The Things That I Regret
About a month ago I sat having coffee with Ryan, my first love– and the first guy to absolutely shatter my heart. We had gotten a drink a couple of weeks before, but since I can get drunk off 3 sample sips of beer at the grocery store these days, it wasn’t a super coherent conversation. Now, at coffee, he asked me to clarify some of my thoughts.
You see, Ryan and I have always had a super intense connection, I mean hello it’s been 20 years and here we are. Our love for each other has always bothered the people around us. We have always had to be secretive either because the super strict school we went to or because we have been with other people who didn’t appreciate our connection.
Let me be clear about this. I love Ryan. I always will. But I am not in love with him. I am in love with my husband, who thankfully has accepted everything about me– including my penchant for retaining some of my exes as dear friends.
Sitting there at coffee chatting about our love (weird, I know) I clarified a comment I had made. That if we had ended up together, he would have protected me from so many things. So many fucked up things that I needed to experience in order to be the person I am today. I feel like things would have been so simple for me had we ended up together. So simple, that I would not have been allowed to struggle. So simple that I may not have felt the need to help others or do great, big things.
I am almost positive that a life with him would have inhibited my growth. And while the safety and protection of him was something I loved most about him, the woman I am today knows I am better for not having it.
It’s funny, because the one regret I do have about him involves a missed opportunity. I was part of the 8-person cast who would be heading to NYC to perform in an Off Broadway musical for several months. The show even had a short run in Los Angeles. About a month beforehand, my relationship with him was brought up as a concern, and just as quickly as the opportunity came, I was punished with it being taken away.
That was 20 years ago and I still feel the sting every time I think about it. In fact, the majority of my regrets are related to me choosing a boy or a man, over an opportunity. (And I’m sorry but I don’t buy into the whole “NO REGRETS” bullshit. We all have something that when we have the clarity of hindsight, we might wish we had done things a bit differently. That’s part of being human.) Of course I believe I’m exactly where I need to be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate having missed out on some things or that I think it took far too long to learn some important lessons.
I have not once wished I had remained with someone I am no longer with, but I have certainly wished I’d chosen that move, that job or that trip over sticking around for some guy.
If the guy is worth it. He will be there. He will knock again. The opportunity won’t.
Love you guys,
Read the next installment of Self-Love Sunday here.