Time is one of the only phenomena that there is no control over. It moves on with or without us. It doesn’t observe boundaries. It keeps going and going and going and nothing can stop it. Until, that is, it runs out.
I never truly realized the way things can change in an instant. One revelation, one action, one little thing can send off a ripple reaction and change everything.
There’s a girl standing by the edge of a pond full of navy-hued water. Lush, leafy clover green trees circle the perimeter of the pond, breaking into an opening by where she stands. In her slender fingers encased is a smooth gray oval rock. Her cascading chestnut hair is tied up in an intricate pony-tail. Her cornflower blue sundress brushes the tops of her knees and her bare toes tickle the edges of the pond water. She keeps turning the rock over and over in her hands, as if she’s unsure of what to do with it and the rock was the life choices she has to make.
In one motion, she bends her knees leaps forward and extends her arm, the orb of earth flying from her fingers. It dances across the water, skipping from one ripple to the next.
It swims down through the opaque water, deeper and deeper into a world it’s never been. A world in which it doesn’t think it belongs but it will try to survive in anyways. A world with a clear divide from where it once was.
The girl sits down in a patch of grass edging around the pond and peers into the water, her reflection’s eyes matching up with her own.
When did things get to this? How did things get to this?
Mistakes. Regrets. Looking back and wishing you could do something about a story written in the stone of the past. Decisions you made leading to things that not only hurt you, but those around you.
There are moments where I think back to and I cringe. I wonder if I had done something else if that would have changed anything. If I would still have the people in my life now that I hurt.
The most painful feeling is knowing you hurt people who didn’t deserve to be hurt. It eats away at you from the inside. There is absolutely nothing you can do. You took the tools you had in your life and you abused them. And now, you are left sitting on the edge of a pond wondering why you did what you did and if anything can ever repair the power mistakes have to wreck.
You think back to the most dangerous weapon your mind has to offer: memories. The beautiful pictures you painted, the laughs you shared, the moments that went unseen. And you shudder as a shiver runs through you as you acknowledge it was your mistake that ripped that all to shreds. And because of that, because of the power of mistakes, everything changed. And for once, there might just be nothing you can do about it.
Mistakes and regrets are terrifying because the ramifications are immensely powerful but the ways to repair are sensitive and obscure. It takes an incredibly forgiving and patient person to accept an apology and move on.
Apologies aren’t easy by any means, but that doesn’t mean a person shouldn’t try. They don’t justify the action that was taken that resulted in the hurt, nor should they be seen as an excuse. They are the only and best way to try to mend what has been broken. Only sincere apologies demonstrate ability to recognize those negative actions and hopefully can help to reinstall the trust that may have been broken in a relationship.
Mistakes and regrets shatter glass in an instant that takes forever to perfectly piece back together. If you have a clean piece of paper, take it and crumple it up. As tightly as you can. Fold every corner, crease every crease, squeeze it tighter than tight. Now undo what you just did. Get the paper back to its unfolded clean slate. It’s still crinkled? You’re right. It’s extremely hard to undo what you’ve done, frustrating and nearly impossible.
The girl looks at her arms, stained wet with charcoal colored streaks from her mascara. The crystal droplets from the corners of her once big, bright honest eyes are murky, clouded with the traces of makeup. She wishes with everything she could go back and change things. But she can’t go back and re-do time.
Because much like time, you can’t take back mistakes. You live and you learn and you keep moving forward. And you can only hope that those who you’ve hurt, they can find it in their heart to understand, let you back in, forgive and trust you once again.