Well, the simple answer is laziness, but add “confusion” or “indecision” for those who can juggle two concepts at once.
See, what I do – and I won’t explain it much for the reasons to follow – is relatively dull, and so far on the lower rungs of a ladder of only moderate height. I work with numbers, because I understand them and like making sense of them, but I’m not a mathematician or an actuary or an accountant.
And I’m good at writing, if you don’t mind me saying so in a venue for the craft that you’ll judge for yourself. I’m passionate about writing and always have been (although numbers also came to me at an early age) but I didn’t pursue it as a career.
I’m not going to go so far as calling these “regrets”. By the time I entered university I aspired to mediocrity, or at least for the early years of my following career. A crappy job, a crappy apartment, and hilarious hijinks followed by wasting whatever savings I had on binge traveling before moving back in with my parents and going back to school because of a lack of opportunity with just a B.A. – that was the mid-20s I dreamed of, and lived.
But now, a little more mature (as in, no longer interested in binge drinking and actually looking forward to sleep before midnight), I’m questioning the decisions I made. More specifically I’m wondering what I could’ve achieved if I did go to journalism or film school to become a witty columnist or screenwriter. Or I ponder the oblivious comfort I would be in if I locked myself in an ivory tower to pursue a Master’s degree followed by a PhD to secure a professor position and never have to leave a campus.
I majored in sociology in my first degree, because I’m a mischief and I wanted to apply both my writing and math skills to satirize the artificial reality beyond which most cannot see. The knowledge I soaked up in those years was immensely satisfying (although writing the papers, not so much) and the curiosity and critical thinking skills developed please me to this day. It’s why I need to keep reading and writing and understanding what quantitative information means. And mocking those who don’t.
It’s pretty convenient I live in the era of blogs, eh? I get to exercise these smarts of mine, while still coming off as iconically average.