You were ok then, too. (ok, probably) Hear me out. A love letter.
- April 5, 2022
- Posted by: pconfid
- Category: Uncategorized
We move through chapters in life. Some are difficult. Some are sweet. Or intense, or fast, or lazy. Or scary.
It can be tempting, from wherever we are now, to look at our past selves as having been somehow wrong. I suppose we’ll one day feel that way about wherever we are now.
What if the first part of “From the outside it looked like I was doing great but, on the inside, I felt broken” was as true as the second? What if you were as fine as you looked to me, or to another who valued you as you were while you experienced the struggle? Or didn’t experience it, and are feeling it now?
I remember a day at around age twenty-one when I had good sleep for enough days in a row to realize that for the previous seven years I had been exhausted. The go-girl on the beam. You may recognize yourself here. Doing a lot, all of it thrilling. Responsible, enthusiastic, dependable, expressive, independent. Loving life. No language or frame of reference for “tired” or when to say “when.” Never wanting, or willing, to disappoint, our “out” is for the body to crash. Anyway, that realization at 21 set me up to never want to be so tired again. It didn’t work, of course. It just made me resistant to all sorts of stuff. What we don’t want can never be a good goal.
Have I observed and borrowed from the Steady Eddies? Created balance? Yes. Have I Go Girled again? Yes. Crashed? Yes. Evolved? Yes. Chapters.
If we’re blessed to live some lives in this life, we arrive at a distance that time provides, and we see the blurs in our journeys with clear eyes. Eventually, after crisis the sting goes away a little, and we see what we contributed and took away. Things heal if we let them.
It’s the letting I have in mind today.
I don’t think we need to be as attached to “what society says” as we say we are, but there is a taught pattern I’d like to shake up. It’s the “my story” framework that goes: (thought I was) happy – yadda yadda yadda – breaking point – new story. The lower the low point, the better. Everybody loves redemption, don’t they? (Do they? Or is what they love is the pit?) And this – brand story – is yours now, for a long time. For you to be right now you had to be a hot mess earlier. Ya kinda don’t get to move on.
I don’t want to call BS, because there’s truth here. I just don’t buy that it’s the whole truth.
That pre-21-year-old crackerjack, flaws and all, would have come in handy a hundred times had I not given her that sleeping potion. Fortunately she was not dead. No prince needed. All good.
The “I was broken” line (may appear as I … didn’t know who I was, didn’t feel valued, put everyone else first, …) breaks my heart. Some of you right here, whom I know and adore, have used it. Maybe all of us who are sensitive have. But it’s not the whole truth. While you were “broken” you were glorious things, too.
In the paraphrased wisdom of The Breakfast Club, each of us is a crackerjack, and a hippie mystic on a healing retreat, and a working parent, and an executive, and a friend, and a patient, and a healer. Rest up. Let heal. Be where you. Yet watch the story you tell. The difficult chapters count. They’re just not all that makes the drama. And sure as we are standing where we are there’ll be another.