Sometimes when I look back over the last 10 years of my life, I feel grateful: for the lessons I have learned, for the person I have grown to be, for the friends who have stuck with me along my journey and also for some who haven’t. Other times when I reminisce though, I feel regret and shame – for the feelings that I have hurt, for the bad decisions I have made, for all the money I spent with nothing to show for it now.
One of my oldest Nashville friends is getting married this weekend, and someone who used to be a mutual friend is going to be the best man. In all honesty, I think this guy was my first real romantic interest. We had a somewhat turbulent friendship which never developed into anything more serious than just that; though, that said, it was complicated and ended on an even more complicated note. I’m not proud of how our relationship ended, and I know he isn’t either. It’s all in the past now, yes, but seeing his name in the wedding party list has brought up some interesting emotions.
I find that I still feel a great deal of fondness towards him. I’m not resentful or hurt or angry. I regret that we let the inevitable human drama get between us and destroy our friendship. It’s a funny thing, but I still miss our whole group, from time to time. That was the first group of friends I ever had who I felt all actually liked me and enjoyed my company, and that was such a novel and exhilarating experience. But I was foolish and immature and didn’t know how to respect myself, let alone my friends. I’m glad that I have learned and grown through experiences like these, but I wish I didn’t always insist on learning life lessons the hard way.
And I wish I could go back and undo the feelings that I have hurt in my selfish and narrow-minded past.