I’ve seen this meme on social media countless times over the years, and usually dismiss it as just another trite, pithy summation of life (not that I disagree with the sentiment. It’s true. It’s just, like most internet slogans, a pat oversimplification of the crazy complexity of life).
But then I checked my “On This Day” function in Facebook today, January 8th.
If you’re not familiar with the “On This Day” feature (or Facebook. Although if you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’re also on that social media site), it neatly compiles all your activity for one date from all the years that you’ve been on Facebook, in one scrollable summary.
You might think this type of trip down memory lane would be painful for me, but it’s mostly fun (for the past few years) and fascinating (for the previous ones). For one, it turns out that I didn’t share on Facebook 99% of the events that went on in my personal life; I find this a tremendous relief, since my memory of certain months (years) is spotty, and in retrospect, I wouldn’t be surprised if I went all Waiting to Exhale Bernadine psycho and let everything burn to the ground.
On the other hand, one of the hardest psychological issues to overcome for traumas like mine is the dissonance between what I remember experiencing, and what was really happening. Much has been researched and written about this phenomenon, and how individuals with these life experiences can spend years dissecting and second guessing certain memories, events, conversations.
Thank you social media, for preserving what cannot be erased, in the face of so much revisionist history.
Which brings me to this morning’s “On This Day”.
January 8, 2010: Just call me nanny, as long as you call me it in California at a pre-Golden Globes party. I better start practicing my secretive iPhone photography skills now.
January 8, 2011: Tonight was a big night for a certain fellow teacher. He earned 3 A+s. Overachiever.
On this day in 2010, I was giddily gearing up to go to California on my best friend’s dime, as she had been invited to attend a pre-Golden Globes event, and took me along to help care for her youngest child while she did some photography gigs. The comments section (under the post, also preserved) has us joking back and forth. Many posts (and comments) like these pop up in my archives.
On this day in 2011, my now-husband met my 3 kids for the first time (they loved him, right from the start).
One year. 365 days.
It’s a trite, pithy internet meme, granted. It’s easy to dismiss, or perhaps even more easily, shrug in nonchalant agreement without really considering the words, and move on with the day. But within one year, my life completely, and I mean completely, changed. On that day in January in 2010, I had no idea that in just over 1 month, my entire life would begin unraveling, while I stood helpless in the wreckage. I look at that post and feel a sort of protective pity for the woman that I was. Bless your heart, me, for you know not what is to come.
But then I look at that post just one year later, and I feel pride for the woman I was fighting to be, the woman who would turn into the one that is writing these words now. The one I didn’t know if I had the strength, or courage, or resilience to become, but fought to get here.
I know, I know, there are some people reading this who are going through their own 2010. Who are fighting a variety of demons and dragons, big and small, and wondering if they can slay the beast or if they will be eaten alive. Sometimes, that light at the end of the tunnel is obliterated by the boulders in the way, and you can’t possibly believe that it will ever get better. You can’t believe it because you are faced with a future that you never, ever, imagined; how can you possibly face something that was heretofore unfathomable?
To you, I say hold on. So much can change in a year.