Saturday, August 7, 2010

Regrets Revisited

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair. ~Samuel Johnson

One thing that I have always tried to avoid with the nimbleness of a dancer is what we humans term 'regret.' To me, regret has a taste that is unforgettable. It's the sour taste of something gone wrong. Regret is a disappointment in a person's life or decision.

Random note about me: When I was a child, I got disciplined. Yet, the punishment wasn't as bad to me as the fact that I had just disappointed my parents. Once again, I had that most unpleasant taste of regret in my mouth after such an incidence of disappointment. As much as I desire to dwell upon that small regret, I have to make the conscience decision to allow life to continue.

I loathe the feeling of regret permeating any part of my life. I rarely allow it take a place in my thought. Yet, sometimes a regret slowly examined may show some nugget of truth that will facilitate learning. The 10 hour car ride of the past day was perfect for this type of contemplation. It's a painful way of learning from one's mistakes, but this type of analyzation is imperative.

For a moment, bear with me as I muse upon a regret in my life. It's a regret that spans the majority of my life. Regrets with friendships and people are the worst kind.

When I was a young child, my mother had a best friend who we would visit monthly. My mother and her friend talked daily on the phone, but they looked forward to the visits. Mrs. C had three children but her son, Robby, was only a year older than me. On our monthly visits, we would bring donuts to Robby's house and then we children (which included my two siblings) would scurry downstairs to play video games. I was in awe of Robby. Oh, I knew he wasn't perfect. We had our childish disagreements and miscommunications. Even still in my childish eyes, Robby could walk on the very clouds if he desired.

As all children do, we grew up. Robby's family moved. We still saw each other. Robby became wrapped up in school and I was homeschooled. We were tentative friends as adolescence rocked our separate worlds. High school broadened the gap that had started with a small crack of an ill-placed comment and poor decision. I saw it. Yet, I could not find any bridge.

The gap was a mixture of distrust, fear of judgement, and rebellion. I am sure that there is much more in this gap that I do not see. I know that I aided in the growth of this grand canyon. After all, during those turbulent teen years, I harbored a couple of romantic notions towards Robby that cause me now to cringe at my silliness. All of my teen crushes snatched away my ability to communicate anything but silence. That would cause a problem in a friendship - don't you think?

With all these thoughts resurfacing in my head as my mother and I discussed my childhood, I continually came back to this lost friendship. Sitting in the car next to my mother as we talked about the past, I realized that I regretted the loss of this friendship. To my mother, I said, "Mom, if I could go back in time and know what to change in my friendship with Robby so that I could be friends with him now - I would do it."

I mourn this lost friendship. He and I are both grown. I told my mother, "We will most likely never meet again unless you or his mother plans something that we both happen to attend which is fairly unlikely. Even then, we shall probably not talk." From my perspective, I see no type of mending possible. After all, it's not as simple as an apology.

I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences... I'm human, not perfect, like anybody else.
Queen Latifah