If you’ve read beyond the title, I want to applaud you for being here because in our culture apologizing isn’t popular. Justifying why you’re right and then expecting space for each party to be “right” has been my typical experience. Sometimes it isn’t about being right or wrong, it’s just about being remorseful for our actions. I want to send an apology from my younger self to all those that knew me then. As I grow in knowledge, and more importantly life experiences, the simple fact is I know very little. When I was in high school and well into college, my attitude was so much different than it is now. There were many feelings left unprocessed during those years. After much therapy, beginning then and continuing now, I have only one thing to say: I am truly sorry for my ignorant and dismissive attitudes and behaviors toward loved ones and their situations.
It is a double-edged sword to have these feelings now, as I know I had to go through that time period of being offensive to learn how to grow (and come to the place of acknowledging my lack of empathy), but I wish I had done it with more self-composure and guidance. Not to say that as an excuse or justification, because I did cause pain in relationships I wish I hadn’t, but rather to say I am sorry and thank my people for the grace to grow beyond that phase. There were, and are now, many mentors in my life that have helped guide me in my personal growth toward more empathy, sincerity, love, and compassion. I am so thankful for those friends and family who loved me during my many stages of growth.
We all have our issues, we all have baggage we carry around, and sometimes force other people to carry too. Thankfully, my community has carried some heavy burdens with me and done so with abundant love. I have no words for the times they have stood for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself. When my community has loved me despite how unloving I was, both knowingly and unknowingly, it is a gift I don’t take lightly.
By now y’all know I am not originally from here, though I have lived in Lafayette for 12 years. An apology to my younger high school self likely won’t be read by those that need it most as Lafayette isn’t where I went to high school. My husband is a lifelong resident of Lafayette and as I have met more and more of his friends and acquaintances from his time during high school, this idea of who we were then isn’t usually the same as who we are now.
After meeting an acquaintance whom my husband knew in high school, he mentioned how he wasn’t a very nice person back then. This is something I obviously wouldn’t have known. I have the pleasure of meeting a new friend now, after much time and personal growth has passed since the raging hormone years of high school and early college as my husband recalls him. When my husband shared how sourly he remembered said acquaintance in high school, I simply said “wow, I bet he’s sorry for that now.” Because many of the traits my husband remembers about him from high school don’t exist anymore (thank you maturity for that grace toward us all).
It got me thinking about my own actions from high school and early college. If anyone remembers me in a similar light, and I am sure there are plenty, I send my deepest apology from my younger self. For those that have stuck it out in the evolution of me, thanks for that too. We are all a work in progress as partners, parents, and people. I try to remember that for me and my children as we continue in our messy but fulfilling lives together.