"I want to go back
And do it all over again
But I can't go back I know
I want to go back
'Cause I'm feeling so much older
But I can't go back I know"
As I have grown older (as we all do), I have started reflecting more on my life and what I have done well, what I have enjoyed and enjoyed and what I wish I could do over but I know that I can't because there are no do-overs in life.
Looking back on the years gone by
The years seem to go by faster and faster each year and I don't really have time to reflect but when I do, I think I would do the following differently.
- I wish I had made more friends in High School and participated in more activities. I played in the marching band and participated in Y.M.C.A sports, but I wish I had played at least one High School sport, and participated in more clubs or extracurricular activities.
- In college, I wish I had made better grades and focused more on what I wanted to do after college. I was young and made a lot of mistakes. I also wish I had joined a fraternity because the college I went to (Elon) was very much focused on fraternities and sororities for social connections and belonging to a fraternity would have given me a big group of lifelong friends and connections.
- After college, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my career and the USA was in a really big economic recession at the time so I took a low-level job just to have some income and gain some real-world experience. I was miserable and barely able to make ends meet. If I had to do it all over again, I would join the military and serve my country for a few years while I gained new skills and could go into a better job market to start my career.
- As far as my career, I am happy for the most part but when you look back there are always things you would do differently, am I right? I took some jobs just to have some income and they did nothing for my career. I also had some misfortune with some lay-offs with companies I enjoyed working for a wanted to stay longer.
- Early in my career, I wasn't making much money and it seemed I would often run out of money before the month. If I was able to make ends meet it was barely. I ran up some debt quickly and really regret that. In particular, I had a lot of credit card debt, and paying off a lot of debt is really an uphill climb.
- Since I struggled a lot financially early in my career, I didn't start saving money early enough. If I had started earlier the savings would have compounded and would be pretty impressive today, but I only started saving and investing a few years ago so my retirement savings are meager. Benjamin Franklin wasn't kidding when he said "A penny saved is a penny earned". I also like to remind myself of another quote I heard recently. "Only poor people pay interest. Rich people EARN interest."
It would be great to be able to live a life with no regrets. Maybe some people do have such a life, but unfortunately, I do not. I have made many mistakes and definitely have regrets. I write this blog post as therapy (I like to write) and also to reflect on the past while having a much more optimistic view of the future.