Reluctant to Regret

Posted: August 10, 2010 in Metaphorical Musings
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When I first started this blog a few days ago I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about.  The concept for my blog was the notion of under achievement – the cat who fought to get to the cream only to find that it was off, or that another cat had got there first and left just enough for a quick, unsatisfying lick!  It was not about being negative, a loser, or a failure but just never quite getting to where you wanted to be.  Nearly….but not quite. 

Before my blog grows and my posts start to go in wildly different directions I wanted to take a moment to reflect on why I named my blog The Curse of Nearly Was!

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t spent hours in the past berating myself for my lack of success.  How many times I imagined where I might have gone on this journey of life if only I’d hacked away at the metaphorical overgrowth to get to the metaphorical yellow (or some other kind of brick) road that would have taken me in a totally different direction, instead of pulling a few branches off, getting a splinter and deciding that it was much safer to keep going on the nice, straight road where you could see into the distance and which seemed to promise comfort and stability.  You know, I hate that word – ‘stability’!  It’s a bit like ‘nice’ – nondescript and safe!  And yet for a long time I chose that direction, albeit keeping one foot on the verge as in truth I didn’t always trust that perfect looking road…..

I’ve never thought “I’d like to try that” and then not done anything at all to attempt to achieve it so I can’t comment on what its like to know you never tried.  I only know what it’s like to have never tried hard enough.  And you know what?  Sometimes it’s bloody frustrating!  Sometimes I wish I could go back and knock some sense into my younger self and tell her to get some balls (not literally….!).  There are constant reminders of my lack of success – my now empty house; seeing my drama school peers on TV or in the West End; my file of stories that have no ending!  That is why being a Nearly Was is a curse – you can’t get away from it.   You can’t think “Well I never tried so it doesn’t really matter”!  You tried because it mattered and the fact you didn’t achieve success therefore matters as well! 

But isn’t it a bit like that saying “Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”?  Better to have tried and not succeeded then to have never tried at all.  Because when you try there is still hope, even if it is slim or practically non-existent, and whilst there is still hope then the world is your potential oyster…..or stage!  And if I stop thinking of the things that nearly were and think of the things that are now then I realise how lucky I am.  My lovely friends, my wonderful family, my theatre work (albeit unpaid – that’s the main difference between being an amateur as opposed to a professional actress!), the great times I’ve had and continue to have and yes, my house!  All mine (well, and the banks!) and always as peaceful or as noisy as I want it to be!  How can I regret anything I’ve done when it has kept me on a good, if different, path and led me to this satisfying place? 

As I sit here in my cosy house, typing on my laptop, with my ice cold drink sat on the table in front of me, I look on the news and see the catastrophic events happening in Pakistan and I realise that I am in no position to complain about my life or about the things that have happened to me.  I may be a Nearly Was but I am still lucky enough to have been born into a family that cared, that don’t judge me for what I haven’t achieved, and into a country where I don’t have to worry about clean water and dry shelter.  For that I am truly grateful.


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