“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything,
You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.”
– Henry Kissinger
I really don’t know what I am putting this post up. I don’t like to get too personal , but I needed to get this out. I don’t have regrets over the decisions that I’ve made in my life, but there’s one decision in particular that has bothered me and it has taken 11 years to apologize for it. Today has been a strange day for me. I’ve had this feeling all day that I needed to do this thing today and that has made me feel pretty uneasy. Things are going so well in my life, that if I felt any better, I’d probably be sick. However, that uneasy feeling I’ve had today hard to describe and impossible to shake. I tried to blow it off, but after 4 very specific incidents this morning that confirmed my suspicion, I knew God was not so gently informing me of what I needed to do TODAY. I had to apologize to a sweet young lady whose heart I broke during a summer romance 11 years ago. Shit….really?
This short and long version of the story is that I broke her heart and she didn’t deserve it. Up until that point in my life, she was the kindest and most loving person I had ever met in my life. She was beautiful on the inside and out, and loved me unconditionally. I fell fast and hard for her and also ran fast and hard when it got too serious for my 21 year old self. I don’t take words like “love” lightly, but I can say with a level of certainly that at one time, she loved me and in my narrow and juvenile definition of the word, I did too. As a young Muslim woman, she was willing to give up nearly everything to be with me, a Christian man. Word and images from Quo Vadis swam in my mind as a struggled with the magnitude of her willingness to make it work and my somewhat indifference and painfully obvious immaturity about it all.
We went our separate ways and didn’t leave things on good terms. I’ve always tried to be a gentleman and honest with the women I’ve dated over the years, but in my sheer panic about the feelings I had for her, I intentionally sabotaged it all. It bothered me a little at the time, but rationalized it as the best decision for everyone at that time. . I did write a half-baked apology years ago, but it has taken me 11 years to find the words to capture my regret and guilt for being young and stupid.
There were some logistical challenges I needed to overcome and realized that I’d have to send this to her work email, which means that I have no control over who will read it our how it will be received. I can’t change the past, but need to make things right today.
Below is the email I sent today.
“I know you’re probably wondering why I am contacting you after all this time. First of all, I’m sorry for contacting you over your work email. It’s the only one I could locate and was unsure if you’d give me another email address out of the blue. I don’t want to take up much of your time, but I wanted to apologize for my behavior nearly 11 years ago. I’ve had this feeling all day and knew I needed to send this to you today. I hurt you and it’s been something that has greatly bothered me ever since. You showed me an unconditional love and compassion, that simply changed my life for the better. Sadly, you did not directly benefit from what you showed me, but it has greatly impacted the relationship I have with God, my family, and complete strangers. I took me a long time to realize the gravity of your decision to even date me, a Christian man and am truly sorry for the pain, and familial problems I put you through. I make no excuses for my immaturity at the time and stand here (figuratively of course J) just to thank you for unlocking a piece of me that has changed my life for the better. If I can ever repay you now for what you showed me, I am only an email away. I wish you the best in everything you do and may you be blessed in all your future endeavors. “
I’m not expecting a response, but know that I have tried to mend a broken relationship, even if it is a bit overdue.