We’ve all felt it. The crushing pain of disappointment. We often strive so hard for something, only to be dissatisfied with the outcome.
This can happen at any turn in life, on any scale. As I approach a big turning point in my life, I can’t help but feel afraid that disappointment is lurking just around the corner. No one wants to regret the choices they have made but regret is something that is just a part of life. However, what shapes us is not how the disappointment affects our lives, but rather how we deal with this regret.
Victor Frankenstein from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, faced his disappointment in his creation like a coward. He did not own up to his mistakes and instead ran from them. After laboring for years and wasting away his health, Victor despises the creature and flees. This to me is the opposite of how we should react to the disappointments of life. I think Victor instead should have nurtured the creature as his own son or at least put an end to the life he gave birth to.
On the other hand, a literary character that I greatly admire for the way she handled her regrets is Alice Adams from Booth Tarkington’s Alice Adams. She greatly regretted her attempts at trying to fit into high society but instead of hiding away from her failed attempts, she faced them head on. She helped her family recover from their embarrassment and even went to college to enrich her mind instead of her pockets.
Disappointment is unavoidable but I think how we handle them says a lot more about ourselves than what happens if our goals succeed. A person’s true character is only revealed in the face of difficult times, so remember that the next time you’re regretting one of your choices. How will you handle it?