The Happy Moments: Regrets From a Time Gone By

I have just finished watching the movie “10 years” as I am taking a flight back to Singapore. This movie was about a bunch of adults coming together for a meeting 10 years after graduating from their high school. I guess one could call it a typical Hollywood depiction of how a bunch of adults would behave at a high school reunion.

But for some reason, I really liked it. Perhaps it was the fact that most people grew up to become normal, typical adults (very unlike Disney movies which tend to have its focus on a supercharged and unique character or characters). Or perhaps it’s because the movie didn’t overhype the happy ending (some characters ended the movie better off, others worse off, and some were sort of left dangling). Or maybe it’s simply because the girls in the movie were hot (ok they’re old. But hot anyways).

As I watched it, it reminded me of the way things ended up for me in University. There were plenty of happy memories of partying nights, drunken nights, extremely drunken nights, and nights that you can’t even recall if you were drunk or just a carcass lying by the roadside. Aside from nights with excessive consumption of alcohol, there were other happy times where we’d gather for cycling trips with friends (I know it only happened once, but give me the latitude to be wanton), movie outings and barbecues and such.

Those are happy memories that just comes by so naturally. And then there are other memories that sort of just eat at you:

Like that magical girl whom you’ve idolized for three semesters, and finally got the chance to talk to her because somehow, by God’s grace, you guys ended up in the same project group. And even though all is right, and every star in the galaxy is aligned, and there’s a bloody sky full of shooting stars – you simply can’t talk to her about anything more than work. You keep telling yourself: I’ll talk to her one day. And then the next thing you know, she’s attached with this douchebag that’s not even worth a rat’s ass.

Or perhaps it’s that girlfriend you’ve been attached to for three years. And everything seemed right. But you simply felt too young to be committing wholeheartedly. And all those minor arguments you’ve had just don’t make sense. So you ended it off. After which, you go through a string of girlfriends to find that a good girl is so hard to find. And that you’ve dumped the best you’ve ever had, who is now engaged to someone else.

And also, there are all those moments where you felt like you should have done something but just didn’t have the guts to. Streaking through the football field in the nude. Reaching out and guiding more of the juniors in school. Having done better in some classes. Not having taken other classes. Been meaner to some SOBs who totally didn’t deserve shit. Been nicer to some others whom you misunderstood. So many of these moments fizzed up into my consciousness as I watched this movie.

The funny thing is that on hindsight, you realize that so many of these things that you didn’t do, weren’t done because you don’t have the guts to. You were too conscious of what others would think. You were too scared that the security would catch you. You didn’t do those things because you CHOSE to be dictated by the peer pressure around you. And because of that, you didn’t give yourself the chance to be yourself.

The saddest part now, is that about 90% of those people who have drastically impacted the decisions and choices that I made in university, are people that don’t really matter to me in my life now – 3 years after graduation.

Hindsight really is 20/20 eh?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. – Mark Twain