My heart, it still beats. But this pain is forever, and always bittersweet.
My heart, it still beats. But this pain is forever, and always bittersweet.
Was feeling a little nostalgic for the days and all the years gone by earlier…then this happened…
My oldest niece, Angelina, will be fourteen in April and all I can think is what the hell. It can’t be. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was kneeling on the living room floor, arms outstretched, stomach in knots and a lump in my throat as I held back the tears and watched her take those first few shaky steps towards me. So fourteen—it can’t be, and yet I’ve known it from that very moment on that she was going to be unstoppable. And she hasn’t let proven me wrong yet. She’s so smart and funny and sweet—and even when she’s being an absolute brat, I still love her to pieces. I really do. And while I’m so proud of the young woman that she’s becoming…part of me just wants to scoop her up in my arms and never let her go. To keep her thirteen forever –minus all the teenage angst and attitude, of course. It’s a silly wish, I know, but I wish it nonetheless. I just feel like if I blink, I’ll wake up and it’ll be the day she takes her road test, or her graduation day, or the day we send her off to college, or god forbid—her wedding day. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping she waits awhile on that last one. It’s not that I don’t want her to get married or anything. I do. Of course, I do. I just want her to take her time getting there, that’s all.
I want her to have some fun first…to go out with her friends and enjoy being an adult for a little while. Granted being an adult can be absolutely frustrating and just plain hell at times, but there are some perks—some advantages to be young and dumb AND legal. I want her to take a semester abroad and travel the world – to know that there’s so much more out there for her to see, explore, and experience – OUTSIDE of this little town. I want her to fly to all those places she’s seen/sees in the magazines and that she’s dreamt/dreams about visiting someday. She’s got that stubborn personality, that impulsive, independent, and recklessness about her—always has—that I recognize all too well. She’s not mine—I didn’t give birth to her—and yet, she’s like a miniature carbon copy of myself. I’m not so sure if that’s a good or bad thing yet…but time will tell.
What I truly want more than anything else for her…is for her to find love. I want her to fall in love, be it just the one time…or more than once. I want her to find a guy that doesn’t just tell her that he loves her…he proves it over in spades. I want her to find a guy that treats her right—one who doesn’t hold her back, step on her dreams, or put out that fire in her beautiful brown eyes. I want her to know excitement and to feel those little butterflies flapping their little wings around inside her—the kind that steals her breath and makes the rest of the world disappear. I want her to know love; to know that she IS worthy and deserving of that love. I want her to know the kind of selfless, all-in love that doesn’t leave her yearning for more or left out in the cold. While I don’t relish seeing her hurt, I want her to know heart-break. It’s not being harsh, it’s being practical and simple: You can’t fight, understand, or avoid something that you’ve never experienced. I want her to get her heart broken at least once, to experience that soul-crushing devastation that leaves you crying on your bathroom floor and wondering if any of it was even worth it. It’s hard—those life lessons you have to both live and learn from—because they’re lessons that we all – her included – must learn on our own. You have to walk and go through Hell to get to Heaven, as the saying goes, with love especially. And she’ll have those moments of weakness where she’ll do anything to make the pain go away…to just give up and throw it all away. But she’ll get through it and come out the other side a hell of a lot smarter – and a little less naïve—because of it. She’ll look and she’ll find that untapped strength and determination that makes my strengths look puny. I know she will. I don’t want her to have to live with the same regrets we all live through (for me, at least) when we put ourselves in situations that we’re set up to lose right from the very beginning when we fall for the wrong person. But if she does have them, I don’t want her to let those mistakes and regrets consume or define who she is. I want her to learn from the experience—good or bad—so she knows what and how to avoid repeating them down the road. Moreover, I want her to know that love isn’t perfect. Rather, it’s flawed with both good and bad. I want her to know that love doesn’t always work out—no matter the effort you and/or he might put in trying to save it and to make it work. I want her to learn to fight for what she wants—and to live her life the way she chooses, instead of listening to and letting everyone else live her life FOR her. I want her to never lose that free and independent spark of hers.
