The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What I may or may not regret

What defines regret? Something we wish we had done? The opposite? Goals that went unachieved? I sit unmoving eyes surveying the sundrenched scenery around me, listening to the stereotypical coffee house music. My eyes glaze as I begin wondering about my life in the future, will I have regrets? I feel a sense of something unsettling drop into the pit of my stomach. I can feel my brow furrowing. Do I already have some? My mouth scrunches to the side with this thought. Maybe I do.

I’ve thought on and off about regret throughout my life. I’m susceptible to this line of pondering simply of my choice of making my passion of dance into a career. Sound contradictory? One should realize that my career has been eighteen years in the making. That means I have spent eighteen years constantly working on my craft. A craft that may be one of the most competitive, demoralizing, and disappointing arts that people decided to create. With this context, sacrifice seems like an obvious side effect. Even with my devotion, I know I can feel something lurking in the ether of my mind. It’s the stalking of the “what if” demon. By the way there are two types of these demons, the Bad and the Good. This is the Bad one. This particular type of demon chases a lot of people who have high-risk career paths, where the “what if ” demon feeds solely on those thoughts. Soon those ideas become endless and multiply and suddenly you’re sitting there thinking about regrets you might not even have yet.

Currently my list of “what if’s” include:

“What if I could have done something easier? Something that I love more, I just didn’t realize it because I was too busy with dance?”

“What if my career is cut short? Then what do I do?”

“What if I’m better at something else?”

“What if I fail?”

That idea of failure might be my largest and most feared “what if” I know. Although I believe in positive thinking, no matter how positive I can be this very question is my constant fear. Should I fail, I would feel as if I wasted so much time and so much of my life. Some might argue it wasn’t a waste of time because it shaped me as a person. To them I would say, try telling that to someone that fails at what they did for so long and has nothing come from that very activity. It’s rough.

With all this reflection I decide I need a break from this downward-spiraled thinking. Taking a moment, I begin realizing that I haven’t failed yet. In fact, I haven’t even really had a chance at my career because I still am in school. I sit and my eyes begin refocusing as the fuzzy shapes of people begin defining themselves again in my sight. I am back in the dimly lit coffee shop and no longer in the cerebral world of “What if’s” and regrets. I look down at the table and notice my notebook from Jazz. I flip through the corrections on each page and start thinking about how I can improve from the prior class. I look up and the clock reads ten past one. I have modern in five minutes. I get up, pack my things, and as I walk to the studio all my musings dissipate into the blinding light and sharp winds around me.


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