I have tried over and over again to write something for this blog for weeks. I couldn’t quite find a happy medium with what I was trying to convey. I even drafted a super long entry yesterday that I may just borrow bits and pieces of for this one. It was really an issue of tone that was being battled. Let’s try to correct that with this one.
Firstly, Happy New Year! How exciting to be in 2017 (unless you’re in America and vehemently against the likes of Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Ann Coulter – Then we all mourn)! I know so many of us were waiting to say goodbye to 2016 (myself included) because it was a rough year. Many of us had significant losses last year, more than the norm it would seem. The thought of a new year seems almost like a second chance if you will.
I told myself months ago when all my drama trauma was happening, “Just be sad or mad or whatever until January 1st. Then all that stops.” I gave myself until the end of the year to deal with any residual aftershock of what had happened, and then it would seem a moot point. Don’t ask me why. It just felt feasible at the time.
Turns out, we don’t necessarily need a “turn of events” or “something magical” to happen in the distant future. People start dieting on Mondays to start the week. Why not start today if you’re that adamant to lose weight? What’s holding you back? Nobody but you. Why not make of it what you will now?
I haven’t been in mourning all this time. I haven’t been enraged all these months. In fact, each day, I find more joy in being by myself and doing things that please me more than ever before. I have had some of the biggest laughs of my life recently. I have taken more two-hour baths to soak and relax and just think than I ever have.
Just the other day, I decided to have a bowl of blueberries as a snack. I eat blueberries every once in a while and never thought I attached any particular memory to it necessarily. But when I popped a bunch of them into my mouth, I remembered something long forgotten: the first time I ever ate a handful of blueberries. It was with my mother’s boyfriend at the time, Randall Cobb.
Think of a time when you smelled something and it took you back a few years. What was it that triggered your memory? A fragrance? The smell of detergent? Who did it remind you of? A loved one or maybe someone you despised?
What about a song which reminds you a time period in your life you wish to recapture? Or maybe leave in the dust altogether? Is it the actual lyrics that stimulate emotion or the musical instruments used in the song? A combination of both perhaps? Maybe your artist “just gets it.”
With food, though? Sure, the smell of it may trigger something, but never have I tasted anything that recalled a distant memory or feeling. The senses that stimulate the most memories for me have always been smell and sound, but these blueberries were a different story. The one exception is the use of ketchup at my family’s. I was berated a few times for my use of it from my uncle. I think it may be more the physical sight of it being on my plate or the bottle being nearby that stimulates those memories, not the actual taste of it. (Side note: I recently switched to Organic Ketchup, and it is quite delicious!)
I remember Randall vaguely. He treated my mother very well from what I recall towards the last few years of her life. I don’t remember how they met. I don’t remember him after her passing. I don’t even know what time frame they actually dated during. I just remember his name, his face and now, the first time I ever ate that many blueberries in quick succession were when he, my mother and I were all together.
When I hear the song, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John, I think of he and my mother together. It was a song for “The Lion King” which stirs positive emotions for me. It’s a memory I can’t quite put into words, though it’s funny how crystal clear it seems to me now twenty some odd years later. There are many songs which make me think of certain people. I can smell a fragrance and instantly identify who it reminds me of and why. But never can I recall doing so with actually tasting food.
That tells me that you can’t escape your past. That whole “New Year, New Me” bullshit is just that: bullshit. You’re the same person you always were with the same past you’ve always had. Instead of trying so hard to forget the past, why not try and coexist with it? The memories can be painful to tackle head-on, but they’re not going anywhere. You allowed those times to manifest, partly because you wanted it to and partly because you didn’t know any better at the time.
I remember a few months ago thinking, “I wish I could just go back. I wish I could do it all over and be different.” I even talked about that sense of guilt in one of my previous blogs, but now, I think, “Why would you want to do that? Look at how far you’ve come. Look at the individual you’re allowing yourself to see value in.” It’s still me in here. I will still probably love hard and fall even harder out of love (they say that about Capricorns, whoever the hell “they” are). Who I am at the core isn’t changing. I’m just learning to adapt to my surroundings. I am learning it’s okay to coexist with moments from your past.
Otherwise, where would you even begin your own story? We all need our past to propel us into the future, and more importantly, we need it so our present really is worth a damn. Could I have done things differently way back when? Of course, I could have. I just a. didn’t want to at the time, and b. didn’t see value you in another option. I chose what I chose because it suited me at the time. That’s living. That’s life.
I never needed 2017 to bring me the happiness seemingly stripped from me the last quarter of 2016. I needed to find myself. In doing so, I disappeared into my own thoughts and fantasies. I got away from social media, the very thing that drains both my time and energy. I listened with the intent to hear. And now, I am feeling whole because I did and will continue to do what is necessary for me to be happy.
So, here’s to 2017! May it make us stronger, better, happier people because we learned from before. We cried, we fought, and, well, God damn it, I want to make this year extraordinary!
Besides, I turn 30 in 13 days! It’s probably best that I get my shit together by then, right?