Today I went to "The Fair". If you grew up out here you would know the importance of the Fair. This is like our "Homecoming" weekend. Vacation time is booked around it, Babysitters are booked far in advance, and a safe estimate is that about 50% of every graduating class is in attendance. So given this information I should have expected that I might have bumped into this person, especially since he still lives in the community.
In every life there are people that you meet that have an impact on you. People that you have very strong feelings for. People that perhaps you pursue, or not, but for whatever reason things just don't work out. Maybe you are never single at the same time. Maybe one of you is going away to college. Maybe one of you has a child and an on again off again relationship with the other parent. Or maybe you give it a go and things just don't work out, but the feelings have always still been there.
This guy fits many of these scenarios in my life.
The interesting thing is that I've gotten a chance to talk with him a few times since we left High School, and every time I'm left with the realization of how different we have become. He truly was my best friend in high school. I saw him date many girls, he saw me date many guys. Some we approved of, others...not so much. I remember watching him "court" other girls with a maturity and romanticism that was very rare in a high school guy. The guys I dated never made that much effort. Other than the fact that we never really hooked up we seemed so alike, got along so well.
Now when he sees me he questions my hair styles. He questions why anyone would pierce anything, especially their face. He wonders why one would get a tattoo that can't be covered. These are topics that are covered in 5 minute, greet on the street conversations. I didn't think back then that he was that conservative, or judgmental.
This makes me wonder how I would have turned out if we had ended up together. Would I have also become conservative? Would I have also become judgmental? Would I feel like the true me was held back, stifled even? Am I the person that I am today because I have a strong personality and know who I am? Or am I the person I am today because I chose a different path and was influenced by the things that my Ex found to be attractive?
I also wonder if he has become the person he is because of the influence of his wife? Would I have been the stronger personality? Would I have stood up and fought his judgment? Justified my choices? Brought him more in line with MY values?
I really believe that every person we meet has the ability to have an impact on our lives. If we are willing to listen our views can be changed. We without a doubt are altered by every romantic relationship we are in. There is always a new SOMETHING that we are introduced to by a new partner. In an ideal world we come out more open-minded and well-rounded with every relationship and every conversation we have.
So far in my life I've only had 2 real "ones that got away". I'm currently getting a bit of a second chance with one, we seem to still be quite similar. The other one, obviously, our paths have turned us into quite different people.
Who do you "wonder" about? Have you gotten a second chance? If the chance presented itself, would you go for it?