There are times where I reflect upon certain people or moments in my life, and to sum it up in one word would be bittersweet. Nostalgia can be a bitch at times. It has a way of regurgitating picture-perfect memories, although strategically leaving out elements of doubt and insecurity that plagued us all the while. Nostalgia can be perceptive, manipulative, and all round cruel and is nothing more than an altered state of mind. In spite of knowing this, sometimes I can’t help but feed into the chaos and I find myself trying to pinpoint exactly how or what had changed with us.
So, it begins. The overthinking. The overanalyzing. My mind goes into overdrive. It’s agonizing over every little intricacy from beginning to end, about situations that ended long ago and despite every intention to achieve peace; insanity seems to be the most common outcome.
Over time, it got tiring—which I realized was a good thing. Sometimes a tired state of mind forces an interlude between one thought to the next. A pause. A healthy lapse in judgement. A brief moment of clarity.
In this moment as I think back on our time, I have come to this conclusion: If only we had understood each other a little better.
If only we had understood each other’s pain. Most people carelessly throw around the phrase “communication is key,” but barely anyone talks about the struggle to translate these emotions into words, because more often than not, we can’t make enough sense of our pain to know which words to choose. If only I felt what you felt, maybe I would have understood a little better.
If only we understood how to be completely vulnerable. We both struggled with this. Vulnerability was unfamiliar territory, and we were too proud to explore it. The idea of divulging into the unseen parts of ourselves and sharing them was terrifying, so it was easier to accept the narrative that there was nothing deeper than what we had already experienced or seen. I recognize that we were both too scared to let each other know how much we actually valued one another. If only I knew what your vulnerability looked like. If only I knew what my vulnerability would have looked like with you.
I acknowledge that one day I will eventually have to stop with the “if onlys” for my own sanity.
I have no choice but to accept that this was the way it was supposed to be.
If only we had understood each other a little better, maybe it wouldn’t be so bittersweet after all.