I would imagine that everyone has things that they look back on and think, "Man, that was dumb of me."
You may recall that all it would have taken is a simple thought, and you could have avoided that which made you look less than a genius. Example; the other day I locked myself out of our apartment as I left to water my neighbors plants. All I would have had to do was check the handle as I walked out (which I actually usually do). That would have prevented me from having to break in by removing my bedroom window screen and climbing inside in less-than-lady-like fashion by lifting up my leg (wearing a skirt, mind you) higher than chest height. Yep, guaranteed I think back to that and think 'that was dumb of me."
However, today that is not the type of personal reflection that I am going to be talking about.
There are things in my life that, when I think back on them, it goes much deeper than a silly mistake or blunder. There are some things in my life that, no matter how much time seems to pass, I truly feel bad about. For some, it's downright shame. Others, they are things that make me feel pretty deep embarrassment. While even more may be a bit silly, but I feel still require an apology to those parties involved.
#1. The first thing that made me think about starting this list was: hating hiking. When I was in Young Women's, we went on many hikes, both at girls camp or beforehand in order to pass off things for personal progress. I clearly remember at least one hike where I know for a fact that I complained the. whole. time. Sad part is, it barely counted as a hike. We had to keep it local in order to get a large amount of girls passed off, so we really just took a trail near our neighborhood that went on for a few miles. No incline, no rocky terrain. But I hated exercising that much. Therefore, I have zero doubt that I complained on every other hike as well.
It was last weekend when Evan and I went on a hike with our friends that I really thought about how sorry I am to my YW leaders for being such a poop. It's been about a year since I posted about a wonderful experience I had while hiking, and my feelings have only intensified since then. It is such a beautiful thing. The nature, my body's ability to move, the clean air. Hiking makes me think of so, so many things that I have to be thankful for. Which is why a) I wish I could go back to smother my young self's mouth, because there are so many things I should have been enjoying about the experience, and b) I just cannot believe the patience my leaders had with me that they didn't smother me! Oh, bless their hearts, they were incredible. Not only for tolerating my incessant complaining; they truly saved my life and made it possible for me to get to where I am today. Which only makes me feel that much worse for being so lame.
#2. Seeing teens in high school make me ashamed that I ever existed between the ages of 11 and 17. Then, seeing the single college students while they're hanging out in groups here in town make me ashamed for much of the time between 17 and when I was married. It's the same reasons for both groups: I now know how dumb everyone around me must have thought I was, how original I thought I was, and how annoying I actually was. *sigh* It's one of those things, though, that I never could have explained to my younger self. It's something that can only be understood with retrospect.
#3. Now, this is something that I sincerely wish with all my heart I could do. Even though I doubt that she'd even remember, considering she was indeed a Jr. High teacher (that itself must bring upon incredible amounts of abuse). But I wish that I could tell my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Hancock, that I am sorry for laughing while my fellow student tormented her. His name was Johnny, and he was (I'm sure) every teachers worst nightmare. I won't waste my post with the details of his doings, but I will say that, in my opinion, it was more than any teacher deserves. Even when taking into consideration the expected abuse that one commits to when being surrounded by adolescents all day.
I especially remember one lesson she gave; it was on the subject of apathy. I came to the realization that that was a good word to describe Johnny's actions, and I think she did, too. I would think that it concerned her, because she DID care. I know that she did. I would be incredibly surprised if she ever remembered me, even if she saw a picture of what I looked like while I was in her class. I never personally connected to her, and I wasn't enough of a nuisance nor a scholar to make a big impression on her. But I wish that I could tell her that her lesson made me realize just how dangerous apathy can be, and made me make a conscious decision to avoid anything that could be seen as such. It made me feel sorry for tolerating Johnny's actions, and gave me a desire to stand up for greater things in life.
#4. Today Evan was making ringtones. He made one out of the song "Lady Marmalade" (the reason Evan chose that song is because of the beginning it says "sister" a lot, and he used that part to make a ringtone for when his sister calls him.) When I was young, I loved that song. I thought it was cool for ladies to dress up with gallons of make up, big hair, and bustiers (yeah I know, I had a bright future ahead of me). I remember my older brother, Scott, telling me that that song was not only ridiculous, it was an insult to the movie Moulin Rouge. He told me that when people heard the words "Moulin Rouge", they were thinking of this incredibly lame song instead of the musically delightful movie, when the lame song didn't even have the benefit of being included on the soundtrack for said movie. How despicable.
My young self thought he was being silly. Didn't he see how fun feathers and fishnets were? What was wrong with people connecting that with the film? Now, in the film, there were plenty of people dancing around in 1900 style lingerie, but in it's defense, it was nothing as ridiculous as the music video for that song. The talents of the actors in that movie cannot even be COMPARED to the obnoxious "oooohhhaAAAAHHHHHs" Christina Aguilera belts out to a 1970's remake about a lady asking if you'd like to sleep with her. It is, indeed, despicable.
This is actually not the first time that I have felt embarrassed for arguments I made against my brother's logic. His taste in music and films has definitely stood the test of time better than mine. It seems that when I think I have made a great discovery, I then learn that Scott was listening to/watching the same thing about a decade ago, while he was supposed to be going through that stupid teenager stage of awful trendy music. (It appears that he skipped that stage altogether, and instead was born with a fantastic taste in all things, well, fantastic.)
I am hoping that as my life continues, I can keep myself from adding things to this list. Here's to hope!