“Killing is the work, saying no to countless opportunities is not an easy task. Yet, the mindset of killing is necessary to protect yourself from a life of regret. Regret has no place here. You are who you are because of what you have done, be that for good or for ill, and there is only forward.”

These words drive a knife deep into my heart; “regret has no place here,” echoes in my head. These words are an excerpt from one of the most poignant blog posts I’ve ever gotten the chance to read. The killing of all possible futures is the work. And it is heavy.

If you don’t want to take the time to read the blog post, I’ll give a synopsis here (but if you do read it, make sure to listen to the accompanying soundtrack at the top). We all have to choose to kill off possible future versions of ourselves in order to nurture the person we choose to be. And, for better or worse, the killing of those other versions of ourselves is what shapes us into the people we are today. There is no place for what ifs or regrets. There is only the now and the future.

I killed for the first time in second grade. It was my first time flying on an airplane, and for a long time, I thought I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. Flying terrified me. I knew I could never step foot on a rocket and be launched into space. So *poof*, good-bye astronaut Claire.

Throughout grade school, I killed off career path after career path, leaving only one to remain: a veterinarian. When it came time to choose my college, I chose Florida Southern College’s biology program. Later, I chose to transfer to the University of South Florida’s biomedical sciences program, killing off a Florida Southern graduate and giving birth to, eventually, a two-time USF grad with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical nanotechnology.

Throughout my time in college, I killed off other possible futures, including the one I never imagined. Yes, I killed off my future as a veterinarian. I ended up discovering that I was a disaster in lab and that my passion wasn’t veterinary medicine. I panicked, floundered, and eventually found my way to patent law. I ended up pursuing my master’s degree in order to get the chance to work with a patent firm or in the intellectual property department at a research center which is exactly where I find myself now.

Do I regret it?

No. I have a great job now. I’m working as an Intellectual Property Specialist and Business Development Specialist at a wonderful company. I make good money. I do satisfying work. I am happy. No regrets, so I move forward.

Then, I stop and take a look back at seventh grade Claire. She was still an animal lover, so she still wanted to be a veterinarian. But if I’m being honest, my passion wasn’t science. I was good at science, but my passion was language arts. All things language arts but particularly writing. I was good at that, too, but it didn’t seem like a viable career path. I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher, and I thought that I could never write a book. 

They don’t tell you about all of the other possibilities for English majors. Copywriters, copyeditors, bloggers, content creators. Of course, bloggers and content creators didn’t exist in droves 13 years ago. If only I had known then what I know now. If only I had pursued English. If only, if only, if only…

Do I regret it?

Maybe. But I have hope – that’s why I’m here now. What will regret get me? Nothing. What will action get me? Something, I hope. I’m choosing to keep moving forward. I’m still an animal lover. And now, I’m a business owner, a blogger, an editor, and a STEM major chasing her passion that was never fully snuffed out.

So, what is the point of this blog? Maybe I just needed a way to get all of my thoughts down on paper (metaphorical paper, that is). Maybe I needed to rant (free therapy??). Or maybe, just maybe, I’m hoping that I can inspire at least one other person to reignite an old flame of passion that they almost let completely die. If I’m here and can do it, you can, too. I believe in you. I believe in me. I believe in us. Here’s to the future, friend.

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