It wasn’t that long ago that I did. Graduate.
(Okay, it was a long time ago. I just can’t comprehend the passage of time. I still feel 17.)
I worked hard to get there. To make it to that moment. To graduation. I believed. I believed I could change the course of my life. I had so much hope. My life was there in front of me. Beautiful. Exciting. Wonderful. I believed the right things would happen because my heart was in the right place. I believed I could change the ending, even though the beginning had been set in stone.
What I wouldn’t give to have the opportunity to go to college. To walk the campus of a university I would call home for the next four years. Not knowing where my steps would take me. But believing they would take me somewhere that was incredible. Somewhere with endless possibilities.
What I would not give to be graduating from that college, having proven myself, having attained something others would recognize as being worthwhile. Something that would give me a sense of validation, even though it really didn’t make me a legitimate human being.
What I would not give to have a purpose and direction. Meaning.
What I would not give to be able to start over. To go back to that place where I totally screwed up. Where all of life was before me and to be able to return to that point where very, very little lay behind. Where possibilities stretched in front of me endlessly. That place where hope and excitement prevailed. In spite of the difficulties I needed to overcome. In spite of the horrors of my childhood and all the damage it had done. In spite of those terrible things that had wounded and shaped me thus far. In spite of those things that had broken me. And decimated me. In spite of what my parents had done to me. What they had made of me.
What I would not give for a chance to start over. To do things differently. To be wiser. To make better choices. To approach things differently. To take care of myself and treat myself as if I mattered. Or even as if I might possibly matter. To someone. To me. Somehow. Some day.
What I would not give to be able to recognize I at least had a small amount of value, even though I was terribly imperfect. Even though I was terribly flawed. Even though I was horribly wounded. Even though I was a mess. Even though I was challenging to love.
Or impossible to love. Even though I might be unlovable. Because of the damage.
I spent most of my life sleepwalking through the days. I spent most of my life completely numb and sound asleep. To get by. To make it through. I spent all of my life simply trying to survive the moment. Sacrificing who I was. Sacrificing all of my dreams. Sacrificing my desires. Because I thought I was nothing. I thought I was worthless. And it cost me everything. I lost all the important moments. I lost almost every single thing that mattered to me. I lost my life, even though I am still technically alive. I sacrificed myself, not knowing the cost. Not understanding the price. Not understanding what was going on.
What I would not give or sacrifice now to be able to start over again. To make different choices. To walk a different path. To undertake a different journey. To choose a different road. To see things differently.
Oh, God, what I wouldn’t do to be able to have another chance. One. More. Chance.
Can you really turn all these curses into blessings? Can you really give me a future? A good future? Filled with hope? Even though I’m old and my life is almost over? Do You really want to bless me? Can you truly turn all the horrible nightmares of my life into good?
Do you love me? Me? Worthless me? Unlovable me?
What I would not give for that chance. That chance to change the course of my life. I have nothing much to give, truth be told. But I would give everything…everything…everything to have that chance.
I have grown old. I have frittered away all of my days. All of my opportunities. All of my possibilities. I didn’t mean to be so stupid. I didn’t mean to be so screwed up. I tried hard to succeed and to avoid failure. But it was not enough. All my effort was not enough. Everything I had to give was not enough. I was never enough.
What I would not give to have the chance to begin again.
I’ve been around for quite awhile now. For more years than I can comprehend. More years than I want to admit.
I have nothing to show for all that time.
I would give anything to roll back the time. To that time when there was time.
What I wouldn’t give to be able to start over again.
I would probably still screw it up. But I would like to believe I could change my destiny.
I would like to believe things could have turned out differently. Better. Much better.
What I would not give to have the chance to try again. Just one more chance…