Je Ne Regrette Rien - But I think I do!

Je Ne Regrette Rien - It's been my mantra, my motto, for many years.   I have no regrets, rue nothing.

I have the original '45, banged out so poignantly by La Môme Piaf, the Little Sparrow, purloined from Fleabay. 

I bought three arty, quirky, postcards in Paris years ago, that show a slice of the single on a pink background - I had intended to have them framed, with the single, to display in my home, to spell out to visitors that might not know, exactly where I am coming from in life.   La Vie en Rose.   Life with rose-coloured spectacles. 

As summer is now past, I'm more likely to be looking at the world through a bottle of red, rather than rosé wine, however!

But, like Toni, I procrastinate too, so the cards, frame and '45 sit in my closet, awaiting their grande finale.

So, having no regrets, how does that work for me? 

I think I read the meaning of the song as, don't look back in anger, or otherwise, look forwards, learn from your mistakes, dying a little every day, but not allowing the blows life sends your way to knock you off-course. 

Rise, rise above.

But when I read again the lyrics of Piaf's song, she sings:

"With my memories
I lit a fire
My sorrows, my pleasures
I need them no more!

Swept away the love affairs
With their tremors
Swept away forever
I leave with nothing ...

No! Absolutely nothing...
No! I regret nothing
Neither the good that I've done nor the bad
All this is much the same to me!"

But how can the good be the same as the bad?   I refuse to sweep away good memories.   Years spent in therapy enabled me to be better to myself, to stop beating myself up about bad things that happened to me in my childhood, in my youth.   Memories where I was shamed, left feeling ugly, or 'less than'; raw wounds that I would pick away at, like scabs, and re-open, haunting myself again and again with what might have been.

The doors that I have now chosen to close on those souvenirs in my mind are huge oak doors, ancient, like those you might find in a French chateau's cellar, cast-iron fittings clanking shut, hard to open again.

This has taken work, sweat, tears, learning, failing, learning again, and finally, the locks tumbled in my mind, and the lesson I took from all of this was to be kinder to myself, to stop being so hard on myself.

I take more photographs now, the ubiquitous selfies, laughing with friends, joshing with family, being me, allowing myself to be seen.   I used to shy away from anyone wielding a camera.   Why would anyone show any interest in the sorry specimen I am?

So, vast tracts of my life have not been documented in black and white or in shades of colour.   And this I do regret.   Because the pictures seal the memories, allowing them to be re-lived, re-loved, re-visited, and felt again.

Most of all in my life, I regret not loving me enough.   But there's still time to change.


Trust me, I'm a therapist!