“There is a notion propagated in modern life that “talking it out” will somehow make everything better. It’s a lie. All talking does is articulate the agony. You have to get it out because you have to get it out. But it’s not like vomiting up a toxic meal. You don’t suddenly feel purged, scoured, cleansed, and ready to start anew. All you feel is: I’ve said it….and nothing has changed.” ~ Douglas Kennedy, “Leaving The World”
I have felt the pressure to finish what I started when I began writing about my past in the Erosion series. No one has put pressure on me to finish except my own self. In some ways, I am a very structured person and like to finish what I start. Although I felt it would be cathartic for me to share with the world my story, I found that it only dredged up the sadness, the desolation of spirit from those days gone by, and more. I will probably not continue with it. The above quote puts into words why I probably won’t finish it.
I don’t know for sure whether the pain it would cause to finish it would outweigh the discomfort I will feel for leaving something I started, undone. LOL That is my mind, folks…. like Gilda Radner’s character, Emily Latella, always used to say….”it’s always something”.
In any event, I apologize to those who were following the progression of the story and were looking forward to the last installments. Some things are better left alone, buried under years of forced neglect and intentional forgetfulness. When you stir up the dust, you stir up things that should maybe not be disturbed once the dust has settled….you don’t want to get it flying through the air once again.
Once, a long time ago, I had planned on writing my life story….a book. I began, much like here on this blog…but the pain it caused me was too great. I could not bring to mind all the things that has caused me so much anguish in my life. I chose to toss the first chapters I’d written and move on, away from the past and away from the pain. I had thought that maybe once I faced down all my demons, then I would come away feeling free. But it only rocked the boat, upset the apple cart, and caused me to feel defeated and almost physically ill.
Of course, all that happens to all of us in our pasts is what makes us who we are today. I often want to share with the world why I am the way I am, by telling them what happened to me. I figure it will help people understand all my idiosyncrasies, all my intense mood swings, my rage, my sadness. I also figured it would help ME understand why I am the way I am, by reminding myself of all I’ve been through. So I would not be so hard on myself when I fail so miserably at life and relationships with other people.
I am learning that although the past holds the key that unlocks many of the mysteries of who we are and why we have become who we are….at the same time, the present moment holds the key to who we can become from here on out. And I think that is probably what we should focus on.
Yes, the past made me who I am. But I can take each day that I have left on this earth, and shape my tomorrows by what I do today. Because really, that’s all that matters now. If I choose to allow my past to rule me for the rest of my life, then I will never be fully and truly free. Once I release those things and let them go, I can start to walk a new path. A path that I choose, as an adult with freedom of choice, freedom of will….and that is liberating.
I have a long way to go before I can fully release all the things that tie me down from the past. But all it takes is one step at a time, and even though it sounds like a cliche, it really is true. One step at a time, with me facing forward, not back. Walking toward good things, and not bad things. Living free, not bound. I really want that for myself. I think we all do.
(Quote was taken from the book “Leaving The World” by Douglas Kennedy 2010)