I don’t know about the term favorite, exactly, but I have made more than my share of mistakes. I try to learn from them, at least now I do. When I was younger I just tried to forget them. Sweeping them under the rug of my dusty conscience seemed like the easiest and most effective course of action at the time, so that’s what I did. No harm, no foul, right? Not really, but if nobody knows then nobody can tell.
I make it sound like that was decades ago, and most of it was, but old habits die hard, and hardwired patterns of behavior aren’t easy to change. I’m constantly struggling to evolve, but I find myself fighting my old destructive ways at nearly every turn. I sometimes feel so chained to my former failures that future successes seem out of reach. But that’s baloney and I know it. When I’m feeling that way, my intellect tells me to shrug it off and keep moving forward, but my reptile brain wants to curl up on the couch and let the world go by without me. Fortunately this doesn’t happen too often. Mistakes and all, I’m a pretty happy girl.
Now on to my “favorite” mistake. Or maybe the quotes should go around “mistake” instead. I guess the biggest thing that I did that maybe I shouldn’t have is push for marriage to a guy who really just didn’t want to marry me. Maybe he just didn’t want to marry anyone, I’m not sure. We were together for a long time, six years, and I was ready to move on to the next phase of our lives. I was ready for marriage, honeymoon, house in the suburbs, kids, dog, the works. He was not. I had a bachelor’s and master’s degree and was moving forward in my career. He was an enlisted guy in the military, with a couple of years of college to his name, but no credits to speak of. Too much partying.
We were different in a lot of ways, but we really liked each other. We loved each other. We could do it. We should do it. We did do it. We got married and he went back to school and we bought the house in the suburbs and we had the kid (one, just one, he said) but we never did get the dog. Things were fine. Really. Fine. And then they weren’t. We weren’t communicating and he told me I was crazy, except that it turned out that I wasn’t. He moved out, three weeks later we got the dog. She’s very loyal.
Would I do it all again? That’s an impossible question. Would it be right to do it again? Probably not, knowing what I know now, but I can’t imagine my life without my son, and without his father, well, you figure it out. So yes, that chapter of my life, and it was a decades long chapter, would qualify as my favorite mistake. Parts of it were really great, and parts of it were really awful. To this day there is still fallout from the whole thing, but overall we’re grown ups and we’ve moved past our hurts. Our son is what binds us and we keep that knowledge in the forefront of our current relationship always. All in all, I’m really happy with the dog.