Thursday, June 9, 2016

To Rewrite History

Some days, I wish nothing had ever changed. That ABC had never cancelled its soaps. That I was still traveling each day, like clockwork, to a familiar building on the Upper West Side. That I was making a salary I could count on. That I knew what my life would be like from day to day, week to week. It would be perfect, right? After all, it was perfect then, right? Right??

It is incredibly easy to rewrite history, to make the past better (or worse) than it really was. For me, that means glorifying the regularity and the friendships and the paycheck. Those things were great. But the rewriting that includes those tends to leave out the hours away from home, the long days, the second-guessing about room for advancement. Was it a wonderful time in my life? Sure. But have there been other wonderful times since that wouldn't have occurred had that situation stayed the same? Absolutely. That's how it is when we rewrite history. We spend so much energy on reliving what is past that we forget how much we actually owe to the present. For me, that is the home time I rarely had when I worked in soaps. For me, it is the scrappiness I have developed with the safety net gone, and the range of opportunities I never would have discovered if I'd never been forced to move. For me, it is the new chapters (and a daily blog) that never would have been written. 

I can rewrite history to make the "then" the best thing that ever happened, and the "now" the worst. But the truth is, it's somewhere in between. It is in that "in between," that we find the real story. It is in the combination of times that we find our real history. And it is by recognizing that our history keeps being written that we move on.

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