The other day, I took a good look at myself in the mirror. That’s not to say I don’t look in the mirror every day when I brush my teeth, brush my hair, or trim my beard. It’s just that I really really looked at myself in the mirror. Man, I looked old.
Nowadays, I’m not only sporting hair on my face, but it grows out of my ears, my nose, and all other places on my body. My face has plenty of laugh or worry lines, your pick, and my skin seems a little rougher. My hair is also more salt than pepper on top of my head while my beard and mustache are nearly white…with the exception of just over my upper lip…that seems to be the color of whatever I ate or drank. I usually spend some time washing that out.
Still, my deep look in the mirror wasn’t just about how my appearance has changed, it was a deeper look at who I am at this stage of my life. It’s easy to look back and realize, “I didn’t plan this,” but the fact remains, all my choices in life led to this. I am who I am because of those choices. Some choices were good and some were bad, but they all combine to make me that guy in the mirror…that guy I’m not totally sure of.
By this time in my life, I had hoped I would be a successful writer. Choices throughout my life have prevented this from happening. Sure, I might not have the skills to be a best-selling novelist, but that’s not the point here. The point is that I’ve never really given myself the chance to do this. My choices were more about survival and what was good for my family as opposed to what was, what I thought, good for me. I had responsibilities that took priority over me.
Now, it would be easy to say I could’ve been writing in my spare time all this time and the truth is, I often tried. Between procrastination and worldly stress, it just didn’t happen. Now I look at that guy in the mirror and wonder why?
Since I am someone who tries not to look at regrets, I tore myself away from that mirror and went on with my day. The difference between this time and any other time I’ve taken a deep look at myself in the mirror is that this time I was unable to shake off the regret. It’s still hanging over me like a black cloud. I’m hoping that if I write about it, I can exercise the demon of regret for a while.
One of the things I do whenever I feel regretful is to look at what good came from this life of my choices. My wife, my kids, my grandkids, and some of my friends would’ve never happened if I had made other choices. Even though it’s true that if I would’ve made other choices I wouldn’t be aware of this, but the reality is that I am aware. I am aware and have no regrets about my family. They are my life.
I think I just cured myself.