Wednesday, June 6, 2012

message in a bottle

In the right context, the internet is a wonderful thing.  Email is simply a rich history. I love finding old treasures. I found this draft email dated April 5, 2008.  It's just a 1-liner, a little quote reminder from me to me:

I've heard this sentiment twice in the last couple of days...find the person who makes you want to be a better you and stick with them. 

I couldn't agree more, Lauren from 2008.  I couldn't agree more.  Lauren from April 23rd of this year especially agrees with you.  It was a very early morning hour, but she was heard echoing that very same sentiment to her unassuming Jiminy - "I'm simply just me with you, no defenses, no disguises, I want to be a better version of me when I'm with you because I don't have to hide who I am.  It's like diamonds, they don't become diamonds on their own, they take a certain amount of pressure and polish to shine.  I think we could be that for each other."

I've been a writer since I was a kid, keeping a diary, a journal, an inbox full of forwards and long-winded stories between friends and old boyfriends, then came the blogging, and now still all of those things remain. There are journals, scratch pieces of paper, notepads, backs of envelopes, anything that I can scribble a thought on strewn about my house.  When I come across them, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I scratch my head, occasionally I cry, but more often than not I am thankful that I have a gauge of how far I've come or how I am still pointed in the right direction. 

Sometime in February this year, I had this time-travel moment, this back-in-time, back-to-the-future kind of moment.  I opened a door that I thought I had long since closed and of course, my gut feeling from so many years ago proved to still be true.  Despite the years of distance, he was not any different, he was not going to be any different, and of the two of us, I had matured and come to respect myself by leaps and bounds.  The first time around with him, it took a heavy toll on me, took four years to finally say no, to recognize that I was just a yo-yo in his game, and to believe that I truly did deserve better.

This time around, it was a matter of weeks.  Why'd I let him back?  I knew it was a bad idea, but I really wanted to believe that he had changed.  I believe in second chances.  I knew I was fooling myself thinking it was just a "little fun" and I can't lie, it felt good to be "wanted' even if by ghosts from my past with shifty intentions.  But...he was exactly the same, nothing had changed, not his pickup lines, his hot-and-cold fishing game, his bedroom tricks, nothing...  I, on the other hand, was like a different person.   Decided, full of self-worth, perceptive, and unafraid to speak my mind.

There I was though one night, thinking about the situation I found myself again all these years later, late night sitting in my bedroom, too distracted to put my mind to sleep, scratching my head, doubts and nagging feelings creeping into my heart and my head like weeds, I remembered that I used to write.  I used to write about him.  I saw the journal out of the corner of my eye, the light blue one with "hope" emblazoned across the front of it.  It was on the nightstand in a basket of books where it had been for years.  Interestingly enough, on the nightstand next to the bed he had just spent the night in with me a few nights before. 

I could have clocked him with it.  Tried to knock some sense into him.  Laugh, it's funny.  I would have never done that, but had this song have been playing, I might have been tempted. 

Each entry logged with an exact date and time from 2007 and chock full of old memories and tear stained pages, flooded with thoughts and feelings of a love-sick girl who used to write to herself, who, despite her bad decisions, was her own best friend, who wrote what she couldn't believe but knew that she should:

it's not about you, it's about him
he's broken and it's not your job to fix him
you tried
you took a chance
you deserve better
let him go
live your life for you
find someone who will love you back
you can do it

I sat there, nearly five years later, skimming page after page, reminiscing, sometimes with a half-smile, sometimes with one eye closed cause it was too painful to remember what I allowed myself to be put through, but then ultimately finding the pages that I needed to see right then, five years later, in my bedroom, kicking myself for opening that door again.  My blue hope journal, it was like a message in a bottle washed up on shore just when I needed it.  It was like five years ago, my only reason for existing then to write those words was so that I could see them all these years later right, exactly when I needed them the most.  I was talking to me, telling myself that I was still on the same track, that everything I was feeling was legitimate, and I still deserved every bit of better that he could never give me.

So then, with the words of a former me and the experience of a current me, I closed that journal and then I closed that door again.  Never to be opened again.


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