If I could’ve been
what I could’ve been
I could’ve been
— from the musical Working
Something odd — even extraordinary — happened to me last year. I was riding in the car with John when the world shifted. I was pulled out of it a little bit, just put out of sorts as if I sat within the seconds in time that everyone else lived. And I saw a woman standing a little distance away: me. A different me. Confident, happy, stylish – her own style, and I knew she was who I would have been if I had stayed with what I was born to be. That little girl you see in the upper left corner (if you’re on my site) should have grown up to be her. You can see it in her, in them both.
She smiled and waved at me to follow. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Kid and the moment when the older Bruce Willis looks at himself as a child and as a 30-something year old with an enigmatic smile…. it’s the same moment. When I couldn’t follow her, she waved in understanding and walked away, fading into the light that surrounded her. John called me and I shifted back.
I am not her.
I am white trash. I didn’t become what I was born to be but what I gave in to be and what my fears and lack of confidence made me create instead.
Maybe that odd surreal moment was meant to inspire me. I still think of that other me now and then. Sometimes, I think about her a lot. It’s because of her that I pulled over my car last night and put the top down to enjoy the moonlight, even though others would have scoffed at it. She knew the windows could be up and the heater on and that the moonlight was worth it. It’s because of her that I went to the shore last night even after John pointed out some of the shops would be closed. I went, comfortable with going by myself, for the ones that were open, the sights of the town, the beauty of the night, to go ever so slowly behind horse drawn carriages and listen to the drivers’ voices float back to me, and to stand on the beach for the unique sight of the dark ocean under the moon suddenly show up as dark silver as the waves churn and crash on the sand.I just wish I could be her the rest of the time.
But I’m not. I don’t blame others. I could have resisted and insisted, but I gave away the strength to do it.
Now it’s just dreams that I’m stuck with
and hell, that ain’t a lot to show
I haven’t gone far from the starting line
but deep down inside where it counts I know …
If what I could be
had been left to me
I would’ve been somethin’ …