|The Bravery - Time Wont Let Me Go|
|Found at skreemr.com|
"Whenever I look back
On the best days of my life
I think I saw them all on T.V.
I am so homesick now for
Someone that I never knew
I am so homesick for
Someplace I will never be "
-The Bravery, "Time Won't Let Me Go"
I was reading Sean Anderson's always stellar blog the other day.
A topic he touched on struck me: "I am not a victim, I refuse to be one..."
I'm glad he mentioned that and discussed that concept, because it is always a valuable thing for me to revisit.
I've only, in the last year and a half of my life, even considered that concept; really, truly considered it. The concept of playing the victim.
I know that blaming someone else for our problems and thus wallowing in self-pity stops us from living a healthy, happy life. That's just a fact. No arguments, none. Period.
What I never used to see was how easy it is to do just that.
I never knew how closely my romanticising of various things in life were just self-pity, victimization, and martyrdom masquerading as poignancy, art, and feeling.
I listened to the song at the start of this post a lot in the winter of 2008 I think, while I was struggling with my weight and other issues of the time.
The song is nothing particularly special, musically or lyrically, but it spoke to me then. The lyrics combined with the music made me feel. The song, like so many others have, evoked a lot of emotions for me: loss, hurt, anger, regret, etc.
Above all else the message I chose to take from that song, without even realizing it, was:
"You're a victim. You've fouled up. Others have fouled you up. Mourn the past and the present. Mourn your future.
Mourn your future, because it is nothing but a consolation, a silver medal (at best).You'll never have what you truly want. You'll never be who you could have become."
I've always liked to think of myself as a romantic in a broad, pretentious, Renaissance-style sense. Someone who relished the gritty truth about life and all the complex feelings it brings. Someone who saw life for the intricate shades-of-grey reality it was, someone who read books, listened to music, and watched films that spoke deep truths and moved me powerful ways.
I know now that I've been nothing but a coward. A coward who tried to substitute a real life (one that actually comes with the various ups and downs, but one where I have have power, responsibility and accountability) for a bullshit life where I pretended I had no power and so could thus play the martyr for any consequences of my reactionary lifestyle (all the while romanticizing this "beautiful, but oh so painful" thing that was "life" - which was not really much more than thoughts, dreams, lyrics, quotes, books, films, and disowned actions.)
I don't want to romanticize life. I want to live it honestly, completely. I know I own my actions and choices. I don't need to hear poignant lyrics or see a moving film to taste reality, I want to envelop myself with reality everyday, standing up for my responsibility in every moment. That is life.
People screwed me up.
Yep. So what?
I've screwed up a lot.
Yep. So what?
Until I stop letting either of those two facts have any hold on how I make decisions, I'll never be able to succeed in righting those wrongs and I'll never become the person I am here to be, for myself and for others.
When I'm honestly and completely free from any victim mentality, it's all possible. And I can do it. I don't have to be a coward, I can be strong.
And I will.
There's nothing romantic about it, but it's real.