“People tell me, ‘girl, you’re crazy,’
Some people say that I’m nuts.
Tryin’ to get back together with your baby,
They say that once is enough…
I don’t want to hear another word,
Don’t need your well thought-out advice,
I thank you all for being kind,
I can make mistakes myself just fine.”
“Mistakes” Robinella and the CC Stringband
There’s something to be said about second chances. I’m a firm believer that for whatever reason, things or situations or people or decisions can go awry, and that we all deserve a second chance. Be it on the job, at home, or in a relationship, second chances are life’s little ‘do-over’, the proverbial ‘get out of jail free’ card.
But third chances? Never.
I was recently in a situation where I gave somebody a second chance. This person had let me down in the past, and let me down in every way you could possibly imagine. You’ll understand why I was justifiably wary to reconsider our friendship, our relationship, as I had hardened myself to the reality that I had, in fact, misjudged this individual, a crime worse than death in my mind, since I pride myself in being a pretty good judge of character. Foolhardy, perhaps.
The song quoted above says it all…my friends told me to be careful, to be hesitant, to watch out for myself. I heeded their warnings, at least I tried to, but in the end, my over-romanticized notion of life and love and fairy tale endings took precedence. I was exhibiting my free will, my independence, and my ability to make my own decisions and my own mistakes. And so I did.
It all goes down to whether you believe that people can ever really change. In the past, my optimistic self said ‘maybe.’ I’ve now changed my mind. Though every woman wants to believe that every guy will settle down one day, and we like to flatter ourselves that it could be US that makes them want to ‘settle down,’ nobody should go into a relationship with their eyes shut. People tell you who they are by their actions, not necessarily their words, and if you choose not to listen, then be prepared for disappointment or, at the very least, disillusionment.
I’ve done this in the past, and never again.
I hate to sound jaded, bitter, angry, because honestly, I’m not. I’m disappointed – in this individual, and in myself for allowing myself to open up and wonder ‘what if?’, to be open to possibilities. And I’m enlightened. I’ve learned from my mistakes, have learned that people are who they are and learned that I’m more in love with love itself than any one person, at least for now.
Do I regret my decision? Never. What’s done is done, what’s learned is learned, and there is a point of no return.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.