I have been writing off and on for the last few days. None of which I've finished, none of which I'll be sharing. It's been a mixed bag lately, and I've come to realize I'm flying just as blind as anyone else. I don't know what the hell I'm doing, either, or if it's the right things, wrong things, not my things.... the list goes on and on.
You get to a point, once you've gotten some life behind you, where you can look back and see with a little less emotion and a little more clarity. And even then, some of it doesn't add up, doesn't seem different, than when you were in the midst of it. You can say you would do this, or that, or never would... but some choices aren't choices. It's not as black and white as you want it to be, and I've learned that the hard way. Life has a lot of varying shades of gray, whether you want it to or not. And you'd be surprised how easily that gray seeps in. There are a lot of things you can look back on and wish you would have done differently, and a lot of fingers you can point and say you'd never do this or that- but you really don't know until you're there. Doesn't make it right, doesn't make it your shining moment. But sometimes, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't, and it comes down to fighting the tide or preserving some dignity. And hating every second of it. Every single one.
I've seen a lot of it. There are stories I won't tell, because they aren't mine to share. Memories I won't bring up, because they hurt just the same now... and because they took away from my own dignity to be part of them. It's humbling to arrive after the party has ended, and you are simply the clean up crew. Its humbling to remember dates and times, places and things that you felt should never have been yours to begin with. Did you ever take that into account? Did you ever look that far? It's not a victorious moment to feel both the thrill of your first love and the agony of watching that person fall, again and again and again. And being the one there to pick up the pieces, when what you really want to do is just have your moments.
Everyone assumes, much too much. They have no idea what it is anywhere but in their own life, their own minds and hearts. They only see the outer edges, the cover of the book. And they only know what they are told, or what they assume from looking at fragments. It's frustrating. And everyone does it, everyone assumes they get it, when they can barely get themselves.
To gain wisdom, you have to be young, stupid and make your share of mistakes. There is no other way to grow and change. Unfortunately, there's no “do over” button in life, it simply is what it is. You screw it up, you figure it out and try to do it better, or at least somewhat right, next time around. There is something to be said from being old enough to know better. I think.
Like everything else, it's bittersweet. We aren't perfect, any of us. We're human, we're flawed beyond belief, all of us. But we try. I don't think people make those spur of the moment decisions thinking how it will change things in a year, ten years, twenty years. Not when you're still learning who you are, who you should be, where you should be. I wish it was easier to know, I really do.
But not all choices are choices, like I said. Sometimes there is no winning. Sometimes, everyone pays the piper for a long, long time. Even without knowing why, or what, or when or how, they pay because of others' mistakes, choices, moments. It really does trickle down, weave through, and touch everyone's outcome- I'm seeing that, every day, within my own four walls. There are questions I have no answer to, questions I will not answer, and moments where seeing a look just breaks my heart, or relieves my very soul. It's a mixed bag, it always has been. There hasn't been a moment, an event, a day, where it hasn't, regardless of what it looks like. People are good at hiding, because sometimes if they don't, they'll be consumed with it. Everyone has a mask, everyone plays a part. And everyone owns a piece of the past, good, bad, in between. I wish it was cut and dry, black and white, right and wrong, yes or no. But it just isn't. Life is never that simple, not when it really matters.
Sometimes you feel as if you've sold your soul. Sometimes you feel as if you have your life by default. And sometimes, you just don't know what you're doing, other than going forward. In the end, that's all you can do anyway- it's the only direction there is. But when you look at your battle scars, remember you aren't the only one who has them. Everyone has a story, everyone has a past. And everyone has their own to atone for.