I have always been one to utter the phrase, “I do not live my life with regrets”. But how honest is that statement anyway? Yes, we like to believe that we do not regret our decisions and some of us are able to move past those feelings faster than others. But feelings of regrets are real. The moments in life where we have thoughts of regret are when these said results are negative for us. Who would feel regretful anyway when taking a risk and succeeding at it. In fact, I do believe that through taking risky actions, we almost always meet life presenting itself to us bountifully. The opposite can hold true as well and the loss can also be greater. But, as the cliche goes, without big risk, there are no big gains.
In March of 2014, I made a very abrupt decision to leave Barcelona. I truly loved this city and really felt great living here. However, within three months, I had to wrap everything up, say my goodbyes, and move to Los Angeles in June. Moments of regret did arise as I finally dealt with what I had done just three months ago. These feelings were accompanied with nostalgia and depression. It was at that time that I had to make a decision whether or not to live with that or take action to change my life around. It was at that moment that I could have dwelled on a cesspool of negative thoughts and regrets, instead of trying to bring myself out of that slump. As human beings, we have the intrinsic motivation to do things that are beneficial for us. We are animals and our goal is to survive. Now it is also unique to humans our capacity to feel and act on said emotional feelings. Sometimes when these emotions get really difficult to deal with, we turn to things that might not be serving us.
Fast Forward: I did my yoga training, cognitive therapy, worked on myself A LOT during that time I moved back to LA (June 2014-September 2015). Then I came back to Barcelona September of 2015. I put myself in a reality that was no longer mine, but was so familiar. In fact, realizing how much I loved this city and that my residency and working rights had not expired yet, I had the opportunity to reapply for a 5 year working visa renewal.I met a lawyer, we filed the appropriate paperwork and a few weeks later I got my letter of rejection. My moment of hope was met with despair. In fact, I had not quite decided what I would have done with working rights again. Truly, my intention was not to move back here. I have a lot going on for me in Los Angeles. I enjoy being in the company of my family and friends, the yoga community of Los Angeles and all the new things I’m discovering about a city that I grew up disliking. But, I was still rejected. It made me feel terrible.
It made me think about how if I had not made that abrupt decision to leave, I would still have the legal right to stay in a city that I love. It got me into “regretful” thinking for a moment until I realized that this was what was in store for me. My time here in Barcelona is done as a resident. It will always be my home and I will know many corners of this city better than the lay tourist. My time here is limited and I should be looking at the bigger picture. Things are going as they should be going. I have given myself 4 months of time to develop what I want to do with the next phase of my life. I am traveling, I am thinking, I am writing, I am enjoying my friends here in Barcelona. I am in the process of creating something tangible of an idea I had earlier this year, called Pack Your Mat. But now, it is time for me to say goodbye to this beautiful place. It is finally that moment to close that door and hope that there will be opportunities to come back. Some people are able to get closure immediately. It has clearly taken me almost two years to accept that and a recent legal rejection from the government that I can not come back here as a resident.
When those moments of regrets arise, just remember that there is a reason that things are happening. Sure, call it a cliche, but deep down believe that all the things that are occurring have a purpose (for YOU). Let the emotions rise, be aware of them and let them go. Ride the wave, because the wave is going to take you to beautiful places and it takes time for them to be uncovered. So sit patiently, enjoy that moment, even if you think its not the most beautiful one and be faithful that everything will be all right. Regret is a strong feeling to attach to. It is one that can keep us from pursuing bigger and better things. So, yes I am guilty for making absolute claims that “I do not live my life with regrets”. But in the long run, I really do not, because I try damn hard to not attach to those regrets. I have moments of regret, but trusting my intuition and taking risks, I know that good things will come.