I Got 99 Regrets, But My Hair Ain’t One

pantone3

“My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.”
~ Woody Allen

Regret is a word I hate. It’s too formal. It leads to too many bad things. “We regret to inform you…”

That word always leaves me pissed off.  Yet, I experience this emotion every single day.

I regret virtually every decision I ever make: from my daily appearance, to choosing my activities, or reactions to events. No single detail escapes my doubts. I wish I was joking, but truthfully, there is always a little uncertainty in all of my choices. Every path I use, I always think it’s the wrong one; doesn’t matter how far down it I’ve gone.

I always think of the path I didn’t take, the boys I didn’t date, the food I didn’t make. Regret is my Jiminy Cricket, the voice telling me I’m wrong. Sometimes it’s instantaneous, like leaving the convenience store full of crap food when I just went in for milk. Other times it just pops out of nowhere, like maybe if I hadn’t been so fucking clingy with that guy from a few years ago… or maybe I shouldn’t have bought that expensive purse I wanted so badly.

I can’t tell you when this started; it just seems to always be a part of my life. It’s not that I’m too critical of myself or that I am unhappy with myself, it’s just something I can’t help thinking. Like right now, at this very moment, I’m having strong regrets writing this article. I’m telling myself “Man, people are going to think you are out of your damn mind. Just SHUT UP! You’re coming off as a self-absorbed whiney brat!”

There is a silver lining, a light between the dark clouds. How I cope is recognizing that I’m going to have this feeling and ignoring it. I mean completely IGNORING it. By forcing myself move on from the decision, and continue on, it’s really shown me that I am doing alright. It’s opened me up to so many new experiences and takes away some of my fears; because I’m going to regret the decision anyway, so I just go for it!

Sure, I may look back at pictures of myself and wonder what the hell I was thinking wearing that or wishing I hadn’t drank that new alcoholic concoction that sounded great at the time, or maybe I shouldn’t have wasted my weekend watching Netflix. Then I remember all the decisions I wasn’t sure about that have paid off a million times.

Erin Fahy purple

One time it was the four days I spent plotting out how to frame and hang some of my favorite pictures. Every measurement was done five times, I cleaned the frames twice and put several holes in the wall, but now I have an awesome picture wall that inspires me every time I see it.

Still, the biggest decision that has never disappointed me is my purple hair. I’d always wanted purple streaks in my hair, and even once tried to achieve this feat with a boxed kit (which was a decision I really regretted, along with my pseudo bowl cut). I grew up, worked in offices and forgot about it, and then I saw my hairstylist with awesome purple hair. I debated back and forth for a few months, would this affect my job or dating life? Even knowing that it can be fixed or its semi-temporary didn’t help. I was really worried I was screwing up my life; putting a label on myself I wasn’t sure I was ready to live up to.

Then finally, I just sucked it up, shut up that nagging voice and I just went for it on my 25th birthday. I haven’t looked back since. I get so many compliments; my boss thinks it’s cool and just recently was called “Purple Hair” all night. This decision has become an integral part of my identity and even with those doubts, I know that I made the right choice.

Erin Fahy is a corporate drone by day and a Blonde Mag contributor by night. You can follow her on Twitter @rockurworld16

Minimum Wage With Maximum Regrets?

voodoobear

Regret, such a tragic concept.  I have never been much for regret.  I never thought I would ever truly experience the cruel sting of such a curse.  I spent many years thinking those who regret were just cowards fearing consequence.  Until I have realised that regret plays a role in every twenty-somethings life in the world of today.

Mark Twain once said “Never regret anything that makes you smile.”  The part Twain failed to mention is that many smiles can be nothing more than a prelude to tears.  Just think about the Greek Comedy and Tragedy faces.  They are always displayed side by side.  Just like in relationships–and like the Greek theatre masks–it is not without tragedy that comedy can exist.   I know this as I have studied this.  I have studied acting since I was 14, writing my entire life and more specifically comedy for the past four years or so.

I am a female comedian in Toronto.  Daily, without realising it, I am salted with the flavour of regret and “what ifs.”  I am a barista, a sales associate, and last but not least a writer. Instead of spending time on a movie set somewhere, I am here in a land of espresso beans and vanilla syrup.  I watch the clock ticking ahead and what seems further away from my dreams.

Remember that some of the world’s greatest people have had B jobs and struggled with life’s hurdles.

Do you remember what you wanted to be as a kid?  Probably wasn’t to sell coffee or moderately priced cardigans.  Chances are, if you are reading this article you are either:

A. A creative type on the up and up on what is going to be the tops of the literary and entertainment world and are reading this on break from your B job (barista, bus boy, bartender, bouncer)

B. Unemployed and stumbled upon this while procrastinating on the hunt for a B job.

C. You are looking for answers and, like myself, you’re open to uncharted ideas.

No matter what category you fall into, my question is this.  Why are you thinking about regret?  What is plaguing you, dear reader?  You see in the past year I have realised that I have fallen into the categories of A, B and C.  If you fall into any of these categories I think it’s time we all step back and take a look at the larger picture.  Remember that some of the world’s greatest people have had B jobs and struggled with life’s hurdles.

Now when I put on my apron and name tag I have two options.  I can say, “I never should have studied the arts and got a boring accounting job.” Or I can put on that apron and say, “I wear this apron so I can continue and artful life.”  In my B jobs I have freedom to follow my dreams and stay true to my ideals.  I get to be creative every day in my B jobs.  Whether it’s latte art or helping a customer put together an outfit.  I am creatively contributing to someone’s life.  I am in a subtle way making someone’s day better.  Not to mention I am closer to financial comfort.  Once I reach that, I can be more open to life’s adventures, take more risks and follow my heart.  We all know it’s easier to follow your heart places when you can pay for a train ticket.

So really, what is regret?  The wish to do it all over?  Why?  Look at who you are, what you’ve done and where you’ve come from.  You made those choices for a reason.  Sure things may have been different, but maybe not for the better.   Besides if you think you’re regretting, that is just because things are hard right now.  Remember the world takes 24 hours to fully spin; life is literally always moving.  So think about the next 24 hours and how you want it to move you forward.   Ready?  Set?  Go.

Andrea Holz is a Toronto-based award winning writer, actress, comedian and coffee master. 

Photo by Sheena Lyonnais. Taken at Voodoo Child in Toronto.