Sometimes a lyric deeply resonates with you. You hear it and your entire world stops. The only thing you know is, “This. This is exactly what I feel but I couldn’t put words to it.”
And it’s amazing how much can change in a decade. And it’s strange what dates we cling to as we keep track of time. Some people have said I should let go of these dates, but I can’t. I don’t want to. They are a reminder of how much of the battle I have fought, and not lost.
Ten years ago today, I was 30. I had just been offered a new job a couple of days prior. Our apartment burned down in the evening.
Ten years ago. So much has happened since then. So many changes. I’m still in the same job I had just been offered. I’m now 40. I own a house.
We didn’t lose anything important in the fire. Shawn was home when the flat above us went up in flames. He was able to get out with the dogs. I came home early from work. We watched firefighters battle the blaze for over 4 hours. We didn’t know where we’d live.
But it worked out. We survived. We got stronger.
Three years ago today, the sky came crashing down. It has taken me a long time to realize that my trauma from this event isn’t just seeing a life end in front of me, in one of the most gruesome ways I can imagine, but also that it was because I could have died. Had I not stopped suddenly, that man would have landed on top of me, and I would not have walked away from this at all. Therapy helped me realize, and begin to deal with this.
My life did not end that morning, three years ago. I might have flash backs and panic attacks, and think I can feel something on me that I need to desperately clean off, but I survived.
The past three years have not been easy. I think a person can only be so strong. And I think experiencing something like this changes a person. Not always right away, and it can be subtle, but there’s change in a person.
There is change in me. I am not the same person I was before 8am on March 27, 2013. I am not. What wide-eyed innocence I still had within me, I think is gone. I don’t trust the world. I don’t trust the city.
Sometimes I worry I have lost my ability to trust ever again.
And mostly, I don’t know where my old self went. I’m not saying I wish I could always stay the same, because that’s not what I want. I want back the parts of me that scattered when the sky fell. I want the parts of me that still believed in whimsy, and magic, and innocence to come back.
I am no longer enjoying things I used to enjoy with my entire being. I hardly read anymore. I don’t seem to be able to find joy in much of anything. I am acting out of character in many ways, and I’m so very tired of…well, almost everything.
I have done so much work within myself, and I know there’s more to do. But I am tired. I am an expert on all things ME. I know myself inside, and out. I am so in tune with my entire being that I can’t tune it out.
I have come such a long way in ten years. I have come even further in the past three years. But somewhere since 2013 I lost parts of myself that I don’t think I will ever get back, and my heart breaks over that loss. Because I was finally starting to like ME. I was finally comfortable being myself.
And now, I don’t know who I am anymore. So much of me has changed. I don’t show it to the world. I don’t tell it to the world. I just know. I know myself well enough to know that who I am, who I was, who I have been, is different.
I have a lot more work to do as I try and figure myself out. What do I like? What do I love? What do I want to do? How much do I want to change, and how much do I want to bury deep down inside?
I didn’t die the day the sky fell, but I shattered into a million pieces, and some of those piece are still lost.