The Corners That We’ve Turned

We don’t often realize how sharp, nor round
were the corners that we’ve turned,
such feats, so unfound.

It’s only when we glance in the rearview mirror
that we see the long road behind us – then it becomes clearer.

The beaten pavement, faded, lined with trees
weave a long, winding set of all of our memories
that we forget to recall, like when friends became enemies
or that scene in Finding Nemo where he can’t say ‘anemone.’

We’re caught up in the present, racing against some kind of clock,
hugging that highway divider wall, but it’ll bring you to a stop
when you look back at the journey that brought you to this moment –
our lives have been our own path to create
as we find our true selves in each curve of the road, and
we don’t know much more about the way going forward,
but, slowing down, and looking back, provides a renewed focus.

You don’t often realize how sharp, nor round
were the corners that you’ve turned,
until you look back
at the map that you’ve crafted, so detailed, hand-drawn,
a trajectory travelled from our first few notes until the end of our very last song.

We’re so busy trying to hit the right notes that we forget to sing our own praises,
so smile back at the road behind you, no matter how beaten, no matter how faded. – RSM

Taking My Younger Self With Me.

I tried to start writing this a little differently- ‘Breaking up with my problematic, younger self was the hardest’ – but it didn’t fit in the title line of Samsung Notes, so I had to rethink things.

I came up with what you see above, and it makes a lot more sense to me. I can’t ‘break up’ with any part of myself from the past, no matter how hard I’ve tried. I can’t compartmentalize and characterize parts of my life as ‘not-me’ – even though some things from the past aren’t ‘me’ now, they definitely were at some point.

There’s no value in looking back at life and criticizing your former self – that ‘former’ self is still you. Turn that hindsight criticism on its head. Never mind thinking of how much a (insert insult) you were or how embarrassed you feel revisiting a particular moment. Celebrate your ‘phases,’ your regrets. They’ve made you who you are, as you are, right here and now.

These awkward, regrettable, reckless, cringe-worthy times of our lives have gotten us through every present moment of our lives right up to the present.

I try to remember this sentiment and the road in between ‘then’ and now. I try to love and smile at my memories, even of the things I’m not proud of. Who else will learn from your past mistakes, but you? Who else knows your deepest secrets, deepest memories, but you?

Celebrate and love these things. Regrets, grief, always bring sadness. They’re also opportunities to triumph, and turn hard times of the past into strength, by way of honesty, courage, and vulnerability.

Do not shame yourself for having lived a life with mistakes. Love yourself and take your younger self with you, and through your wiser, more seasoned eyes, you can go forward in the world as one. – RSM