Today I decided to pull a friend aside and have a talk with them. Not for anything they’d done, but for something I had which I regretted immensely and wanted to apologize for. I have long tried to live without regret, mainly because it is so easy for me to get bogged down in the failings of the past I don’t come back around, but these days I think that mode of thinking isn’t serving me as well as it once did.

We took a few moments outside and, without getting into the specifics of what we talked about, I brought up the past, the present, and a little bit about the future. I earnestly apologized for something that had happened between us some years back, that recently had been eating at me. I didn’t try to sugar-coat anything and took full responsibility for what I saw as a personal failing. She expressed that she was glad I was becoming more cognizant of my actions, and that we both had a lot to learn, but that she wished I wouldn’t beat myself up so much about it.

We hugged, laughed a bit, and parted friends. I tried not to cry.

There are other people to whom I distinctly feel the need to apologize, for words and actions said and done either carelessly or selfishly in the past, but I feel like I can’t, or at least shouldn’t, approach or attempt to contact the people in question. It’s not difficult to argue that what my friend and I spoke about today was the greatest injustice my ignorance has ever inflicted, and that contrary to her wishes I’m going to continue to beat myself up about it for a long while yet. That being said, I no longer have the closeness or openness with others that I feel could make personal apologies palatable.

I’ve written about this in other Self-Reflection posts before, but today was a big moment, and is something I’m glad to have faced, no matter how uncomfortable.