Mistakes. They’re a fact of life. Unavoidable, sometimes excusable, always inevitable. Whether they’re grand or dismissible, whether they’re rectifiable or complete, they happen. We’re not born perfect, with perfect brains or perfect thought processes or perfect reasoning skills or perfect processes of deduction. And so we make them.
What we do following a mistake is really where all the difference in the world rests. Do we beat ourselves up over it, damning our actions and berating our choices, dwelling on what we did, refusing to move forward? Do we wonder in bewilderment how it happened, yet continue doing the same thing we were doing before we made the mistake, sure to repeat it again because we are unable to see? Do we evaluate what we’ve done, take away the tough lessons, and correct our methods for the future, secure in the fact that what occurred had meaning for occurring?
For as flighty and impulsive as I am (or may seem), I am generally decent at learning from my mistakes. It might take a little while – I tend to be stubborn or bullheaded, at times – but I come around. Sometimes in my own time, sometimes in good time, but more or less, in time. I am a firm supporter of the mantra, “Everything happens for a reason,” and as long as I can find a reason, I believe it. The desperate brain will concoct the strangest of things when it wants to see the light. But mostly, humans thrive off of having the answer. I’m no exception.
Some mistakes, however, plague me. Even if I logically understand why I did what I did, and why it needed to happen the way it did, I still have trouble letting a few particularly notable mistakes go. I ask myself how I could’ve been so stupid, why I simply didn’t listen to myself, how I could’ve been so numb to the reality. I don’t come up with excuses. I knew better. I continued anyway.
Because, as you can see, although I’m fully capable of processing why something happened and I’m also quite adept at making sure I will avoid said circumstances or situations again, I kick myself over and over for some mistakes.
No, it’s not healthy. And no, it’s not fair. And even though it’s a fact of life that mistakes will come and mistakes will go, sometimes, regret lingers far longer than any ol’ lesson ever does.