Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

@OrangeJulius7

 

Every couple of years, I meet someone that makes me wish I could change a few things about myself. Often these things are impossible to change — things in my past.

About three years ago, I had a giant crush on my neighbor, John. He was incredibly sexy, even when wearing sweatpants. We bonded over our Midwest backgrounds, our love for orange cats, and one night, we stayed up through the next morning. He even played songs on his guitar.

I wished that I was his type. You know the kind: a woman who’s gorgeous at all hours, but not without makeup, impossibly thin, and always happy.

Or at least, those were the girls I always saw him with at the wine bar beside our apartment complex.

I’m not that. I skip makeup whenever possible, and no amount of hours at the gym will ever slim my thighs. And my happiness has wavered over the years.

A few weeks ago, I met someone that got me thinking about some decisions I’ve made in the past.

On these pages, I’ve openly discussed that I was involved in an affair, and I also slept with an engaged man for almost a year.

The guy I met appears smart, kind, has similar interests as me, and he even plays the guitar (swoon).

The problem is, I met him at one of my regular spots — a place I go several times a week. Despite the numbers, Baton Rouge is a small town. I’m afraid he might already know too much about me.

I teeter from not wanting to regret my past actions to knowing that people talk. And my actions don’t speak the best of me.

If my past were different, I’d be my usual bold self, and approach him, talk to him, and maybe even text him. But whenever I see him, I fear the Scarlet Letter syndrome and hang back. If he already thinks I’m a home-wrecking whore, then I certainly don’t want to put the nail in the coffin.

The only thing I can honestly say about my past is that I wasn’t in a good place when those decisions were made. I was leaving my happiness up to someone else, instead of myself. And the result was incredibly hurtful.

I know that everyone has a past, and it’s all about how you overcome it and make things better in the present. I know I’m in a much better place today; a happier place.

Truthfully, I’m not sure the guy in question even knows I exist. If he does, I hope he won’t judge me for my past. After all, a guy worth my time will accept me for me, mistakes and all. Right?

As a single person, it’s easy to fall into the mind trap of feeling like there must be something wrong in order to end up single. But despite my past, I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with me. I’m just a woman wishing to be accepted and loved.

Read more about accepting the past on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.

 

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