I want her to know that she shouldn’t and doesn’t need a guy to define or complete her. She’s better than that. I want her to stand strong, and fall apart, too (if that’s what it takes). I don’t want her to be embarrassed or ashamed by her feelings or emotions…or feel guilty or like she has to echo those three little words just because he’s ready and she isn’t; or because he says it and/or feels it and she doesn’t. I want her to keep that sparkle and light in her eyes, and to avoid the men that will put that fire and shine of hers out. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to stay…that she can leave at any point. I don’t want her to stay in a relationship that isn’t working because she feels she has to or that it’s expected of her…or because she’s afraid that people will judge her or condemn her choices or attack her sexuality and call her derogatory names because she’s moved on with someone else. I want her to know that the double standards on men sleeping around opposed to women having more than one sexual partners. As women, we hate it—but it is what it is, for now at least. I want her to know that she can try everything…to defend or hell, explain herself until she’s blue in the face…and there will always be that one person (if not others) that will be determined to tear her down with all their cruel assumptions and accusations and insults…but that she can’t let their negativity or their miserableness get in the way of HER happiness. There are just some people that are like that. You can try to understand it, but you’ll never succeed. That’s life. That’s people. You just have to take it with a grain of salt…or tequila, preferably.
I want to tell her to try her best to live only in the present. For her to know that it’s okay to forget, move on, and put the past behind her… and to not worry so much about what the future might bring. I want her to focus on all the moments—the good, the bad, the big, and the little ones. I want her take risks, to tests the limits, toe the lines, dream big, and fly high. So very, very high. But more than anything else, I just want her to be happy. Whether it’s in her work and the career she eventually chooses, or a lifestyle and hobbies, or finding the right guy—the one she thinks she could potentially see a “forever” with, standing side by side, both worthy and EQUAL in EVERY way. The deck is already stacked unfairly against her because she hasn’t had the best female role models in her life. My mother and my grams have had custody of her since she was 6 months old. Neither her mother or my brother have been around her very much. My brother’s been doing better and he’s been around more these last few years, but it doesn’t negate all the time that he should have been, and wasn’t. As for her mother, that woman is all over the place. Including my niece, she has 5 kids with 4 different fathers. She’s constantly going from one loser to the next. In the past few years, I think she’s been “engaged” like 3 times—with different people. She doesn’t even have her other 4 kids…and the youngest one is barely a year old. My nephew lives in the boonies with her mother, and the others are each with their respective fathers or relatives of the father. How you can feel no shame in coming and going in and out of your children’s lives, letting others raise and care for them…is a mystery to me. She likes to say that she’s settled down…but she’s a little off on the definition of “settled down” I think. She might not party as hard as she used to, but if she really had cleaned up her act as she claims to have, then she’d be a mother to her kids. But she’s not. I know it bothers my niece that her parents aren’t around a whole lot—she’s at that age—just as I was—when I really started to wonder where my father was and why he wasn’t in my life. I’m sure she’s wondering the same. She plays it cool, but you can tell it bothers her. It took me a long time–even longer to accept—before I finally came to the realization that people are where they want to be. If they love you and really care, they’d move mountains to be there, with you. But some moms and dads are just wired wrong and missing that maternal/paternal instinct. It’s not always entirely their fault, I know. But even so, the majority of the blame is on them.
They’re the ones that brought you into this cruel, unforgiving world and for –essentially—abandoning the kid at the world’s door step. My mother was like that—still is, in fact. With my mother, men always came/come first and my brother, sister, and I second. She hasn’t changed at all over the years. My niece’s mother is like that. What’s sad is that I know what my niece is going through…how she’s feeling. Like myself, she knows how to put on a convincing front and pretend that everything is great—even when it’s not. Same as her, I tend to keep people from getting too close—mostly because I’ve blindly put my trust in people I shouldn’t have…and it almost always ends up coming back to bite me in the ass—some way, somehow. Always. Without fail. Admittedly, my method isn’t the healthiest of coping methods as far as coping methods go, but it works for me. Shutting down and shutting people out is what I do best—but then again, I’ve spent all these years perfecting the art of deflection. That, and leaving. I’m used to people leaving. People always leave. And the unspoken pain that goes along with it. I know she has to find out for herself that life isn’t always fair…and that some people really suck. I’ve been in her shoes. And when the time comes for her (which it most certainly will) I want to be there to reassure her and remind her of that “this too, shall pass” adage and whatnot. I didn’t have the amazing, loving support system that she has when I was her age. I didn’t have anyone really — my family was busy, distracted and just plain clueless to notice me, let alone offer any reassurance or protection from the dangers of the big, bad, old world out there. It was just me. No one else. And it was fucking hard. And it still is at times. I want my niece to experience and eventually learn for herself that life isn’t all puppies and rainbows. Sometimes, life really, really, REALLY sucks. Unfortunately, there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it. You don’t have options, you have a choice…and it isn’t always an easy choice to make, no matter how right it may or may not feel or be. I want her to know that it’s okay if she doesn’t have a 5-year-plan or know just yet exactly what she wants to do in life or who she wants to be. She might not see it—in fact, I’m sure she doesn’t. After all, I was a 13-year-old kid myself once upon a time, and contrary to what she’s convinced herself of and loves to remind me, that wasn’t all that long ago. And I’m not as old as she makes me out to be. Hell, I’m not even 30, but the way she talks about my age, you’d think I was ancient or something. That’s my mean. She’s such a brat. A spectacular one, but still…a brat.
