Today, I ran into someone from my past.
Have you ever been really fond of someone for a long time, nearly mesmerized, so to speak, and after some time away from that person you found yourself wondering what the hell made you like them so much, because they were actually kinda shitty?
Yeah, that’s where I am.
I was at an event today and there was a chance that I would run into this person from my past. The thought made me nervous, and excited. The person wasn’t there at the time I was initially, but when I returned later they had arrived. And there they were, speaking loudly to someone else, turned away from me. As they walked past me, they briefly glanced at me with no acknowledgement. (Granted, this is not unusual for this person).
At a friend’s prompting, I began to reminisce about having worked with this person and all the reasons I was so enthralled by them. Sure, there were reasons. But there were more reasons not to be. That person in the past has proved to be someone I couldn’t count on, someone who did not regard me nearly as highly as I regarded them, and someone who, essentially, was impressive at first but turned out to be kind of disappointing in the long run.
Eventually, coincidentally, I did run into this person and they chatted with me. And having realized all that stuff before, I was still nervous and still wanted them to not think I was awkward/weird/uncool (a constant worry from my past). Goddammit.
I reflect on this interaction now, and all I can say is that hindsight is indeed enlightening. It reveals to us the things we were blind to before. Yet despite that, hindsight is not able to change the feeling that someone gives you in the pit of your stomach. It can’t undo months or years of enchantment, because that’s rooted deeper in your psyche than the reasoning of hindsight. So if you run into an ex or a colleague or a mentor or anyone from our past whom you once admired but now realize is actually pretty shitty, don’t feel bad for still wanting to impress them, because it’s going to take a lot more than hindsight to make that instinct go away.