Missing something implies regret. A path not traveled, or a path no longer traveled. A belief that if we do it right, we will avoid missing our lives. A judgment from where we think we’ll be at the End.
But regret misses the point of a well-lived life as a Journey, not an End.
A life without regret means you missed the journey, too,
it means that when faced with love or loss, you chose to never love at all.
When I woke up every morning in my Baghdad apartment, I wondered which version of my life was the dream. Was it the one I left behind in Vienna with Mike and the boys? Or was it here, in this place full of rules, heat, confined spaces, too much sunshine, and weekends of bad TV? Where I had 8 sets of dishes and a room full of furniture even though I was the only one ever there, and when I came home the house always looked exactly the same as when I left. I would watch the minutes crawl by until eventually an hour passed, but then there were still so many more minutes left! How can I be responsible for this horrible waste of time? What other precious moments are being missed?
Missing something means you cared enough to leave a piece of yourself behind. So maybe regret is not the marker of a mistake, but a sign that you were alive enough to notice. That you were willing to love, and still love, without worrying how much it takes from you?
Regret is part of the road, a measure of time passing, where moments quickly turn to memories and present quickly becomes past. To meet regret is not a failure, but a sign that you’ve led a life worth loving. And that the road you are traveling has been the right one all along.