I don’t like the word regret, yet, I guess no one really does. Just the definition is depressing, “grief at something done or undone.” To me, it has such a finality to it and I guess I don’t see life that way. I see life as a series of decisions, choices, doors closing but windows opening. I am the ultimate optimist. I laugh as I write this, thinking of the words a good friend of mine, RC, used once to describe me. “You are the effing ( yep the f bomb) biggest optimist I know. Life has shit on you and you keep wading through, trying to smell the effing roses.”(pardon the language, RC wouldn’t say it any other way). Ah, how I love her graphic, yet truly descriptive words. Even a good ole Christian girl, like me, needs to hear it like that sometimes; to fully realize the truth in the words.
I had never realized what an optimist I am; how I take every situation thrown at me or created by me and say, “It’s for the best. I can’t see it yet and it sucks but there is a reason,” until she pointed it out in a honest way. So with having this kind of outlook on life, I can now see why regret is not a word I say I believe in. It’s frankly not a word I wanna use or even hear.
However, as optimistic as I may be, I do have one big regret in my life. Yes, I must admit that is what it is…a regret. Ugh, I cringe just to use the word, but I’ll get to the R word soon enough. I want to explain why this R word is such a hard belief to grasp. For one, I don’t want to regret. I don’t want to look back on the choices that i made in that way, because choices determine the course our road takes and that road is our lives. So, I don’t want to regret my life. When I look back, I still see joy, happiness, living and growth. Therefore, how do I regret.?
Next, with that “How do I regret?” question I ask, “What if I hadn’t met certain people because of my choices?” Or rather I should ask, “What if my pain from the choices hadn’t been there to bring me some of the greatest friends I have ever known?” What if, what if I had never worked that job, Would I have met Candy and gotten through a horrible marriage by venting to her b/c she was in the same place herself? Would I have met Becky at church who seems to know exactly what to say to draw me back into reality and into a walk with God? Would I have been able to help Maggie or Alicia with their heartaches if I hadn’t known my own? Or would I have poured by heart out to RC, the one who knows me best, the one who pushed me and helped me see I am a writer? I can’t stand these “what ifs” because these girls I have met along this journey have been amazing. They are my best friends in one form or another. I can’t imagine my life without them. So, how can I regret?
Finally, I feel no matter what we choose, God is there, directing us, molding us, and comforting us. IF I never traveled this bumpy road, would I know Christ in the same deep, humble, awe stuck-in love kind of way?
However, this last one, is what makes me ask questions, “If I had done it God’s way, then wouldn’t He have still brought all these beautiful relationships into my life anyway? I guess I’ll only know that answer, in Heaven, one day.
Now, back to my regret, the big one, I think I let “the one” get away. Everything I can now clearly articulate that I want and need in a man, he is just that. I can’t help but look back and think, “What if?” I can’t help but be caught up in a daydream of what my life would have been like. I can’t help but think it is still a possibility. Far off maybe, but still a possibility.
I say far off because I broke him deeply, more times than one. I hurt him and I must now say that is my biggest regret, that I hurt him. I hurt the man I loved at the tender age of 17. yes, I hurt him over and over again.
I was so deeply scared of what he truly meant to me. How he loved me was so deep. I thought he deserved better than me. I was a mess; the oldest of nine with more responsibilities than some adults can bear. And quite simply, I was scared. I had to be in charge to stay whole and complete in my little broken world. When I had to do so much caring, when I had to be in charge, how could I let someone come in and take care of me? That was foreign to me at the time. That was a concept I only began to understand a couple e of years ago.
Tears grace my cheeks now, thinking of what an amazing man he was at only 18. It is mind blowing to me. He was more of a man then, than most men I now know.
AHHHH, and I had him! But like I said, I broke him.
He married young like I did, he was 20 or so, I was 21. My marriage did not last, even though I fought for it to. His did not last either.
It is ironic, it is like we married the same person only in the opposite sex. Very needy people, we let change us. We both seemed to let them suck us dry in more ways than one and leave us as they went on.
And I again can’t help but regret and wonder, “what if?”
What if we had lasted and married? Would we have children now? Would he have finished college? Would I have went to school for my dream, voice and writing? Who would we be? where would we be?
I can daydream for hours, picturing what our life might have been like. He moved to the big city, like I wanted and I stayed here like he wanted. Where would we have ended up?
Again, comes my “but,” “But, if we had ended up together, would I have became the girl, I now am?”
Would I have realized what I had? Would I be as amazed and grateful as I now am? Or would I have broken him in a deeper way? I can’t bear that thought, yet it is a valid question.
So, I sit here now, the music plays a beautiful song I’ve envisioned singing to him on our wedding day. One RC introduced me to. She is the one who pointed out that my list of the man I am waiting for that I keep tucked in my Bible was him. I tried to push it away but it is true, he is everything on my list.
Anyway back to the song that now pays, I envision singing it on our wedding day. It is a song that is true in so many ways,
“If I ever left this town, I’d never a settle down. I’d just be wandering around if I ever left this town.” A reason I know God kept me here. Without the lessons learned here, the stability, the friends, falling in love with here, my lil town, then I really would be a big jumbled up mess. I know I wouldn’t be me.
“If I wasn’t by your side, I’d never be satisfied. If I wasn’t by your side.” How true this feels. How true it has been. I am satisfied in Christ but I know something is missing from my puzzle. A big piece, the piece and I’m not fully complete or satisfied.
“Cause I’m not easy to understand, but you know me like the back of your hand.” How true this is. I’m a mess in a million ways. I am more than one me and he knew me better than I know myself. I recently read a poem he wrote me when were only in the 12th grade and I broke down. I’m blown away at how well he knew me, the real me and he loved me for me. Serious me, broken me, dream-ful me, silly me, funny me, hippy me. He loved me in all of my forms.
“And we can go on and on, won’t ever feel too long. I’ll always call you home, and we’ll go on and on. ” We could go on and on forever in our life, just loving. I could go on and on about us. And he was home to me in so many ways and if he was here with me know, he would be what I call home.
“Cause I know you like the back of my hand, got a heart of gold and a piece of land.” I see that I knew him fully too. We were each others best friend. And he sure had a heart of gold. It was beautiful.
Yes, I regret this love lost, let go. But the “effing” optimist still dreams and believes in the possibility of a love with him. Between all the shit, i see the roses I carry down a sunlight aisle. And I feel the final words of the song, “Cause I’m your girl and you’re my man and we’re making plans.”
Living, loving with my man, making plans and one day …..good-bye regret.
Written in my journal 4-1-12 11 pm.
Written to Making Plans by Miranda Lambert, You tube song attached.