Then and Now

If I knew then what I know now, I might’ve been more ready, more prepared, more understanding, more brave, more easy on myself.

I would’ve known that if someone was frustrated with a five year-old for not articulating something the right way, or not singing the right words to a song, it was more a reflection of them and not me.

I would’ve told myself in elementary school that not doing something correctly the first time isn’t an indicator of my worth as a person. It is, however, indicative of someone else’s insecurity when they scolded me loudly and pointed out my error for all to take note of.

I would’ve spoken up when I went to horsemanship camp during junior high and told on the people who owned the horses we rode, but who hit them violently in small, confined spaces when they thought nobody was watching. I suppose I was somehow afraid that by alerting someone who might’ve been able to do help them, I might’ve endured treatment similar to what the horses received.

I would’ve cared less about feeling foolish or rejected or laughed at and shared my feelings more. Not through the written word, but through the spoken word.

I would’ve believed my voice mattered more.

I would’ve spoken up more.

I would’ve been more OK about interrupting the people who interrupted me first.

I would’ve loved more freely, but quite possibly been hurt far more deeply. Then again, I wonder if my walls kept me from feeling a devastation that I wouldn’t have bounced back from if I’d been more open. Who’s to say?

If I knew then what I know now, I might’ve been a lot of things. I might’ve been more than I am today, and I might not have. But my life would’ve been different, because it wouldn’t have been a life lived at all; it would’ve been expected, since I’d always sort of know what’s coming. I’d know how to deal, how to process, how to compartmentalize, how to filter out the chaff. There’d be few surprises, fewer lessons to learn, and no experiences to draw from with which to counsel others. And because this isn’t the case, I am thankful.

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