I do not mean to diminish the potential of redemption and restoration when I tell you that my life will never be what it could have been. I do not confuse the reality of consequence with some sort of lacking in the promise of grace and mercy. It is with a new awareness that I face my future and the inevitable scars it carries from my past. My life is told in those scars, in the particular look that sometimes clouds my gaze. I am who I am because of who I chose to be. These words do not stem from a pool of hidden regret and sorrow for what will never be. Still, with a new awareness of all that is, with a hindsight that comes only from experience and with nothing even akin to bitterness, I tell you with confidence – sometimes, this time, it’s just not worth it.
It could have been different. I have a peace in the reality of how and what It Is but when the walls crumble and the truth is exposed in all of it’s devastating solidity, I must look at the remains of life before now and know that I have only myself to blame. As I grow confident in my newness and strong in my identity, as I relearn that which to some seems so very basic, as time is spent to repair and renew and rebuild I have to remind myself, lest I become forgetful…
It didn’t have to be this way.
The choice was mine.
I have partied with people seen on TV, done the drugs curious people are most curious about. I’ve worn clothes that could pay the average rent and ruined them in places and in ways I’ve come too far to mention here. I can tell stories that raise eyebrows, flush cheeks (excitement or embarrassment) and radically alter the mere perception of myself with tales as true as the one I tell now. From the vantage point of onlooker, I may have been those things any number of people would want to, strive to, try to be. Believe this – looking from the outside in is never an honest gaze and nothing is as it seems to be.
What can I possibly say to you that would convince you, those of you lost in the haze of Right Now, that no matter the stories you can tell or the things you’ve seen or even gotten away with that all of it is vanity – meaningless?
You’ll reach a point, and some of you have reached it already – your spirit tells you so whether or not you have yet chosen to acknowledge – where there is no going back, where you will never be again what you were and the road to where you want to be seems an impossible trek. The point where Right Now leaves an indelible thumbprint that you will spend years of your life either flaunting, hiding or double timing to overcome.
When the ride stops and, wobbly-kneed, you get off, looking around naseous and disoriented and you wonder the question that (some of) you should have asked sooner…“is it worth the cost of the ticket?”
The answer is mocking in it’s simplicity.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
It doesn’t have to stay this way.
The choice is yours.