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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!


#101. I have absolutely, positively zero regrets.

Okay, this is the only serious one in the bunch. Oh, the rest of the things are true, of course, but that doesn’t make them serious. This one’s serious, so listen up. I’m pouring my heart out over here.

Now, to say I have ‘no regrets’ is not to say that I haven’t done some stupid shit in my life. Nor is it to say that I’m happy with absolutely everything that I’ve done, and don’t have memories that I cringe about when they come rushing back. No. Clearly, I’ve done some stupid things. (Writing a separate post for each of my ‘101 Things’ is on the list. Nowhere near the top, mind you, but it’s on the list. Oh, yeah.) And I’ve hurt some people, and hurt myself, and generally fucked up lots of situations, and relationships, and even the occasional birthday party. Oh, and staff meetings. I’m always fucking up staff meetings.

But the way I see it is this: if you’re happy with your life — if you really sit down and think about where you are and what you do, and you’re truly, informedly happy about your situation — then you can’t really have any regrets.

Again, this is not to say that you now have license to be a fucking moron. Not at all. Just don’t dwell on your past boneheaded ninnyness. Learn from your mistakes, nnd make it up to the people you care about. Put out the fires you’ve started, and for Christ’s sake, put your damned clothes back on! In other words, fix things if you can. And if you can’t, then figure out where you went wrong, and don’t do it again. But if you like your current life, then don’t beat yourself up over your own spilled milk.

I look at it this way — if I hadn’t made the mistakes I did when I made them, then I probably would have made them at some other time. Later, maybe, and perhaps at a time when the error would have cost me more. There’s no way to predict how a different outcome would have changed my life. If I’d studied harder in high school, for instance, I’d have probably gone to a different college, and I’d have never met my wife. If I’d run harder at baseball tryouts, maybe I’d have made the team, but maybe I’d have wasted a few years riding busses around, trying to ‘make it’. Or maybe I wouldn’t have learned a lesson that day about hustle and effort, and I’d be stuck in a miserable job now. Who can say?

The regrets people harbor aren’t always even due to their own mistakes. I tried out for the track team in high school, for instance, and worked hard and hustled (thank you very much, baseball tryout humiliation), and made the team. In the first week of practice, I developed a bad cold that turned to bronchitis, missed weeks of practice, and had to drop out. How would my life be different if I hadn’t gotten that cold? Would I be faster? (I think that’s pretty much a given. I’ve got nowhere to go but up in that department.) More confident? Would my knees be shot? Would I be healthier? I don’t know, and the point is, I don’t really care. It happened the way it did, and things turned out just fine, so I don’t dwell on what might have been, ’cause there’s no way I could know. Maybe it reminds me that I could work out a little more these days, and maybe run a little, but that’s about it. No regrets, and no wishes for a second chance.

So, you get the idea. Screw up, say you’re sorry, make it better if you can, learn, and then move on. But what if you don’t like your current life? Maybe you are stuck in a crappy job, or in a dilapidated house, or — heaven forbid — you own cats. What then? Well, I think it’s possible to change your life. (You can sure as hell get rid of the damned cats. That’d be a nice start.) You can take charge, and make changes. You can’t always predict what the results are going to be — see above — but at least you can drive yourself out of a rut and see what else is out there for you. And the goal, as I see it, at least, is to get to that point where it was ‘all worth it’, because you’ve found a happy place. You may not have enjoyed your rut (or your cats), but once you reach the other side and look back, you’ll see that they’ve taught you something about yourself, and what you want, and what you don’t want. Which may very well save your ass later in life. So it’s all good.

So, that’s my story. My life is good. I have a wonderful, gorgeous, perfect wife (who doesn’t realize that she’s perfect, which is key), a great dog to hang out with, fantastic friends, and a cool city to play in. Oh, and of course, all of you. (Yes, all three of my blog readers are greatly appreciated. Of course!) What more could I want? Well, okay, just at the moment, a job, I suppose. But that’ll work itself out, sooner or later. No worries. In the meantime, I’ve got no regrets. I look back, of course, and sometimes I groan, or shake my head at my stupid younger self, but all the dumb shit I ever did has helped to get me here. And I love it here, so I don’t mind. Just so long as I never, ever do some of that shit ever again. Damn, I’m a moron sometimes.

But I’m a happy moron, and that’s what counts. Peace.

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Me on Film 'n' Stage:
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