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Shake It Out

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way

In looking back over the parts of my 31 years which I can remember, there’s not much I regret. Most of the regrets I have are words I can’t unsay. I can apologize and move forward and reflect with the promise to do better, but I can’t unsay them. That’s impossible. Words, once uttered, become air.

I suspect we’re all more like this than we’re not, really. We all have dark moments. But sometimes in this online world, our darkest moments get replayed for us over and over again. No matter how hard we try to move, we’re stuck.

And all of the ghouls come out to play
And every demon wants his pound of flesh

Sometimes those tiny things pile up and spill out and they are seen and examined. Those moments are used to make judgments about all aspects of our lives and not just those moments which have been witnessed. It’s quite the conundrum, really. If I act in this way in this time, well, then this must be how I act all the time, both online and off, right?

But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn

The truth about blogging is that I don’t share everything. So while this digital footprint of mine paints a picture of my life, it’s not a complete one. To share every single detail would be impossible. And boring. And (even more) narcissistic.

There’s a great deal of my life that never gets discussed here or anywhere. In part because those stories aren’t solely mine to tell, but also because there are things I need to keep for myself.

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way

By choosing to share the bad moments so that I don’t give off the impression that I have it all together when I most decidedly do not, it seems those moments are all people see, and it also seems that no amount of positivity undoes that. Once people have made a decision about you, there’s no going back.

In sharing the bad stuff, I must be a miserable, self-loathing woman who hates her own children. In sharing the good, I’m pandering. Or worse, being unnaturally saccharine. Fake.

I’m always dragging that horse around
All of his questions such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground

I’ve carried a lot of hurt this summer. The kind of hurt that makes me question everything. Again and again. And then question some more. The kind of hurt that makes me wonder if my kids don’t deserve someone better than me. The kind that makes me feel like even in my absolute best moments, it’s still not enough.

And I’ve carried it silently. Stifled by fear of being hurt even more. By those who know me and those who don’t.

But I can’t really be quiet about it anymore. If I’m going to get past it, I have to get it out.

So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it’s always darkest before the dawn

I’ve found myself keeping everything inside, good and bad. I hate being afraid and I hate living in fear of others. “What I must do is all that concerns me…” you know? But no.

No, I find that I very much am concerned with what others think of me, whether or not I want to be. And I do not want to be. I want to believe that I know my own duty better than others think they know it. I want to find independence in solitude instead of just loneliness.

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off

This is the hard part. Because the devils that weigh us down are the hardest to shake. The feelings of inadequacy, doubt, guilt, with the fear of other people’s reactions to our weakest moments thrown into the mix. Those are hard to shake off.

And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a fine romance but its left me so undone

The thing about life and those tiny regrets is that none of those moments can be redone, for the appeasement of self or others. We can atone in the best way possible if atonement is required. We can try to move forward. We can forgive. But we cannot make others forget.

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my rope
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat

Can we ever really present a different version of ourselves to the world? Or will there always be people who claim to know a different part of us ready to throw that version in our faces?

And if we do make changes because we reflect on what people have had to say, take it to heart and let it marinate in there and decide “that is not what I meant, that is not it at all” what then? When those changes aren’t enough? Or just not what they wanted?

Has it been for nothing?

I don’t know.

So. I do what I do know and that’s write it out. I take the shot in the dark and share a little bit of where I’ve been the past few months. The turmoil that has been churning around in my head and my heart.

In opening myself up, I feel vulnerable in a way I’ve tried not to be recently. I’ve tried to guard my heart by guarding my mouth. I’m not sure it actually did any good because the hurt is still there and I feel like I’ve lost my voice.

Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

There’s good and bad in all of our lives. That’s a fact. Balancing how we deal with both the good and the bad is where things get tricky for some of us. Like me.

I’ve found myself overwhelmed by some of the bad days I’ve had. And then I wake up the following morning to a new day. And I try to begin that day well. Sometimes I’m successful. Sometimes I’m not.

Well what the hell. I’m gonna let life happen to me.

Song lyrics from Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Out”

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Monday 26th of August 2013

I know how heavily these things have weighed on you. I also know that you are one of the most true to self, caring, special people I have ever had the pleasure to meet and call friend. Not one of us has it all together - and those that think they do are clearly full of it or drinking a lot of vodka daily. Those that seek to bring us down...they are the ones that need people like you in their lives the most. Because sister? You're pretty freakin' fabulous.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader

Monday 26th of August 2013

((((())))) You are brave, smart, strong, hilarious and real. <3

Jess R

Friday 23rd of August 2013

I know you're amazing and awesome. I know Joshua and Emma are lucky to have you as their loving and caring mom. I know these things not because we've ever met in person but because you reached out to little ole me and said, "hey, let's be friends!" And only an amazing person can be so awesome and brave and cool to make other people feel that way just because of her actions. Also, best song. So emotional. And also, now I really know the lyrics. Hehe.

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