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October 14, 2013 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Regrets

At the end of semester, especially the second one, everyone starts saying that they regret stuff. I reckon they use the term too loosely. It’s not to be used every time something less than awesome happens. My own two biggest fake-regrets right now are not taking any Econometrics papers and sleeping with a faulty hot water bottle.* I sit nonplussed in a lot of Economics lectures with second-degree burns. I am a joke. Conversely, regrets are things that you feel repentant about or disappointed by, things that you wish hadn’t happened or that you hadn’t done. My own issues are minor.

Speaking of minors—had a bet with myself that I could get the worst segue in Salient this week, cha-chinggg—I got coffee the other day with a mate of mine who is 17. I used to babysit her, and our parents used to say that we were similar because we were both mouthy. Now she’s this really cool and savvy 17-year-old. I’m 21 and so irrelevant I don’t even have Instagram. (Because I don’t need visual stimulation to laugh at people who think they’re being smugly healthy and ordering muesli at brunch. It’s pure sugar. Enjoy the bloating and the dentist bills.) Anyway, my pal was saying that anorexia and depression seemed endemic at school, that she can’t wait to leave and do the stuff that she keeps telling people she wants to do after leaving, and that she was thinking of hitting the clubs and did I know anyone who would give her an ID.

I tried to ‘smash it out of the park’ wisdom-wise,** by saying realistic things that weren’t too alien to her. “A lot of people are sick and sad a lot of the time. Sometimes, other people can understand the external factors that might be said to ‘cause’ it, but sometimes they can’t. Either is fine. Usually there is something, however small, that you can do to help. Get to know your own mental health. When you feel alone, sitting around on Facebook will only make you feel more alone. It’s cool that you know what you might want to do after school; now work on finding a hapless organisation to fund it. The clubs suck. I understand why you want to go, but they suck. I don’t look like anyone either. When I was 17, I nearly got denied at RnV on a bad fake and cried in front of all my friends.”

She said, “Okay.”

I think there’s still time for me to salvage this, to turn it from ‘self-indulgent rant that I made to a cool young woman that I want to have a good time’ to ‘concluding remarks on 2013 with plea for fresh-but-still-self-indulgent-Salient-columnist-meat in 2014.’

I wasn’t sure whether I was saying things to my 17-year-old friend that I really regretted, as opposed to things I just disliked about the last five years or about myself. It was a weird feeling—I wanted her to know that right now she felt like she had never really fucked up, and she’d eventually feel for a long while like she was fucking everything up, and then eventually she’d just have to tell herself every now and again that the stuff that she was fucking up wasn’t the be-all and end-all.

I don’t think it really matters.

Maybe you just shouldn’t have coffee with people when you’re a premenstrual empath.

Enough of me. Not just because this is the end of the page, or the end of the year. I think you should write for Salient next year. Do you think I’m really shit at writing and that you could do better? My God, do it, then. It is kind of fun.*** I made a Venn diagram of people who think I’m funny the other day and it was basically two separate circles; one that said, “My friend Chris”, and another that said, “People who haven’t read Thought Catalog and don’t know that I’m ripping the format off.” Oh no. Have I just given it all away? Now you have no excuse.

——

* You read that twice wondering who I’d slept with, didn’t you. Bless you.

** This works as a gag and I don’t care if you don’t think so. What are you going to do, write a letter to next year’s Editors?

*** Fun-ish. Quasi-fun.

[ssba]

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