This week has been full of epic highs and epic lows. I don’t want to write about the highs, they just make me really sad now. But the mistakes of my past need to be addressed.
This week my character was questioned because of my past. I was judged and dismissed without any input or explanation from me. Sure, my past is full of being arrested, bad marriages, bad decisions, and me being in the wrong place at the wrong time. All of which I own. I’m not proud of it, but they are mine and mine alone. But my past also has many arrests that led to dismissed charges and vindication, some epic love stories, and lots of other great things. And even as bad as some of the things in my past are, what I was confronted with was not entirely accurate. I don’t like being dismissed without being able to defend myself. If you are gonna judge me, at least get the entire truth before you make a decision.
I said recently, “it’s amazing how some people will question every good thing you do, but believe any bad thing they hear about you.” This week proved it.
I have fought my own inner demons for years. Sometimes I won, and sometimes they won. There were times when I drank too much and forgot what was important in life. And sometimes my only excuse is my own stupidity. There are times when my truth is harder to believe than any fiction a great author could come up with. Number 78 of “My 100” is “I am definitely a better person than I was ten years ago.” And that is true. It’s also true, that some of the leftover baggage has spilled over until just a few years ago. But you know what, I have avidly tried to pay my penance for past mistakes. I pay every single day. I will continue to pay. I’m fine with that. I make mistakes on a daily basis and there will never be enough days to make right some of my wrongs. But I will never quit trying.
I always seem to forget that everyone is not like me. I am nonjudgemental, I love unconditionally, and I never give two shakes about past mistakes someone else has made. I have proved this over and over. I don’t care what has happened in your life before I met you. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care about prison time, shady business practices, divorces that lasted decades, etc. I care about what I see when I look into your eyes. I thought I could see the heart that way. Evidently I was wrong.
I take offense to the uninformed people who try to define me by my mistakes. Who’s to say a mistake of 15 years ago still doesn’t follow them around too? The same people who judge me are judging you too. People who don’t matter will always look for the worst in me (and you too). And people don’t forget, and neither do I.
I am not perfect and don’t claim to be, but no one else is either. Every day starts with a prayer of renewal, thanks, and strength to keep going. I will never apologize for who I am, but I will continue to try to make past wrongs right. My mistakes are not the only part of me. And two weeks is not enough time to know everything about me, both good and bad. You never let me explain my faith or my reasons for it.
I will gladly answer any questions about my past honestly. Am I mortified to have to talk about it? Yes. Am I embarrassed? Of course. Am I scared of your reaction? Most definitely. But I can’t change it. Those who know me well, know everything about my past and still love me. This is why my circle of friends is small, but very tight. My past is also the reason I guard my heart fiercely. I don’t let just anybody in, probably never will. This past week has proven how right I have been to guard it.
Meanwhile, I’m going to get back to my life. Looks like I am headed back to the big city. Gonna swallow my pride and ask The Post to take me back. They have been great to me in the past and when I left April 24th they told me I always had a place there. So Monday morning I will finally buy another car, pack it up and head to St. Louis. Tuesday morning I will go to my meeting and find out if I’m staying or leaving the city.
I’m trying to trust the journey right now and not make too many plans. When I came “home” in April I was saying the same thing. I trusted that God would show me what path to take when I was presented with an option. So far, St. Louis seems to be the option. Although, Chicago is running a close second. Maybe the farther away the better. But back in April, I was confident He was calling me home to Carmi, now I don’t think I was listening well. Or maybe His plans for me have changed.
Seems like the only positive constant in my life has been my job. I may suck at life, but I am awesome at what I do. Ask anybody. I need to go back to 70+ hour work weeks so I don’t have to think, feel or have regrets. I can’t play the coulda, woulda, shoulda game anymore. But it doesn’t make me any less sad it just reminds me how absolutely broke my heart is. Time won’t heal this, but a guitar would help.