Sunday, November 08, 2009

One Triangle Goose*

*A song that has been in my head for days. I hear it on the radio and can't make out what the chorus is. It sounds, to me, like "One triangle goose", and even though I know that's not what it is actually saying, that is what goes through my ears when it's on.

Speed bumps in life are inevitable. We need them to expand as a person, to force us from our comfort zone and grow in new directions. Life would be flimsy and unsubstantial without them.

Some of life's speed bumps are a fantastic shove into new realities....marriage, the birth of your children, finding the most perfect job you could imagine for yourself. These are pleasant, soul-thrilling experiences.

Other speed bumps can be soul-searing. The unexpected death of a loved one, divorce, major illness. These are the ones that can run the whole spectrum of character-building. They can build you up strong or knock you flat. It's your choice as to which it will be.

I'm no different than anyone else, when it comes to my life's speed bumps. I've tried to excel at the good and tried to roll with the bad. The choices I made have dictated the direction of my life.

I was a young, irresponsible person once. We all were. I made choices at some turns in the road that had far-reaching consequences.
There is a line in "Out of Africa" that I think of frequently...
"I think the world was made round, so we could not see too far down the road."

My life has been charmed lately....a stable life, two great kids, great friends and a position at an organization that fulfills me and allows me to hold my head up high, proud that I am making a difference in the world.

But what happens when a voice from the past turns up, and instead of reminiscing about the fun and the good, shouts into my face all the real and imagined wrongs I am guilty of? Things that I haven't thought about in years, because the person I was is not the person I am now?
How do I deal with that?


What is the statute of limitation on bad choices? Do I deserve to be punished for a bad choice I made when I was a teenager or in my early twenties, when I have spent my life since then doing my best to be the best person I can be?
It has me in a tailspin, this voice from the past. Not from what the voice is saying, but the feelings it has awoken in me. Am I a better person? Have I evolved into what I wanted to be?
When does my responsibility end for situations that I would handle in a completely different way now, than I would have 10 or 20 years ago?

And just like that song* that will not stop running through my head with the wrong words, I cannot stop my thoughts from running in the wrong direction...backwards. Toward those irresponsible choices, the mess I was. It has proven to be impossible to see the real and true parts of myself while the song of the past serenades me from around the wrong turn in the road.

And until I can rouse myself from this abyss, I will stare at the map.
Not to find out where I need to go, but to figure out where I am.
Bend in the road Sugar Creek


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Turn your back on that voice from your past Susan. None of us can undo our past mistakes. We've all done and said stupid, hurtful things (and being imperfect creatures we will continue to make mistakes.) Forgive yourself. Just look at what you've created with your life!
I stood right next to you when you took that last picture. I proudly consider myself your friend.

(my comment sounds a bit like a Halmark card but you know that I mean every word!)

Beth in NYC said...

I don't personally know you, Susan (although I do hope for the opportunity at some birding festival in the future), or Lynne, but Lynne really did say it perfectly. You are the sum of your experiences, good and bad. You have a great life, a great family and a great vocation that you love. Whatever you did 20 years ago was part of the foundation of your life now. Celebrate when you feel you're in the right place to do it!

Mary said...


Chill! And remember who loves ya!

I shudder when I think of what I once did or thought about doing. Now it doesn't matter.


Chill, dammit.

Nina @Nature Remains said...

I'm sure you've come across this many times and may even have a copy of it tucked in a drawer somewhere.
If not, hang onto these words.
They can simplify your life.

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

There are some things better left in the past.

NCmountainwoman said...

Poor choices or not, those very choices have helped mold you into the wonderful person you are now. And that's the ONLY important thing about them!!!

They are done, they are gone, and they made you what you are. So let them stay in the past where they rightly belong.

Susan Gets Native said...

Thanks, ladies.
Mary had me at "dammit".

Rachel said...

Susan, is this the mystery song?

I hate it when a song is stuck in my head and I can't tell what they are saying!

Susan Gets Native said...

Rachel! That's it!!!
And it's NOWHERE near "One Triangle Goose"!!
I knew you would come in handy. Good thing Kevin grabbed you before you got away.

Anonymous said...

You know what I love about searching through my favorite blogs? Sometimes you hit one that hits on exactly the way you're feeling, or wonders about the same things you wonder about. Thanks for this post.

Beth said...

Who hasn't done stupid, regrettable things? If you sat down twenty women who were open and honest about their past, you would hear twenty stories of bad choices, mistakes and hurts. What really matters is how you move PAST those mistakes and from what I know of you, you are a strong, caring and thoughtful wife, mother and friend. Those mistakes made you who you are and I am lucky that you made those mistakes or you wouldn't be the wonderful friend that means so much to me.


Kathie Brown said...

Susan, so introspective today! All of us have those bad choices in our past. Hopefully we learn from them, but don't let them determine your future or your life today. Wisom is gained from bad choices as well as good. Look at the beauty you see around you. As long as you can still find beauty in the world, you will be alright. I love both of these beautiful photographs. Cheer up dearest, you have so much going for you.