I didn’t always know how to speak. How to convey what it was that I was thinking or feeling, probably because I didn’t always understand it myself. There are still times I find myself in this place. Often when I haven’t given enough time to reflect because everything else took priority. It didn’t seem important enough to put at the top of my list. Or rather, I didn’t think that I was important enough to put at the top of my list.
So I listened to music and found that the lyrics I gravitated towards typically felt the same way. I would sit at the foot of my bedroom door and place my headphones into my ears, a disk into my walkman (because yes, those existed and I totally had one) and just let it soak in. I let myself understand. That was my time for reflection.
Last night was a turning point for me. I found myself in a dark place, having given another chance to someone who doesn’t want to change. And time and time again, I fall into this illusion that maybe this time will be different, but it never is. That this instance has replayed over and over too many times that I don’t think I can do it anymore. I reached a point of breaking down until I started hearing rain shooting at my windowsill. I heard thunder and saw flashes of lightening. I laughed because I had just written about energy matching energy and it felt like the universe got me. Like it knew exactly how I felt and it wrestled into a storm, showing me that it’s okay.
It was a permission slip of sorts that reminded me that everything can spiral. Everything can rage. Everything can cry, even the sky. And then, when it’s all over, the world becomes quiet, just like my mind.
So I thought about it all last night as I was trying my best to fall asleep and then again this morning. How many chances do I hand out before I am left with nothing? How many times should I let myself get back down here, back to drowning? How many times do I let my own perception cast a filter on someone else’s truth? And how many times am I going to let myself feel defeated when mask that I put on their face comes off? Because it always does. And how many times am I going to blame them instead of taking a look at the part I had to play in this?
Maybe a lot of us do this. We see what we want to see. We see what we hope. We see through our own intentions instead of another’s. And then we fall flat on our faces when we learn that they weren’t how we imagined. Or that they didn’t change like we thought. And the thing that keeps us on this rollercoaster of letting the behavior pursue, or continuing to hand out these chances is this scary thought that what if we don’t and this time is when it’ll actually be real.
When I started thinking about second chances and false perceptions, what came to my mind was why I’ve always found hope, trust, and love in writing. How time and time again, it has saved me. How many times I’ve clung onto it with my dear life because it was all I had. Books, journals, blogs, essays, stories, quotes. Words.
How words can be so much like humans. They can flirt and flutter, or lie and deceive, or give you hope and love. It’s the words you choose to read, the words you choose to write, and the words you learn to trust. Because in the end, words can heal just as easily as they can betray. But words are words and humans are humans. And if you cast your own filter on either, they won’t get to tell you their truth, so why would we expect to see it?
If we’re seeking to become the most authentic versions of ourselves, I think we also have to remember that we have to allow others to be the most authentic versions of themselves, too. And the truth is that sometimes that’s going to hurt, but it can also be humbling and magical. What I understand now is that maybe to see things as they are, we have to simply let them be. Let words be words. Let humans be humans. And then decide, what do you want to be a part of?