recently i reconnected and met up with an old friend. someone who knew me very well before i was fully formed. before i was me.
needless to say, it was interesting to see how all these years later some things had changed, but really mostly stayed the same.
i maintain that time and distance do nothing for the true love of good friendship, and for who we really are deep down inside.
anyhow, one of the things that got discussed was me. you know, my favorite topic.
but not just me, how we all are when we're young. what we think is important, how we take a LOT for granted, how we just. don't. know. and it's only in hindsight that we come the the "ah ha" moment about what was really going on.
so one of the things i came away with was how i acted all those years ago. so bold and brash, all knowing, completely untethered yet willing to try, and then just getting assholy when the trying didn't work. and in looking back on it i realized that all these years i've had a certain view of those years. i've just been willing to excuse some of my behavior as well i was young and i thought i knew what i was doing.
and i was. there's no harm in that.
i have finally come to realize that largely i was always just trying to be the coolest girl in the room. okay, not always. i mean, i have to believe that i really was cool sometimes and not just trying. i was also genuine and thoughtful and loving. i had moments of amazing even. not everything was a set up, a stage.
but some of it was. the weaker moments. the ones that court deep chagrin. the asshole moments.
i just didn't have a lot of tools for bridging the gap that would occasionally come up. the gap in relationships, the gap in life, the gap in the path and it's just too big a leap and you have no. fucking. clue.
i didn't know then that just being yourself, not the made up version, but the real one will always get you through. for better or worse, you get through and you move on. i didn't know that you can be strong and still have vulnerability and that that's okay. better even.
i look back on that girl and i just want to shake her. see here! see when you did this! see when you said that! what an ass! get that smirk off your face and speak from your heart not from the scared girl spot! DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE!
and for god's sake QUIT SUCKING IN YOUR ABS! YOU WEIGH 120 POUNDS AND HAVE A 24 INCH WAIST YOU UNGRATEFUL BITCH!
sorry. was i shouting?
i want to say to her honey, you don't have to be the coolest girl in the room. you just have to be you.
i know that now. all these years later i get it. and yes, i look back and cringe. and yes, i am embarrassed. and a little sad.
but even given all that, would i really go back and stop it? i don't think so. because i have to believe that it happened just as it should have. and that given a chance i likely wouldn't have changed a thing. because here i am. all these years later i am me. and pardon the self absorption, but i really feel like i am the coolest girl in the room. this room. the room of my life. these interior walls built with love and family, with my life's work, with all the attendant hopes and dreams and fears and reality. the good the bad and the truly ugly. i am me heart body and soul. i could never be this cool as a younger lass.
and even if i was, even if i found that lesson at 21, 22, 23, when i THOUGHT i had, well i can't say it would have led me here at 37 basking in it. truly basking in the fubar that life is.
we all have the steps on our paths. we can jump about and move them around and roll our eyes at some of them, but they will eventually all be taken.
whether we like them or not. at 22 or 37.
and i sure am happy that i'm not trying to be the coolest girl in the room right now. it would be awfully hard to pretend to know everything when i know that i don't. it would be hard to think that being an asshole would be the way to get what you want, or to mask the vulnerability.
and it would be really hard with all this fuckin' gray hair. which i think i might be coming to love. but don't quote me on that!
i have recently found that life just is. stripped down and laid bare all you've got is yourself and the interior room you've built around you. the rest is fleeting, and can go at any moment.
and while i loved that girl with a passion and wouldn't have traded my years with her for anything, i am so glad she's not driving this ship.