I had a serious interest into biology. I have no idea how many books I would have read related to anatomy of human body. Spent hours in lab dissecting cockroaches, frogs. May be, I was just mad about becoming a doctor. But, when it was time to make a career decision, reality was different. I realized, I cannot get enough finances to support my dream. I didn’t have a choice but to choose an alternate path. Whenever I used to cross the medical college en-route, saw junior doctors with stethoscopes and white coats, it used to hurt me to the core. Regret number 1.
Electronics was my second love. I graduated as an Engineer with Electronics as major. This wasn’t very bad, I am still going to do something I love. Huh !? Only if life had the same plan laid out for me.
A sweet surprise was waiting for me.
Though I have landed in a job, it has put me into a very strange situation. I am a Software Engineer. Some people in my position would have jumped out of joy, at the glance of the fancy title. But, I wasn’t. I was expecting a VLSI Engineer position. I was so upset with that job, I used to literally cry and struggled to figure out how to deal with it. I disliked being a software engineer. Regret number 2.
After spending 5 years of professional career as so called software Engineer, by this time I got used to being one, I had an unique opportunity. Software Engineer for a healthcare company making medical products. I had one more offer with another technology giant with double the pay than the offer of the healthcare company.
I strongly regretted not being a doctor and being a software engineer, both forcing me to learn to live with a regret. But today, I am at a juncture where I can make a choice. A smart choice which is an amalgamation of something I love doing and something I am OK with. Naturally, whom ever I talked to gave me a suggestion to accept the non healthcare job. But, I knew it’s a good move to enter healthcare industry..I would be a stupid to not see the obvious.
Getting into my current role isn’t luck or something I was destined to. There were a lot of hiccups. I prepared myself for it and looked for good opportunities. Thanks to my current boss who saw the potential in me. Today, I am working for a healthcare company happily coding, juggling with micro-processors, enjoying the soothing sound of soldering, fulfilling patient needs. All my love for serving the society and playing with tiny wonders of electronics world came true. I get to see medical procedures and I love watching them. (Though performing them would have been better). I have worked on my regrets, changed the direction in which I tackle the regret and I did end up in a much better place.
I do have much larger regrets than my career. All of us have regrets, whether we accept that before others or not is a different issue. A regret is a consequence of our choice, reasons could be many. Every choice of life we make comes with a cost. When we try to compare the cost of one choice to another, usually we end up with regrets. If we become too careful to not make mistakes or take risks, we may end up not having regrets but then we have stopped evolving.
I completely agree with both Chiradeep and Sulagna. Having a regret isn’t bad at all, it’s a realization. If we can learn and make appropriate choices, we may not see immediate results but all our efforts would be paid off at sometime in future.
“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”
― Napoléon Bonaparte