The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity. — Helen Rowland
A little more than a month ago, I had the chance to garner national fame. To have my name plastered over countless websites, to have my blog seen by millions, to be featured on CNN.
But I blew it.
How, you ask, did I accomplish such a phenomenally terrific blunder? Through my unprecedented wit and genius of course.
You see, one day I came up with a funny idea for a picture and caption (the one inserted in this very post), and I uploaded it to a social media site called reddit. Within minutes, the post had generated hundreds of views. In a few hours, it had thousands. After a day and a half, more than a million people had checked it out.
But did I, even in the tiniest of fonts, include the address of my website? Or even my name? I would have been happy if I even stamped my initials on the sucker.
But alas, I thought, “What the hell, let’s see what being a complete moron is like for a change.” And today, I have to live with that choice.
At the time I posted the picture, I thought a couple people might find it funny so I didn’t bother to spend the extra three minutes to include a personal tag.
Wrong. Wrong-O. Incorrect. “Bzzzzz! Please choose a different answer that isn’t so stupid.”
Granted, including my website address on the picture probably wouldn’t have driven more than a couple hundred people here. And of those people, maybe one or two of them would have subscribed to the blog (that “one or two” being my mom under new email addresses—I’m catching on, Mother!). Nonetheless, I am filled with regret over my mistake.
Now, however, I am doing my best to treat this gaffe as a life lesson. You know, the kind that keeps you up at night wondering what life could have been like otherwise (this alter-universe always plays out with me surrounded by beautiful women).
So from now on, I’m not missing a single opportunity to get ahead. If that means staying up late to work on a story, stopping by at a local writer’s gathering to pass out my business card,or hijacking a plane to write my website’s names in the sky (at least that last comment probably added some NSA viewership), I’m going to take that opportunity.
Too much of life is spent regretting the things we never did.
I, however, would much prefer to regret things I actually tried to do. Because even if they’re terribly unsuccessful at the time, they’ll make a funny story when I’m older.