where the wild things are
It is difficult to see past the present if the circumstance one finds them self in is one that is opposite of the expected. One would then lament the missing expectation and wonder where the cookie started to crumble. The grief one feels after the loss of another has always been something I looked to as a process - an emotion that is required for the mourner to envelope and take on in order to healthily move forward. In the context of expectations or decisions that should have been made, lamenting the loss of its existence could also be seen as a form of regret but I find that the latter carries a heavier connotation for the barer so I opt to look at things as lamenting than regreting.
Used against personal examples, which will remain personal, both can serve to fool the person from seeing beyond reality. With the impression of the better outcome, one will always find them self believing that the present is a mistake; a sorry example of how strongly our perception influences and relates to the persistence of what we know our reality to be. To quote Carl Sagan, where we have strong emotions, we’re liable to fool ourselves.
Where optimism would be criticized for being a foolish approach to life, the use of it can be beneficial when one finds them self falling in the ocean. Just barely, I believe it is enough to keep the head above water as the effort falls on treading water.
We keep holding on - we keep treading water, in order to keep our head above water, when our perception dictates a reality that calls us to feel remorseful or sad. Unfortunate as it is, we can be slaves to our own emotions but we are also capable of making decisions that can free us from what regret can strap down. So rather, take what could or should be as a passing building that you only had a chance to quickly glance at in the car. You didn’t get to see the building number or count the amount of floors it had? It is fine. Lament its passing. Don’t regret it. To regret something, you would have to know, firsthand, that the outcome was the best. So in essence, you can’t really regret something that is ultimately unknown to you in the first place.
I will acknowledge that we have that inexplicable right to regret or whatnot as well as the positive use of it in certain situations, but it should not stand on its own. I say: regret, reflect, then react. The emotion evoked needs to be reflected on before becoming actualized otherwise you are left only to regret.
So to conclude, where, you ask, are the wild things - it is held by the very window that feeds our mind: our eyes, for it is there that the wild things can emerge from; where our difficulty to see past the present turns our reality really ugly, chaotic, and disordered.