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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Wonder Years

I can't count myself among the group of highly serene people who claim they have no regrets. Are you one of those folks?

But the foolhardy things I did as an adolescent, on balance, carry far less regret for me than the many blunders I've subsequently made. It's possible I'm able to forgive my early transgressions because they're more distant in my history; many of the people hurt by those missteps are either gone or no longer part of my life. However, some recent reflecting on my teenage stupidity - partially prompted by overhearing a stranger speak of his wayward adolescence - uncovered an equally plausible reason for my diminished regret about my wonder years.

As insensitive and clueless as I could be as a teenager, I was alive and engaged. My teachers had trouble with me, my parents and siblings were annoyed most of the time, my friends were often perplexed. Still, for all their dismay, they knew I was in the world, vs. passively observing it. I could have behaved better and followed the rules more. And I'm not proud that I didn't. But I don't carry quite as much regret about version 1.0 of Pat.    

How about you? When you reflect on your wonder years what is your predominant recollection? Satisfaction? Regret? Something in between?

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