I’d give her the world if I could. That is, I can’t give her ALL of it. I can at least give her some of it. Even at that, it seems a small consolation—if it’s any consolation at all. All things considered. And I’ll be honest, just the thought of her growing up in this hot mess that we call the world – well, it scares the living shit out of me. I know the day will come when she won’t need me to always be here—and even though it’s going to absolutely break my heart when that moment comes—there’s not going to be any postponing…on any level. It’s going to happen. She’s going to grow up. She’s going to leave to find herself, and along with it– the answers to all the questions she’s always had or may have down the road.
Only 4 more years. Four short years that are probably going to be some of the last I have with her…you know, before she gets bit by that travel bug, marries someone, and has little ones of her own. I can’t stop her from growing up, but I can give her the advice and encouragement she might need one day, that she’ll need on that day—when she takes flight and doesn’t look back—for the most part—only forward and straight ahead. I know that she’s going to be amazing because she’s already amazing. And beautiful. And talented. She’s sassy and one-of-a-kind…she’s going to be an incredible human being, that’s for sure – more than she already is and that I could ever imagine. And I’ll be her greatest fan, truest friend, and her loudest cheerleader—always. One thing I know for sure is that she’s always going to my Little Bean (my nickname for her) no matter how old she is and gets to. 13 or 33…she’s still ours. For now, I just hope she realizes the value of being careful and sure cognizant of her vulnerabilities AND of time. She’s too young yet to know just how quickly time passes and that it all goes a hell of a lot faster than she’s even probably aware right now. If I can, I want to be someone she can look up to, that she trusts…and trust isn’t something that grows overnight. It takes time, not just to build that trust, but to cultivate it and allow it the time it needs to reach its maximal and greatest potential. On that same coin, however, life really can happen in the blink of an eye. If you take too much advantage of something or someone, if you’re not watching or you aren’t careful enough…you can miss some of the very best parts, without meaning to. And that would be an absolute, damn shame.
So in tribute to my Little Bean (who’s not so little anymore) and the little girl that stole my heart 13 some odd years ago in seconds … I just hope she keeps on dancing. My wish for her is to find all the happiness in the world and all the opportunities this crazy, beautiful, frustrating world has to offer. She makes me proud to be her aunt. I’m the lucky one. Truly. I hope that when life gets hard, she just remembers what I’ve told her since she was little…
Never question fate or ask why…
And never, ever be afraid to fall
~ Shadows dancing in that timeless rhythm we all know.
Shadows drowning in eternal damnation; the lover’s sin.
Over and over, then over again.
Throwing caution to the wind.
Trying not to lose ourselves in the end.~
A little late, I know. With taking care of the twins, school, work, doctors, and just life in general, it’s hard to find the time to update, but… such is this crazy, beautiful life I live. Anyhow, hope the holidays went amazingly for y’all. Best of wishes for the New Year!!
Lots of exciting changes and announcements on the horizon! Stay tuned!! 🙂
Today was Avie’s birthday. She’s six years old already—yeah, it’s crazy. Where does the time go? Seriously. Where. Does. It. Go. Seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting on those big blue foam mats in the kids’ playroom at my Gram’s, watching roll around until she ran out of room, and thinking “she’s mobile”. And in the next moment thinking “oh no, it’s starting”—pretty soon she’ll be walking and those gummy smiles and baby babble will turn into words—and that once the words started, there’d be no stopping her. Six years and I wasn’t wrong. She’s a little spitfire, that one. She just doesn’t stop…the talking, the running around, the attitude, the energy…it doesn’t stop. She’ll talk your ear off with that Southern accent of hers…which we can’t for the life of us figure out where she got it from. She’s all sass and Miss. I-Do-What-I-Want, so much so that it gets on your nerves sometimes, and other times when you can’t help but smile at her dramatics. She’s fiercely independent, and grows more so with each passing day (Gee, I wonder who she gets that from… lol). Six years ago she came into this world and she’s been a light in our lives ever since. That little girl, she changed me. Hell, she saved me.
