Be forewarned from the title...
Yesterday I heard a song on the radio. I turned it off autoplay, but it is in my little music player at the bottom of the page if you want to listen. It was from 1986, in the spring. It took me back to my fourth and last semester at BYU and a man in my student ward (church congregation) we'll call C. I have to call him a man because he was not a boy or a guy. He was 26 and had graduated, worked for a couple of years and was back at BYU for law school. He rode a big motorcycle and owned a white BMW 7 series. He played rugby. He had already made the switch from cassette and vinyl to CD's. (Back then a CD was 25 dollars and a CD player was about 800.) He was incredibly bright. His answers at church and the way he expressed himself completely fascinated me. Sigh.
I am writing about this because usually when I hear this song, I change the station. And I don't sigh or reminisce. I tear up and then tear myself up. For years I have been filled with regret over my college years. I was not in particularly good form in college-suffered from depression, had a very low opinion of myself, etc. Went looking for love in all the wrong places. Blech. I have always looked at those years in terms of the mistakes I made and the fact that if I wasn't brilliant socially, it must have been all my fault. It never seems to occur to me that others were involved that were probably in about the same boat as me.
So what happened to C? Nothing. I remained fascinated with him, he was cautious. We dated, I went to his rugby games and we sat together in church. His roommates said he was smitten, I could never tell. I left with no real assurance that I would ever see him again. I came home and about three weeks later, out of the stinking BLUE SKY, Eric asked me to marry him. (Seriously, we never dated-we were just friends up until the day we got engaged.) I was so relieved to be rid of all the angst of college (and also I fasted and prayed about it) and he was such a safe, kind, faithful, good friend that I said yes. It was obvious how he felt and it felt right to marry him. There was no game-playing or guessing with Eric. A WEEK after we got engaged, I got a letter from C telling me how he'd felt all semester. Sheesh. I fasted and prayed again and wrote C back telling him I wasn't coming back to the Y. And all these years I've felt guilty for breaking his heart.
Until now. I don't know exactly what has happened, but over the past months, people and memories from way back have popped back up in my life in unexpected ways and I've started seeing myself as I really was: a normal, if slightly depressed girl, trying her best, learning, growing and yes, making mistakes, but not the jerk I always thought of myself as. I was pretty much the way I am now-a generally nice person who tries to do the right thing. Funny how clouded our view of ourselves can become.
ANYWAY, to make a short story long, when I heard All I Need is a Miracle by Mike and the Mechanics yesterday, I did NOT change the station. I loved that song-why deprive myself of it? I listened to it, enjoyed it, and thought of C and how happy I was when I was with him in the midst of a really difficult year. I wondered for a minute what would have happened if he'd told me how he felt sooner, then let that go, sent out a prayer of gratitude for those moments and wished him well.
Regret is overrated. Don't do it. Forgiving oneself and moving on is much better. DUH.