what i didn't know then

i love, love, love snow days. just like i love rainy days. just like i loved hurricane days. a break from the monotonous days. a justifiable excuse to stay inside, to sink into yourself and try to asses where you're at and where you're going. it's a cutout day for sad people to mourn loss without having to battle routines and social interactions. i love inclement weather for creating a barrier between my fragile heart and the brutal real world.

lately i have been plagued with thoughts on the subject of innocence.

the loss of innocence is what has really changed me these past few years, and i'm starting to think it's what changes every person.

everything that i have to say about it has already been said--in cliches, in songs, in wistful reminiscing of jaded adults. i wish i hadn't grown up so fast, i wish i hadn't been so eager to be an adult, i wish i didn't know the things i know now, etc.

a lot of my innocence was taken from me. equal amounts of innocence i gave up willingly. it all seemed so discreet, like it was gradually slipping away from me until on day i woke up and realized it was all gone. i almost feel cheated, as though it was unfair for it to be slowly slipping away. but i chose it. i thought about what it would be like if the choice were presented clearly. if it weren't subtle, if i had to make a decision to give up my innocence. i would still have chosen this. because the adventure, the knowledge, and the satiation of curiosity would have seemed so appealing, so enticing, so impossible to resist. this is why we give up our innocence; our innocence is all we know, and we give it up to experience something new.

i wish i weren't so familiar with death, with love, with loss. my heart is heavy. it aches for the familiar feeling of being carefree and unburdened.

i don't want to leave my apartment. i don't want to make new friends or try new foods or read new books. i want to stay exactly where i'm at. leaving this exact place means subjecting myself to new situations that could end badly. it mean exposing myself to thing that could hurt me. it means becoming vulnerable to letting in things and people that can be ripped away from me.

there is nowhere to turn in times like this. there is no friend that can make it better, no god that can send you back to where you once were. there is no realistic hope that you can ever return to a place where you don't know so's strange how it seems so easy to hope during the most intense moments of hard times. it seems that the real test comes afterwards when there is quiet. i'm at a place now where all i want to do is mourn the loss of a past life and pine for an impossible transportation back to the past.

except for toby keith. i can turn to him for some good ol' fashioned sad songs. thank you, 90's country music lovin' parents.

and my youngest sister, the image of innocence.

what i can't figure out is how other people deal with this. is it not generally experienced? am i the only one that mourns the loss of innocence as if it were a dead sister? do people handle it better? hide it better? these aren't rhetorical, guys. i could use some help here.

[title from wish i didn't know by toby keith]


  1. I'm dealing with it too. I'm in between the Navy and my mission, and I've learned and grown but there's nothing for me to focus on currently, so I'm just lost. I don't quite fit in anywhere, and my boyfriend broke up with me and I don't know how to deal with just being friends, or how to fix a slowly breaking heart. But I just know that somehow things end up working together, and I just take things one day at a time until I'm ready.

  2. Bridian,
    You write from such a raw, real place. You are not alone. I find myself daily watching my kids play, dealing with the monotonous, difficult tasks set before me as their mother and an "adult" and wishing wholeheartedly that I could go back. Back to a time before so much was expected of me, before others depended on me, before I knew what a cruel place the world really is. I'm at a different stage of life from you, married (not without its own hardships) and with kids, but I'm only in my mid twenties and still haven't quite mastered this whole adult thing either. I think whether we give up our innocence willingly, have it ripped from us cruelly, or some combination of both, at a certain point we become aware that it is gone, and that we can't go back, and that is hard. So so hard. It is worth acknowledging its passing, and mourning it. Try not to despair though. There are beautiful things on the horizon for you. Open yourself up to the possibility of beautiful, wonderful adventures filled with amazing people who will love you the way you deserve to be loved. Choose people to surround yourself with who are good, true, and love you unconditionally. Don't spend time on those who will hurt you or cut you down for any reason. And follow your passions. Don't allow yourself to be stagnant... find what you love and work for it. This life is short, see the beauty, count your blessings daily, and be... (unapologetically!!) you.