Her birthday’s always a little bittersweet, though. My grandfather’s—or Papa, as we called him—birthday is the day before hers. He would have been 78 this year. Sadly, he never even made it to 61. Cancer. He fought a courageous battle with it for years…but ultimately he lost. I still think about it and him some times. Of what could have been and never was. I think about him now and wonder if he’d be proud of the woman I’ve become, of all my accomplishments and successes. I think about how different everything would be if he’d lived. For the most part, he was really the only male/ father figure I’d had growing up. Sure, my actual father was still there in the background with his child support checks and maybe a call or two every few years or so, if that. But my grandfather was actually there. Physically. Emotionally. I was only 12 when he died, but I felt the loss of him, all the same. I have these little snippets of memories here and there : of him picking us up from school, taking us for ice cream when we’d had a bad day or just because or even the smell of that old beat-up, brown car he used to drive and how he’d let me sit up front in the middle and play any old cassette tape that I wanted. He spoiled us—all of us—rotten, but it was out of love. He was the one who started my collection of Beanie Babies (remember those anyone?? Lol) and add to it every chance he got. Even when he was sick and weak and on the very cusp of his final moments, he stood in line and waited with me for hours at a convention just to buy 2 Beanie Babies. Though he was in pain, he never complained or said “that’s it kid, pack it up, we’re leaving”. Though I wish now that he had. Maybe it’d alleviate some of the guilt I felt then with him dying no more than a week afterwards. I was 12. I blamed myself, convinced that his decline had something to do with my having him stand in that line all those hours despite his pain, despite the fact that his circulation and legs were so bad he could hardly walk. Looking back at that 12 year old girl, I know that rationally, it wasn’t my fault. It was the cancer that had invaded, overwhelmed, and weakened his body. It was the cancer that ripped him out of our lives before we were even ready to lose him. The cancer was to blame.
It’s bittersweet, but it makes me smile to think of what he would have thought about the kids. He’d have loved them and spoiled them to pieces, no doubt. Just as he did us. That Avie of ours would have given him a run for his money, that’s for sure. And of course, they’d have him wrapped around his little finger from the very start. Without a doubt they would have.
The kids have a tradition of buying birthday balloons for their “Papa” in heaven. Sometimes they’ll write a little note on theirs to him, then let them all go—convinced that when they disappear from view, that’s a sign that Papa reached down from heaven and took them all.
I don’t do that God and heaven and hell stuff. I can’t just survive on blind faith, as they seem to so easily do. I have to have tangible proof in my hand, physical evidence to back up a claim of any kind—much to my grams’ horror and outrage. She can’t believe the little girl she’d bring to church every Sunday—who literally grew up in the church—would turn out to be such an outspoken atheist. But I did. And a lot of it has to do with my grandfather’s death. I just couldn’t justify some invisible higher power—whom people claim to be “loving” and “all-knowing”—putting my grandfather what he went through. Allowing him to suffer as he did. Taking him before he had a chance to meet his beautiful great-grandchildren. Is that the will of a “loving” God? I don’t think it is. When no one could give me a good enough reason as to why my grandfather…I guess I just eventually stopped asking. I wasn’t going to find the answers I needed in some book or hymn or The Bible, so I stopped looking. Still, I go along with the kids. It’s harmless, I guess. And they’ll eventually grow up like I did and they’ll have that some choice to ask themselves and the world. I don’t want to burst their bubbles. If they say there’s a god…and that heaven is real…then it must be true, at least to them. I want them to have faith (not necessarily religion), in whichever shape it comes in. It’ll ground them, I think. And the way the world is right now—how it’ll be for them, I have a pretty good feeling that they’re going to need it. Hell, we ALL are gonna need it.
