L’esprit de escalier

I came across this word yesterday. It is one of those words with no direct English translations and means “that feeling you get when you leave a conversation and think of all the things you should have said.” It may be mundane like the witty comeback that you didn’t get to deliver. Or it may be as profound as the feelings you failed to express. Regardless, it comes with a sense of regret.

There are a few things in life that I regret and this is tied to my tendency to detach myself and not actively reach out to people. I think I have improved over the past year but in the past it was automatic for me to build a wall around me and close off when I get hurt. I’d rather keep quiet and not say anything. I would choose to not have any interactions at all if there is threat of getting upset. I’d rather avoid any form of confrontation or unsettling situation. Brene Brown’s book on vulnerability captures this in detail. 

Today I saw a cousin’s post about telling your parents that you love them. She lost her mom yesterday and I could feel the pain emanating from each of the words she chose for that post. This kind of regret is what I am scared of the most and one I am most prone to have. It’s a good thing that I am more mindful now. That’s a start. Starting is the hardest part anyway. 

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