That happened to me last night.
Over a decade ago, I lived and worked in an Eastern European country for just shy of two years. Yes, it turned out to be the place where I met M. as he was traveling through and from that moment on, the rest of the story is history and a good one. Those are the points in time I LIKE to dwell on. Remember. Reminisce. But before my scruffy knight in shining Gap cargo pants came along, there was a different period. Filled with all kinds of characters. Some I still know and love (very much), some I wish I had never, ever EVER met and many that I simply wish knew me now instead of having the (dis?)pleasure of knowing the 22-year old me. I'm really not sure I would be that fond (or even tolerant) of the 22 year old me.
Sure, there were parts that could have been charming, perhaps even fun. I'm fairly certain that I was fun on several occasions. But here are the things I realized in technicolor last night:
- I was a pretty sucky friend. There could be some exceptions to this, but I think this is a fair statement.
- I was definitely a sucky ESL teacher, and employee in general. I can try to blame some things on language and cultural differences here, but that only goes so far. Showing up late for your own class? That's not cool in any language.
- I was needy (which, explains much of #1)
- I didn't think I was needy, which makes it worse. I fancied myself independent, world-weary, street-smart. Ha. I crack me up.
- Most of my actions, reactions and decisions in general make me wince when I think about them now. And those are only the ones I can remember. And I'm not too interested in digging back farther than that. At least not this morning.
Not looking for you to tell me I'm being too hard on myself, or surely it wasn't that bad. No. Sorry. I think I could probably amass some very tangible evidence to prove otherwise. Before even calling witnesses to the stand. What I needed was to just get that out, so I can stop obsessing and more forward writing the things I am supposed to be writing instead of an indulgent blog post. I am wondering is if any of you, dear readers, have found yourself in this situation - of looking back and wincing but not being able to not look?
No need to divulge details, just tell me I am not the only one.