Still got the flowers that you sent / And the note you wrote that said that we were meant / To be forever / I keep them all as evidence / In a drawer under the mirror / Filled with empty promises / I don’t know why I keep letting you lie to me / Hard as I try it seems / I can’t break away / I thought that you would be the hero / Come and save the day / But you’re a villain / Your sins unforgiven
I’m going down, and you have watched me drown / In a river of tears, lost beneath the stream / Under the waves, I’ve found the strength to say / The river of tears has washed me clean / Go ‘head and wish me well / I’ll cry a wishing well / I’ll fly before I fail / I’ll set sail and drift away / So I won’t need you here / Love sinks and hope floats / In a river of tears, a river of tears
I catch your scent in every wind / And I recall the love we had I can’t pretend / That I don’t miss you every now and then / But the hurt is for the better / Moving on, it’s now or never / Lost in the tide, I can’t keep my pillows dry / Like there’s a sea in my eyes / I realize that sometimes love brings you flowers / Then it builds you coffins / And far too often / We end up falling to our demise
Alessia Cara “River of Tears”
Oh, LOVE. It’s the damnedest thing, is it not? Why does it always have to be so hard—why does it have to be so damn complicated? So damn confusing?
I thought I knew what it meant once. I thought it was real. Now I’m not so sure. About love, about that time in my life…about any of it. Was it real? Or was I just in love with the idea of being in love? I have so many questions, but I always come up short with answers. So much time has passed that I’m starting to forget…that I’ve forgotten.
I’ve moved on. Let’s not confuse this for something that’s it’s not. That’s not what this is. This is looking back and sifting through some of the mess, with one hand letting go, and with the other trying to figure out what the future looks like from here.
Again, was it love? If you ask anyone, they’ll say it wasn’t. They’ll say he was a fraud. That I was only being used. And they could be right. It could be true. I’d like to think that it’s NOT true, but I’m not that naïve. Either way, it screwed me up. I’m screwed up now. Everything is different. Everything. I learned from it all—the whole life lessons thing and all that—but it changed me. Some for the better, some not so much.
I have trust issues. Commitment issues. Big ones. Granted, I had them to a degree before—but that mostly stemmed from inexperience and naiveté, I think. But now…now they’re worse. Much worse. It’s hard for me to let people in, to really be myself and open up and go there. With anyone really…but especially with the opposite sex. It’s not that I don’t want to or that I don’t try—there’s just this disconnect, this wall that goes up that I really have no control over. It just goes up and it’s there and I can’t do anything about it. Is it my fault? Well, partially I guess, sure. And at the same time—no. Something happened. I didn’t imagine that. I was hurt. Really hurt. I had my heart broken. I was used in some of the worst ways you can use another human being—emotionally, physically. I was tricked and misled and lied to…and we’re not talking about a couple of times here or a few days. We’re talking over the length of fifteen months. I was fooled into believing I actually meant something to another individual and against all my better judgement, I fell for that person. Hard. I fell so hard. For a lie. For a fantasy that never was and never could be. And it was all deliberate. It’d be one thing if the other person didn’t mean to, if he’d just gotten caught up in the moment and it spiraled out from there…but that’s not what happened. This person, this guy I thought I knew, this person I defended and stood up to all my friends and family for…what he did was deliberate and calculated and just plain cruel. Every phone call, every meeting, every stolen glance…it was all intentionally done. As was the betrayal and backlash when the truth came out. Every word he said, every accusation and insult, every lie he and whomever else he had do it with him spread about me—it was intentional. He wasn’t a victim. We didn’t just lock gazes in that bar or meet out of some twist of fate. It wasn’t some love story gone horribly wrong. It was a deliberate manipulation and planned attack. And I was the casualty. I was burned. Badly. And while the physical reminders of that might go away, the emotional ones are still very, very present. Even now, all these years later. Though his name is no longer a whisper on my lips, his face no longer lingers in my mind or in my dreams, and those memories—for all intents and purposes—have long been locked away and forgotten…the scars are still there.
