Saturday, May 22, 2010

But I'm sorry

As I sat in the darkened theater listening to the monologues that were the culmination of two months' work, an idea began to form in my head. During the 70 or so mile drive home, the idea took further shape.

Somewhere over the last few years, I had once more lost my way. I had let myself believe that it was about the cooking, the knitting, whatever crafty thing. These were merely crutches. It has always been about the words. This whole thing started five years ago (There were two other blogs before this.) because I had lost the words and wanted them back. And right when it seemed like they were back, I shut them away again and replaced them with food and the occasional craft. This time around I even basically stopped reading as it just took too much energy.

I thought about how once upon a time writing was easy for me. Not as easy as telling a story in person but still easier than it has been for many years. And as I thought about it all, I realized that Kailyn came to be around the time I was 12 -- back when the writing was easy and filled me with joy. Kailyn wasn't an alter ego; I had another name for that person. No, she was the me I wanted to be. She wasn't defined by someone else.

While chatting with friends at the intermission of the showcase, I felt my phone vibrate in my purse. I glanced to see who the caller was and let the call go to voicemail. During the drive home, I thought of erasing the message unheard but then I took a deep breath and pressed play. The message ended with the words, "... but I'm sorry."

I thought to myself that I could accept the apology and just move on. That's what would be expected of me. Then I remembered how much I hate those words. This is not the first time I've heard them. I have heard them and thought, "Maybe now it will be different," but it ends up being more of the same. To me they have come to mean, "I'm not going to change but I need you to stick around. And as such, you are going to have to bend some more." I remembered just how weary I have grown of being the one who always seems to be making the effort.

And like that, it came to me. Where the words had gone. Every time I have accepted one of those apologies, more of the words got shut away in my mind, securely under lock. Every now and then though I am around the right combination of people and some of it slips out. I remembered that even when I wrote fiction, there was always a little bit of me in there. But I have spent a lot years letting others tell me what I can and can't say. It became that I wasn't sure who I was anymore.

I will try my best to remember all of this when others might say, "One day you'll regret your choice." About the only things of which I have ever felt sorry necessarily were word choices -- not actions. Because I hate the words, "I'm sorry," so much that I try my best to never be in a position in which I will have to say them. To me, they are just empty words.


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