Figuring out the 'you' is still there...right there.
Again, I blame my age. I have always blamed my age. I can remember even as a kid thinking about what my age meant, and thinking I should live up to it.
I am now a fading 27, nearing 30. So for the past few years I have really been pressing to find that 'self' that I have wanted to know. I have seemingly been backing right up to her. Don't tell anyone, but I think she has been there all along!
I downloaded some songs today. Old ones, from the past. I used to absolutely lose myself in music. I grew up a child of an alcoholic, he was physically and verbally abusive, and as I hit my preteens he became sexually abusive. My music became my savior. Namely Pearl Jam. I must say that they were the sheet I could hide under and lose myself in. Downloading all these old songs brought back so many old feelings and thoughts. The song 'Immortality' meant so much to me. I would put it on repeat every night before I went to bed and listen to it about 12 times before I turned it off. While most my friends were playing sports, and still enjoying being a kid somewhat, I was in my room with a guitar, listening to Pearl Jam and understanding pain, hurt, vengeance, anger, bitterness, rebellion, sex. I spent so much time of my childhood thinking adult thoughts. I practically drowned myself in them. It is very hard for a child that knows those things. It is virtually impossible for them to focus on anything. That is the purpose of such music.
"Cannot stop the thought from running in the dark" Pearl Jam, Immortality
"Mouthful of Cavities, and your souls a bowl of jokes" Blind Melon, Mouthful of Cavities, Live, Candlebox, Soundgarden... I LIVED in the music, in those songs, because my own life HURT, and the music soothed the pain. Adult thoughts lead to adult actions. Sex, Violence, Self-indulgence, Self-hatred. I lost my childhood so early on, it slipped away from me at first, then what was left stolen from me. I was angry about that for so long. Then accepted it. Then hated it. Then came years of more anger. Then accepted it again. 15 years later, after being violated by my own father, how do I feel about it? It still hurts. I am STILL angry. I don't feel like a victim so much, I just feel anger and the same feeling someone feels when they have their personal property stolen. Angst. Still. It is an anger I have allowed to stay. I don't dwell on it. I just look back on it, and anger wells up from somewhere within.
For years I thought it would go away, I would come to some peaceful decision about it 'Give it to God' and it would miraculously be 'OK'. It has not happened yet. It's just the way it is. Some emotions don't change. It is there within you somewhere. You set it on the shelf. Take it out every once in a while.
So now, nearing 30, I look back, and forward all at once. I see that that girl has been here all along. I shut her out thinking eventually all of that would die out. It hasn't. I'm glad for it. It has made me who I am. Bold. Without fear. Full of understanding. The world is not a strange place for me. I know its darkness, its temptations, its indulgences, its miracles and beauty. I have loved and lost, I know love and all of it's glory, all of its regret. I know what it is to live with a decision, right or wrong. I know what it is to look at what could have been. I know what it is to love life. I know what it is to hurt, to care, to struggle and still LOVE. I know what it is to love someone beyond measure. I know what it is to let go.
Guess what? Jennifer is still there. All of what was made what is. I wouldn't take it back. God led me through a dark valley, within it I feared and revelled at the same time. His path for me was not easy, but it has created a strong vibrant individual with an understanding that most do not have. Music has been my language.
So, looking back at all that has been, I am satisfied. I did not graduate college, I did not achieve a lot of dreams, but here I am. Happy.
THAT is something wonderful.