Monkey Minds were not harmed in this blog post.

My therapist tries so hard to get me to admit that something…anything, really…hurts. I, of course, opt for closed-off buzz words like ‘annoyed’ and ‘disappointed.’ Those words that seem to ring with strength over weakness. She prods for my recognition of hurt as a feeling week-after-week, as I squirm in the uncomfortable lobby-like chair. Humanity’s friend, avoidance, kicks in but instead riddles me with trivial obsessive thoughts which is what brought me there in the first place. There, the sterile room with the only identifying element being the faux Van Gogh’s hanging on the wall. Her chair, the one I sit in, is uncomfortable and entirely impersonal…am I like her chair?

This monkey mind of mine has stuck around much longer than usual, and my true self stands outside the atrium knocking on the glass. I see you, I do, but I’m busy swinging from branch-to-branch. After all, it’s much more fun to climb trees than to fall to the ground.

The two women that know me best – my mom and wife – tell me frequently that I put more energy into those that don’t deserve it versus those that do. I wish I could say this wasn’t true, but it is and I know it. I suppose there are those times in life when you know exactly who you are, and insight and intuition are shining lights. Then there are times when you have to really work to see any light, and that’s when you change the batteries in the flashlight. It is then when words like ‘hurt’ lurk like a monster in the dark. I’ve never been scared of the dark, but after standing too close to monsters I do search for that flashlight.

It’s like REM sings, “Everybody Hurts Sometimes” and if I think about it…’hurt’ does sound more impactful, doesn’t it?

Repeat Adjectives Gargled In Resolve

At about 140 pages, adjectives start to repeat themselves and it got me thinking…after about 35,000 words don’t we all start repeating ourselves?  The thing about writing is that you can’t stay silent, and the art isn’t in the pauses like in music.  You can’t really listen to anyone other than yourself, and your pseudo multiple personalities (that are more aptly called ‘characters’ to make us feel less insane) cannot speak for themselves.

I’ve been rehashing, objectively of course, past mistakes and how I could have handled them better.  Hindsight 20/20 as it’s called.  I’ve prided myself on my new age thinking of no regrets, lessons learned, growth happens from failure more so than winning, etc., so this is especially confusing.  Spinner, my therapist, tells me it’s coming up because it was never fully resolved.  This is probably the case because you see my resolving hierarchy started more like an upside-down triangle in which I fell into its abyssal downtrend and tried to swim up.  Thankfully when I was five-ish my father, from the school of hard knocks, gave me swimming lessons. After he threw me into the creek and yelled “swim” from the edge of the ravine, I gargled the dirty Oklahoma water and got somewhat control of my flailing arms enough to beat the water underneath me so that I did not drown. Apply this swimming lesson, attach it as a pattern, and use it in adulthood.

Luckily, my mom paid for real swimming lessons and it was much less painful. Apply this swimming lesson, attach it to my paycheck, and use it in adulthood.

All parentage influence aside, sometimes regret stems from a past action that does quite align with who you’ve become and a desire to return and change it for a more desired outcome that’s more closely associated to who you are now. If you’re lucky you get this type of rare closure, but if you’re in the majority then you have to be okay with your old self’s actions so that your new self can accept it. Once I realize I can’t return to the source of the regret and make it right, I have no choice but to learn to accept the regret and grow from it as to not make the same mistakes again.

Unlike the characters I create, the aspects of my personality magnified, I know the story before they do and I control its outcome. Symbols of my life, overarching theirs, repeat adjectives and all.

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