My Greatest Mistake

by Susan Pogorzelski on January 30, 2012 · 0 comments

Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I can’t help but ask myself how much I let the fear
Take the wheel and steer

 

I think I’m rebelling.

Is this what rebellion is supposed to feel like?

I never had the urge to go against the grain — even when I was ten years younger, even when you’re supposed to take risks and feel a little reckless, even when you’re at that age when you’re allowed to make mistakes because you know that’s how you learn…Even then I never had a need for rebellion.

Maybe it’s because, instead, I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility — for myself and for others. Maybe it’s because I’ve always known that actions have consequences and I could never want anyone to experience the ill-effects of those consequences.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always seen the bigger picture.

I want so dearly to be that good person. I try so hard to make a difference, to make good choices, because I want it to matter. In the end, I want it all to matter. I want to look back and be proud of who I am because of where I’d been, and while it might not be my best characteristic, I want others to be proud of me, too.

It’s driven me before
And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
But lately I’m beginning to find that I
Should be the one behind the wheel

 

But now, something in me has changed.

It feels like everything has changed with the surgery, as if by letting go of that non-vital organ, I’d subconsciously let go of every poisonous emotion of which my soul has no need. For years, I’d held on to my grief and fear; they became comfortingly familiar, wrapping around my heart like a blanket to bring me solace during the darkest nights of winter and the tear-soaked days of spring. I mourned the past as something gone forever and I lamented a future for what could never be — or who could never be part of it.

They were my protection, this grief, this fear — they were my shield against further heartache; they were the emotions I’d come to know too well, and if my heart was already filled by them, then nothing else could get through.

Not the bad…

But not the good, either…

And so, I withdrew beneath layers of protection, beginning to believe that I somehow deserved it all, becoming buried under the weight of an illness and grief and a fear of life itself.

When you’re stuck in the darkness for so long, it’s hard to remember what the world looks like in the light.

But shed a little light on those dark corners, and your whole world will change.

 

So if I decide to waiver my chance to be one of the hive
Will I choose water over wine and hold my own and drive?
It’s driven me before
And it seems to be the way that everyone else gets around
But lately I’m beginning to find that
When I drive myself my light is found

 

Everything has changed.

The tattoo, the briefest of flings with the quintessential bad boy, the sudden renewal of ambition and drive to see every crazy dream come alive…

Something has sparked within me, something I haven’t felt in a long, long time, and if I felt it once before at all, it was only the briefest of flickers then:

I want to be a little reckless, a little less rational.

I want to take chances, to leap without looking.

I want, for once, to get out of my own head — my own way — and live entirely by my heart…

I want to fail — I want to know that I can always try again.

I want to make mistakes — I want to know that there’s always more to learn.

I want to love the wrong person, make the wrong decisions — I want to be able to recognize the right ones for myself.

I want to fall because only then will I know what it means to fly.

I’ve been so afraid to make the wrong choices; I’ve been so afraid of failing and losing and letting everyone down that I’d forgotten the pure joy of what it means to take those risks, to feel fully alive.

So maybe I really am rebelling — defying the darkness and taking a chance with only hope on my side.

Maybe I’m changing. Maybe I’m simply rediscovering a greater part of myself.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m finally setting my own self free…

 

Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
With open arms and open eyes

– Incubus,  “Drive” –

 

Where have you been? I ask myself.  

And as I stare at the woman in the mirror, into those same brown eyes that have been reflected back my entire life, a voice whispers in my soul:

Here I am now.

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