if I could do things all over again:
Now that I'm at that point in life during which our choices seem to have more weight and greater consequences, I've begun to look back and realize that there are a good number of things I would change if I could.
A Buddhist aphorism goes on about "living and dying without regret." Now it's one thing to regret things. It's important not to give in to regret. Rather, I look at things like "Gee, I wish I had done that differently."
I would have lived, at least for a little while, in the British Isles. Not that I don't love being an American...no, it's just that my soul calls out from another place and given my heritage, I believe that place to be England or Ireland. I would have loved to be a resident for at least six months if not for longer. Can you say "ex-patriate?"
I would have used my ample GI Bill to go to school for a worthy pursuit. My inner Mother Theresa is coming to light in recent years and I have an incredible drive to help people. How? By being a doctor! I would have pursued the career of medical doctor, something which was totally unappealing to me when I was younger. And because of the show House, I could have been a good doctor and a totally obnoxious butt-hole all at the same time. Sadly, I think I missed my calling.
I would have pursued and landed one of the three or so great loves of my life. Annie, Debi, and Iris...if any of you ever read this, you can rest assured that I've spent many, many days beating myself up for being foolish and not recognizing something precious even when it was under my nose. Each of you holds a place in my heart and the empty spot in my life will always belong to one or all of you three incredible women.
I would have spent more time in the military. In the 21st century, so many men are veterans of the various conflicts we've engaged in and while my service was both elite and very difficult, I failed to capture the badge of honor - the Combat Infantry Badge - that distinguishes these warriors from all others.
I would have also pursued my various interests to their natural conclusion. Black belt. Virtuoso guitarist. Published writer and artist.
Alas, the past is gone and cannot be molded, the future is coming too quickly and cannot be captured, so all we have to work with is the present moment. As an expert on the subject, let me urge you not to squander the time you have for that can easily lead, later in life, to regret.