It does not happen often, but there are times when I am paralyzed by past memories.
This almost always happens at a time when I’m relaxing. Like when I’m in the shower, or taking a walk or lounging in my favorite chair. Suddenly, my mind will drift and I’m standing in front of a memory, watching it, as if it’s a movie. A very unfortunate movie that happened to me.
When this happens, I can think of nothing else. If I’m in the shower, I’ll literally freeze, staring off into another time, completely oblivious of the water falling upon me and my surroundings. For a few minutes, the only thing that I’ll see is a past Shaquea. An old me. An old life.
It’s as close to time travel as I’m ever going to get.
When I snap out of this, I’m a bit disoriented. I look around, wondering how in the hell I lost myself so quickly. And then I feel it: A deep, overwhelming sense of sadness and grief. I hurt, so much, for that kid in my memory. I wish I could’ve protected her. And for the briefest moment, I actually wish that I could go back and fix what’s happening.
But then that moment is over and I remember that I can’t fix “it”. And you know what else? I don’t want to! Those moments did not defeat me. I am a SURVIVOR!
Yes, memories may haunt me sometimes. But they are only thoughts that last mere moments. Then I’m back to the life that I’ve made for myself. A life that IS NOT in existence because of what happened to me, but in spite of what happened to me. I have survived that shit. I have gone on to become a happier, more experienced, wizened young woman with one hell of a story to tell. One that, perhaps, lends me legitimacy when I share my thought process.
So yeah, maybe a little “haunting” every now and then won’t hurt me. I mean, I could have turned my bad memories into reasons to be angry and conflicted. They could be a constant reminder of how much life sucks, but instead they are the exact opposite. Now, they serve as a reminder of how AWESOME my life is. And as a reminder of why one MUST keep moving forward in life. Have your bad moment. Cry about it or freeze in the shower…but then you fucking move on! Even if it means crying while you walk.
I promise you: Those old ass, bad ass memories will, one day, only serve to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that LIFE DOES GET BETTER. You just have to embrace change and keep moving until it all begins to wash over you.
And it will come. Even in the most barren of lands, rain will come.