I wrote this piece in a state of reflection; with humility and hope. As I grow and nurture more relationships, serious or not, I find that I have a lot to improve on. A lot to improve on in myself, in how I view others, and the actions I make. This piece is a reminder that I will do better.
“I’m sorry.” The words that smell so sweet as they pour out of your mouth to cover the blemishes you caused. “I’m sorry.” The same words that are coated in vinegar as they roll off my tongue to make up for the losses I’ve caused. I have always considered myself a good person. I’ll take care of you, I’ll defend you. I have always considered myself correct in times of trial. I’ll evaluate, I’ll respond accordingly. I have always considered myself a role model to younger girls. I’ll lead, I’ll love with abandon. But I know that I am full of wrongs as much as I am full of rights. When my first boyfriend and I broke up, I stroked my own shoulder and said that he was disrespectful. When my high school English teacher did not let me turn in my late assignment, I blamed her unjust classroom rules. When my childhood best friend and I grew apart, I kicked life in the gut as I pointed my finger away from me. But as I learn from the wrongdoings of others, I realize I am just as capable of the very same actions. I have hurt. I have misjudged. I have wrongfully accused. But instead of walking towards those I have hurt and the mistakes I have made with a learning heart, I turn away from the scars that are engraved with my name. I hold my head down in shame, because sometimes pretending the other person was also wrong is easier. I disconnect from them and their feelings, assuming that the only way for us to both recover is to not remind them of my shortcomings. But I’ve found that the hand that strikes is reminded of the wound just as much as the body who takes it. I don’t claim that I hurt more, or that I even hurt from it. However, I promise that I remember. I promise that I recognize the change from your intentional embrace to a jaded raise of your hand when I see you on the street. I promise I recognize the slow withdrawal of my name from your family dinner conversations. I promise I recognize that I am the reason for less sunset drives with the windows down. I still consider myself a good person, a pragmatic arguer and a role model to some. But I still am humbled by who I’ve been and who I know I have the capacity to be. What I know now that I didn’t then, is that we are too often shortsighted by who we think we are in vulnerable times. I promise I recognize that I am the villain in some peoples’ stories, And that I have also placed myself in that character in the same stories I tell. I promise I recognize that I am changed by who I changed; for the good or for the bad. But I promise that those changes I caused and gutted have made me want to do better, As a daughter, as a friend, as a villain in some people’s stories. So instead of running from the charred skin I burned, I will walk towards you with what I can if I am unable to prevent it.
Kara Allen is a CSU Public Relations Assistant and is currently a Senior studying Communications at Minnesota State Mankato. Kara is from Grand Rapids, MN and has grown up loving to write in her free time; finding the hidden idiosyncrasies within herself through the writing. She plans on pursuing a career in Public Affairs for the U.S. Army and continuing on with writing for enjoyment.