I stumbled upon a couple of old AIM conversations I had saved from long ago, conversations between my ex and I. I was cleaning out some old files in my home PC and came across those and a few old photos of us. While I read the online interaction, I furrowed my brows, smiled, laughed, felt bitterness, but ultimately came out of reading them with a desire for closure. That’s the last and only thing I’ve ever wanted from this person. Just some closure, a chance to civilly, calmly, and honestly talk about what happened between us, and why…after all these years, I wonder if our perspectives have matured.
As with a few other people I’ve wanted to establish closure with, I, on the other hand, don’t really know if thats such a smart idea. Sometimes I feel like maybe some issues with some people should just be left in the past. But i of course have always been one to harbor bitterness and resentment, and it really is time to change. It’s extremely hard to change and let go of certain qualities that have been inherent in me since I was a child; I know this is going to be a hard road to travel.
In the last year or so I have made progress in trying to achieve inner peace, my one true desire out of this life. Of course, there have been many obstacles that have been thrown my way, and I can safely say this has been one of the most emotionally trying years of my life. But it’s the end of the year, I am still alive and mostly well, and I know what I have to do to continue my journey of becoming a “grown up.” ‘Cause God knows I’m definitely not all grown up yet. Though I’ve always been mature for my age and had wisdom for certain matters before i was supposed to, this year has shown me that I sure dont know how to handle everything that gets tossed my way.
Anyways, back to the AIM conversations. Like I said, I am one who dwells in the past, the kind that saves conversations like those ‘cause I’m sure I’ll look back on them one day with hindsight and wonder why I couldnt have acted differently. I’m the kind of person who wont throw away old photographs because I feel like I’m throwing away memories, whether good or bad. I’m the kind that saves birthday cards, anniversary cards, silly little love notes and long, passionate love letters and Lets-work-things-out letters and the solitary Dont-ever-talk-to-me-again letter [which in fact, he and i still are very good friends to this day :)]
I’m the kind that likes to go back in time through these letters and put myself back in that moment and feel that pain, that romanticism, feel those words that made me cry from harrowing heartbreak or overwhelmingly sweet statements of tenderness, or even promises that turned out to be nothing but empty.
It’s amazing how there were once places, things – and most curiously – people that you cared about, that are now distant memories, fuzzy pictures, forgotten sensations. So many people have come and gone through my life – some I can still call friends if I saw them after so much time, others – figments of my past, and that is all. With every person gone, I shared both good and bad memories, the latter are what ultimately led to the vaporization of our friendship.
Growing older and wiser and wanting to change my ways, I want to be able to forgive, whether within my peace of mind or to their face, I want to. God knows I want to, but my stubbornness wont allow me to… yet. I’m trying to get there. I’m trying to figure out how to let go of all my bitterness, anger, and resentment. For me, part of the challenge lies in the fact that I always feel like I cant let go unless theyve apologized, or we’ve both apologized, or there is some kind of closure. I cant feel better unless I know that both parties have come to terms with the way things worked out. However, most parties are not very present, and some, I dont even think I could stand to look them in the face for too long, thats how much resentment I have toward them.
I suppose all I can do for now is to embrace the fact that: 1. I need to live in the present more than I ever have before, 2. I have to work on not caring so much about what happened and what life would be like if we were still on good terms, 3. I need to figure out whether I need to first pacify things with others in order to achieve my own inner peace, or rather do I need to first achieve some sort of inner peace before I can pacify things with others, 4. Maybe I should just try to completely forget about all former people, places and things that I negatively associate with in my mind, in order to just let go completely.
I deleted those old AIM conversations, some of those old photos. It felt good. Now, if only there was a “delete” button for life. Ok, not really. But as much as I learn from my past (from the good and bad memories), it’s much easier to want to just forget and move on. Of course, it wouldnt be Life if it wasnt such an extraordinary bitch sometimes. And sometimes – most times – we just have to tackle her head on.
Uncle Frank [Steve Carell] from Little Miss Sunshine sums it up best, when speaking about Proust:
“He gets down to the end of his life… and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered- Those were the best years of his life, ‘cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn’t learn a thing.”
…And so does John Lennon, whose song partly inspired my musings for the night.
“There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all”