Today is my college girlfriend's birthday. If I had the power to go back in time and redo any relationship, this one would be it. I have never loved anyone more innocently or deeply than her. If you asked me to pick the 10 greatest days of my life, she plays a prominent role in at least 2 of them, maybe 3 or 4. When you meet someone at that age, when the possibilities are endless and time seems to go on forever, it is easy to take it for granted. As you get older, and the time behind you is greater than the time in front of you, there is a tendency to wallow in regret, especially if you are like me and unhappy with the path you have created for yourself.
Instead, you take comfort in the past, a weekend spent at a beach in Delaware, a night of partying that ended with a straight-out-of-a-rom-com-grand-gesture profession of love. You wish you could whisper in your younger self's ear and tell him not to fuck this up, to appreciate the young woman with the frizzy blonde hair and the smile that lit up a room. The one who believed in you but would also call you on your shit. The one whose heart was generous and big. Who could make you feel a purity of love by just looking at her while she talked on the phone over the strains of "No Woman, No Cry." What you are left with is those memories, seared into your soul and tormenting you with the idea of what could have been.
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