go backward, go forward

On Tuesday, I was looking for writing prompts, so I went to my Formspring page and poked the auto-question-asker. It asked me, “If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?”

I probably should not have thought about it as much as I have. That way lies madness, etc.

But I did. I do. Part of being me, I suppose.

Choosing the year was not difficult for me at all, but I wanted to understand why I had chosen it.

So: 2003. I would live it over again. I would live it over again because it was the most emotionally bizarre, raw, clumsy year, and I could have handled it so much better than I did.

To recap 2003 for you, in no order at all: I lived on my own in a small room in a house; I fluctuated between single and not several times; I had a Big Birthday, which I celebrated in Europe; I finally matriculated from undergrad; I met and lost the single-most significant person in my life; I entered an ill-fated relationship; I crumpled a few hearts and I trampled on friendships; I lost sight of the person I wanted to become.

And I know I could have read the question as a positive one, as a “hey, go back and experience all the wonderful things” question, but I didn’t, which says a great deal about my current mindset and also my state of resolution on some of the aforementioned items in the 2003 recap.

It would be cruel to contact people from my past to have that one final conversation that will somehow tie everything neatly up with a little bow because that doesn’t happen except in the movies. I don’t want to drag anyone else through it again anyway. But if I relived that year, I would be honest, straightforward, brave. I would have the difficult conversations. I would have compassion for what others felt, even if it was negative toward me. I would “hold on tightly, let go lightly.”

And there it is: in pondering how I would retrace those shaky steps, I see the path forward from here.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.