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CwL Ep 155 – A story of youthful regret

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Enjoy this story about missed opportunities with men.

From cold snowy Sweden to outback Australia – men swept in and swept out of Lisa’s life and as someone who doesn’t live with much regret – there’s two experiences she wished she pursued! 

Enjoy the story and if you’re curious about joining the upcoming round of What’s the Story? Lisa’s four-week program that equips you with the skills, confidence and clarity to tell better stories click here for all the details. 

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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here.

I don’t live in the space of regret very often

Because I usually do the things that I’m feeling urged to do, which I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but there was one particular time, in fact, there’s been two things that I’ve regretted and it involves not doing things with other men and probably probably should say boys, because when do they really become men? This was definitely before I was 25, and one of them was actually when I was living in Sweden and I’d been travelling around the world with my boyfriend at the time, but his visa was running out and he needed to get home back to Australia, and I was not ready to go home. My dad is Irish, so I had an Irish passport, which meant there was so many different countries I could go and work at in Europe. And we just finished this big tour around, he decided to go home and I decided to go and visit this girl who I’d met.

I say girl, woman, but I mean we were young. We were 21, maybe 22, no, 21 I think. And she and my boyfriend had worked in the same bar in Dublin. We became friends. She was fabulous. If you follow along on the podcast, it’s Anna who I interviewed when we were in Sweden last year. We’ve always stayed in touch. Anyway, she had said to me, if you don’t want to go home, you should come to Sweden. Just come to Sweden. This was when we were leaving Dublin, and I never forgot it. I got in contact with her. I had very little money left, and so I thought, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to go to Sweden. So I got a flight to Stockholm and then got this train all the way up to a little town in the north called Vale, and it was cold.

Pretty much. It was cold. And I lived with her family and I got a job. I got a job at a place called the Bishop’s Arms. I mean this tiny town in the north of Sweden, and it had an English pub called the Bishop’s Arms. How hilarious. I actually worked there with a New Zealand girl that I got to know as well, and it was a really fun time. Anyway, lots of going out, lots of fun times. But when I’d said goodbye to my boyfriend, we had said, look, whatever happens, we are not breaking up, but if there’s something you need to do, do it. We said it to each other. There was this kind of mutual understanding, right? He was coming back to Australia to get a job, and I didn’t really know how long I’d be gone for, but I was due to start the honours year at uni the following February.

So I thought it might be five months that I’d be wouldn’t see him Anyway, so I sort of had this freedom, right? And I didn’t really know what to do with it. We’d been together since I was 17. There was one particular night though, we were out and we were with one of Anna’s friends. We were with a whole bunch of them, and there was this one guy, and I thought he was so good looking and it was very boozy, and when it’s minus 20 degrees outside, you go outside into that cold and suddenly the blood is rushing through your body and you are, I mean, it makes you a little bit lightheaded sometimes. We were having the most fun in the snow, a bit booed. Lisa was feeling loose, that is for sure. And on the way back to Anna’s house in the taxi, her and her boyfriend, who also knew my boyfriend were in the taxi, and this other guy was sitting in the middle and I was sitting to the side and he put his hand on my leg. I let him know that that was okay, and he turned and he just grabbed my face in his hands and gave me, I reckon, one of the best kisses of my entire life.

It was just like, wow. This is how they do it. Sweet. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw Anna’s boyfriend giving me the dirtiest look, and I thought I’d explained that there was freedom with my boyfriend and I that we’d decided that we could do other things, but he was not happy with it, obviously, feeling that bro loyalty vibe. And so that was strange. And he said, come back to mine. And literally every single ounce of anything in my body was screaming, yes, let’s go. And I said, no. I was a bit rattled by evil eye stare, and I thought maybe this is the wrong thing to be doing. I’ll get totally carried.

And I just lost it. And I got out of the car with Anna at her house and the boys drove off, and I literally, I regret very, very few things in my life. I deeply regret not having sex with him. I think it would’ve been a really great thing for me to do at that particular stage of my life, but it felt like a move too far. We had said that we could kiss other people, but we wouldn’t be having sex with other people. But wow, I still think about what it would’ve been like all these years later. Isn’t that funny? There was one other incident, incident, I’m making it sound terrible, and sorry, I’m just drinking my coffee while we’re sharing this story where we were at uni and I’d been on the Central Australia trip. Sorry, now you’re just going to walk around with me because I’ve got to get to the hairdresser. I can tell stories under water. I was at this uni trip, met this guy, he was Canadian, and I thought he was gorgeous and arrogant. So you do that little youthful, this guy’s an idiot, whatever, but you actually really like him. That was totally what was going on, and excuse me, while I opened my door creaky and we were both totally flirting with each other.

By the end of it. We both liked each other. And I had this boyfriend at the time and I was like, well, I can’t act on anything. And when I got home, my boyfriend absolutely knew that something was a little bit off. Let’s be honest. It’s hard to hide those things. Well, it is for me anyway, I’m pretty transparent. And he ended up just saying, what’s going on? And I said, well, look, there was this guy, and I guess it was a little bit flirtatious, and he’s like, look, go do what you have to do. So I did, and one night we were out and I really, really wanted to kiss him. I really wanted to kiss this guy, but loyalty sort of overcame me. I knew that I felt like I loved my boyfriend at the time, and that it would probably be a silly thing to throw that away for some guy who lived on the other side of the world. He lived in Prince Edward Island. But I just have these feelings of when we are young, I’ve been in relationships my whole life, really, and there were these sort of moments and openings that would’ve been really good for me to experience, I feel, and for whatever reason I didn’t go there, which is not a bad thing. I am a very loyal person.

And yet what are we doing as young people? Getting ourselves into, well, no, I don’t want to pass judgement . I know lots of people who’ve been with the right person for a very, very, very long time, very happily. I think that if there was ever any regrets that I have, it’s not experiencing those two men in a different way because I think it would’ve been really fun. So there’s my story of youthful regret.

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