I was sorting through the old CD backups I had of my middle/high school computer, and aside from a lot really hilariously embarrassing things--some of which I will share later this week--I found some stuff that makes me really sad.
In particular I was stuck by my religious zealotry that lingered even into college. I knew I was annoying sometimes, but I had no idea how arrogant and offensive I was being a lot of the time. To some extent, I had just been instilled with an unquestioning confidence in the beliefs of my church. When one is taught all one's lives that something is truth, even when part of that truth is that we should have a personal confirmation, it can still seem that there is no other way. Children must trust their elders (on many counts, not just with regard to religion) or else be lead into a fearful state of insecurity and instability, and taught beliefs often continue into young adulthood and beyond, for better or worse. I still have faith, but it has evolved and my attitudes on how I share that faith have changed drastically. Regardless, I am still responsible for my actions and I would have done so much differently if I could go back with the knowledge I have now. I am deeply sorry for the things I said or wrote that were offensive, mean, or ignorant. I'm also sorry for just being annoying too.
We all make mistakes as we grown and learn, even as adults. N reminds me that I think too much about the past; he's right that it is unhealthy to look back and scrutinize everything. It doesn't really help us now, when we're faced with a new set of problems--spending too much time in the past will prevent things from being accomplished here and now. I have changed very much since then, and I'm trying to just accept that and move on, learning what I can from what I did and being a better person now. I still say and do stupid things and likely always will. There are so many ways to say one thought that I will continually blunder. There are so many good things to be done that I'll never allocate my time properly. But life moves on and my love for people, in the abstract and in particular, grows. Hopefully someday I will get the chance to be the person I want to be.