Posted by: Judy | October 24, 2018


One of the recent novellas I read was the story of a couple who’d been in love in their 20s and went their separate ways only to find each other again 20 years later. As is often the case, my mind wandered down “What if” lane. It’s how most of my stories start.

What if I met someone I knew 20-30 years ago?

I followed the obvious possible scenarios, different men I’d known, and then I had to stop. I realized that no one I knew then really knew me. I lived on the surface with everyone. It was safer.

If I met anyone now that I knew way back when, it would be pretty much starting new. They’d have to become acquainted with who I am, the woman I hid in order to protect her.

The story spoke of regrets and I identified to a painful degree. The heroine wished she could undo one major mistake. I realized I don’t have one major mistake; I have a whole bunch of little ones. I did a lot of major things right, despite the odds against me.

I don’t feel like I can point to any one thing and say, “That, if I’d done that one thing differently, everything would have been better.”

The heroine gave up love for fear. That would be a huge regret. I didn’t even know what love was. In the world I grew up in, love was twisted, manipulated, a lie. I endeavored to embrace love. It was easier with the dog and the horse. They were straightforward, no games, with obvious manipulations, like any child, big eyes when they know they’ve done something wrong and cuddling when they really want a treat. Good memories. I didn’t recognize love when people gave it. The gesture was always filtered through the twists and lies. What did they want really? Where was the catch? How much was it going to cost me eventually.

I wasn’t enamored with the direction the author chose, but it’s her story. It gave me something to think about. Memes tout the importance of not regretting anything. I can’t agree. My regrets remind me to not make the same mistakes again.

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