Once upon a time, I knew who I was.

I was the dreamer. The hopeless romantic. The artist who did things because I enjoyed them and because they mattered, not because they paid well. I loved, I felt, I never did things half-way. I put my heart and soul into everything I did, because that was the sort of person I was. The whole world was all or nothing to me.

At what point did I become the scorned lover? Angry and lost and confused? When did control began to matter more than happiness or comfort? When did I begin shooting down dreams with the question, “yeah, but how are you going to make money?”

I don’t know how I got from point A to point B. Carelessness? Did I merely stop paying attention to who I was, and in the process become someone else? Or was it gradual, a build-up? I adopt a habit, a thought process, to shield myself from one heartbreak, and then another, and then another? “This is how I have to act now; it’s just the way the world is.”

God, I sound like everyone I never wanted to be.

I told myself once that, when I got my heart broken, I wouldn’t be the one to stop myself from opening up to another, because pain teaches us lessons and it’s all part of the experience.

I told myself once that, when someone hurt me, I wouldn’t hate them, but I wouldn’t forget them. I’d never be the sort to dismiss an entire group of people because of a bad experience with one.

I told myself once that it was never too late to change everything. I told myself that I was young, I had the whole world before me, I could do anything. I could be a small town girl today and city girl tomorrow, and that was exciting. That was the way life should be.

I want to go back to that.

I want to be myself again.

I want to stop burying these thoughts beneath doubts, beneath “but how are you going to get money” and “I don’t know; that sounds awfully scary”.

So forgive me if I bore you. Forgive me if you can’t relate to this, or if you think I’m silly and immature. Forgive me if you expected better, and I delivered this: who I am. A dreamer. An artist who does what feels right in the moment. A stuck-up, self-important child who actually believes that I have the ability to change the whole fucking world. Forgive me, but don’t expect me to apologize. I won’t. Because, while time and pain may have temporarily hardened me, it also taught me exactly who I am supposed to be.

 

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