I unexpectedly ran into somebody from my past the other day. I haven’t seen this person for probably 15 years and if I’m honest he is somebody who I’d have liked to forget.
You see, in my youth, I wasn’t the person that I am now. I was probably no worse than most people my age but I dabbled in drugs, drank regularly and heavily and I had casual sex. I wasn’t a slut; I think the difference with me was that I didn’t feel comfortable doing the things I did. Looking back, I was just lacking in confidence and very insecure. I thought sex was just something that I had to do, that if I had a couple of drinks with a guy, I should oblige. Like I said, I wasn’t THAT bad but I couldn’t say that I don’t regret some of my past actions.
Of course now I wouldn’t do any of those things. I know who I am and what I want and I am confident enough to stand by my morals. Still, seeing that face from the past took me back. It was completely unexpected and although I only said hello as I walked passed him, in that instant the memories swamped me. He wasn’t a nice man, not somebody you’d want to take home to meet your parents. He was a complete charmer who could (apparently) turn at the drop of a hat. For these reasons alone I shouldn’t have been anywhere near him but there were others too complicated to go into which made it doubly complex. I was well aware of all of this and looking back he took advantage of me at a vulnerable time in my life. I was lacking in confidence and VERY easily charmed. Still, he treated me well, I saw his fun side, and he made me laugh.
Luckily for me, the liaison didn’t last long, ending well before I got to see his dark side. I’d like to say that I came to my senses but I honestly can’t remember (that’ll be the drink and drugs). Still, it has been something that I have been embarrassed about ever since. It was 15 years ago and I still don’t like to think about it, certainty not talk about it.
So when I saw him and smiled my hello, I expected to be overcome with negative emotion. But I wasn’t, I looked at my past self with compassion. The decisions I made at that time were made by a very young, inexperienced, insecure girl who just wanted to be loved. A very different person to the one I see in the mirror today. I understood why I did what I did. Thinking about him as I walked on by, I felt so positive it brought a smile to my face. Thinking about his charm and how I could see through it now. Thinking about how far I’d come. Realising that without people like him in my past, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. It was a lightening bolt moment; because of experiences like that one, I am a stronger, more confident, more empathetic and less judgemental person.
This chance encounter made me realise that I couldn’t regret anything from my past because it has helped to shape the person that I am today.