Given the chance to go back and change parts of my life, I would always choose to go back and be more kind, more patient, more thoughtful, more loving, more open.

But I can’t go back, and so I go back every day in interactions I am having and will have, and I smile more now that I did a year ago. I look up at the clouds and take time to smell the air and I try to be grateful for and in my own skin. I think about people I know and used to know I hope that they feel full and secure.

These are my hopes for the world: 1) that everyone would feel loved; 2) that everyone find joy in each circumstance they’re in; 3) that everyone take some time, even if it’s only a few seconds, to be quiet and really live in their bodies; 4) that everyone would have several people/animals/communities that they can trust completely; 5) that people stop hurting each other on purpose; 6) that people would apologize and try to make amends when they do hurt others, especially on purpose, but especially when it’s by accident.

These are my hopes, I try to live them through my choices, and I try not to mind when I am judged severely, although when I am judged severely a piece of me crumbles inside and I spend all day and night looking at that new gap and wondering what used to go there.

I don’t care anymore if people think I’m weak. I care much more when I feel weak, insecure, vulnerable, because these feelings are warnings and when I don’t heed them I am being careless with myself and I cannot be the caring person I want to be if I don’t care about me.

What I don’t understand is why we, people, aren’t more kind to each other. Why aren’t we honest, and why do we think that honesty and compassion are mutually exclusive? Why do we think that we’re more important than other people? Why don’t we trust the people we have chosen to be closest to us to help protect us? Why are we hypocritical?

Why can’t I aspire to be great and still, despite my best efforts, be flawed?

Why did you stop seeing beauty in my flaws?

Why do you demand that I be perfect?

I have no face left. We’ve both whittled it away. I’ve lost 10 lbs. since we moved here—I’m slowly, slowly vanishing, and you carve out more; more merciless with me, I think, than you have ever been with yourself. I take on everything you don’t like about me, about you, about us, about life, and I wonder if the gift of my strong legs is a curse.


Given the chance to go back, I would always choose to go back, not because I am ashamed of my actions, but because every opportunity is an opportunity for love and these opportunities are priceless.

Given who I am now, a messy, complex, imperfect being, I work at always choosing love even when, sometimes, that means choosing me.


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e lewis

I'm a bibliophile with a love of social justice theory living in the Pacific North West trying to figure life out.

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