Monday, April 18, 2011

history lesson #1: silent all these years

[i'm starting a new series, to go along with my letter series and the occasional throwback. i'm going to look back at trigger events, watersheds, and examine them for what they were to me. call them history lessons: the events that built me.]

'cause sometimes, i said sometimes, i hear my voice 
and it's been here silent all these years

the further away i get from the wilderness years, the more i marvel at how, frankly, i absolutely sold myself down the river. i really, truly did. i made some decision somewhere down the line that all the things that made me, well, me were no longer important. what was important? what other people wanted, what they needed. it wasn't a pressure thing, to my recollection. i don't remember anyone telling me bad things about the way i was or anything. i just cast in my lot with a lifestyle, an ethos, that had no relation to the way i'd lived for my entire life up to that moment.

years go by; will i still be waiting for somebody else to understand?

and then one day, i woke up and realized how far off the rails everything had spun. i was nearly thirty (though a lot further from it than i am today), and who the hell was i? i mean, really? i did not have an answer to that question that didn't involve my relation to someone else, something else. to think that a strong, brilliant girl had morphed into a young woman who wielded bravado to cover quavering insecurities… well, i could hardly bear it. and i felt alone, alone, alone. how could i have been so goddamned stupid?

i've been here, silent all these years
silent all these years
silent all these years…

i really thought the old me, the confident me, the self-assured me, was dead and buried forever. i thought i had no options other than to lose myself in the new identity i'd crafted, the epitome of the gilded cage.

and then came the hurricane.

gustav took a lot from a ton of people. but it gave me something. there's no grand irony in the storm itself (y'know, how the root word of katrina is cleansing or something like that). but what there was for me was the realization that many, many things were broken. it was time to start fixing things. and in the reclamation process, as i pulled tree limbs off the caved-in remnants of my free-girl heart, i saw that the shreds of that dream were far from dead. the pieces of my old spirit glinted out at me from the wreckage of the dream like long-lost friends. hey! it's you! man, have we missed you. just because i packed them in a box, high on a shelf in the back, so that i could… do whatever it is i did in my early and mid-twenties, did not mean they were dead. they were in there.

i was in there, silent all those years.

1 comment:

  1. Honey, I love this piece. I'm glad you're finding yourself again.


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