Sometimes events in life pass and you can’t experience it. You watch it from the sidelines as it goes by, others, you have no idea until later. For the good stuff, you might feel a pang of regret or sadness, but for the sour events you might just wipe your brow with a sigh of relief and think, “good thing that didn’t happen to me!”
I’ve been going through a bit of a sad period, leaving my beloved America behind (cue images fading into one another, of bald eagles, of flags flapping in the wind, of unnecessarily large pick-up trucks, all while the national anthem stirs within you something bordering on Nationalism)…
Since sarcasm is hard to read in text, I’ll clearly state for the record that the above paragraph was sarcastic.
On a more genuine note, I felt deeply connected to my significant other, and separating myself geographically, for what’s to be an unknown amount of an expectedly long time, I find myself looking back and kicking myself for taking things for granted. For not spending every possible moment of every possible day of every possible time period together. For getting upset. For being in an off mood.
That’s a common sentiment I sometimes hear when people talk about their loved one’s who have since died; phrases that all seem to express regret that they didn’t do or say a particular thing, or maybe something more general like being a moody teenager.
Looking back, it’s all too easy to inadvertently put on “rose-colored regret glasses”. The reality is that I’m still who I am, which is who I was then, too. I need personal space, in both physical and temporal senses. Even if I had a time machine and could go back in time knowing what I now know, I think I might act different but that wouldn’t change my needs, it wouldn’t affect my need to sometimes be alone.
Anyway that’s what I’ve been feeling the past week. Shoot, my girlfriend isn’t dead and we’re still together; there are many more memories to be made ahead…but I still find myself looking back and regretting how I acted, what I said or didn’t say.
But here’s where I’m lucky: while the known, finite amount of time apart is not quite the same as a dearly departed – I won’t make the comparison that they’re the exact same – it still hurts, and it still isn’t easy. But it still gives me a chance to have this look-back through the rose-colored glass. It still gives me the chance to have these regrets. Realizations can be had, plans can be set. It’s a rare opportunity to realize you didn’t carpe diem and to get another chance.