I wasn’t always the person I am now

Paris-20120324-00223While editing pictures I suddenly find myself being thrown back in time. I’m feeling pained. It’s a mixture of shame and regret.

Where a minute ago I was just happy with the pictures I’m working on I now feel a deep sadness.

I wasn’t always the person I am now…

I quickly try to find the picture linked to my memories to pinpoint where my memories took me. March of 2012. The picture says: “I met a man”.

I remember the day when I met this man along the Canal Saint Martin. I was on one of my walks. On the bank stood a bright red deck chair. I was dreaming about sitting there in peace. My life was anything but peaceful at the time. I took a picture of the chair and while I was doing so a man spoke to me.

“You aren’t taking a picture of me, are you? An ugly old man like me, crippled and almost blind.”

We continued our walk together. We both could use a bit of company and a bit of sympathy.

After that day we would occasionally meet up for a drink. We would talk about our lives. I felt that this friendship was without risk, but I was wrong.

During one of our talks he told me he had told his friends about me. This beautiful young woman that had an interest in him. I felt defeated. Where for me I had just found a great man to talk to. A man that gave me valuable advice for my messy life, he found a woman he fell in love with and imagined it being mutual.

I wanted to explain to him that it wasn’t the same for me, but I feared his response. He finally had hope for a beautiful future again. I couldn’t imagine how he could even imagine that after all the things I had told him, but he did. I was afraid to crush his hope. What would he do?

That’s when I lamely started ignoring his calls and his text messages until one day I just disappeared from his life all together.

A couple of months ago I’ve started going back to the canal to see if I can find him. I will continue to do so from time to time. I want to tell this man I am sorry…

I’m sorry I wasn’t always the person I am now…


13 thoughts on “I wasn’t always the person I am now

  1. Wat een mooi en herkenbaar verhaal. Ik dacht nog eerst even; dit is wel erg in tegenstelling met het blog hiervoor. Maar nu begrijp ik het – heel goed zelfs. Succes met je “zoektocht” en daarna…


  2. Je trouve qu’écrire, et presque toute forme de partage sur les média sociaux, implique un partage de soi, un choix de dévoiler les émotions et les pensées aux regards des autres. Implicite dans cette décision est une double (voir multiples) motivation de traiter un sujet ainsi que de mettre un peu de nous-même sur scène. Ce regard des autres porte un risque et aussi le potentiel pour récompense. On peut aimer ce que l’on partage. On peut aimer ce que l’on présente de nous-même. On peut être valorisé par ce que pensent les autres. … Ou pas. … Certain entre nous n’ose plus — ou ne choisit plus — ce risque. Car la récompense ne vaut pas pour nous le risque des critiques et des compréhensions peu-valorisantes de nos sujets et de nous-mêmes. Dans cette histoire, j’ai été touché justement par la lutte qui était en toi. Le sentiment de regret et de culpabilité, peut-être. De lâcheté? … Je me vois dans ces sentiments et j’apprécie le risque que tu prends en s’ouvrant d’une manière que je ne ferai pas. … En posant des questions sur toi et tes motivations j’arrive a me poser les mêmes questions moi-concernant. Je pense aux personnes et aux relations que j’ai laissé derrière sans trop de grâce ou de compassion sur la personne en face. Peut-être je n’avais pas de choix. Peut-être j’aurais pu mieux faire … Je ne connais pas la réponse, comme je ne sais pas la réponse pour toi face à cet homme. … Je ne sais pas si tu le reverras, ni si cela sera utile, mais j’apprécie la possibilité de réfléchir là-dessus et j’apprécie l’occasion de partager le voyage avec toi.


  3. I think the desire to apologize is important in that it demonstrates that the other person is as important as you. We all naturally put ourselves first, What I hear is a regret that you allowed your fear to treat him with less respect than you feel he deserved. … that you chose the easier — though perfectly understandable — way of protecting yourself over honoring him with an explanation and a chance to talk through your relationship. … Saying sorry, then, is a way of re-setting the scales. Saying that he is worth just as much as you and worthy of dignity. … What he does with that, whether he can hear it or not, is not really your problem. The first step is to reconcile this reality in your own mind. Perhaps that is the point of this blog post. … This makes me think of so many relationships and situations. I don’t know whether I can or should go back to each of them and apologize, but I know that I need to spend some time thinking about how I view others compared to myself. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You put it into words way better than I ever could: “Saying sorry, then, is a way of re-setting the scales. Saying that he is worth just as much as you and worthy of dignity.” A lot of things I’ve done in my life, decisions I made, were fear-led. Therefore it seems that I honored myself more than I did others. Except that in the end I didn’t honor myself either. I’m trying to live more love-led and that comes with thinking about the past and how we could have done things differently. We can’t go back, but we can make an effort to do it right this time… And to say sorry if and when we get the chance!

      As for writing. Yes, I know I take the risk of people misinterpreting my words and my intentions. In the end the writing is more for me than for anyone else. When I write down a story the old feelings shift into something new. Often into something much lighter than the story was to begin with…


  4. Have you had the chance with this one? It would be a grand thing.

    Everything you write is so full of your humanity. It’s beautiful to see. Thank you for writing; may it long continue.


    • Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated. I’ve not been writing a lot lately. Things seem to go in cycles.

      As for the man in the story. I’ve been back to the canal a couple of times. It’s a cool place to hang out, but I’ve not seen him. Sometimes things simply aren’t meant to be…

      Going to pop over to your blog and see what you write about! 🙂


      • Ha, I know that feeling. I also haven’t been writing until this past month I decided to crack on- my hours at work were cut so I’m using the opportunity.
        A shame for that friendship, but perhaps with so many people in the world it frees up a lovely person like yourself to witness others instead.



        • Thanks again. I’ve certainly met some wonderful people on my wanderings. I’ve just not felt like writing about it for several reasons. Like am I to write about someone’s life and sometimes suffering or is it better to just act in silence and keep things between the person and I? Maybe I just need to change into letting my pictures speak like I did in today’s post and the one before….

          Thanks for stepping into my world today!


  5. Powerful post. Honest and raw. Relationships mean risk… even when it doesn’t necessarily seem like it. A theme I’ve been thinking about a bit lately is how when we try to protect people from the truth, things can actually get worse than if we dealt with it head on….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Matt. … I like that thinking, but I’m wondering one step further, maybe by not dealing with it head on we’re trying to protect ourselves… I’m going to think about it some more!


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