A Clean Slate

It’s been about 10 years since So Far Away by Staind was released and I still remember how much I loved that song. I’m not a Staind fan (I’ve really only listened to this one song that was played on the radio years ago) but my mind wanders back to their song occasionally. I remember being struck by the pensive chords at the beginning and the frankness of the lyrics.

And I think I’ve just realized why I liked it then and continue to like it now. It’s such a warming song about reencountering oneself and loving oneself. Maybe it spoke to me at 11 years old because it was a tumultuous period–puberty was a pain and it brought so, so much feelings of ambivalence and uncertainty about my identity.

I can’t forget that I’m not ashamed to be the person that I am today” were the verses that stood out to me at the time. Powerful words for a confused child who was being told left and right mixed messages about who she was and who she needed to be. They would be the verses that I occasionally recalled in the following years.

I never really pondered the lyrics too much but they are quite lovely in context. There’s a person coming out of his shell and awakening to his self.

“These are my words
That I’ve never said before
I think I’m doin’ okay
And this is the smile
I’ve never shown before
Somebody shake me
‘Cause I, I must be sleeping

…He’s taking little steps. Smiling. Coming out of the dark and feeling a renewed sense of life. There was a long period where I was afraid to show emotion because, in my head, an emotion had to be connected to something tangible (or you were weird).

An’ now that we’re here, it’s so far away
All the struggle we thought was in vain
An’ all the mistakes one life contained
They all finally start to go away

An’ now that we’re here, it’s so far away
An’ I feel like I can face the day
An’ I can’t forget that I’m not ashamed
To be the person that I am today

This is how I feel now.  Despite all of the expectations that I grew up with and all of the dumb mistakes that I made, they are beginning to fade into the past. I continue to grow in self-awareness and I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that my mistakes don’t define me forever.  I’m not the same person I was anymore. I bear some semblance–I try to retain what I believe are positive attributes–but  I am gradually becoming the person that I would like to become.  And this person understands now how important it is to be patient, understanding, and forgiving to herself.

I hope that you will remember to forgive yourself for the past and take a clean slate because no one deserves to be branded for life for the decisions they made when they were  struggling. You can always turn over a new leaf and blossom into someone amazing. So go for it!

Song and lyrics available here via YouTube: So Far Away by Staind

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