Maybe it’s an age thing, getting close to that scary halfway number, or maybe it’s coming to the end of year thing but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about things in my past. Although I try to live my life without regrets, some of these things I am sorry for and I have made an effort to make amends.
In high school one of my best friends was an Indian girl. We spent a lot of time together, not just at lunch and recess sitting in our little group of daggy girls but also many hours on school holidays riding our bikes, going to the city or the movies. We both were studying to get into Uni and at the time, the exams at end of year 12 were the only results considered for entrance so there was a fair amount of pressure to do well. I remember the day that our results came out and my friend called, completely distraught that she had missed out on all opportunities to gain entry to all universities. My dad helped her work out an alternative pathway that would eventually help her get into the course she wanted…but then that’s where it ends. I started uni and this person who had been such an important part of my life, just became invisible. I don’t know why I didn’t keep in touch but I have now and hope that I can rekindle this friendship.
In primary school my best friend was Jenny. We both did ballet and tap dancing and spent holidays at each other’s houses. I moved away for high school but crossed paths with Jenny a couple of times, yet again didn’t keep in touch. Thank goodness for FB as I have managed to contact Jenny and her older brother, Wes and have caught up on the last 36 years over coffee.
At uni, my best friend who was also my bridesmaid at Wedding 1, my first housemate and who was supposed to be my birthing partner (along with DH) suddenly became estranged when I moved overseas and then up to the Pilbara. My stubbornness & ex-partner’s paranoia caused a major rift that has taken me years to “build the bridge” to get over it. Now I am making the effort to reconnect to someone who was so important in my life…
Reflecting on my past and past behaviours I have realised that to move on I must forgive what I did and who I was at those times that now cause me embarrassment. I need to accept that the things that were done and said, although in hindsight may not have been the best, were the best I could do at that moment in time, given my limits on age and experience.
This also goes for things that were done and said to me. For a long time I compartmentalised my hurts, boxing them up, emotions and all, to be stored away in the attic of old memories in the hope that out-of-sight was out-of-mind. For a while it worked – the hurt bleaching out over time like sun-faded ribbons crumbling to the touch.
But now it’s time to forgive my past, the internal and external and spend the future in excited anticipation.
“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Louis B. Smedes