Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What I Can't Say

I say all sorts of things that I shouldn't.  I know I've hurt people's feelings (probably most often my mother's) with careless and callous words, but even so, what I probably regret more than anything are the times when I should've said something or wanted to say something and I just didn't. 

The other day a friend introduced me to the Daily Mission Project (which in itself is really fun to read), and in my browsing, I came across April 19th's mission: "Think of one person in your life you wish you had said something, anything to. Track them down and say it."

When I read that, I knew exactly who I'd track down if it were my mission.  Luckily, it's not.  I don't know that I would ever actually send this to him, but if I did, it would go something like this:

Dear ____________,

A while ago, a guy that I really liked broke up with me. I was so blind-sided by it that I didn't even know what to say at the time.  I made some lame joke so we could laugh away the awkwardness and brushed it off as though he had just told me that he couldn't get tickets to see Avatar in 3D and not that he had just told me that he couldn't see us working out in the long-term.  When I got home, it still hadn't registered; I was simply stunned.  What just happened?  I started to wonder if part of the reason he had ended things was because I had been too emotionally distant with him.  Had it even been clear to him that I liked him?  I wasn't sure.  I couldn't sleep, so I wrote him an email in the wee hours of the morning, telling him how I felt and explaining to him that the only reason I was even bothering to tell him any of this at all was because the one thing I regretted the most about my past relationships was not telling this one person how I felt about him at the time.

That one person is you.  For whatever reason, that regret - not telling you how I felt about you at the time - has managed to resurface from time to time in the last few years.  It bubbles up most often when I'm feeling particularly alone or when yet another potential relationship has gone awry or when I meet someone who even remotely reminds me of you.  The puzzling thing is that I don't know why it's a feeling of regret.  There's no "what if?" trailing that feeling.  It's not as though I think, or even wish, that things could have turned out differently.  Circumstances are circumstances, and to me it seems fated that you and I were only meant to cross paths for a short period of time.  Regardless, I still wish you had known how I felt about you at the time.  How much I liked you.  How uncharacteristically emotional I was when I had to leave you.  My friends have all said, "Well I'm sure he knew on some level how much you liked him."  But did you?  I guess sometimes I worry that you think I only dated you because it was convenient.  Because you were there at the right place and the right time.  But if that really is what you think, then you're wrong.  You were there at the right place and at the right time but you were also the right person.  The right person for me.

If life is all about timing, then our timing could not have been more or less perfect.

Without regrets,

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