Which choices have you already made today? It doesn’t have to be a big one, it can also be a small one. Did you have a cappuccino with almond milk or oat milk? Did you wear shorts or trousers?
Choices. We face them all the time, and sometimes we don’t really put that much thought into it. For instance, my cappuccinos are always with oat milk. Sometimes I feel adventurous and ask for almond or soy. And here it comes: the regret. It’s just not as good, not as foamy and rich. Why have I done that? Should have stayed in my comfort oatzone! But it is fine. No major consequences here really. However, that’s not how a lot of our life choices go. For many of them, the consequences are major, and it is important we carefully assess the pros and cons of each available option (when they are available – not all of us have the privilege of choice, remember that). One thing, however, is certain: there will always be a pinch of regret no matter what. We are often told that regret may not be a good thing, but I’d argue otherwise – regretting is an important component of learning more about ourselves and our needs.
As I write my last IBCoMagazine post, I am filled with deep regret: am I doing the right thing by leaving EUR and going back to Brazil? (If you know 1% of what’s going on there, you’ll call me crazy!). I wanted to keep writing. I wanted to see the new board. I wanted to welcome the new 1st years. I wanted to see the current board and my dear students receive their diplomas and laugh of joy alongside them.
Regret is unavoidable whenever we make decisions regarding our future. It’s not about pros and cons, but rather about the unique experiences – good, bad, neutral – that can only be had at a certain time and place and are irreplaceable, and I had so many of those with you. My regret is, paradoxically, filled with joy and hope. I regret leaving, but I don’t regret my choice of going back to my Home, where I can engage with exciting new work, meet my lifelong friends and spend much needed time with the family. I regret leaving, but I know that I will be nonetheless witnessing the exciting future of each of you unfold.
And you’ll make many choices, too: Which courses to take? Which focus area to choose? Do a minor or exchange? Which internship? Start a Masters or not? PhD maybe? – all questions I encountered from my students here! And the usual ones too: get married or be a bachelor? Kids or no kids? This job or that other one? Career or personal life? You’ll face many.
And you’ll feel some regret, always. Don’t run away from it. Embrace it. Learn from that which you regret and your future choices will be a bit more on the “good for you side”, and you’ll be able to fully appreciate every new experience.
Thank you all so much for all this regret I am feeling!! 😀
Author: Dr. Leandro Borges Lima
Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung
Illustrator: Lisa van der Loos