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Help! I Wasted My Whole 20s Starting a Career and Family

Every waking moment I am consumed by the grim reality that I wasted my 20s. Like any typical 20-something I thought life would never end and I made poor life choices because of that misguided feeling. I was selfish and shortsighted. Where did I go wrong? Well, starting a career and a family, probably. Somebody help!

I can’t begin to tell you how it feels to wake up as the youngest executive in my company’s history, next to my wife of 9 years, hearing the sounds of my children playing in the living room; all grim reminders of a decade wasted. I put so much time into being a nurturing and supportive father. Time that could have been spent playing fantasy football or getting drunk on a couch. Being reminded of my sacrifice is the worst. It breaks my heart every time my son says he loves me.

My regret is even harder to deal with because I didn’t spend my 20s getting fucked up. I clearly remember every painful, responsible moment of them. I hear people complain all the time about some mistake they made when they were blackout drunk and how bad they feel. Well how do you think I feel?! I made these decisions stone cold sober. I have no excuse.

I lost all my friends with my selfish actions. I said “no” to every party invite. I said “next time” to countless 10 year anniversary album tours. I said “maybe” to no less than fourteen thousand local band shows that I never went to. I actually don’t regret that last one.

My wife noticed how sad I’ve become and told me last week she was worried I’m going to leave her for someone else. I held her close, ran my hand through her hair, and reminded her that if I leave it’s so I can be by my fucking self. I think she has some regrets now, too.

At least I know my future is pretty stable. Unless someone dies, I get fired, the economy goes bad, there’s a war, literally any crucial resource runs out, or one of the kids needs braces and a retainer, it should be smooth sailing all the way to my 40s.