I don’t know about you, but I wonder pretty often.
I wonder about the pain that jolted me from there to here. What probed my mind to wince every time I thought about it, what made me want to change it for others, what I have said out loud so many times that it somehow became something I could actually wake up to believe in, somehow, someday.
Then there are those moments you dread, the moments you know it will actually be put to a test. How will you score?
Thirteen years since I realized what the only thing was that would push my buttons, eight years since it thundered upon my life and changed it, I often close my eyes and hope that I would stand the test.
I take it every year, sometimes once, sometimes a whole dozen times. I was taking it for the second time this year yesterday.
We dragged our worn out bodies to get some coffee, at a time when the sun was still yellow enough to dislike all drinks hot. But coffee, it had to be had.
As I sat beside him, he asked, and I smiled.
No, not because it made me happy, not because I realized that it didn’t hurt anymore, I smiled because I didn’t want to cry. I do that sometimes, I laugh when I want to cry and I smile when I want to sink into the ground because how else do you not make a complete mockery of yourself in public?
“Your coffee is ready,” he said as I looked up. I couldn’t get myself to want coffee. I couldn’t get myself to breathe in that moment, let alone move a foot forward and reach out to that steel glass.
I did though, I somehow sipped the vexingly hot coffee to the end of that seemingly bottomless glass (why did I even order the large cup?) but all I could taste was sorrow. Sorrow has that curious little trait of taking possession of all your senses when it wishes to enter. All I could see was blurry sorrow. All I could hear was sorrow being distorted by chatter. It took over, and I knew I had to leave.
It’s been on my mind since, how did I score?
It still hurts, and it still has the capacity to pierce and leave scars, but it isn’t the same.
I now know that people say the kind of things they do because they don’t understand, and ignorance is sometimes not bliss, not for those you are ignorant about, for those you will hurt.
Growth doesn’t happen how you think it will, change doesn’t give you the end result that you imagined it would. There may never be a painless with certain things in this life. Some words will always be bullets, they will not be a breeze that ruffles your hair and leaves, they will be a fucking hurricane each time, but how can you destroy something that is already in ashes?
I realized that that part of me has been so charred, there is nothing new that pain could offer with its presence. The pain was the same, but I knew it too well to be shocked by how hard it could thump down on me.
Maybe we need those reminders every now and then, those gut wrenching reminders that you are where you are because you were where you were. You cannot run away from the past and have a wonderful today. The past is why you have a wonderful today, and life will never stop reminding you about that.