Here in the last couple of days some couple's wedding party photos have been popping up here and there on my Facebook feed. Obviously a few characters from the past have escaped my slapdash, anxiety-fueled delete-and-block sessions because I sure as hell don't want to see any of those mugs on my iPhone screen.
They're people I used to know; some of them, I used to care about with a good-sized chunk of my prickly little heart. Others are the ones they care about, the ones I'd near self-destruct trying to compare myself to because they took what I thought I had. Man...so much ugly history in one amateur shot. For half a second I thought I'd be sick to my stomach, then I came back to the real world.
What the actual f*ck was I thinking?
Looking back, all that time period was to me was five years of pain and confusion and a drinking problem I passed off as just being young and having fun. It was stupid. It was a polluted, piddly little cesspool of revolving-door drama where everyone dated everyone's ex and hung out at the same two stupid bars getting soup-sandwich drunk and trying to make someone else jealous. Going further, all I ever was to the group of people I once would've done anything for was a filler of space, perhaps a bandaid for some bruised ego. I was good-looking, pretty sharp and kind of funny, and my self-esteem was just low enough to ignore everything glaringly wrong with that picture.
I thought I'd be happy if I could find a place to fit in there; if I could only prove I was worthy of being a part of them, grass being greener on the other side and what-not. But their yards are littered with TRASH. It looks like they're having a hell of a party over there, I guess, but I wouldn't want to be the one picking up after them when the party's over.
I'm over here working on my own itty bitty lawn. The grass is just starting to grow, but the sprinklers are on and I've started planting flowers. My grass has baby toys scattered on it, and a spotted dog. I'm working hard to make it nice, and to make it my own.
If I sound bitter, I absolutely am. Not at them, but at myself. How could I let that happen to me? How dare I let them treat me that way! How dare I become the kind of vicious person who would bite back at them and give them fuel to burn me with? Then again, that self-loathing and insecurity lead me to the place where my baby came from, and without him I'd still be lost.
The only face in those pictures that matters to me has the same nose and ears and blue eyes as my son, and the few memories I have there are ones I just have to learn to live with. The rest of them, though, can stay the hell off my lawn.