One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Lewis Carroll’s Alice series. She is talking to one of the Wonderland creatures and says that she could tell them of her adventures, but she states,
“It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.“
This quote resonates with me so much I tattooed it on myself. No one can see it, but I see it every single day. Lately, I’ve forgotten why I did such a drastic thing.
I make a lot of mistakes in my life. I make poor decisions when it comes to relationships, or at least it feels that way. There’s a lot of things that I’ve done that I wish I would have done just a bit differently. Things I wish I hadn’t said. That guy I wish I hadn’t made out with against the side of a What-a-burger… don’t ask.
But all of those mistakes have made me the screwed up little ball of wonder I am today. They have brought me right here, typing this blog, trying to sort out the noise in my head. I could wish I could go back and do things differently, but the truth is, there’s no use because now I’m a different person than I was yesterday. And I’m different because of that moment.
There’s such beauty in the simplicity of that. We all have things in our past we wish we could erase or re-write, but those moments make up the person we are and the way we view and understand the world. And despite being unhappy with some things, maybe hoping to drop a few pounds or learn to adult better, I am still pretty okay with the person I am in this moment.
I thought about this quote again today when I spent a few hours talking to this guy who completely crushed my heart in January. I don’t know how to just cut people out of my life, and despite the fact he was pretty awful to me, I still can’t seem to just drop him. I still care about him. I still want good things for him. And a part of me constantly wants some sort of closure. Why did he do what he did? Why did he feel that way? Why did he make assumptions about the way I felt? How could he have just hooked up with someone else in the span of a couple days if he cared about me so much? Does he know that he’s a giant dildo?
The truth is, I’m never going to get closure. I could rehash the past with him over and over, but I’m never going to be satisfied with the answers if there are any. Part of me maybe doesn’t even want that. When we talk about wanting closure, maybe what we are really wanting is some vindication. We want them to know how awful they are – to acknowledge the just sheer assholery they pulled – and feel a little bit better that they feel a little bit worse. Am I the only one? (hashtag petty).
There’s a Texas Country song I’m obsessed with right now. It’s called Explain by Corey Hunt Band. It describes how I’ve felt every time I see him (which is a lot. We are in the same program, go to the same church, and he works at my favorite study spot). The lyrics go:
Did I not care enough?
Did I try too much?
Was it something I did?
Could you just tell me?
Cause I can’t sleep at night
I wake up and curse your name
But I don’t want you back
I just wish you would explain.
For all of you out there who have friends or exes or any kind of relationship that has just buckled for some reason, and you don’t really understand what happened, isn’t this spot-on for how you feel? I don’t want him back. I’m a happier person not freaking out that I’m going to make him mad or disappoint him in some way or not measure up somehow. But I do wish I knew WHY.
But you know what, I’m going to try my best to let it go. And not in the way that every one else tells me… with a giant middle finger in the air and a Cee-lo Green send off “F**k YOU!” We have to see each other. So I’m going to still care about him. I’m going to still want good things for him. … Sort of. … Most of the time.
But I’m also going to remind myself that we are both different people than we were, and there really is no use going back to yesterday. It won’t change anything. It really won’t bring closure or make me feel any better. The hurt might have an answer, but you’re really just nurturing the hurt by constantly feeding it and searching for an answer that might hurt just as badly as not knowing. Letting it go is not going to be easy. When I finally trust and care and invest in someone, it is so hard to just let them drift away. That’s not the kind of person I am.
So why force myself to be?
I’m going to let go of the past. I’m going to let go of who I hoped we’d be together. I’m going to let go of the hurt (eventually) and the desire for vindication and closure (probably), and I’m going to remember, I am not the person that I was yesterday. I am better. I am stronger. I am a little wiser. I am hopeful. And I am loved. Maybe not by him. Maybe not by any man not my family (any takers?), but I have so much love in my life. So why dwell on what makes me hurt? I need to acknowledge those feelings, and just let them go. He’ll be another chapter in the story of who I’ll be tomorrow.
It might not be a guy that has you down, or wishing you could go back to the past and fix or change something. Whatever it is, though, I hope you think of Alice and remember, there’s no use going back there because you are a different person now. Let go of the regret, accept what’s done, and learn to incorporate it into the person you want to be. Our stories are constantly being written – don’t let one bad chapter define the rest of your book.
From my over-caffeinated ❤ to yours,