Melissa was explaining her perspective on life. She had an amazing insight for 25. She had all sorts of plans, things to do and see when she was 20. I think she wanted to eat the world whole at the time, she saw nothing but yummy stuff.
Then in a blink she was 25. Most of those things lay as hopes and dreams scattered undone around her. To her surprise, what peaked her emotions was not the things she no longer cared about but the feeling rising from the ones she did care about. It jolted her.
It was Regret.
Simple regret that she had not done that, or that or even that little thing over there.
She started to consider her future; what regrets would it hold? She expected a long future, but could she expect a growing list of regrets? What would they be? How bad would she feel? Should she start avoiding attaching a plan or desire to something?
Melissa is a unique woman, though. She sees solutions to things differently . . . and she acts on them. More now than ever before.
I must admit it is both impressive and simple. An approach she now does so naturally she hardly notices the doing.
She goes to the future.
Yup, the future. That is the place, she explained, where the regrets of things not done today will come to life, rather than the memory glow of having done it, the thing she will come to regret not doing. Yes, it does have a bit of a Sci-Fi sense to it, but she is not that kinda girl.
And you can’t do everything that comes your way, pops into your head or is suggested by friends and advertising. While that might remove any chance of regretting anything, you might instead have the regret of wasting your time on something that was not worth it.
Here is her trick; here is how she travels into the future to figure out which adventure not done will be the one she will regret.
At the point of doing each possibility that excites her, she pauses. She imagines herself 5 years out from now, sometimes 10, sometimes at the end of her life. She asks her future self a few quick questions.
Did you remember doing this? (She is conversing with herself so I imagine this is how it would go.)
Do you regret not doing this, not seeing where it led?
Then she imagines how she feels when she answers.
Then she decides.
She is older now with no noticeable regrets living in her past. She sparkles; she is looking for things not to regret.
That was how she came to be in my studio. She was a single mom to be, about to start her road trip of motherhood. Not just a nude expectant tummy shoot but a body painted one too. It turned out she did not have a day to spare, birthing began the next day; can you imagine the timing?
She is onto something.
A number of our clients are 40, 50, 60 and beyond. Nearly all mention they regret not doing a nude or boudoir when they were younger, when their body was firmer and they could get more mileage out of the experience.
They feel so empowered, so alive after their photo adventure, they wonder what they could have done with that when they were young.
A few have had daughters asking about their session and they always tell them to go for it. Don’t have the regret; indulge, explore, be brave . . . it’s not as scary as it looks.
Regret. You can dodge it by just imagining if you will have it in your future for not doing something now. Imagine what adventures you want to look back fondly on.