Miss Erica Regrets....

Saturday, May 31, 2008 |

I had a surreal moment that really got me thinking this week. (Note to self- if you have to think- should I go look at this person’s blog? The answer is probably NO)
I had one of those awful flashbacks to the past that you have put wayyyy behind you. The past you would rather remember fondly and distantly and not very often.

I’m talking about the relationships that ended badly or awkwardly and that you should have moved on from. I had a great guy friend a looooong time ago and I hadn’t heard from him other than knowing he got married while I was on my mission. I remember thinking to myself when I was young and dumb that we would eventually work our problems out and start dating and get married, but probably after we both served missions. I figured the Lord was keeping us as “just friends” cause we had stuff to accomplish. It was one of those awkward liking each other at different times type things. Well, the timing obviously didn’t ever work out and I hadn’t given him a thought in forever. FOREVER. Pretty much since I got the letter on my mission that he was getting married.

So- having had much agony, heartache and woe since then in actual dating life so that this became a childhood crush type thing, I was confident in myself and thought…..ooooh he has a blog! I’ll take a look down memory lane! Big mistake. I realized a) I really don’t know him at all anymore and he was probably the closest male friend I’ve ever had so that was tragically sad and b) As much as I ever think I’ve moved on from relationships, you may get over anger, jealousy and bad type emotions, but you don’t get over just caring about and missing someone.

So then I of course started reminiscing and it made me sad to have lost that close friendship. And I hadn’t given a thought to that at all recently so it’s like it brought a little dark cloud into my life where there was none.

I thought about the dumb arguments we had and how immature some of it was since we were so young. Then I realized…..hmm….actually….I think most of the immature points of view were on my part. It was a painful week of realizing that currently I say a lot of dumb things that I wish I could take back…..and apparently I have a loooong history of it. It is frustrating to wonder how you can make the same mistakes over and over again. But reassuring to know that the Lord loves me and even if I keep falling I am determined to pick myself up, brush myself off, and start all over again.

It really reminded me of the scriptures where it says “…notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.”

I feel much more sure of myself now than back then and I think it’s because my testimony has grown stronger since then. I can make these mistakes and feel like I am still OK and the world’s not going to end.

It’s interesting to think about the people who seem so sure of themselves. My friend was one of the strongest people I have ever known. Ridiculously mature. Seemingly perfect in most aspects of the gospel. But was it all only on the outside? I know he had insecurities- he just wasn’t very vocal about them. Some people seem to really never change greatly in their personalities or habits. And thinking about myself…….wow…..I have had quite a few “maturity growth spurts”. I wonder if everyone has them but some people are just not as open about it. I hope so. I mean, I am sure he has had life altering growing experiences, but off the top of my head…. from the outside looking in, they have been through changes and not through mistakes he has made. Whereas in my life…..I makey the mistakeys. And lots of them.

From the outside looking in…….it’s pretty depressing to say that and fitting to how I feel in general right now. I used to have the inside scoop on his life, but now I can read his blog. I think most of the time when we beat ourselves up over comparisons we make to other people(why must we do that?) we have about that same level of closeness to the reality of their life as reading a blog. We don’t really know what’s going on inside their mind and heart as much as we may think we are getting the full story.

So, anyways, I am kind of glad my catlike curiosity made me open that page. Over the course of the week and through alot of thought, the little dark cloud has lightened and I do feel better about myself. I may have initally had some shellshock at the memories of my stupidity, but I think it has helped me take a moment to sort through who I am and who I want to be right now, and steps I should take to get there.

So to sum it all up - one of my favorite songs of all time. One I had in my mind all week. Even though obviously this is not some huge lost love or something, the truth of the chorus to this song has spoken to me since I was a child about all relationships. And when one of my favorite artists released her version it became a staple to my playlists. I give you ....

“The Heart of the Matter” by India Arie [originally performed by Don Henley]

I got the call today, I didn't wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old true friend of ours was talkin' on the phone
She said you found someone
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And all the struggles we went through
How I lost me and you lost you
What are these voices outside love's open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?

I've been learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew,
I'm learning them again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age
And the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work they put between us,
You know it doesn't keep us warm

I've been trying to live without you now
But I miss you, baby
The more I know, the less I understand
And all the things I thought I figured out, I have to learn again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my heart is so shattered
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

All the people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down, you know they hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; cause life goes on
You keep carrin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside

I wanna be happily ever after
And my heart is so shattered
But I know it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me

I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
Because the flesh gets weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I'm thinkin' about forgiveness
Even if you don't love me anymore
Even if you don't love me anymore


WhiteEyebrows said...

i love india arie.

Alison said...

I'm glad you decided to write this. Every once in a while, I stop and think about something I did or said back in the day and agonize over it again. Why do we do that to ourselves? Chances are, everyone else has forgotten all about it (even the major players), except us. It's true that some people just appear to have it all together, but I have to remind myself that NO ONE has it all together, no matter how confident they may appear. I'm one of those people that makey the mistakeys as well. So I hear you loud and clear on this post. So good.