04 October 2010

We have no past, we won't reach back, keep with me forward all through the night...

My friend Louise hit it right on the nose today: I live in the past instead of in the present.
On one level, this is good for my career: after all, a literature teacher has to not only understand but appreciate the past, not only understand context but live in it by loving it. However...
I remember too well. I hold onto memories like they're sign-posts, like life-preservers. I stay still instead of moving with the current. Every story that I tell, every reference point, is to college, or England, or New York, (or ex-bf). I haven't formed any new stories in the last three years. Well, I'm not exactly sure how to go about it...but it's time to take care of myself in more than one realm. My entire life cannot be my career. And honestly, I think I've used exbf as an excuse to avoid moving forward, and now that he's moved forward-- for real this time-- it brings my pathetic reliance on him into too-harsh light. My anger's not at him for being happy: it's at myself for not doing enough to make me happy.
How do you let the sign-posts and life-preservers go, though, when you've gotten used to being stuck? I can't even picture myself doing something crazy, like dating, or like re-structuring my life so that a boy who got it wrong a lot of the time is not the locus of my romantic orbit. I really have fallen into a rut: my life resembles Our Town not just in its simple joys but in its supreme absence of risk and its reliance on routine. How do I start? How do I get back some of what I was in the past without dwelling in it, but while propelling myself forward to the future? I just don't want to be Blanche DuBois, fictionalizing and falsifying, dwelling in a beautiful dream of yesteryear at the expense of joy, sanity, and the foreseeable future...

"And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on a carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game."
~joni mitchell~

"Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!"
~the great gatsby~

"I was blinded from the constant looking back: Lot's wife. I only ever saw the gathering clouds."
~the poisonwood bible~


tess said...

I am also more fixated on the past than I should be, not because it was particularly amazing, but because some of it was so scarring. I had such a terrible end of a friendship last year that I inevitably find myself bringing up the tired story when I meet new people. They don't need to know it, yes, it does explain why I am the woman I am today, but I shouldn't let this girl who had so much control on my life last year still haunt my life this year. Furthermore, I'm abroad right now and trying to work my into a whole new social scene. It's incredibly difficult to integrate into a university where everyone has already formed friend groups and I find myself getting stuck in the same traps I did in my freshman year of college. I'm repeating my mistakes- getting attached early on to self centered girls who don't care about me as a friend and majorly crushing on another guy who probably never liked me romantically and now is appears to be avoiding me b/c my intentions are so obvious. I thought I had grown up and moved on, but I'm reliving the past in the worst way possible.

Frankly, Scarlett said...

My mom used to sing "circle game" to me all the time when i was little. Love that song.