It's been quite some time since I've written last. I apologize. I've been swallowed up by the ever-consuming lack of time. With three little ones depending on my presence during the week and the infatuating "high" or "rush" that seems to drape itself over us during the preparation of the upcoming holidays, I can't help but try to keep track of the days. I've written posts about my nannying job and a few little nonsensical thoughts here and there, but those posts don't do the reality justice. In fact, I consider the very recent posts to be quite nonsensical on their own. Going over them I can't help but mentally ask myself "what the heck are you even writing about?" My portrayed thoughts seem vague and I can tell by reading the first few lines that I had lost interest in constructing the post; so much that I had just settled to ramble on for a length of time to make it look as though I wrote something worthwhile. But I failed. I received positive feedback for those posts, but something inside me began to haunt me...a voice...it said "you can do better."
I read through some of the oldest posts I've ever published here on this blog. They were silly enough to make me cringe. I even had the urge to completely delete everything and start anew. Eliminate writings of the past and begin a whole new series...perhaps a story..
I was in the process of checking off a large sum of posts to delete when all of a sudden a little pop-up appeared on my computer: you cannot delete more than 50 posts at a time.
I got so wrapped up in selecting which ones to terminate that I didn't realize how many I chose. 50. I was prepared to delete over 50 blog posts - those are 50 little nonsensical stories I had published about 6 1/2 years ago. I was seemingly prepared to just terminate 6 1/2 years of growth. Why? All because I was disgusted with my childlike way of thinking- my silly need to share the silliest of thoughts and feelings or adventures with the world...I didn't realize this was happening, but I was feeling embarrassment... I was embarrassed of how I used to be; how I used to write, how I used to act, how I used to think. I began to regret things from my past. Things that make no sense for me to regret now. I was forgetting the whole purpose of why I even have a blog-- perhaps the purpose was beyond my knowledge at the time I first constructed this blog, but I was infused with the knowledge just recently. I have this blog, not just to share stories with all of you, but to reveal something to myself- a pattern of growth shall we call it. God gave me a blog so that I could have the opportunity to see how much I have grown and learned throughout those 6 1/2 years.
You see, as humans it's totally normal to feel things such as embarrassment or regret. We all make choices in life, some are great and some are stupid. We experience all sorts of things, some beautiful and some...forgettable. We endure a lot in life, love, emotional development, loss and heartache. What we forget as humans is that those experiences, feelings or memories are important. If we hadn't had those, we would not be the people we are today. Of course, some people 'today' aren't as happy as they used to be. Perhaps some choices or experiences from years past have come back to haunt them. I understand this. I've experienced this recently. As of late I've been experiencing "triggers" (a trigger in this reference is a sudden flashback that takes place when a similar situation -though under different circumstances- takes place in current times). These triggers are flashbacks to anything traumatizing or frightening, but can be a little... Uncomfortable.
"Think of it as--- Sally went to this diner and ordered shrimp. The shrimp was gross, Sally got sick and vowed to never go back. Years later Sally was told to try this new diner down the street. Someone she went with ordered shrimp and had her taste it. She immediately remembered her past experience with shrimp and got afraid to try it because she was assuming it was going to turn out the same way it did years ago. Her friend told her to just try it. She did, and it ended up tasting delicious and became her favorite dish from then on out."
We have all experienced "bad shrimp" in our lives. But just because we had one bad experience with it (perhaps it was enough to shake us up and cause us to completely lose all hope in ever liking seafood again) doesn't mean we should never try it again...even if it's just a taste. The reference I'm making to "bad shrimp" isn't about one thing in particular. The bad shrimp could be any uncomfortable memory or regret that ever crosses your mind.
I'm fascinated by the mind-- I'm fascinated at how much it stores-- how much it continues to log away without the rest of it realizing it. It's easy to block things out, but what we forget is that there will always be triggers out there subtly reminding us of the things we try to forget. Instead of looking at these triggers negatively, use them as a positive opportunity to move on.
Face the fears you have of repeating an uncomfortable situation by changing it. Look at these triggers as a doorway into the past, and you now have an opportunity to go back in time and change whatever it was you tried to forget and make it something worth remembering.
You'll notice too that usually what triggers a memory is a similarity to something that already happened, except it's happening under different circumstances and in current times...making it familiar but not the same. Look at it like God is showing you a comparison. What "was" to what "could be."
Did you ever find yourself saying, "if I ever had the chance to go back in time, I'd change ----"? Well those little triggers are your chance to change whatever it was that you wanted to change.
The other day my mom spoke wisdom without even realizing it. I had an experience that triggered a memory that I had from several years ago. It made me feel like I was about to relive something I didn't want to relive, so internally I began to panic. My mom took me to the movies, not knowing I was mentally struggling with a trigger to something, and asked if I wanted popcorn. "I JUST put gum in my mouth" I said with a laugh.
"You always use gum as an excuse not to live!" She joked. I stopped for a moment. "What was that you said?"
"You're missing out! You're not living! You're not experiencing the whole experience of 'going to the movies' if you don't have popcorn! What's the point, then?" She said, laughing.
I felt my eyes widen. The fear of the trigger suddenly vanished. She was right. My "gum" excuse or "memories of the past" were keeping me from "living". I wasn't experiencing the experience of going to the movies because I was caught up in the fact that "I just put a piece of gum in my mouth" - so what? Is gum worth skipping popcorn for? Heck no!
Are memories worth cringing over? Heck no! That's just another waste of time. If you are given a trigger, don't be afraid of reliving something in your past. Be a little daring, do something unexpected of yourself. Spit the gum out! Eat the popcorn! Start living. If something triggers a familiar situation, throw it off by making it awesome.
Perhaps you have a memory of borrowing someone's gloves but things between you and that person got awkward and you both separated. Suppose in current times you're put in a situation where you need to borrow someone else's gloves-- but the whole borrowing thing triggered your past memory and you were afraid to put the gloves on, because you feared repeating a similar situation would somehow jinx things and make things between you and the new someone awkward. That's a common thing people deal with. The best thing you could do is make it a "popcorn" moment and put the gloves on. God gave you a chance to remember something that you once told Him you wished you could change, and now He's giving you that opportunity.
There's a quote from one of my favorite movies called A Cinderella Story that I believe to be most appropriate ending of this blogpost:
"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."