Thursday, April 12, 2012

Be Present, and Nothing More

Kim Mathie '95 

Before I left my last job, I wrote my signature in cement in the parking lot. I wasn’t expecting to find wet cement that day nor did I anticipate the pull to do something so typically rebellious to be so strong. I just grabbed my pencil (encouraged by my co-worker) and dug in. 

In hindsight, I can see now I wasn’t necessarily trying to be rebellious—it would be a small rebellion to be sure, but to make my mark, one that would stick around a while. Because the truth is, once you turn around and walk away from something—a job, a hometown, an old lover—they immediately do the same. We all leave holes that need to be filled in or covered over or hidden under dirty clothes. It’s just a fact, an ugly one, but a fact just the same.

That’s why when we return to that job, the hometown or the old lover, we inspect it, turn it over in our hands (or hearts), dig for the stories left behind, look under dressers and beds for scraps of paper, stray socks, or any hint that we were once there. Because if the past doesn’t exist in some tangible form, did it--and by consequence, me--ever exist?

Of course! Don’t be ridiculous.

It’s easy to get lost philosophizing over the past, asking existential questions that don’t provide much comfort no matter what conclusions you come to. So we can’t visit the past, touch it, smother it with kisses or slap it around for hurting you but it’s still there like a light (or a stone) in our hearts and memories.

Knowing this, however, I have to something to confess. For the past few weeks, I’ve been Facebook stalking my old employer. I’ve been poking around their website and peeking in on their conversations, maybe even contributing to one. I was trying to find out if you could tell. I was looking for clues. But I had to tell myself to get a grip. That the answers I was looking for weren’t there but in the emails from friends who missed me, Facebook posts on my own page that provided love and encouragement and actual letters I received in the mail. 

At my job, I created things and those things will change, for better, for worse, or for no reason at all, they will change. But the people I met are the true champions because they kept me with them in the right here, right now, in the present and they let me know about it.

So, that’s it. I’m done with it. The past is the past. It’s the present that really matters, what you do with it, how you care for it, and who lives in it. Eventually, all that will be past, too, anyway. It’s the cycle of life, right? It’s a ruthless bastard, to be sure, but something you can count on.

Mathie '95 describes herself as a "sassy, self-directed arts administrator." She is a writer, a blogger, a marketing developer and graphic designer in her spare time while she is the Marketing Coordinator for Sam Houston State University in Texas. Follow her blog:

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:43 PM