• Faith Bugenhagen

Stuck in A Rut

Mistakes, we all make them. I am almost positive that these are the lines to a popular song, however I don’t necessarily associate this phrase to whichever string of lyrics it applies to. I associate it with a mantra that plays incessantly in my head, but has not existed within my brain space for that long.

What do I mean by this? I only recently started accepting the fact that I am allowed to make mistakes, as is everyone around me. Obviously, as humans we are imperfect by our very nature, that’s not a truth that I deny. However, applying that truth to yourself, or at least to myself, was a lot more difficult to do.

As ridiculous as it sounds, I recently watched the Taylor Swift documentary, entitled Miss Americana, for a Feminism summer course I am taking. Within the entry of the documentary, Swift discusses how she has been taught to exist within the constraints of seeking affection and approval by those who followed her career. Statements similar to these echoed on as the documentary started, making me think more about what she meant.

What irritated me about the point she was making, was how exclusive she made it. She made it appear as if only she was going through this, particularly because she was in the public sphere. But, aren’t we all in some way existing within a public sphere? Sure, of course, her’s is constructed on a plane that is much larger and wider reaching, than my tiny little world, but doesn’t it all mean the same thing?

When those around us, even strangers we still associate our worth with, don’t reach out and metaphorically pat our heads, we feel lesser. I know that I feel lesser.

This sensation comes particularly after a series of mistakes that have and will always, exist within my life. There is no way to escape the feeling of messing up, words are delicate, people are delicate, and actions are delicate. I put my words out in the world, because I am scared to say them out loud. If I take pen to paper, finger to computer, the ramifications hide behind a screen. Being honest, saying what one means, or rather want to say, has to teeter between what will be accepted and rejected.

It’s a frightening balance to attempt to understand, further than that other interactions or elements of life function on this same balance. Whether the route of hurt and offense can be attributed to this sentiment, I am unsure, I think I will always be unsure.

We can’t attempt to predict how someone will respond, react, or retaliate against something that is said or something that is done. This is an even harder pill to swallow, making it increasingly difficult to accept a pardon to yourself when you have done something to hurt someone else. How can we begin to forgive ourselves, when others around us may not be ready to forgive us?

I don’t hold the answer to the question above in my knowledge of understanding and I don’t think many people, if at all any, do. Accepting the mistakes we make and allowing them to transform into points of education and empathy, is easier said than done. However, it must be done, because if one resides within a pool of regrets they have, they will never reemerge as a better person.

At times, I feel trapped in these ruts, I can’t see the beginning or the end of a situation, because the only thing emphasized in my brain is how I made the mistake. Guiltiness plagues me and I feel unworthy to embrace the moment as one that I must own, in order to make any sense of.

The truth that I have come to realize is that without accessing these ruts and accepting them for how messy they are, one will never move on. Reliving a moment over and over, I personally feel, is one of the most utterly disgusting feelings you can bring over yourself. Existing within planes of the past has never helped anyone.

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