Monday, March 16, 2015

Time Travel

Time travel?, you say, raising a brow in interest.

If only I could tell you my hiatus from this blog is from figuring out how to actually travel through time and space. I wish I could tell you I have patented my algorithm and am giving everyone who comments on this blog a million dollars. Alas, I cannot. I have never been very science or math minded, so if I am actually going to time travel to the last sixties, because that's where I would go, someone will have to figure it out for me.

It's been a whirlwind. Life is a bit on the crazy side and while there have been many times I've wanted to sit down and simply write, I haven't been able to find the time. Then there are those who say, you find time to do the things you love. This isn't necessarily true. It's nice when you find the time to do what you love, but most of us don't work that way. We find the time to get done what needs getting done, like laundry, dinners, painting, flooring, running errands, filling our gas tank, but when it comes to what we truly enjoy we compromise. Probably not even intentionally. We promise to do it later. Maybe at the weekend. Or the next holiday.

Now, I love writing. If that comes as a surprise, you haven't been paying attention and I owe you spanking. I've always enjoyed writing, ever since I was a chubby-faced, scraggly-haired, sensitive Sally. And I've always tried to write, and I think that's important to clarify. I do try to write. I want to be good. But a simple truth is, while I can meticulously join sentences and breathe life into characters people care about now, this hadn't always been the case, and tonight I find myself thinking about those who were subjected to my early writings. Perhaps an apology is needed.

Last week, I time travelled. I literally (though, not really literally, more so figuratively) was thrown back in time over a decade when through the door of our newly opened tattoo shop strolled my grade twelve creative writing teacher. Surely, I looked the epitome of confused because she said to me, "It's Mrs. D."

And I knew. I never forget a face, let alone one I confided in when I honestly wasn't sure I'd make it through being a teenager. How emo sounding, right? Except, it's the truth. I struggled through being a teenager. I loved school because it was a reprieve from a rather daunting family life, I had wonderful friends, without whom I wonder where I might have ended up, and I was stubborn and dwelling in darkness. What? You don't believe me? I have my creative writing book to prove it.

It looks far cheerier than it actually is. Honestly, when I reread some of the atrocities I wrote, I cringe. Not only because I clearly didn't have a grasp on the English language, but because I wasn't happy. I was struggling. And I knew at the end of the day it was my job to fix it. To mend myself. Also, I roll my eyes over how emotional and raw everything I wrote was. How dramatic. And I realize I'm officially an adult, discounting the blues of another teenager, except this one is myself, and I actually lived with those demons.

Lived? Why the hell is that past tense? I still live with some of those demons. We're good friends now. Fully aware of each other. Cohabiting rather well on most days. On others, it's grim, but in a encouraging way. A 'fuck you' demons kind of way. A 'I'm going to get through this and have the last bloody laugh if it kills us all' type of existence. 

Now Mrs. D, who isn't Mrs. D anymore, but Ms. S was (and is) a very influential person on me and in my life. Strangely enough, at the time, I didn't realize it. While she certainly encouraged my writing, she actually influenced me emotionally more than creatively. That sounds bad, but I don't mean it to. In fact, I'd take an emotional influence over a creative one any day. I've always had a rampant imagination and would ideally like someone to simmer the fire instead of stoking it, perhaps then sleep might come easier.

Way back when I seemed to be clawing my way through life before life had even really started, Ms. S validated my feelings. It's hard to explain why this is so important. I suppose one might need a bit more back-story, but I really don't plan on marching back down a road I left behind a long time ago. After the most tedious cycle of confrontation, acceptance, grieving, anger, sadness, ignoring, and so on, I eventually learned how to forgive and let go. To move on. It's been a long second half to my life, but I doubt I would have been able to get through it without someone saying: 

It's okay to feel lost, alone, and afraid. 
It's okay to dwell in the darkness with your demons.
It's okay to be angry, sad, and hurt.  

At a time when I felt wrong for feeling bad, I needed a blunt lesson in life. Ms. S provided it for me. Of course, she didn't say it so bare bones-y. She was, and is, an English teacher. Her words of wisdom came often and much more articulate than those bold sentences above, but at the core of everything she said, I heard "You are not alone. You will be alright." And that was more important than the writing encouragement or grade I received. 

Although, I must say, the demons never truly go away. You just get to know them to the point of realizing what/who they are and they aren't so scary anymore. We rarely get the opportunity to actually express to someone what it is they did for us. I'm lucky to have that chance. 

Also, I am so glad I don't write poetry anymore. Good grief, I wish someone had of told me how terrible it was. Of course, I was an emotional teenager, so that might not have been a good idea. After this unexpected visit, I find myself pondering over who will walk through the door next. 

Will it be you?