When I was five, I liked playing with ants.
I’d pick the ones with especially big heads and separate them from the rest, and if they bit me, I’d crush them to death. As a result, every time I send a C.V and it is rejected, I console myself that I am still atoning for the death of all those ants, although it’s not encouraging that I still have about 100 C.V’s yet to be rejected.
When I became a teenager, I liked playing Play station. I was not especially good, I think the ants I killed had a part in that as well.
Then I loved a girl.
Being with her was unlike the joy I got when I played with ants when I was five. Or the virtual game of soccer I was addicted to. She was as real and human as a 17-year-old girl can be, she was funny and she had a really great smile, a ‘Fanta’ smile, those smiles that you can’t get enough of. Plus she was left-handed. I love lefties, I think they are just awesome, they use unique guitars and golf clubs, are more likely to be geniuses and plus they look like mirror images when they are eating at a table opposite of you.
I met her at a Music Festival in my final year of high school. At the time I was a peer-pressured young man who believed more in the brain-numbing power of Napoleon brandy than in the healing powers of Dasani water. Since she was a prefect, she was ushering people back to class when she found me talking to her classmates, who I knew from church. I don’t know why, but she stuck around and we talked for a while. I even convinced her to buy a yu sim card, because at the time, sms’ on yu were free and calls were 50cents/min.
I loved that girl from the word go, (okay the first word I said to her was “hi”, but you catch my drift). I texted, and daydreamed, of her all day, and called her all night, even if I had my final school exams in three months, I honestly wanted, and believed, that we were going to get married and get lots of cute, left-handed babies.
Then I spoilt everything.
No, I didn’t cheat. I could never have cheated on her, loved her too much. The first love of my life, I wanted to take her to picnics in the park, watch movies with her, study hard, get a good job, save up, and take her to Niagara Falls. Problem was that my ego, and possibly Napoleon brandy, got in the way of apologizing for something stupid that I did. It is sad, but when you don’t talk with someone you love for almost a month after a fight, whatever it is you were fighting over becomes hard to resolve, because you do not have anything worth fighting for anymore.
I met her again this year, a month ago to be precise. She looked prettier than she did five years ago, on that cold July morning. We didn’t talk much, couldn’t actually, even if we wanted to. The distance that five years had wedged between us was evident. I wished, and wanted to talk to her about us, remind her about the park, those late-night calls, the endless text messages, Niagara Falls, about our unborn left-handed babies.
I wanted the whole world to stop spinning, erase the fact that I had moved on with life, or at least attempted to, since that nasty breakup in December 2010. So that it wouldn’t suck that I lost her, and suck even more that I’ll never get her back. In between all the regret, hurt, “I-wish-I-could-go back-to-that-moment” and all the time I spent stalking her social media pages, I realized that I made a mistake, a mistake that not even new improved Omo with a million multi-actives would ever remove.
I realized that if I didn’t learn my lesson, I’d find, like, love and lose another girl, and the cycle would never stop, and I’d be 56, on my third marriage and all my babies would have different, right-handed mothers. I learnt a lesson that doubt is the opposite of faith, but sometimes doubt can be a pathway to faith. Sometimes weakness is the opposite of strength, but sometimes weakness can be the pathway to strength. Sometimes addiction is the opposite of sobriety, but sometimes addiction can be the pathway to sobriety. Sometimes infidelity is the opposite of fidelity, but sometimes infidelity can be a pathway to fidelity. Sometimes failure is the opposite of success, but sometimes failure can be the pathway to success. (I’ll have to admit that I am not that deep, and the quote belongs to David W. Jones) Maybe you didn’t work hard enough in school, or maybe you are secretly taking herpes medication because of a promiscuous lifestyle you once lived, or someone you loved died while you were on bad terms, or you bear emotional scars because of something that happened years ago and you believe it is your fault.
For all those worries, I think that we do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” (Again, not my quote, it’s John Dewy’s, waah, now what do I own on this article?) but I think it’s appropriate. That girl I loved will most probably never come back, but I’ll make sure the next one doesn’t leave because of my mistake. That job you lost will most probably never be yours again, but at least at your next one, you’ll not “use company property for personal business”, your virginity will definitely never come back, but at least you can choose to do it sober, and with the right person, next time, that scholarship you lost will never come back, but next time you’ll spend more time on the application process and rules, and less time on twitter, your nudes will probably last in your exes phone forever, but at least next time, you’ll at least hide your face and tattoos. “Because we are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” – Rick Warren. Get professional help, talk to people you hurt/ who hurt you, because regret doesn’t solve anything.
Because “We all do things we desperately wish we could undo. Those regrets just become part of who we are, along with everything else. To spend time trying to change that, well, it’s like chasing clouds.”-Libba Bray.