The Examined Life: Pregret

I’m a simulator. It is in my nature to model the world in my head and make hypotheses and predictions based on them. A lot of the time, this serves me well, but it also means I spend more time than is healthy fretting about what might happen, or, as I have termed it just now, pregretting things.

For example, a couple of folks tried to console me when I didn’t get into Stanford this summer (Go Bears, I should note in passing), and it perplexed me, because I didn’t feel at all bad about it. Not because I didn’t want to go, but because I’d lived through that particular rejection several times already in internal simulation. I was disappointed, but I’d worked through most of any sadness or bitterness I had.

This, I have concluded, is ridiculous. Yes, it’s sort of nice to be able to be sanguine when life dishes up misfortune. But it really sucks to suffer through misfortunes that never actually happen. I pregretted not getting any callbacks from law firms this year during on-campus interviews; that didn’t happen. Then I pregretted not getting any offers; that didn’t happen either. Which reminds me I have something else to post about, but I’ll do that separately.

Originally published on LiveJournal