When you look back on some events in your life you sometimes can’t help the feeling you would have done this or that otherwise if you had the chance to put it right. Or at times you think: next time I will do better. However, as it happens sometimes, there is no next time.
I can’t think of many things to regret because I usually tend to take things as they are and take them rather as lessons learned. But of course there are a few things I’ve done I am not particularly proud of. Things, though it’s hard for me to admit, I do regret.
Once I took a picture of a man in Notting Hill at the Portobello market. On the street there stood a large picture frame – it was just a frame and it made everything behind it look as though it was a painting. This man was sitting behind it and was eating a chicken leg. I took a picture of him because for a second or two it seemed like a good idea for a photo. This man was sitting though because he was on a wheelchair. The moment I took that picture he looked at me. I didn’t realise until then what a fool I’d made of myself. He surely must have thought I am taking that photo because he’s on a wheelchair or because he’s eating a chicken with his fingers and I am mocking him. Or both. I instantly felt my whole face blush and I simply turned and ran away as quickly as possible. When I looked at the picture later, that sad/slightly disturbed look on his face nearly broke my heart. I couldn’t bear it and deleted it. I hate it myself when someone is looking at me while I eat, let alone if he was taking a picture of me, let alone if I was on a wheelchair and had enough problems as it is. Writing about it here is my poor and selfish attempt for atonement.
Couple of months ago I was waiting at a bus stop. There was a man selling a magazine supporting homeless people, something like Big Issue but Slovakian version called “Nota Bene”. With a sweet and soft, barely audible, voice he was calling out: “magazine”, “magazine”. The way he said it moved me, as well as his appearance – he looked like a tender man. For good 2 minutes I was thinking I’m gonna buy the magazine from him. Just when I decided and was taking out my wallet my bus arrived and I had to go. It took me too long to decide. If only I could decide faster I wouldn’t have regretted it now. After I got on the bus, I thought to myself: Next time I will see him here, I will buy the magazine from him. You might have guessed it already: I go around there every once in a while but I never saw him again.
One time I was going to say goodbye to my friend as I was leaving for home. Before I was supposed to meet her I went to a book shop to buy her something as a goodbye present. In there, nothing really caught my attention and being in a bit of a rush I wasn’t able to find anything she might appreciate or like. I ended up buying only a greeting card, on which I wrote some words of farewell. I wasn’t exactly satisfied with just that and was secretly hoping she is not going to give me anything. Wrong. Of course she did, deep down I knew she would, and I felt terrible. Especially because the presents were great. Afterwards I mended the situation in a way but the bad feeling remained. I was telling myself: Next time if you intend to do something, simply do it, in whatever way possible. Just don’t make up excuses for not doing so.
Life sometimes gives you second chances. But only when it doesn’t you realise how bitter a price you must pay for your wrong choices. You might think: “Whaaat is she talking about? All of the three things were nothing serious or tragic.” No they were not indeed. But all three of them were things I cannot fix but I wish I could. I wrote about them because it makes me feel better.
I thought of these three regrets because lately I was again dealing with a thing I wish to fix. This time it was a bit more serious. I was trying to turn back time and repeat something from the past in the future. But the mission failed. Some mistakes you just cannot put right. Especially when the heart is at stake.