We all go through life with relationships which come and go, and, recently, I had an old one enter into my head.
When I was in college from 2011-15 I struck up a rapport with someone who shall remain nameless and genderless. We were roommates, confided in each other in tough moments and ran in the same circles – to a degree – in and outside of the classroom. I was a mess at the time (as therapy and other treatments these days have caused me to realize). I thought we connected deeper than we did, did not react well when I eventually came to realize this was not the case and ultimately said some fairly hurtful things via an online interaction.
This resulted in a block, no speaking since, and, while I have gone on to great work and mild misadventures in the time since, I must admit my thoughts have occasionally circled back to this figure over time. Like anyone else in my life who I have respected and have experienced losing touch with, I often wonder where they wander now. Are they happy? Do they remember good moments from when I was most messed up? Would they respond to an email if I opted to send one with scorn, indifference or some kind of courtesy I did not necessarily extend before?
Being curious, I opted to take a plunge and sent out some correspondence last week. I began the email with some hope, nostalgia for earlier times and exhibited some self-awareness I did not have before I met my wife.
“This kind of mindset and moment-to-moment activity caused me to hurt people like yourself.”
No response has come. But, I do feel good about making the effort and feel I can bring my time with this person to a definitive close. It is not easy exploring one’s life. It is also even harder to plum your most degenerate depths and seek penance for what you have done while wallowing in them. In a way, I feel I have here. Perhaps I will do more in the future, but, for the moment, I am happy and with this bit, too. It took me quite a while to get here, but I would not trade it for anything. I hope the same comes to you dear reader and, to use a short quote from a popular show on Netflix about someone going through similar personal struggles, improvement is like running.
“Every day, it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day — that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”