I used to regret some of the choices I made. I looked back on my high-school days and wished that I had been as clever and socially awesome as I am today. I looked back on college and wished I had asked better questions. Relationships I could have saved. Sufferings I could have prevented.
That’s the thing about the past; even though it didn’t even exist, it could still make me sad.
But what if I had had a better time in high school? Would present me—the only me that even exists—be better off? I suppose not. I suppose the only reason I regret any of the choices of my past is because I empathize with the younger Matt making the choices, much in the same way I empathize with the characters from my favourite movies and novels.
So I didn’t do all the things I would have liked to do as a child, as a high-schooler, as a guy in his 20s. But that’s fine because Matt the child and Matt the high-school and Matt the 22-year-old don’t exist. Only I exist. And there’s no point in feeling sorry for those Matts because they aren’t around to appreciate it.