As I lay awake at some point last night (hello, pregnancy insomnia, welcome back…), my mind began to wander as only a sleep-deprived mind can at two o’clock in the morning.
Many of the thoughts were meaningless and inconsequential, and just flitted in to say a quick “Hi!” before flitting out again. Some hung around for a while, obviously waiting to be asked in for a cup of tea, and others….well, they just barged their way in and made themselves quite at home.
Some of them were baby-related, and when baby is doing the jive in one’s abdomen, that’s okay. Some of them were food-related, and when one is pregnant, that too, is okay. Expected, even. Some of them were husband-related, and when one’s husband is out at his end-of-season cricket shindig (you can read about what happened two years ago here), that’s okay as well.
Others were more obscure; memories from the past. Not nice, pleasant, warm-fuzzy memories, but reminders of the times I did something really stupid or foolish or potentially dangerous.The memories that mostly stay buried in the dark, cobwebby recesses of your brain, but always emerge when you least expect it.
You might have heard of the Hyde Street Keg Party, held in Dunedin every year? About seven years ago, Tall and two of our flatmates headed down to Hyde Street to join some other mates in drinking all day long. At three o’clock in the afternoon, Tall called and asked me to go and pick him up; no problems, as he’d left me with his big Holden Commodore (an ex-police car…a bit of a tank, really). I headed down to the student area of town, but for the life of me, couldn’t find the entrance to Hyde Street where I had thought it should be. So I circled around the block, and found the other entrance. Great, perfect…started to drive down the street. Realised that it’s a one-way street, and that I am driving into the midst of the party. In a bit of a panic, I consider reversing or doing a sneaky u-turn so I can get out, but there are police everywhere, and I don’t want to get into trouble. So instead, I keep on driving. Right through the middle of the biggest, drunkest, messiest student party imaginable. People start banging on the car and standing in the way, jeering and cheering, pouring beer and who-knows-what-else on the car. The police push them aside and wave me on; the crowd parts as I drive slowly on, my face a deep crimson. I’m shaking my head, imperceptible to anyone else, telling myself what an idiot I am. I finally make it to the end of the street where the party hasn’t migrated to, and find an astonished Tall waiting for me. He’s partly impressed, and partly surprised, that I drove through the party; I’m about ready to cry because I feel so foolish, and I snap at him all the way home.
Seven years have passed, and this memory is as clear as anything for me. It doesn’t surface often, but when it does, it brings with it fresh feelings of stupidity and embarrassment, and I find myself back there, in that big car, in amongst all those partying students, feeling like a right wally.
I know that I should just forget about it, laugh it off, and let it go, but I can’t. As the years have passed, the feelings it conjures up have weakened, and I don’t dwell on this memory for as long as I used to. However, what I want to be able to do is accept moments like this, deal with them at the time, and then move on as smartly as possible, without being haunted by them forever. Because this is just one of many, many moments in my life that I can not seem to forget, regardless of how inconsequential they are.
After all this waffle (have I mentioned my propensity to waffle??!), I’ll get to the point: this month’s Journey to 35 task is to work on letting things go…
- let go of past mistakes, misjudgements, misinterpretations (mine or otherwise)
- focus on the present instead of dwelling on things that really aren’t important anymore (and probably never were)
- let sleeping dogs lie: don’t re-hash the past – move on!
Wish me luck – and if you’re one of those lucky people who can let things go quickly, tell me how you do it!!