I had a pretty damn good day today, until about 8. Then I ran out of steam. I spent a good portion of my day reminscing with a friend of mine. Found a different perspective on some crappy behavior of a 20-something boy and realized I'm the idealized "one who got away" he turns to, right or wrong, when he's having a hard time at home. Over the course of the day it became clearer to me that contacting me once in a while isn't the underhanded thing I suspected, but a way for him to wonder what would've been if he'd made different choices. Only thing is, the rose glasses are on in full force for him, and I started thinking, do I WANT to be the idealized version of me at 20?
No way in HELL.
But there are some things I'm able to forgive myself for: I wasn't quite as much of a fool as I thought I'd been. My instincts WERE right, even if my backbone wasn't fully developed at the time. What I learned about being independent and still being in a relationship, about the coexistence of two people who need honesty and attention, about needing the words to match the behavior, all came from that first intense and all-consuming love I had for a boy who wasn't ready for that sort of relationship. In all honesty, neither was I: I didn't know how to be myself and be someone's love, so if he'd reciprocated unfettered we most likely would've self-destructed after a few years. I know it, even if he doesn't see it yet, because we both ended up with the people we're meant to be with, for various reasons.
So now he has some regrets, and I have forgiveness, for myself and him. Which means I can truly be a friend without reservation.