISN’T it?
There are things in life that we are not certain if we should let it go, leave it behind and move on..We are perfectly sure that’s the best thing to do..Easy to say yet too hard to do because no matter how best your surgeons are, the wound will still dehisence or worst,eviscerate..No matter how you break the chain of infection,still the agent are so strong and developed immunity to anti-biotic or any general nursing care you made..The pain will stay..That’s the reason it’s too hard to move on and get a life..It’s very destructing when you know the causative agent is still there,roaming around the world, having a life on it’s own and dominating..Infecting others..So sad,our immune system are slow to kill the pain..Good for them,their’s are strong.
MISSING late night talk with a person who was once a stranger then a friend
I love that soft golden glow when the first sunrays hit the queen city of south—Cebu in the morning. People struggling their way through the dust and smoke, losing themselves in the city. People says as the city keeps growing there is no space left for love among the people, they just love their jobs, their offices, their university and their money.
Real love only find place in the pages of ancient books, or in a two hours glimpse on the big screen. Sometimes it happened in a coffee shop…. But no, love was definitely a labor lost.
That one morning I saw…it leaped out of a fairy, and it come to me. I don’t know their names all I knew for sure something they were both intensely in love. Every day at the same time they would come to that jeepny stop waiting area. Even in the crowd, they shone through— a blindingly white picture of pure love. Just like in a cheesy advertisement —I call them Mr. and Mrs. M. As the jeepny arrived Mrs. M touch Mr. M bag across his shoulders, and holding hands they’ll struggle aboard the jeepny. As the jeepny start its engine, Mr. M hold Mrs. M hand while she pull out a purple magic ball from her bag, and she start asking question to him and shake that magic ball for confirmation answer if it’s a ‘’YES, NO, or MAYBE’’. That laughter and smiles they have in their faces like they don’t care the other passengers. Blissful picture of a couple that own the world.
Days, weeks, months goes by that smile and laugh spread within the minutes they spend sitting in the jeepny while doing some thumb fight in between. Sometimes in a while its Mr. M who will ask her and shake that purple magic ball with happiness.
But…..It all change, there was no Mr. M, no Mrs. M— and no warm glooming smile.
Then one day ‘’I’’ caught a glimpse of Mrs. M alone in that jeepny stop. I manage to get in to the approaching jeepny with her, and had the chance to sit beside her. Wondering why she’s alone, suddenly I asked her without any second thought ‘’Where is that guy that used to be with you every morning?’’. Minutes of silence, and I feel annoyed or embarrass that she ignore me, but the silence broke with a low voice of her ‘’He’s gone, not with me anymore’’.
As it always the jeepny stopped at the terminal. So many people clambering to get on and off the jeepny. Some wanted to go to the next stop and some just to get off sooner. Just like those people we met in life, some will walk with us a li’l longer, few will stay with us until the end and others will stop after a few steps.
What exactly happened was she’s so stubborn, she choose to find herself, to love herself a little bit more and see the world without being dependent and pampered by him. She needs time, but she didn’t realize that she’s asking too much, that it caused pain to him in some ways. He left for good.
Since the day he left, Mrs. M knew and feel the presence of that ‘’love’’ of old books outside the pages of a long forgotten stories. It was there, in all their efforts to spend just that few minutes together every day in a simple way that always great thing to remember and keep by heart.
It’s a holiday. Nothing to do and it’s a lazy day at home for me. I’m feeling bored doing nothing and alone in these 4 corners in my room. Suddenly I thought of updating my mobile apps as well as cleaning my laptop, deleting some nonsense and useless files that are just memory consumption that cause my device to work slow and pissed me off.
So here I am scanning, browsing and found some old hidden files. Whammo! The oldest files are about 4 years old if my memory is good enough to retain things. Photograph of yesterday. I want to save it but a part of me is telling ‘’What for’’. So without a second thought I press CTRL DEL and YES.
And then I came across to other folders, an important documents popped. And in my surprise I saw his picture with me when I was just about 2 years old, a man with mustache, a good shape nose and with big brown eyes. He is holding my hands while he is standing in my back and the picture look like he is walking behind me to watch my steps as I am learning to walk at that age. That man is my father.
I am his everything, a gem that he never want to lose and the product of his story once upon a time in his young age. Some may think or see me as my father mistake but he never accepted nor thinks that way. He never failed to let me feel that I am one of the bravest choices he made in life.
That moment when he knows he’s going to have his first born (me) I know t’was a formidable time for him as I came on the stage of his life when he just started his career but despite of that he always tell me that I am the best thing that happened to him despite of the path he choose.
Since the day the he first held my little finger, looking straight in my eyes and that day I first smiled at him—it was the day he keep telling himself that I belong to him, that I am his precious treasure. That it was his blood that runs in my veins. On that day onward I made him a father, making him a responsible man to me.
He is there to help me throughout my balance in life; he always wants to catch me before I fall, picks me up, brushes me off and let me try again. He don’t miss to scold me many time if I break the rules but he is also the one who proudly shines even with the smallest achievement I’ve got. He wants to keep me making mistake but instead he let me find my own way even though his heart breaks in silence when I am hurt.
Thanks to him for shaping my life and teach me as much as he can, for taking the time, for showing me the way, for being there when I need him, for every single day, for showing me what is good from bad and for helping me building my dream come true.He is no ordinary man; he make me everything I am. I am pretty bliss being blessed being his daughter.
I love him not because of what he has but it because of what my father made me.
Dada you always tell me that story when I was in my teen-stage that one day that prince will find me and take me away from your kingdom. But I like to tell you now that no matter what happen, may that prince will bring me to his castle and we’ll have our own kingdom, it will never and won’t change the fact that you’re my hero, my bravest man, my soldier, my first love and my man forever.