As I rode the train home tonight, something happened. Something really, really great happened, and I have no idea how to tell you about it.
Here goes nothing.
As a recovering headcase in denial, I’ve been jumping a lot of hurdles lately. I’ve been crashing and stumbling through a fair share too, but what matters is that I’m getting back up each time and making progress. Progress. What an unfamiliar feeling. In case you don’t know, I was the queen of clean slates. I started and stopped colleges, friendships, relationships, medications, eating, and more; I never looked at any consequences to my actions, and was just really good at doing whatever I felt like. Two grand charge on my credit card? No problem. Cheating on my partner? Sure. Moving across the country to get away from all the skeletons in my closet? You know it.
I’ve written posts about all that, and that’s not really what I want to focus on tonight – but it’s important you know that through all my shattered pieces of lives I’ve left in my wake, there has been forward movement — but not progress. Or at least very little.
That’s changed. Quite drastically. It took rock bottom to get my head back on my shoulders, and years later I am still dealing with consequences of my actions, but I’m growing and becoming the woman I should have always been. The woman I always wanted to be.
Tonight, as I rode home, I wept. Right there on the C train, right next to bag lady and half-asleep hobo. A lot of title things had been leading up to that moment, and it poured out of me in such an organic, beautiful way. I was mourning. All this regret and shame slid down my face and pooled below me on the floor. I had made many choices up until today that have been in the name of progress, looking forward and choosing more wisely – but I don’t think the emotion that I had swept beneath the carpet for so many years ever really uncorked. Until tonight.
It felt so healthy and so dirty at the same time. Memories I had long forgotten came back to me, and the faces of people I know I’ve hurt and wronged were right there too. My heart broke and ached and felt so disappointed at the person I have been. There are too many people I wish I could talk to and apologize; I should not have this long of a list. I should not have these self-inflicted wounds from poor decisions and not thinking about consequences. I think I truly felt regret for the first time tonight, and I’m so thankful I did. It’s a marker in a long journey back to the path I’m supposed to be on. It’s a very difficult pace to be.
… This isn’t the blog post I wanted to write. I wanted to be glib about all the regret in memories I have involving the NYC subway system alone, throw in some funny one liners about a girl figuring out life in her twenties, and make light of these dark places I’ve hid. Bear with me as I try to finish these jumbled (but well intentioned) thoughts of a post.
I wish I could apologize to all of them. I hope they know I was the idiot, that I was almost always at fault. I hope they know they didn’t deserve any of it. I hope they are much better off now; I know some are.
I have been so awful, and while this progress is incredibly difficult in many aspects of life, I am so thankful to have an actual slate cleaned by Someone much greater than myself this time. I can’t hold on to my regrets, my shame, my anger, my pride, my remorse – I just have to pick myself back up, and keep going in faith. It’s okay not to be okay, but there is healing and hope and a really bright future ahead. I experienced something really healing tonight on that C train, and I feel renewed and honestly like something was lifted off of my heart. I am so unworthy, and so humbled.
I’ve lately been telling people that I have this foreshadow of a feeling looming over me, and that “it’s either something really bad …or adulthood.” I think we all know change is scary, but in the name of progress, as a self professing ex-pretender and liar extraordinaire of great denial and immaturity — I truly welcome this change. I feel like I can finally say goodbye to the things and ghosts of my past I was still holding on to. I am moving on. I am growing. Step by step, hurdle by hurdle.
This is progress.