Archive | 6:00 pm

Putting My Past Behind Me

15 Feb

On the T this morning, I saw a guy I went to camp with back in the day. I’m not sure exactly what his first name was — he had a brother who wasn’t exactly an identical twin since they were a year or two apart, but looked pretty similar — but suffice it to say, we sat directly across from each other, and after an initial quick eye contact, I put my eyeballs back into my issue of Entertainment Weekly without ever acknowledging him. (And for the record, he didn’t acknowledge me either.)

Of course, I considered saying hello, especially since this was not the first time we had seen each other on the T, or the T platform at Park Street. But I decided it wasn’t worth my time or effort, because back when we were younger, this guy wasn’t especially nice to me and just generally wasn’t a good guy. Now granted, when he knew me, I was a much wimpier, dorkier kid (no comments, please) and I suppose I’d have made fun of me too if I was him. But that was, like, 15 years ago. If I consider myself to be a totally different person from how I was when I went to camp, which I do, I’d hope he would be similarly different. And like me, I’m sure he’s a better person nowadays.

Still, I was stuck in 1991. For example, the fact that I couldn’t remember this guy’s name, but I still remembered him by his nickname. A similar thing happened two weeks ago when I bumped into another camp acquaintance at COSI. While we’ve seen each other plenty of times and have been much friendlier, I was still inclined to call him by his nickname, which was funny back at camp (especially considering he had a younger brother, and they were “big” and “little” versions of the nickname) but isn’t so much now when we’re in our 30s. (For the record, I called him by his actual name.)

I guess I just have a tough time letting go of the past sometimes. But I’m getting there. The other day, as I walked by a framed collage of pictures from my 5-year college reunion, I glanced at a picture of an old, unrequited crush. And after thinking about how our relationship has turned out over all these years, with her not staying the least bit in touch, I finally thought to myself, “What did I ever see in her?” So for the first time in many years, I actually felt like I was over her.

Lesson is, I need to be better about keeping my past in my past. So perhaps it’s time to move on with this guy from the T, and next time I see him I should just say a friendly hello. After all, in the name of my own self-PR, why shouldn’t I let him spread the word to whoever he’s still in touch with that I’m doing well? Isn’t that the best revenge on someone who was cruel to you as a child? And it’s not like I’ve been carrying these bad feelings toward the guy for all these years. They just come up whenever I see him. And especially if every summer I say I want to drive up to New Hampshire and visit the campus, partly to change how I feel about the place.

But until then, I suppose the door to my past will continue to creek open every so often. I have to be better about keeping it shut.