They say that hind sight is 20/20. First off, I would like to know once and for all who “they” are. “They” sure seem to have their hands in my business an awful lot. Secondly, I think “they” are very wrong. It may seem like I spend a lot of my tine thinking back on days gone by, but that is really only for my blog. I have a pretty boring life today so I have to try and remember anything worth talking about from my past. Sometimes the stories I tell are even true! (Just kidding. they are all true…..)
Writing on here has helped my memory improve a bit I think. I have cracked open a few rusty hinged doors in the memory part of my brain and let a few threads of my past out. I was talking to a friend last night (yes, I found one!) and it seems that writing can do that to a person. Something about sitting still and thinking while your fingers are resting on an expectant keyboard really seems to jog the brain.
The 20/20 saying, as I understand it, implies that looking back we are able to clearly see how things ‘really were’ instead of how they seemed back at that moment. It wistfully suggests that if we could see THEN what we see NOW, we would/could/should have made different choices. I see a problem with this. Besides the obvious paradox of time travel, I don’t think we see the past any more clearly than we see the present. When I look back on things, I still feel the emotion that I felt back then and I still have a warped sense of perspective that is shaded by those emotions.
After Brad died, I hid from my memories for quite a while. I had to hold it together for my kids and for myself. It was like the story of Peter and the Dam (substitute danish word if you wish). There was a little crack in the dam so he stuck his finger in it to keep the water from getting in and flooding his town. I knew that if I let any memories in, it would turn into a virtual flood of memories that would wash me away. I didn’t have time for that. I locked them all up nice and tidy and hid the key in a dark corner.
As time went by, I started letting out memories. The most aggressive memories seemed to be the negative ones, so they came out first. All the things Brad did wrong. All the things he did that annoyed me. All the times he didn’t do what I wanted him too. My anger at him leaving me gave those memories a nice cushy home where they festered and grew. It was a long time before I realized what was going on. I had turned on a safety mechanism to keep me from missing Brad so I could move on.
My ‘hind sight’ was seriously distorted and one-sided. Brad was a wonderful guy and my very best friend. We had a good marriage full of communication and loving respect. He wasn’t perfect, and neither was (am) I. I felt bad when I finally realized how badly I had been trashing him in my mind. I had to take some time to really sit down (mentally) and let some of those positive memories out of the dam. It was hard. Those memories brought surprising feelings of guilt for having ignored them for so long. I had to nurture them and help them feel safe in my mind. “They say” that love is a battle field but I tell you what….the battlefield is in my head. Sometimes it feels like the Tardis from Doctor Who; small and normal looking on the outside, but unbelievably large on the inside.
I’ve learned that sometimes my hind sight is far from 20/20 and in serious need of some reading glasses or maybe a monocle..cause those are cool! Cause I said so.
photo credit: http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/4186/PreviewComp/SuperStock_4186-14246.jpg
One thought on “hind sight”
Thank you for saying that. I have felt for ages that I was supposed to be gaining vast stores of unimpeachable wisdom from my past and mistakes, thus making me perfect. Nice to know that there’s a cushion of blurr to the 20/20 hind sight. Hurrah!
You are such a good writer; you’re able to put your great ideas into a readable and understandable format. Thanks for sharing!