Day Nineteen

Something you regret

I don’t believe when people say they have no regrets. It’s like saying they never hate or they haven’t had a prejudiced thought in their lives. Right. And I never lie about my weight.


Early in my career (if my haphazard work trajectory can be called a career), I had a chance to work as a copy editor at an English language newspaper in Prague. A friend from college had taken this job, she was leaving, and I think she put in a good word for me. The pay, by U.S. standards, would have been dirt, but it would have been more than sufficient to pay rent and keep me in beer and food, with enough leftover to do some traveling.

So why didn’t I do it?

Debt was one reason. I still had college loan payoff, as well as residual debt from poor purchasing decisions just out of the gate (a car I bought that I should never have owned). I also had a cat, and as ridiculous as it may sound to some, I wasn’t about to foist responsibility for her onto someone else just so I could go abroad.

In the end, I don’t think I have lacked for any opportunities because of that choice. And so many things in my life would likely have turned out differently—I wouldn’t have met Mike, I might not have met so many of the people who have played key roles in helping me get my book published.

It’s that whole “two roads diverged” thing. Did it make all the difference? Certainly, but life is abundant with turning points. Maybe things really do turn out the way they’re supposed to.