What I regret and don’t regret

The Stammering Dunce
5 min readAug 11


Also published on Wordpress.

I regret I didn’t exercise enough. If I did, I would probably become a more physically attractive person and I would feel less guilty about eating my favourite foods. My regret gets worse when I remember I can enjoy swimming and badminton, assuming I am not being forced to do them.

I regret I didn’t take martial arts lessons. As someone with anger issues, I would be much better in handling them.

I regret I didn’t listen to my mom about the merits of Catholic schools. Yes, I have talked shit about the Catholic church many times. But, I also acknowledge that Catholic schools often provide among the best education for children and teenagers (in Indonesia, Catholic institutions don’t have the same negative reputations as they do in the west).

I regret I was a lazy student, resulting in me failing multiple classes in university, wasting lots of my mom’s money. I regret I didn’t work hard enough for a major which I chose myself.

I regret becoming an internet addict. I used to love reading books. Thanks to my addiction, it would be a miracle if I finish one per year nowadays. The more books I read, the more imaginative and perceptive I would be.

I regret I didn’t pursue activities which interest me because, again, I was lazy. Even if I wasn’t talented or they didn’t end up as my careers, I would be benefitted by having more life experiences and knowledge. Not to mention the improved self-confidence.

I regret not pursuing blogging earlier. Even as a teenager, I already found joy in writing. But, I didn’t try harder to find opportunities that force me to write (I always feel guilty if I churn out less than four blogposts a month).

I regret not expanding my CV either with manual labour works or desk jobs, as it renders me a deadbeat and financially-dependent adult.

I regret that even in my early 20’s, I didn’t try my best to be a socially tactful person. I wish I tried my best to not make people around unnecessarily uncomfortable.

But, they are like coins. While there are sides which I do regret, there are also sides which I don’t.

I don’t regret not becoming a straight A student. Unless I come from a working-class background who needs scholarships, there are no reasons for me to be one. While it does make me appear intelligent and knowledgeable, it doesn’t necessarily make me actually intelligent and knowledgeable.

I don’t regret not taking as many activities as possible. Why should I take ones that didn’t interest me (and still don’t)? Yes, leaving my comfort zone is good for you. But, I still need genuine interest; without it, those activities would make miserable and probably even more temperamental.

I don’t regret not doing activities which were considered “cool” or “manly”. I see no benefits about being seen as “cool” and affirming to arbitrary and ever-changing gender roles.

While I do regret my tactlessness, I don’t regret my low agreeableness. I am proud that I don’t dedicate my life towards getting people’s approval for every single thing. As long as my actions are not negatively consequential, there is nothing wrong about “breaking the rules”. And I certainly don’t regret yelling, insulting and beating people who want to trample on me, figuratively and literally; it is not tactlessness, it is self-defense.

I don’t regret being a homebody introvert. I know I can be tactful without interacting just for the sake of it; if anything, the early days of pandemic show extroverts can also be the world’s biggest assholes.

While I do regret the addiction, I certainly don’t regret consuming internet. It boasts a variety of content which “traditional” media severely lacks; it has a space for niche aesthetics, niche topics and, most importantly, dissenting voices.

I don’t regret not listening to my mom urging me to join the military and study medicine or engineering. I know for certain I would miserable if I do either one, let alone both. The only one who would get benefitted is my mom; she would feel the professional prestige of military and engineering/medicine without doing the hard work.

Realising that her son will never be the “ideal man”, she starts urging me to become a chef because I love to eat. While I do love eating, that still makes her advice stupid.

I love cooking because I love eating the food I make. If you are the chef, you are not supposed to eat your food, you are supposed to sell them. Don’t forget that the chef world is infamous for toxic workplace atmosphere. Hence, why I don’t regret not becoming a chef as well. Even if I do end up taking cooking classes, it is probably because I don’t have any other career options.

I don’t regret being a virgin at thirty. While I can be sexually frustrated on some occasions, it gives a lot of time to understand my sexual desires and to rethink my own sexual ethics, as I didn’t grow up with proper sex education.

I also don’t regret being single all of my life. Admittedly, I feel like I am missing out for not experiencing puppy love as a teenager; I imagine it is one of the best feelings for a teenager to experience. But, I also imagine my love life would be volatile.

Teenagers are already emotionally rocky due to the hormonal changes. Now, imagine if those teenagers already had emotional issues prior puberty; I was one of them. Unfortunately, I could imagine myself adding toxicity to the relationships.

I am also a bisexual, who is still closeted offline, living in an increasingly anti-LGBT country. So, even if I don’t have any emotional issues, I would be probably be fearful about romantically pursuing other boys; if I did pursue them, my self-loathing would probably make me toxic.



Growing up, people kept reminding me I would regret every single life choices I made.

They were right. As stated before, some of my life choices are detrimental to myself and others. I gave other people unnecessary discomfort and I fail to be a well-rounded person.

But, they were also wrong. The rest of my life choices clearly never harm anyone; the only things they “violate” are social expectations. In fact, some of them are proven to be beneficial, both for me and the people around me.

You have rethink about the ones you have made. Find out whether they shackle you from becoming a better person or simply make you disobey arbitrary social expectations. Then, you can start regretting.

Unless, of course, you believe it is your duty to be an absolute conformist. If that’s your stance, fine by me. You have the freedom to be a doormat.






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The Stammering Dunce