October 24, 2007

Regret? Or just wishful thinking?

When I was 17, I worked as a cashier in a grocery store. I loved that job; and I was so good at it, too. Not that I'm not good at the much more complicated jobs I've had since then; it was just something to really be proud of at that time. But, that's not my point.

While working at this grocery store, I met a much older man. He was 24. He was sexy, funny, sweet, everything a girl could possibly look for in a man. But, of course, being 17, I was too stupid to realize the good thing I had, and so for the next few years, we had a yo-yo relationship: up and down, on and off, him waiting patiently for me to grow up, me wanting something more exciting, dramatic.

Well, end of that story is that I made a huge mistake, although in some ways I don't regret it. I met my ex-husband and got pregnant with my oldest child. The result was, well, of course, my child, but that I married my former jerk-I mean, spouse. I was adult enough to call and try to tell my wonderful guy how stupid I was and what I was doing. After that, I never spoke to him again.

I don't blame him for hating me, despising me, or anything else he may, and probably does, feel for me.

Here's my thing though: There's a lot of nights, I lie awake, wondering where he is, what he's doing, and if there were any possibility he might still love me, and if I found him, maybe we could have a chance.

Which is why I now wonder: Do I truly regret what happened, truly still love him and want another chance with him, or is it the wishful thinking of youth gone by? Is it what I really want, or do I only think I want it because it's not an option? I've looked for him, used every resource I can find that doesn't cost (because as a single mother, I can't afford it!), all to no avail. Which is another reason why I wonder. I mean, if I could have just dialed his number, and had him on the phone, would I still have this longing for him? Or is this a matter of wanting what I can't have?

I'd like to think it's real. I do think it's real. This was a man who meant a lot to me, even though I wouldn't admit it at first. My ex-husband was a mistake, and had I not met him and gotten pregnant, I believe this other guy and I would still be together, with a family of our own. Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying I want to go back and change things. In one sense, I would, because I would still have the other guy. But mostly, I have to say, as much as I regret the end of the relationship, I'd still do it, because it gave me my children. My children are my life, my world, my center. I can't say I would change or regret the situation that resulted in thier births.

I don't mean to sound mopey and depressed. It's just something that I think of quite frequently. I'm sure other people do something similar. I just wonder....are we all regretting what truly could have been, or are we regretting what we've convinced oureslves would have been?

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