Yesterday I was reminded that I said a lot of stupid things when I was young.
I often joke about the days when I was "young and stupid" because it has taken me a long time to get to the place I am now. Not that I'm perfect now - Lord have mercy, far from it. I do [usually] have enough sense to keep my mouth shut when I need to though, now. Not always, but usually.
I got an email yesterday from a woman I've known since third grade, and we've been friends since high school. There were a number of years, though, when we weren't friends, and I was puzzled by that. She finally friended me on Facebook a little while back, and slowly we've been reconnecting.
She said in her email yesterday that I deserved some unsolicited parenting advice since I'd given it to her many years ago. When I first read her email I was astonished. I had NO recollection of that. Then I thought about it a bit. Yep, I'm sure she's right. Much to my regret, of course she's right.
You see, I used to think I KNEW EVERYTHING. I used to think if people would just do what I told them, their lives would be awesome. [Actually, I still do that to some extent, but only to a few unlucky folk that I actually adore.]
I am fortunate to have a number of friends who have known and liked me for many years, and I think the reason those friendships endure is because they ignore a lot of my unsolicited advce, or they tell me I am just wrong, and I hush up. Sometimes we squabble, too, but the basic friendship is still there, to the point where they are like family to me.
When I was 19 years old, I vividly remember my dad putting me in the car so he could give me a lecture. The lecture started out with him saying this: "You're just like me, unfortunately. Your mouth is always going to get you in trouble."
I was furious.
He was right.
When it comes to giving advice and/or being bossy, I tend to shoot from the hip, and let the chips fall where they may. I don't know if that's from arrogance, stupidity, insensitivity, or what. I just know that over the years it has cost me.
So here's something I've needed to say for a long time, and I want to make sure that it goes out to everyone who needs to hear it. A lot of my Facebook friends have known me for many years, and I'm sure I've said stupid and/or thoughtless or inappropriate things to them at one time or another.
I am SO sorry if I said something at any time in the past that was arrogant, thoughtless, mean, or even bullying. I was young and stupid for a long time, and then I was middle aged and stupid for a while.
I hope you can forgive me. If not, I understand.