I wish I had lived the first part of my life differently. I wish I’d stayed in ballet. I wish I’d kept my grades up. I wish I’d had a chance to properly go away to college. I wish I could have stayed the person I was then. “As young as I was, I felt older back then. More disciplined, stronger and certain” I was very smart and I was going to go somewhere.
Except I didn’t, and it doesn’t eat at me like it used to, but I do sometimes get sad about who I could have been if so many awful things hadn’t ruined me.
I would be someone else right now, accomplished, composed. Perhaps a bit miserable but I’d at least be what I was supposed to be.
I am not who I was.
I am happy, now, but I’ll never be that person. I’ll never get to have the life that I promised myself.
And the AP and the test stress and the grandly excellent grades I was still getting as late as 11th made it all feel justified and glorious, a very specific kind of romanticized-temporary-pain.
God we were fooling ourselves, then. All those dark habits and accomplished records and lives that were never intense enough to rival our fictions but we believed, we believed.
Or I did.
We were living in the sharpest angst that could ever be and we thought that it would get us somewhere in the end, or at least spill into some worthwhile chaos.
Anything but the pointlessness that we felt slowly evaporating what we thought we were.
I thought I could be that, what I’d built in my head, who I was or had known myself to be. I thought I could push forward and make all of it matter.
I think eveything I tried after that, or at least some of it, was to try to get back.
To a place where I still had something, had a way out.
There was escapism in everything, but a deep part of it -cutting, counting calories, purging- I was trying to dig my way back to who I was at sixteen.
If I was not happy then, at least I was impressive, at least I had value in terms of letter grades.
I’m full now, of every good thing. I am unfractured. And i don’t miss it.
But in small moments I do.