A Cheerleader & Other Things I Used to Be

If this past week and weekend (and, honestly, the seven tumultuous off/on years with one particular person included therein) have taught me anything, it's that I need to stop trying to revisit my past.

I have this tendency to romanticize the past. Part of that comes from my need to forgive, my tendency to hold on to guilt (it's a longwinded road to connect the two, so just trust me), my urge to find the best in everyone, and my heavy-handed doling of second chances. But the problem with this mindset is that it's just not accurate. Your memory has a way of weeding out the bad and holding fast to only the good. Which is sometimes useful, sure... but when you're me, it leads you right into a trap of repeating the same mistakes and going back to poisonous situations over and over and over and over again.

So in the interest of finally learning my lesson, I've decided to not even entertain the thought of welcoming the two blasts from my past that reemerged this weekend into my life and continue on the course I was barreling down. And I'm also working very hard to let go of the small part of me that was holding onto someone else from my past who I have yet to fully move on from, as often happens with lack of "closure."

Because there's just no use, is there? As someone whose favorite book is The Great Gatsby, shouldn't I know better by now?
Know who said that second part? (Spoiler alert) The guy who ended up dead in a pool.

So no, you can't. And trying to might just kill you. Literally or metaphorically, neither one is what we're aiming for here.

I do, however, believe that people can reenter your life in different capacities, and that things from your past can present themselves again as new things. But in order for that to happen, I think, there has to be some sort of real, substantial, not-like-we-used-to-be change. It can't be the same patterns and behaviors over again. And I do believe that people can truly change.

In my case, it's pretty safe to say this year has been filled with more change than any other in recent memory. I am not the person I was a year ago. And I like to think the changes have been for the better, mostly, and I fully acknowledge that there have been people, some who are no longer in my life, who have helped them come about and to whom I owe much gratitude. But I digress.

But until there's real change in the whole of things, and until you can say that things are really different and you approach whatever the situation may be as a new one, rather than a continuation of past experiences or relationships, it's just repeating the past. And you're just stuck. So in the interest of FINALLY REALIZING THIS, I'm done. That was then, this is now.

This has probably been really annoying to read, and I apologize and profusely thank you for sticking with me. Here's a list (because who doesn't love lists?) to make things better that only slightly ties in with the theme of the rest of this post.

I Used to Be _____, But I'm Not Anymore
  1. A cheerleader. YEP. And pretty much everyone I ever mention that to comes back with a look of shock and disbelief. Maybe you need to know me in real life to get why.
  2. A huge fan of hip hop music, and Ja Rule in particular. Like, in almost a weird way. I've never had good taste in music. According to my friend the Lieutenant, at least.
  3. Dead-set on being a lawyer when I grew up. I wanted to work in family courts and on cases that were similar to my own brand of family disfunction. I cry at fabric softener commercials though, so it's probably best that I went a different route.
  4. Obsessed with black eyeliner. Would not leave the house without it.
  5. Addicted to Red Bull. I worked with a girl who had a side hustle with the company and she would give me cases of the stuff. I kept one in my car at all times during winter months.
  6. A Harry Potter hater.
  7. Preoccupied with ideas of moving far, far away from New Jersey and never returning. 
  8. Anti-nature. My idea of "the great outdoors" was the beach and bar patios. I hated hiking. I still maintain that that was because as I kid I was literally forced into it nearly every weekend, and that makes it kinda hard to like.
  9. Not a coffee drinker. Those were dark days.
  10. Always on time for things. But, alas, my lineage caught up to me — no one on my dad's side of the family has been on time for anything past the age of 21... ever.
PS: This list is partially inspired by a Judy Blume book, one of the less popular ones, that I read until its spine tore. I'm dying to know if anyone reading gets the reference? Please tell me if you do!

What did you used to be that you aren't anymore?

Linking up with Kathy!
Vodka and Soda

Comments

  1. whaaaat? 90s hip hop ruled all. i listen to a station on sirius XM called Backspin and they play alllllll of that: eric b and rakim, ja rule, public enemy, BIG, biz markie, BDK....so awesome!!

    thanks for linking up!
    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  2. Wow. This is so crazy- I actually had a post very similar to this (minus the list) ready for today, but I didn't feel quite ready to post it yet. I definitely feel you- especially with giving too many second chances. Fun fact: I used to be a cheerleader and obsessed with black eyeliner too! I wanted to be a school or child psychologist when I was younger, but once I heard about all the testing, and less talking, I changed my mind.

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  3. I was also into 90s hip hop. I used to be a cheerleader, gymnast and jazz dancer. I hated coffee. And I loathed Twilight. I know I know. Twilight is lame and KStew is an idiot. I just love the dang movies!

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  4. Such a great post!!! I also wanted to be a lawyer - part of me still wants this lol!! I was a tennis player and it saddens me I dont play anymore!

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  5. I couldn't not red the spoiler alert so now I will read the book and when I read that line I'll know that person dies. lol.
    I don't drink coffee, I hope I never do lol. I like being the odd one out ;) I can kinda imagine you with the music, but the cheerleading baffles me.
    Just as long as we're together, right? Such a long time since I've read it, but I used to be OBSESSED.

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  6. You are awesome! Thinking about all the things I used to be makes my head feel like it could explode. Yay for both of us for moving on to better things!

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  7. I used to be a cheerleader, a non-coffee drinker, and a Harry Potter hater too. Now give me all the coffee and Harry Potter...and less cheer. lol!

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  8. I love the comparison you used with that quote from the Great Gatsby because it's so true when you think about trying to go back to who you were or where you were in life, is usually never a good idea. <<does that even make sense??

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  9. Does this mean I just might become a coffee drinker? I don't know...

    I used to be a cheerleader too- not a good one though.

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  10. I used to be a cheerleader too!!!
    I am still not a coffee drinker, I love the smell, hate the taste.
    I used to hate on HP too!
    Ok, well, you need to move to Texas, and we can be real life BFFS!

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  11. Love this post. List aside, letting go of the past is hard. We want to fix it, make it better. But the past can't be changed. And really, it doesn't matter anyway -because it IS the past. So, like Rafiki says, you can either run from it or learn from it. And being the life-long student I am, I prefer to learn. Do you. Stay positive, and keep steamrolling your way through!

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  12. Loved this post and you are right, our minds have a way of weeding out the bad things and focusing on the good. My mind is currently doing that to me when i KNOW better. I also agree that sometimes people can come back together but there needs to be some Substantial change! Letting go and walking away is hard as heck. Take it day by day hun!

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