Which is why I’m in the predicament I’m in. I’ve gotten better. Some. I’m not quite as jaded and cynical as I was. But when it comes to love, I’m still wary. I try not to be, but I can’t help it. I have this amazing guy in my life and as badly as I want to just let everything else go and just be with him…a part of me is still holding back. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because he can’t possibly be as amazing as he seems. It’s got to be a ruse. That’s how I feel. It’s not rational and it’s driving me insane, but I can’t help it. He’s asking me to jump. He’s willing to hold my hand. And I’m just standing there on the edge, like a complete and utter idiot, scared out of my mind. I want to. God, how I want to. But there’s so many what ifs running through my head. What if I jump and it doesn’t work out? What if I end up with another broken heart? I just got mine pieced back together…I can’t imagine going through that kind of pain again. Or worse—what if it works out? What if we take that leap and it all goes well for awhile…until it doesn’t. Because people leave. They just do. You see it all the time. Relationships, marriages—they don’t always work out. And growing up, I’ve watched too many “love stories” spark and then die out. People aren’t faithful, they cheat, they always want what’s on the other side of the grass, so to speak. It’s not pessimism…it’s being realistic. It’s a horrible way to live, always doubting everyone…doubting yourself. Even when you have all the facts, when you know that he’s not him—that he doesn’t have some girlfriend or wife and child stashed away somewhere—and you want so badly to believe again in fairy-tales and love and happily-ever-after…it’s still so hard. He’s not the villain in this, and neither are you…and still, you hesitate. Because you know what can happen when it doesn’t go the way you’d hoped. When you’ve put all your faith and trust in this one individual and in doing so, you’ve essentially given him everything he needs to break you down and tear your world apart, from the inside out, if he so chooses. It feels like a game. You don’t want it to—and you don’t want to look at it as that because you don’t want to be that girl that’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop or expecting the worst in people—but it’s out of your control. And that control—it’s all that you have. After everything that’s happened, after everything that he put you through and stole from you…it’s all that’s left. It’s everything. And you cling to it. And it’s hard to give that up. Even if you’re there, even if you’re ready to, even if you want to. It’s still hard to let go.
He understands. God help him, he’s practically a saint. After all this time and even the distance…he’s willing to wait. And I know that guys like him don’t come around that often. I know that I should jump at this opportunity and just let go, once and for all. But I’m scared. I’m so fucking terrified. Love hurts. Everyone says that it’s not supposed to—that it’s supposed to be this great feeling and that when it’s right—when it’s really right—it’s not supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to be the greatest feeling in the world. And maybe they’re right. I honestly don’t know. But I want to. I want to at least find out. I’ve already experienced the heartbreak and the devastation. I know what it’s like to have the world ripped right out from under you—to have that one person you gave so much of yourself to turn around and treat you as if you were, as if you are less than nothing. I know that feeling. I’ve been there. I lived and breathed that feeling for so long, slowly suffocating. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to come up for air. I want to breathe again. To feel clean again.
Am I ready? Hell if I know. I just know that I’m tired of living in fear and in the shadows of the past, second-guessing myself and everyone around me. There are still good people in the world—good guys…I have to believe that. And I have to trust myself to know the difference. I’m not that naïve 21-year-old girl who let herself be fooled by a pair of twinkling eyes and smooth lines and empty promises. I know better now. And he’s not him. If I have to keep reminding myself of that every single day, then that’s what I’ll do, but I’ve let him in this far…maybe it’s time to take down the walls…to really take that leap of faith. I’m terrified…but I think it’s time.
Six years today. I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always …
“Hello” By Adele
Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to heal you
But I ain’t done much healing
Hello, can you hear me
I’m in California, dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger, and free
I’d forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet
There’s such a difference between us
And a million miles
Hello from the other side
I must have called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call you never seem to be home
Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore
Hello, how are you?
It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry
I hope that you’re well
Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened?
It’s no secret that the both of us are running out of time
Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore…
Well, thanks to Adele, I don’t think I’ll be getting this song out of my head any time soon. I mean, these lyrics…can we just talk about them for a minute, or five, or ten?!?! Ummm…Yes, please…
So (ladies)…we’ve all got our relationship hang-ups. You know…that one ex/should’ve-would’ve-could’ve-been-soulmate guy (or gal, if that’s your thing) that for the rest of your life will forever reside in the back of your mind as the one that either loved and/or hurt and/or wrecked and/or taught you the most. That sore subject…the bitter memory. The one that you-albeit unconsciously–compare any man you meet after him to. It’s the the mistakes you made with him that you now know not to make…and his character flaws that you know to look for and to avoid. Yes, that guy.
But there’s hope, if you just give it time. Years will pass. You’ll both move on. You’ll find someone new, someone who loves you for the real you…something he just never would, or let’s face it–never could. You’ll learn to love again…a man who’s twice the man he is. You’ll find yourself wondering how it’s even possible to love more than one person like that in one lifetime–hell, you didn’t even think it was possible–but you’ll find that it will be…that it is. Slowly, but surely, you’ll start to heal all your broken parts. You’ll learn to smile again. To laugh. You’ll feel joy again…without feeling guilty for it. You’ll get those butterflies when he walks in the room or his hand goes to the small of your back and with just a knowing look, a single touch, you’ll feel safe—like nothing in the world will ever hurt you again. You’ll slowly start to get back pieces of that girl you’d thought was gone forever when he left you there, heart in pieces and your world turned inside out. You’ll start to feel whole again. Right now, I know it seems unlikely. Impossible, even. But trust me, it WILL happen.
