About eight years ago, I made a choice I’ve regretted to this day. Most days I don’t think about it too much or can push it aside. But I had a dream so vivid last night that brought every suppressed feeling forward to the point of tears.
So for a little background, I took my first dance class when I was three and fell in love. From then I didn’t stop, I only took more classes and started entering competitions. I danced at a studio where you got a trophy every five years you where there. I was on my way to earning the elusive 15 year trophy not many people have earned. I was 17, beginning my 15th and final year, when I got my first boyfriend. Monday’s where the only day he could hang out after school. Monday’s also happened to be the day of my dance classes. At this point I also had a part time job, so I was only dancing once a week.
I’m not sure how many classes I actually went to, but it wasn’t long before I started skipping them. The year prior has been stressful as there was starting to be drama and attitude issues with my teachers. But I was determined to power through and not them ruin dancing for me because my heart was set on that trophy. Instead, I sent my teacher an email that I wasn’t going to dance anymore. I used the drama as an excuse to my parents since they listened to my cry about it the year before. I was young, dumb and giddy, and the world revolved around my boyfriend.
It was a while before the regret really hit. I had been with my boyfriend for a few years. My mental health issues started to creep up and the regret started. It wasn’t just about the big shiny trophy that would dwarf all my others. I regret that I put in that much time to just quit on a whim. I regret that I picked a boy over something I loved for so long. I regret what I did to my parents. They had spent so much time and money in my dance career, and they didn’t even get that final recital and a chance to see it officially close.
At the time, I didn’t know I’d still be with that boyfriend eight and a half years later. I didn’t know we’d have been living together for years and have two cats. I didn’t know I would’ve survived going to dance and only seeing my boyfriend at school for a few months. I didn’t know this would become my biggest regret because there will never be a chance for me to redo it. I would give anything to go back and stop myself from sending that email and have a second chance to finish what I started. I’d also give anything to not feel like I disappointed my parents. They’ve never said anything, and I was a good kid who didn’t give them much to be upset about. Above all, I think that’s what kills me the most.
I would gladly do everything exactly the same if I got to change how it ended. The long drives, late nights, tears, frustration, pain, the embarrassing moments on stage. All of it, because the ability to finish what I started would’ve been worth it. Would’ve been. Instead I’ll spend the rest of my life full of regrets and what ifs.
I try to use this as a lesson. I try to not live my life with any other regrets. I try to not do anything that would disappoint my parents. I try to use this experience to make me a better person. I also try to look at the butterfly effect of my actions. What if I didn’t spend every Monday of my high school senior year with my boyfriend? Would we have stayed together? Would we have moved in together and had the two wonderful cats that are the lights of my life? I try to look at the bright side to keep myself from being weighed down by a decision from years ago. I do love my boyfriend very much. I love the little life we’ve built with our fur babies and the fact that we’ve been together this long. I love that even when I’m frustrated and angry with him, he’s there whenever I need him and is my absolute best friend. He’s the one I want to spend my life with, I’m thankful to have a partner to experience all my highs and lows with. But I still cant help but feel that the little nagging inside me that says my life would’ve been better if he had been my second love for a while, and stayed with my one true love, dance.