Sunday, February 26, 2012

In the Shadows...

So tonight I sit here wondering if we ever outgrow our pasts. Sometimes, I feel like mine keeps creeping up in my head and sits right in between my eyes.

Sure, I'm a product of events from my past. Who isn't? But things I'd like to let go don't always go away.

My parents' deaths, for instance. I go along able to accept that things are the way they are. It sucks that they are gone all the time, but most days, I can live with it. Then, there will be something...a song, a sermon at church, a mention of the word "cancer" (both died from cancer)...a news story...sometimes absolutely no trigger at all...and I'm in a deep funk.

Old feelings from my younger years, for another thing. Inadequacy, not fitting in, not being good enough. Those memories of boys who dumped me because I was too needy or not pretty enough or whatever. Those feelings of "what-if." Where the hell did they all come from? I'm a 40 year old woman with 3 kids, a husband, and a teaching career. I don't have TIME to feel inadequate. I don't have the energy to not feel good enough.

So, do we ever outgrow the shadow of our pasts? And should we? My past has made me stronger, deep funks aside. My present is shaped by who I was when I was younger. Maybe those times when I feel the grief, the inadequacy, the what-ifs, I am continuing to grow. As long as I am not stagnant, as long as I keeping moving upward and onward, maybe I don't want to outgrow my past but make it a part of who I am and who I want to be.