Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 The Year That Was 2: BLAST FROM THE PAST!

Reposting from 1 January 2011 In Retro: What The Hell Was I Thinking?!

The end of the year always brings a rash of retrospectives, introspections, reunions and resolutions. Looking back and inward is supposed to bring us closer to maturity and provide insight, and perhaps inspiration, for us to move forward.

It's not always pretty, though. Especially if you've been putting off facing your issues for a long time.
My latest epiphany was brought about by a magazine photo. Waiting for RF to finish a meeting at the office, I was hanging out with the kids at a nearby cafe. While Olly was bouncing on the couch and trying to chew the armrest (yuck!), Oona got me a magazine before running off with her toy train to chug under chairs. I almost dropped Olly when I flipped open the magazine and right there, where it matters, was the photo of someone I knew from a past life with the title of Big Cheese. (Yes, I'm being deliberately vague.) I already heard he was, but seeing it in print with his smug mug was truly something else! I was flabbergasted. He couldn't even write two cohesive paragraphs in school, how could he be involved with a magazine? What was the world coming to?!

So what, right? Right.

I consider writing to be hallowed ground and I was indignant that someone who couldn't even write a grade school composition to save his life would be occupying a place of power. Words are power, to be treated with respect and veneration. I questioned his right to be there. And yes, I was also comparing myself to him. I was the better writer by far, with intellect, grace and experience. Why was he there and not me?

On another level, seeing him reminded me of how badly I walked the wild side when I was younger. (Ooh! Hot tabloid gossip on Mommyluscious!) Who didn't, right? Like my other best friend Jonas would say, I used to run with the bulls. However, one of my biggest mistakes was running into Big Cheese when he was still Bad Boy. I had this huge fantasy that he was my friend and friends don't use friends. I thought I was the exception to his hard and fast rules about serial dating. Apparently, I was nothing special and to make matters worse, he thought nothing of shattering my illusions. Needless to say, the experience shook me to the core and I began running in the opposite direction with trust issues. I haven't faced him since then.
Until now. (In a manner of speaking.)

After the shock and indignation wore off, I found myself blurting out, 'What the hell was I thinking?!' How could I have let someone exercise so much power over me? I let my shame rule me so long that I avoided putting myself out there for fear of being too exposed, that others would see the dirt instead of the beautiful things I could do. I was afraid of being laughed at, shamed and publicly ridiculed. (And of course, I was also wondering whatever possessed me to think he was attractive. There's really no accounting for taste, is there? RF agreed and assured me that my taste had improved since then, his gorgeousness daw being testimony to that. Haha.)

Okay, so maybe I'm partly being petty, not just a little jealous, immature and small-minded about the whole thing. People change and it may only me being trapped by the past because of my fears and insecurities. He might have been changed by our run-in too, hopefully for the better, right?
So what's the point of all this rambling?

The New Year symbolically brings us another shot at so many things. Seeing that face from the past made me realize how much I've grown. I never would have seen it from this persepctive a few years ago. I would have been paralyzed by fear, as if he were looking over my shoulder, waiting to shame me. Now, I feel slightly ridiculous. It's not really just about him, but me too. My shame, my inability to forgive myself for putting myself in such a situation when I should have been wiser. My fear over what what he could say about me. My anger over my own stupidity and how I/our friendship didn't seem to matter to him. My jealousy over his success and accomplishments which I felt he does not deserve since he was a jerk and I feel like a better human being. Haha. Anyway, not so generous of me right? (Where's the moral ascendancy there, Laya?!)

Why did I let fear of him hold so much sway over me? I was young and foolish, but isn't that the folly of youth? I should let go of the fear and anger now, forgive myself and set myself free. It's about time to live the adventure instead of being roped down by jealousy. After all, this is about me and my life, not him. He may not even remember I exist so why let him exercise control over my existence, right?    

Apparently, him being in my head is a bad habit to break even when I hadn't realized he was there in the first place. From being an event, he grew even bigger to being an entity and symbolic of my fear of being in the light. On that scale, I realized that people like him, or past events, become OUR excuse for hiding away. They may have hurt us then, but what we do after the incident is what truly matters. It's all up to you to get up and not be afraid. When I realized the full extent of this, when I faced all THAT and my deep shame at my contribution, I knew I had more courage than I thought I had to finally put myself out there. 
I'm glad to feel more assured of myself that even if I trip up in public, so what? Will it matter in another year? The people who matter to me won't stop loving me and my real friends won't be ashamed of me. I needed to live through the wisdom that one should believe in one's own intrinsic value and that I shouldn't let anyone make me feel less the child of the universe that I truly am. That we all are. (Okay, including people who need a few more rounds on the incarnation wheel to evolve.) In short, I had to believe that I was not a pathetic, worthless piece of trash undeserving of life's good things and the association of good, decent people.

This year, I am not going to wait for the planets to line up and the stars in the sky to arrange themselves. I'll place them in order if I have to, but I will not sit in the sidelines anymore. I will make my own fortune and hitch my own wagon to my own dreams which I will shoot past the moon to land in the heavens. I will go make my beautiful things and what others say be damned cos I know my stuff is the shiznit. I will not be jealous of others because it is their journey and I have my own. I will be brave, be bold and courageous. All because I deserve as much good of this universe as anyone else.

Now, as for do I want to reach out to him? (No.) Fear again? Maybe...but better safe, in this instance, than sorry. I don't want to be disappointed again. But more importantly, it's because I learned that moving on sometimes means leaving things behind, back in the past where they belong. Moving forward with years of bad baggage can slow you down and leave little room for the better things that the universe keeps putting in your way.

Perhaps, because the world is such a small place, Big Cheese and I would bump into eachother again. I really wouldn't know what to say to him when that happens, I can only hope that he too has put it behind him and he has changed for the better. Or if the worst does happen and he attempts to put me into an undesirable situation with unacceptable references to our past association, may I have the grace, wit and humor to respond in such a lady-like manner as to level him to treating me with as much respect as I am demanding now.

Or maybe, it would already suffice to smile and deliver a velvet-clad gauntlet with the sucker-punchline, "I know, right?! What the hell was I thinking back then?!"