Twenty days ago I put it out there.
My words. My story. My past.
A reflection of a life twenty years ago. One I barely recognize today.
Did it take courage to put it out there? Nah. It took courage to live through it I guess, though I never really knew any other way to live. So does that really make me courageous?
Does it haunt me now? Sure. How could it not? Pasts are still memories. They are still a part of us. Good and bad. I would wager we all have one, and they are all full of a little of both.
I am tired of pretending like mine never happened. Like it doesn’t matter. Like talking about it makes me weak, or makes me someone who is stuck there. I’m tired of proving I can talk about something, because talking about it doesn’t mean I still live there. Twenty years. Twenty days ago I told you about twenty years ago. That’s all. I’m tired of convincing my mind that by reliving memories, I have somehow not made peace with them. Stories can do that to you. They can come alive.
Who grants peace anyways? Don’t we grant our own peace by choosing it over everything else? And does that mean once we feel peaceful we no longer remember why we needed peace to come in the first place? I mean really. Life is not any sweeter when you decide not to let your past become your present. That’s a farce. Every day is a choice. Life is sweeter when we see it as sweeter than before. So what if I have chosen to use my twenty years of choices since then, to overcome the choices made for me back then. Control. Maybe that’s all it’s ever been about. Getting mine back. Maybe. Or maybe control is meaningless.
It’s been twenty days since I put it out there. Pulled from the back of my mind, a story preserved. Where it waits for me to visit anytime I feel afraid of it and need the reminder that much like anything worth being afraid of, things always looks scarier far away and in the dark; but up close and in the light of day, scary things usually just look sad.
And maybe a sad story is worth remembering. Maybe even worth telling. At least for the story-teller. Did I write it for you? Well no. But maybe I didn’t write it for me either. Maybe some memories just deserve to be released. Maybe it was just a story that needed to be told, because it belonged outside of the corner of my mind and out in the world.
Maybe my story is only meant to become like so many other stories that end up in the gutters, trampled and discarded. Litter for the rest of us to walk right past. I don’t know. I’ve walked past so many it’s hard to tell what’s worth picking up and saving and what just belongs there, to eventually be blown away by the wind.
I guess only time will tell if my story is meant to survive the stampede of the world that will come and trample over it. A world staring past it, right there in the open, laying there, forgotten.
Time will show whether it meant anything to the countless faces that will surely step over it’s message so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of a shoe, or worse end up caught in their minds with images forever burned in place. Too many stories, so much waste. I get it. Who wants that? We all have our own stories, our own garbage. Overflowing in bins and rotting away somewhere deserted and destroyed. Some stories were just meant to become litter.
I guess maybe, we all hope ours will be seen before it deteriorates back into the nothingness of the earth to become trampled on. And maybe that’s the purpose. Forgotten as if they never happened at all. And so we put them out there. Is that courageous? Nah. Its just life. It’s just litter.