Cancer can strike anyone, anytime, and life as we know it could completely change. Does one feel regrets for what has changed, then?
Rihanna, the pop queen has said, “The minute you learn to love yourself, you won’t want to be anyone else.” We don’t credit pop psychology to make much sense, but it’s possible that Rihanna had it right all along!
But what has loving yourself got to do with living a life without regrets? I live with myself every day, each day moving forward with dimming regrets and I want to tell you how it is that way.
I had been working as a pediatric dentist at a dental hospital for ten years. I had achieved the lofty status of a professor as well. Life was good, situated at the top of the globe. So it was quite easily a life without regrets earning, living and hoping for more always.
Life hit me hard when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (a form of blood cancer) when I was 36 years 9 months (I’m 39 now).
Things rapidly turned upside down as I migrated to living life hanging by a thread. Luckily, I recovered, but the journey was long and bumpy. Chemo, hair loss, a shift of career, tears, hospital admissions and a whole lot of prayers later, I still exist, but is it without regret?
After recovery, I felt unable to pursue my dental job, so I took to writing as a career – something that had always been on the back burner. After all, who earns through writing? But as I began to earn, I saw writing as a serious and lucrative profession.
My past seemed like a very structured, well defined and clear road at that time. I felt like I knew where I was going and how my life would turn out. My dental career had been laid to rest, and a more unpredictable writing career had taken its place. Was predictability equal to non-regret-ability? Was change regretful? I had no clue of the storms awaiting. I also didn’t know that rainbows would succeed in the bad weather either.
Regrets come when you think you should have known better, or that life is a fixed path. But is it?
The big fat truth glaring at me was that I didn’t know then what was to come, and I don’t know now what will follow. Life can hit you with a curveball when you least expect it, and simultaneously give you moments of pure, unadulterated joy. In finding myself, I have found a new person lying underneath the dentist I had known all these years.
Looking forward without is a gift you can gift yourself without regrets. I fell, stumbled, got up on my knees and I’m still standing – what is there to regret?
Regrets are like mirages – beautiful images that don’t exist. I live in the real world – squishy, hot, bothering, soulful, irritating, joyful, beaming, and non-regretful.
Finally, when I am tempted to peek at the past, these words by Maya Angelou shine down on me and remind me that I am here and I am where I should be right here, right now: “But still, like dust, I rise.” And may I add, with No Regrets.
Image source: pexels
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I am a freelance writer, well versed in copywriting and blog writing. I’m hardworking,
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