I love the song “Begin Again” by Taylor Swift, because it encapsulates that feeling of hope mixed with regrets in the context of romantic relationships. As the lyrics play out, I take a deep breath and will myself to be able to regain the frame of mind where I can reach out and touch the hope and slowly let go of my regrets. Some days, I will linger over those regrets and re-examine them, looking for what I missed the first time round and mourning what never was. And some days, I’ll hold onto that hope with both hands – trying to regain a sense of the person I will become in the face of those regrets.
Every few years, I start blogging again, get distracted from it, come back and then feel ashamed of my younger self and delete it all and begin again. This is usually in the wake of a massive life change.
My oldest friends have both said that I should write again. I gotten in the habit of blogging for almost the entire year I realised because I had been penning long letters to my last boyfriend Christopher (though he would never accept being called that). I’ve written in my Facebook support group. Long chats with friends. Anonymously on Reddit forums.
In my letters to Christopher, I gave him my heart and soul. I can’t continue to give him that if they are simply met with a wall of silence because he can not respond to the maelstrom of feelings that I have with an appropriate level of detachment or cares not to try. My letters and thus me does not hold the same relevance to him anymore. In actuality, I’m better off sharing my words to the empty void of the internet and owning them, because to me, words have power.
This morning I pondered on the word “Regret”. In Vietnamese the corresponding word is “hối hận”. To me, the word in English seems imbued with a nostalgia – of dreams lost. But in Vietnamese, there is almost a harshness – a stronger sense of resentment of your past self. I hold a lot of regrets for everything that has happened in the last couple of years and as I pick up the pieces of my life and become the next, better version of myself, those two aspects of regret fight an internal war.
Though words are powerful, they are also cheap. We often say things we “don’t mean” at times. We make promises imbued with good intentions yet never keep. We spit white lies whenever convenient to spare someones feelings. Words only show an instance of a thought, not the perpetual stream of change that those thoughts reform and morph which is the struggle of being human. Words are limiting. Words can be taken out of context. And just like the photos on Instagram or the feed on Facebook, words are reviewed and edited, showing a curated essence of an idea.
But sometimes, words are all we have.
I want this to be the last time my blog has to “Begin Again”.