Sometimes I think of the people I used to know, I wonder if they finally found the happiness they were always chasing. I wonder if they finally gave up the negativity at the same time I found my voice, if they are no longer chasing their tails, and if they remember any of the good times we had. I wonder if the ones who just faded away remember when we used to laugh and cry. If they remember the songs we would sing together driving down back roads on our way to adventure. I think of their faces and no longer feel extremes: extreme anger, extreme joy. I just think of their faces and let them go. I’m sure they don’t think of me and if they do, I hope they recognize the impact they had on my life, the lessons they taught me in trust, denial, love, joy, and learning to not be walked all over. Just because someone is no longer a part of your life, doesn’t mean they weren’t supposed to be at one point in time. It just means that your paths diverged and moved forward in different rhythms.
Sometimes I think of the things I used to do, the good and the bad, and wonder if I could survive doing them all over again. I think back to the times I was angry. The summer of 2008 when everything felt like I was choking and wanting to lash out. When I punched someone I worked with because they wouldn’t back off me and I didn’t know how else to react. When I felt like shit because I hit them and realized I had that power within me to hurt if pushed too far. I think of 2012-2013 when I was angry I allowed myself to be a doormat for not one, but three women of the same mold.
I think back to when I last saw my father. He was dying in a hospital room with his family around him. I watched him release his last breath, waiting two full minutes hoping he was just experiencing sleep apnea again and would pull air in. Staring, waiting, until my sister stopped her story and told us it was done. I think back to when I sat in his studio on Phillips Road. The big easel and the big window. Watching the 10th anniversary of Les Mis and acting out all the parts. Drawing on bits of paper and how everything was always brilliant in his eyes.
I think back to when I followed the Disco Biscuits on tour and sat high in the light shows dancing out everything in my body hoping I wouldn’t feel empty and still physically broken in the morning. Those nights lasted forever; the insides of hotel rooms were always clouded with sweat and the sound of nitrous tanks blowing up balloons. The rides across the country with the kids I toured with; the scenes flying by and the surprise when I would bust out to some random rap song.
I think of all the ways I have come so far from the scrawny kid hiding in books, from the athlete who won the awards, from the college kid making it up as I went along. I still make it up, only now I take the lessons I’ve learned and try to apply them to the present.
I think of the people I used to love. Of the way their hands fit with mine and would hold me when I had a shaking fit. I think of my mother, always trying her best and rarely having someone tell her how goddamn powerful, beautiful, and inspirational she is.
I think of the past and throw it into the wind. I think of the future and let the waves wash over it. I think of the now.