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is not in fact 20/20.
It is more like the “Pause” function on a DVD.
I realize this when I think back on my younger years. I lost my best friend from high school during my first semester of college the week before Christmas. I thought about giving her a very special post, but since I have written about her anonymously before, I decided to keep her that way now. I loved her so much. But I don’t know that had she not died in that car accident eleven years ago that we would still be friends. Our life together stops at that moment when I thoughtlessly said “See you later!” after our freshman Government class, fully intending to meet up for lunch the following Saturday back home. We never made it to that lunch. My major was time demanding and labor intensive, and despite my best intentions, we didn’t have the time to spend together. Or, maybe neither of us prioritized it well, living only a half mile apart on the same college campus. No one can say that we would still be the best of friends now, because that moment was our last one. I can’t look back and say “I should have said that I loved her, or that she was my best friend,” because I don’t know that it would have made any difference. I know that I should have said that. I should have hugged her with all my might. But it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference…
Like a character on House, M.D. once said, life is a series of rooms, and we live our life with those that we share that room with.
I think about hindsight as I am looking at the photos of a friend on Facebook, photos from High School, from when I was in it and after, and oh, yeah, this friend is my Senior Year boyfriend.
Someone once asked me if I could go back and fix anything from my past, would I?
Well, while I have no regrets, really, I would fix one thing. I ended that relationship in a poor manner. The way that eighteen year-olds do when they are confused, and when older people in their lives are telling them that the choices they make at that age are frivolous, and when they are supposed to go off to college and are afraid that they are going to hurt a younger partner’s happiness. When my world was unbelievably fucked up in ways I shared with no one, not even him. I was careless and hurtful to someone who was good to me, kind, dear, and who loved me, and when I look back, was the first definition of what I knew unconditional non-platonic love to be, and the only one I had until I met The Guy. I can’t say that I should have made any other decision… that isn’t mine to decide. Because hindsight doesn’t give us that. I can only look back, like looking through all of those old photographs of the part of his life I didn’t share while I was sorting myself out and saw how happy he was, and all the great experiences he had, and I can see the great place his life has brought him. I also know that despite all the horrible things that have happened to me and that I have been through that I have come to a great place. So, who am I to say?
All that I can say is that I should have done it better. I should have been kinder. Having the advantage of stopping that moment in time in my memory I can cringe at the tears on both sides and wonder why. Why was it necessary to be so cold? Part of me was right, but a big part of me was very very wrong, and if I had it the chance I would say this:
I am sorry for the pain.
But not the time together, nor the places we have ended up.
And if that makes me a nostalgic and out of line but silly woman, so be it.
Hindsight isn’t akin to perfect vision. It is a blurry series of pictures that you get to see after years of thoughts and wondering. Like the grainy pics you upload from a scanner, you get an idea of what it looked like, but no, it isn’t anywhere near perfect.
I miss my friend. I am glad to have reacquainted, even if on a superficial level, with an old one.
And that is something I can see clearly.