S and I met for breakfast this morning. Her boyfriend, A, was supposed to be there too, but they had a misunderstanding and he ended up at a market in another town. I felt badly for them, but also got a kick out of it. I remember thinking, "Oh, that's just so S." If it was going to happen to somebody, it would happen to her. I'm not sure if that comes off as a zing, but it shouldn't. At any rate, as we sat talking and she told me about all of the really interesting things that she had done and was doing in her life, I again found myself thinking, "Oh, that's just so S." For as long as I've known her, she's done things. I want to be more like that. Though I enjoy and find it important and rewarding to sit, think, and reflect, I also don't want to use those things to the extent that I am neglecting to do, to be. I doubt that I could ever keep up with S, but her drive to live is definitely something that I could stand to emulate.
It kind of happened again as I met with A and her boyfriend, N. I attended law school with A. She was one of the first people that I met, both from law school and from the Twin Cities generally. So when I think about A, and especially when I see her, my mind gets lazy and assumes that we are either at law school or somewhere pretty close to it. My mushy brain half expects a priest/professor to walk into the room and ask us to brief a case.
We weren't in or around law school though. Instead, we were having lunch at a brewery right on Puget Sound, taking a ferry to Whidbey Island, and talking about the intricacies of Tinder (I'm old. I don't get it, really). And it was great. I'm glad that the adventure of law school was available to me, that I could meet interesting and good people like A, and that we could somehow both end up at that brewery on the other side of the U.S. together. Life is weird like that sometimes, but I love it.
I met up with T at her home. It was in a lovely, wooded area. I'd been in the town before, but never to her neighborhood. It seemed peaceful and relaxing, though the hill to get in and out of there is probably unforgiving when it gets an inch of snow on it. T and her family were great. I often feel badly for the family members of the people that I am meeting. They have no connection to me, so it's easy to imagine them being bored and becoming disengaged altogether, but that wasn't the case this evening. It was quite the opposite actually. Her husband acted as though we had always been friends. What a sweet guy he was. And the children let me play games with them, showed me around, and introduced me to their toys.
Now, back to me being an a-hole. T and I were in the same class from 4th through 11th grade. In middle school, I shot a spitball at her from about 10 feet back while learning about math. Unfortunately, my aim was true. I'm not sure why I did that. I wasn't always a bully and I was often bullied myself. But I did it, and that was that. T probably forgot that incident soon after it happened, while I've remembered it all these years later. When I mentioned it to T this evening, she had no recollection of it. I apologized anyway.
So what's the takeaway, other than the reminder that I sometimes behaved like a jerk? Well, I'm not sure, but I've got some possibilities. The first is that people are capable of forgiving others. T certainly is. I try to forgive others, though I'm not sure if I know the best way to do it or even know when I have done it. The second possible takeaway is that it's alright to forgive yourself. This gets dicey for me though because, while I don't want to always be riddled with guilt, I also don't want to give myself a license to hurt other people while thinking, "Oh well. I'll forgive myself later. No biggie." A little guilt is probably a good thing. I don't know. This entire thought process is a work in progress for me. For now, I'll consider myself fortunate that I have friends, like T, that are capable of forgiveness and compassion. I'll keep plugging along, trying to do less harm to others and myself, and I'll try to recognize that others are probably doing the same in their lives.