That’s not to say that you won’t have your bad days. For sure, there will be moments now and then when it hits you…those painful, little flashbacks from seemingly a lifetime ago that’ll come out of nowhere, rob your breath for a half minute or two, and maybe take with them a few stolen tears on their way out. But if there’s one thing you can trust, it’s that with time, those days and those moments WILL get very few and farther in between. The only downside is that you’ll be cautious–because you’re conditioned now to build up walls and be on the alert when it comes to protecting yourself against love and heartbreak and smooth-talking guys with twinkling green eyes that tempt you with their delicious world of sin. You’ll hate that you’re so guarded now, but you have to be–as it’s better to be safe than sorry. Which is why you’ll go back and visit your family in your hometown, but you’ll skip the usual hotspots to avoid running into or seeing him out and about…because godknows you’ll take an uneventful week-long visit with family over the drama from him and/or anyone connected to your past, each and every time. And when the week is over, you’ll say your goodbyes and board the plane. You’ll fly to a home 900 miles away, contemplative and confident as you come to the realization that at some point in the past 6 years you managed to truly move on and grow up–and you’ll smile. It’ll be bittersweet. Admittedly, less bitter and far more sweet.
You’ll find happiness in the arms of another, take vows and make a commitment before God and all your loved ones. You’ll start a life together, take out a mortgage…and settle down. You’ll be happy, complete…whole. You’ll have the life you’ve always dreamed of…you’ll have everything…and so much more.
But moving on and letting go…doesn’t necessarily mean you forget that person. You never forget. Sure, you can try. Best of luck to you with that. You can shut yourself away; shut the world out for days, no contact with the outside world, nothing. You can try running and moving hundreds of miles away from everyone and everything. But distance doesn’t change the past or what’s been done. The hurt and the scars remain indefinitely. You never forget.
This song and these lyrics—for me anyhow—speak symbolic of closure, yet at the same time, they don’t. Closure—there’s that word again. So many want it—yet so many have no idea what it means. Or how to go about getting it, for that matter. There’s probably a good way and a bad way to go about it, I’m sure. Rebounding—while physically satisfying, I’ll concede, doesn’t help all that much. Okay—I take that back. It does for a little while, at first…while you’re still in the “hurt and angry as hell and I’ll do just about anything to lash out” phase…but once you move past that…yeah, all the rebound sex in the world isn’t going to help that broken heart of yours feel any less broken. It just doesn’t. Trust me, I’ve been there, I know. Some people find closure from an apology…and I understand the rationale behind it, I do. In fact, there was even a time when I would have given anything to hear one myself…a time when I actually believed that an explanation and an apology would somehow negate all the hurt that he caused…and that it’d give me closure. It was a ridiculous, naïve notion–for all the “sorrys” in the world couldn’t possibly make up for what was done. My life was irrevocably changed in ways that he will never understand or even know because of his actions and the choices that he made. He’s always going to be that bitter memory because of that. That hang-up that my mind always goes back to when songs like this come on the radio. He’s going to be the kind of man I warn my daughter to stay away from and the kind of man I can only hope my son never becomes. That’s not something an apology can fix. As for closure, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really no such thing. Granted, time goes on and you move on and ultimately it gets harder to recall the face and the name and the memories are fading from color to black and white, but you never really close the book…you just store it away. I guess if you want to call that closure, then call it that…even though it’s really not. I mean, it’s still there, available whenever to sift through should you ever have the urge, so it’s not really gone for good.
It’s easy to be bitter towards the person that hurt you the most—the one that lifted you up so high, just to break you down as cruelly and as destructively as possible—so easy. I’ve entertained the emotion on more than one occasional bout over the past several years myself…until I realized my energy was much more productive being used for something else. But that one hang-up—that exclusive ex that took our hearts for a bumpy ride—they’re always going to be there. We can choose to either let their background presence restrict our success and future happiness…or we can use him/her to find exactly who we’re meant to find and be happy with and to have everything we ever wanted with. The choice is ours. Personally, I choose the latter…