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Exhale loudly

I have gone back in forth in my mind about this post and whether or not to post it because it’s going to get a little personal and vulnerable, which is something I have trained myself not to be in the last ten years or so. I have gotten more and more introverted and guarded during that time – mainly, I think, because I have done or said so many stupid things, so I’ve learned to save myself the embarrassment and just shut my mouth before I say anything.

So here we go.

OK. I saw something rather disturbing on the Today show yesterday. New Kids on the Block has reunited and recorded a new CD, so there they were in Rockefeller Plaza or Center or whatever it is, strutting their 35+ year old manly stuff and singing the same songs they did 15 years ago. And it was bad. Not bad-good, but bad-awful. The singing and the music and the dancing and the lyrics – just plain bad. And what was slightly more disturbing was the crowd of screaming women. Thirty year old women.

Now I have to back it up a bit and confess to you that I was One of Those Girls when I was fourteen and fifteen years old. (Stop laughing, Aimee Bartis – you know you were just as freaky crazy as I was!!) I had the posters and the teen magazines, and I even saw them in concert. Twice, I think. I played their cassette tape until it warped. I knew their birthdays. I think I even started a fan letter one time, but never actually sent it. Yep, that was me. And I’m so embarrassed. I think the whole phase lasted about a year. What was I thinking?!?!

Seeing these guys on TV again kinda gave me a weird feeling that I just wanted to shake off. I want to erase that very embarrassing phase of my teenagehood, just like I want to erase a lot of things that I said and did as a child. And a teenager. And a young adult. And last week.

When a particular unpleasant memory comes to mind, I will often take a deep breath and sigh very loudly and forcefully – almost like I’m trying to push the memory out and away from me using the force of my breath. Or I will start humming, trying to drown it out. Or I will physically shudder, trying to shake it off.

My childhood was relatively tame compared with most. I have friends – good friends – whose childhood trauma would curl your toes. I’m nowhere near that – but I still have stuff. I have stuff to deal with and forgive and overcome and beg God not to let me repeat. So I guess this very blatant visual (and auditory) reminder yesterday morning just put me in an uncomfortable spot. It took me back to that place where I was insecure and loud and outspoken and stupid …and rejected. I need to remind myself that I am not who I was, that I certainly am not the only woman with phases and memories she would rather assume never happened, and that I will not be the last.

I’m being hard on myself. Really, in the entire scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal. We all have things we’d like to forget ever happened and mistakes we wish not to repeat. For now, I will just take a deep breath…and exhale.

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3 thoughts on “Exhale loudly

  1. We all have those things and I’m thinking that if yours was just being an overzealous NKOTB fan, you’re good to go! 🙂 It’s not who you were but who you are now … God’s grace is so good for all of us!

  2. Oh geez NKOTB. I was one of those fans too. My best friend was actually a NKOTB stalker of sorts and is going to see the reunion tour in Chicago. Another good friend’s husband also attended one of their weddings in Boston. Anyhow, I believe 99% of us would never go back in time even if we could. One good thing about being in your 30’s, more self confidence & wisdom about it all.Suzanne

  3. Thanks for sharing, Jen (even though picturing you as a huge NKOTB fan cracked me up!) Isn’t it so great that we are new creations in Christ and He washes us clean and always forgives us?!?! Amazing!

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