I feel a little like I'm in some 12 step program and I'm up to the part where I'm going around apologizing to people.
About a month or so back I discovered Face-book... In the last month, I have reconnected with people from Elementary School, High School and various other periods in my life. I did a blog about that time about how much I have changed over the last 15-20 years and that still holds true.
Amongst the old friends I have reconnected with, are 2 ex-girlfriends. With one exception none of the girls, I dated and I were still on speaking terms. That one exception was a mutual break-up. She was in New Zealand and me in South Africa, and we both sent a letter about the same time indicating that things probably weren't going to work out. We ended up as excellent friends, although I have kind of lost touch in recent years. It's tricky balancing relationships with past flames and a wife. My wife is incredible, and I would never even consider leaving her, so when it comes down to it, if something is going to jeapardize that relationship, it gets given up really quickly.
Anyway, back to the ex-girlfriends... I was a social moron as a teenager. I approached relationships as an all or nothing type thing, and then followed Hitler's idea of using a strict scorched earth policy if things went wrong - it pretty much worked out as well for me as it did for him though.
For the past decade or so, I've often worried about how I left things with some of these young ladies, and while hopefully I have learned from those experiences, it still bugged me how things ended.
In the last month though I have been able to make contact with 2 of them, and have decent civil email conversations with them. Time is definitely a great healer, but also I have apologized to both for my being a complete moron all those years ago. I have been pleasantly surprized at how good it has felt to get those monkey's off my back, especially when I wasn't even really aware the monkey was there.
I'm hoping at this point though that I can figure out how to help my kids learn these lessons before they start dating. Pretty much the only advise I got from my parents was that "I was being too physical" and then some other really bad advise based on how they perceived the various girls. It seems like they always really liked the ones they shouldn't have, and disliked they should have, thinking they were the other way around.
It feels good to apologize and right past wrongs - Of course it would be better if I learned my lessons earlier rather than later, but I'm sure I'll be finding things to apologize for later in life that I am doing now, because I'm still a moron at times.