THE LIFE UNLIVED
The use of the word "she" in the following does not refer to any one person, but to an abstract, an idea, to more than one person, at different times in my life, over many years.
All it takes is time to grow old.
I feel older these days. Tangibly, slowly, older. More tired running up stairs. But mentally, I feel more alert than I have done in my life. I'm kind of feeling, very clearly, that I'm at a certain point in my life, and perhaps, the course is set. Life is what it is, and sometimes, you can't think your way to answers that aren't there. We only go one direction, and there are no save points. You cannot go back and replay.
Did I make the right decisions? Did I go in the right direction? Did I love the right people? I don't know. I know that at certain points, two very distinct points, I met and loved people who never knew how much I loved them, and perhaps didn't even know at all. In one case, something definitely happened. In the other, it almost did. They may have known, but they don't know. Not the way I did. But I also know, at those precise points in my life, that making something work, something real, something lasting, takes more than just people together. You can't just take the Terminator approach and surmise that “SHE IS A FEMALE HUMAN OF BREEDING AGE”.
It takes a space where both people are in the same place. It takes two people in roughly the same place in their lives, roughly the same place. When I met someone, their life and mine, and their heart and mine, no mattter how compatable, no matter how strong the connection, no matter how long lasting that is, needs to be in the same approximate area. At one time perhaps, I could have won her, or worse, I would have won her briefly and ruined it by being a selfish prat. It might not have lasted, and it might have despoilt the connection. For at the respective times, I was emotionally at least, a bit of a bastard. I would have ended up cheating, or hurting someone, or being selfish, or not the person I wanted to be. I tried my best, but I know, in my heart that they deserved better than the person I could be at the time. I denied myself for something which was, in retrospect, the right thing to do, by not doing anything. It was better not to even though I wanted to. I fell short of being who I wanted to be. I didn't deserve her, and she deserved better than I could be, and I knew it.
At the time, I wanted to kiss her. So much more than I could ever say or express. (Now, not so much, for my life has turned out rather splendidly). Over time, I suspect she has wondered why I didn't, or perhaps, understood. I wasn't at my best. Now, of course, that all seems so long ago.
After all, why all this navel gazing? My problem years ago was I found it difficult to love just one person. I couldn't keep it in my pants then. It broke hearts, including my own. Great people slipped through my selfish fingers. Sometimes I knew better than to trust myself with their souls. I could have, and do regret such things, but is it worth the agony to have a notch on a bedpost and hurt someone trusting? Not any more.
Of course, now, I have someone who I am overjoyed and so lucky with. I am So much luckier than she knows.
But sometimes, I wonder. What path my life took. I knew she was one of the few. I have no idea if she knew I felt, but I was so deep in love with her I was utterly confused and embarrassed, and terrified of hurting a sharp, lovely person. I wasn't good enough. I don't mean that in a humblebrag, but I knew I needed to be someone better than I was. But I was a selfish and selfless person. I wish, at the least, I'd explained the car crash that was my heart at the time. But I was, in the meantime, a bit of a jerk, and let a wonderful person go and I should have fought harder, but then again, maybe our respective lives would have been awful together, and I needed to be the person that deserved to be with her and I wasn't at the time.
Of course, had I done that, I wouldn't be where I am now, but also, had I done that, I would also have avoided the next subsequent, bloody awful, few years of my life. If I am honest, I would quite happily press Fast-Fwd on the remote of life and leap a decade to around June 2009. We are where we are, and where I am is no bad place at all. I'm astonishing lucky as my life is, and I am happy, and why would I regret that? We are all guilty of the life unlived, the lips unkissed, the world unknown, but also, we only have one life, and it is better to live this life than any other, and better to be at peace with this world than regret anything that did or didn't happen. But then, there are people in this world, on this planet, living right now, who I loved and adore and for whom, but for the Grace Of Tron, I would have very happily grown old with had the chance ever happened. No regrets, for where I am is beautiful.
Life is what it is, for good and bad, and I am the best person I can be, and if you aren't what is stopping you?