Over Too Soon
Me 1.0 is dead. Her death was swift and merciless. Her death is what it is, and she will never live again. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get over her, but she’ll always hold a special corner in my heart. I loved her grit and pride, and it would be nice to possess a touch of her idealism again. Her death was unnatural and unfortunate, a broken body that broke down further. I was never the same again after that. Not physically and therefore, not mentally either.
It’s been over a decade, so I guess I should move on. The pain of my loss isn’t a sharp, jarring one anymore, but a dull, heavy anchor sinking to a bottomless depth. What will I do with Me 2.0? I’ve spent so many years trying to resurrect Me 1.0, even though I know that it’s useless to do so.
Getting to Know Me 2.0
I’m still learning, yes even after a decade, that Me 2.0 can be awesome in her own way, too. Feelings of sadness will wash over me from time to time, and that’s okay. How I wish that new friends and future family members could have met the original, ‘real’ version of me. A tough, active and carefree person, who always went one step beyond. The sort of girl who wanted to out-tough all the other girls (and boys!), and whose pride was her greatest asset and flaw. While that isn’t necessarily a good thing, I do miss her fighting spirit. Now I am not even a shadow of who she was, but a different being altogether.
In order to figure out how I’ll work with Me 2.0, first I have to understand who she is and how she functions. She is hypersensitive, bitter and sick of fighting. Her depression would seize any opportunity to rest in peace right here, right now. Traumatic experiences have her in their grip, and anxiety overwhelms her at the slightest hint of pain. She has one foot frozen in the air, but doesn’t know in which direction to put it down toward, and doesn’t really care either.
If Me 1.0 was ‘project grit’, then Me 2.0 is ‘project tired’. A slow, minor key phase. A dark largo transition, sometimes trailing off in a reverie, before drawing back to life again. It is a long transition that I keep playing on repeat, because the next page looks daunting, and I daren’t take the plunge yet.
Before, After, and the Wiser Version After ‘After’?
A life-changing crisis is a dog-eared page in your life story, marking a ‘before’ and ‘after’ period — a version one and two. But if Me 2.0 is ‘project tired’, then I will need a third version. Something that’s built upon but not marred by previous versions. My brain has learned to distrust that fleeting thing called hope. But if I were to look at it from a third person’s point of view (what a coincidence!), I’d wish for Me 3.0 to be ‘project wisdom’.
I can picture her in my head, a foggy image radiating an air of calm and serenity, unafraid of come what may. She is old with faint wrinkles, while her tired eyes hint of a long and painful history. But her smile is kind and sincere, and her touch is cold from a lack of vitality, yet firm and gentle. She knows how to accept and also to let go with grace, and that is why she does not fear.
A Process of Refinement, and Living with Grace
I now wonder, what exactly is ‘grace’? A quick search explains: “Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action”. What is elegance, then? “Quality”, “a refinement”. So to string the whole idea together, this would mean that Me 3.0 will be a refined and high quality version of humanity. Action and speech are simply a natural testimony, a spilling over of what’s on the inside. It is a version that has to undergo the filtration of gritty Me 1.0, then stewed in the dark flavours of Me 2.0. It seems to me then, that the previous experiences aren’t wasted material, but necessary ingredients. How can something or someone be of top quality, without the process of effort and time, after all?
It takes Two Hands to Clasp, and Learning to Let Go
Time feels drawn out in a gooey stretch in the current version of Me 2.0. But looking at my reflection today, it occurs to me that this lengthy period is a vital chapter, too. I may not know exactly what or how until I become Me 3.0, but in the meantime I need to sit tight, and put that foot down in my desired direction. To be able to accept something new and become better, first I need to let go. Yes, pain clasps its hand in mine, but I realise that I am also holding it in return. I need to ease myself out of this unhealthy union, but not by force, as it doesn’t work that way.
I have to give up Me 1.0 out of my own accord, and be at peace with the act of letting go. It should be able to float away, and go wherever it likes. It is mine to remember, but no longer control. Then I have to release Me 2.0 as well, which might ironically be the harder task of the two. She is a wary animal abused by years of pain and fear, and may not even want to leave.
Am I ready to release myself? I think I am, only because there’s so long I can hang on for while dangling off a cliff. It might be many years yet before I become who I want to be next, but at least now I know where to begin.
Which Version are You Currently Living?
And who would you like to be next? What traits will he or she possess, that you can be proud of again? Lift your head up. No matter where you are or what moment you’re in, let’s take this small, private step forward together.