Wednesday, December 1, 2010

what's left over

we're not really the same as we were, are we? i mean, i'm still me. but i'm not. ask me about my decision making skills at 25 and i will show you a sad girl who thought she knew what she wanted and how to get there. i will bleed out if i try to open up and show you lessons learned.
i'm in the process of performing autopsies on my old journals. not because they hold any secrets. mostly because they don't. as valuable as i thought they were, they don't seem to hold much of anything. i've never seen so many words that don't mean anything all together like that.

a woman walked into my work recently and we recognized each other but we couldn't place it. and then we did. we were in a movie together years ago. back when i fancied myself an actress. she's still working. probably spends her days reading sides and preparing for auditions, the work of chasing work.
we smiled and chit-chatted a bit after we remembered each other and i saw myself talking to her years back at the wardrobe fittings and realized i wouldn't be able to walk in my old shoes if i tried.
i mean, i'm still me but i'm not. you know?

there was a tiny moment, standing in the middle of a coffee roasting facility, talking to this woman's boyfriend about the subtle differences in certain espressos where i thought to myself funny how we both ended up here.

i look at snapshots of my life, images riding on the crest of whitewater while i stand on the bank. fragments of the girls i used to be drift by bobbing up and down but i can seem to catch them. my eye is focused on the shimmering from below. play-doh and senior citizen felines. tiny pianos and mary-janed feet. the way it feels to watch my not quite three year old daughter write her name for the first time, all by herself. i used to be me. and now i'm me all over again. with the dirt and pebbles sifted out. i am what's left over.

the gold in the pan.


  1. Yes, yes, yes.
    Beautifully put.

  2. lovely, lovely words that resonate so deeply. i see myself in these different modes to...before and after...a lot of that's attached to being a mama, but it's more than that.

  3. This could be me. Only the movie is a play somewhere. You give me comfort about throwing out all my old journals years ago when I didn't want to be that girl anymore, and I have always regretted it. But they were probably just words and with no filling, too.


  4. When I think back to who I was at 25 it feels so bizarre. It's like you say, different, but NOT different. I still want the same things, but it surprises me how quickly I got some of those things, and with such ease. Without even trying. Life just unfolds and happens, without us knowing it's happening. And before you know it, you're new again. I'm not perfect, but I know the essence of who I've always been is still here. Just more refined. I love this post.

  5. yes, yes, a thousand times, yes.

    I ran away from the girl I was; became a different girl entirely. Then I became disillusioned with her and tried again. And again.

    Now I'm a conglomeration of all those girls. Jammed up crazy inside one soul. Or many souls? I often wonder what it would be like to go back and walk in those shoes.

    But which pair...

  6. I started probably a dozen journals through the year, got two or three entries in, and abandoned them. Too paranoid, I guess. I've always regretted not keeping journals....until now. I feel that they, too, would have contained a bunch of words meaning nothing much. Thank you for being honest and saying that in a world where everyone is journal and diary crazed. :)

    And, I love the imagery of the gold that's left in the pan. (I used to sift for gold up north when I was a kid.) These words are beautiful and really resonate with me. I hope to be that gold one day soon as well. Amazing post.

  7. what a beautiful way to express it. sometimes i barely recognize the girl i once was - whether's last year, 5 years ago or 20 years ago. time has a way of making things fuzzy - sometimes in a good way for good purposes and sometimes to be gentle with us. i'm a work in progress...always.

  8. Beautifully expressed. I'm 10 years past that quarter life marker and I can't believe how much has changed, yet remain the same. It's a liberating feeling.

  9. I think we feel the same way... but you expressed it much more accurately than I can. Beautiful.

  10. I just wrote about this two nights ago at my writing practice. I wish you were in my writing practice.

  11. i have a lot of weird feelings about past me. i don't even go there on my blog because it all just makes my stomach ache. you wrote it just right.

  12. You are the gold in the pan. So beautifully put.


use your kind words.