You can run from the disappointments you’re trying to forget. But it’s only when you embrace your past, that you truly move forward.
I recently watched the movie Now and Then. I hadn’t seen this movie is years. I remember as a bored twelve year old catching it on television one summer vacation and I just couldn’t get enough of it. It was airing on a premium movie channel (I can’t remember if it was HBO or Showtime or Cinemax), but as all premium movies channels do, they tend to replay every movie twice or three times in one week, so I watched and watched the movie maybe a dozen times that summer. I loved it. It became my new favorite.
I particularly loved the characters. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about four twelve year old girls–best friends–and a summer that seemed to change all of their lives in a significant way. Each girl had their own personality, but I was particularly drawn to the main character–the narrator of the tale–Samantha. (Though, I swear I thought I would love Christina Ricci’s character Roberta, just because it was Christina Ricci). I saw myself in Samantha, which looking back on it now, is a little weird to me, but not at the same time. Samantha was weird. She was into science fiction and the supernatural. She loved the mystery of Dear Johnny and while her friends thought she was a bit weird, they still accepted her. She kept her dysfunctional family life to herself and it took awhile to tell her friends that her parents were getting a divorce. On the surface, I had nothing in common with her. I didn’t know her family struggles and our interests were completely opposite. But there was just something about her that I was drawn too.
She was the curious thinker of the group, an observer of life and I think that’s what really drew me to her. Thinking about it now, having grown up and experiencing struggles of my own, we are a lot alike. As an adult, Samantha just can’t let go of everything that has happened to her. There’s some part of herself still clinging to that one summer, but at the same time, she knows that she’s no longer that child. She’s closed herself up against the world because what she observes and has observed through the years has done nothing to convince her that life is good. She sucks at relationships because she doesn’t open herself up to them, because she thinks what good could come from that?
I’ve been thinking a lot about myself and where I want to be in my life. For some reason, rewatching this movie has struck a cord in me and I’ve realized that I hold a bit of bitterness about the world. I’m very cynical. I tend to see the bad before the good, and while that isn’t always apparent to me in the moment, right now I feel that’s what has constantly been holding me back. I don’t think I have strong relationships with my friends nor do I think I can create new relationships with strangers because I’m very closed off and have a problem trusting people with all that goes on in my head. I honestly envy some my friends because they are always so open to me about their lives when all I can do is listen. I psych myself out thinking that I’m being as open to them like they are being with me, but in the reality of it all, I’m not. I’m sad and feel alone and stuck and I’m always scared that if I try at anything I’ll always fail. I’m afraid that if I am myself no one will like me. So I don’t try. I’m not cool and collected like I seem. I’m lifeless and apathetic most of the time, because in some weird way, it seems easier not to feel anything at all.
But it sure is lonely all by yourself.
This mirrors the realization Samantha comes to at the end of the movie. And in that moment it really hit me too. Something began stirring inside of me and this time I want to try. I miss feeling everything and so passionately that I would just cry. I miss observing life–every bit of it–and really taking in its beauty, the good and the bad and really letting it affect me. I see other people and hear their stories that are so full of passion and life, and I feel like I’m missing out. I know it’s going to be hard. I’ve built my wall so hard and high that somedays I feel like nothing could break through or climb over it. But I’m ready to try.
Two years ago today I started this blog. I’d experience such an unbearable loss that I only did what I do best: suppress it. Numb it with somethings else. That something else was blogging about love, something I really didn’t know anything about. It became an obsession to understand it and why you only ever truly love something when it’s gone. My blog eventually grew, but as it did, the meaning of it sort of faded away. I wanted to spill my heart out on this blog, but as it happens, I couldn’t do that, not then. I eventually found scrapbooking and it became my new obsession, so that’s what I began blogging about. It was something that I loved, but I only loved it because it helped me cope.
I guess I want to say that most of what I write on here doesn’t have any great meaning as I hoped it would. It’s more of an escape if anything. But I feel like everything I do in my life is an escape from my life. I long to travel but that’s only because it’s an escape from my day to day life. And as much as I love the escape, there’s no fulfillment in that. At least, not anymore.
Every new year, lots of people choose a word to guide them through the year. Last year I had at it and chose the word brave. I wasn’t really all that brave. So this year I’m choosing a word that encompasses a few words that I’d like to stick to as a guide: unravel. I want to unravel. I want to be brave enough to be open with myself and to others. I want to explore and feel and really live. I need to deal with what I’m feeling instead of suppressing it. I need to accept it and let it go. I want to be more mindful of things, be more empathetic. I want to be a good person. Everyone in my life always say these wonderful things about me and for once I want to see those things and accept them instead of brushing them off because I don’t believe them myself. I want to learn to love myself because then–now I’m being a bit optimistic here–I think I’ll truly find relative happiness.