Friday, October 17, 2008

In the Corners of My Mind...

Merry Meet Friends and Lurkers:

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you remember the weirdest things?

Last night, lying in bed, I remembered a boy I knew from High School. He was one of these cute, funny, cocky guys with an over-inflated ego, who only dated the A List girls, but who thought he could have anyone he wanted. This guy was what we now commonly refer to as a "player". He definitely had a reputation that preceded him and trust me, from a female perspective, it wasn't all good! I had been well informed beforehand, so I wasn't at all interested in anything more than his friendship and even that was stretching it. As it turned out however, his best friend was dating my best friend, so we ended up in each other's company quite often. We'd go on these "unofficial" double dates, which were really "undates" because we weren't dating. That said, we did become pretty close friends.

Well, one day when we were alone, he confided, "You know, Tracy, there's this girl I really like, but you know...I can't go out with her". I was like, "oooooh, really, is it anyone I know?". He laughed and he said, "Yeah, you know her". Remember, we'd become pretty tight, so I knew all the girls he was interested in or dated (and there were plenty), but I couldn't guess who it might be. Then, with this utterly remorseful look in his eyes, he said, "Tracy, I really, really like you, but I can't go out with you. It would ruin my reputation". Well, you would think I'd be insulted, but what I was, in fact, was amused! So amused in fact that I laughed in his face! Needless to say, he was mortified!!! And then really, really angry!!! So angry in fact that he actually tried to convince his big sister to kick my ass!!!! She didn't of course, but it did make the entire situation a lot more dramatic! Well, you would think our friendship would have ended at that moment, but instead he pursued me for months afterwards! His best friend told me he was heartbroken! No, what he was, was shallow beyond words! Thinking back on it now, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to youth. Hopefully, he eventually matured enough to realize that he ended a great friendship just to preserve a "reputation" that wasn't all that to begin with.

But now, I couldn't help but wonder...well, firstly, whatever happened to him and secondly, what would make me think of this after all these years? I have my suspicions, but what I believe it comes down to is this. Karma! Ya see, probably a year or so before, I too completely annihilated a relationship with someone I truly cared for and for no other reason than that I was afraid of what others might think of me. I admit it, I was a little shit! This person was very important to me, so age was no excuse for behaving badly! Fortunately, in one of the weirdest twists of fate I've yet to encounter, this year, some 30 years later, I was actually able to apologize to that person for having hurt them. Hopefully he realizes my apology was indeed heartfelt and knows how much he actually meant to me both then and now, as a friend, but I digress.

There are people who expend all their time and energy just trying to keep up the appearance of who they've convinced the outside world that they are. They are so concerned with outward appearances that they'll go out of their way to avoid any possibility of...oh I don't know, actually being themselves. Despite the consequences, they'll break ties, end relationships, ruin friendships, all to protect their "reputation". But, in the end, it's all an illusion. We all have to look in the mirror of fate at some point. It's then that we can review our lives, decide if we like what we see or where we fucked up, and hopefully try to change it. Or at least, that's what I chose to do. In the end "reputation" means so very little if it means hurting people that you truly care for or that care for you.

I guess what I'm getting at is this. For me, it was more important to take that leap of faith, no matter how long it had been and no matter what the consequences, than to have that person forever think of me as a "little shit". That said, I may still be a little shit...but now, I'm a little shit without regret.

In darkness, light!



Carol said...

I am glad that you had that opportunity to straighten things out. You were lucky.
we all do things that we regret. When I think back on some of the things I did I get fucked up!!!
"that really wasn't me" is my famous saying.

Wish I could change a lot but can't so I must let it go and start over.


Tracy said...

Hi Carol,

I HATE those, "that really wasn't me" moments! This however, was one that I always knew that if I was ever granted the opportunity, no...the privilege, to change it, I was going to.

It was awesome to be able to reconnect with someone who knew me when I was growing up and to see where are lives have taken us.

Needless to say, I'm sure he learned a few things about me that were..well, unexpected }:)


Maggi said...

I think there is nothing worse than regret. Too much weight for my shoulders. I'd rather have done something and learned from it than to wish I had always tried something or taken a chance. It just keeps getting better so the philosophy must be working, at least for me.

I have a feeling if my bf from high school ran into me, he'd still hate me. Sigh, se la vie.

Tracy said...

I think I would rather regret not having done something, than having done some awful that I either can't change or left someone hurt as a result of it. Thankfully, I don't have as many of the latter and I'm trying to make up for the things I regret not having tried yet }:)