The more you grew up, the further you went in time, the more you learned there were no fresh starts. There were, of course, beginnings, and middles, and endings. However, you couldn’t start fresh, as much as people said you could. You could begin again, but everything from before came with it. The music you enjoyed a year ago may be forgotten, but your feet tapped automatically when you sat in a bar and the riff started to play.
Everyone you’d loved before made you the lover you were now, for better or for worse. If you walked on eggshells once, the dodging was ingrained in your gait. You took it with you even if you went walking in a meadow of flowers. Often, so many quirks you had weren’t your own. They were pieces of people you stole like a kleptomaniac, unable to resist the urge. Even the way you kissed evolved with each new person gracing your lips. You subconsciously avoided what each previous lover didn’t like, and so, you had less and less of yourself to give away.
Life was, by its very nature, a countably infinite stack of blocks. Yes, you could take a few blocks away if they got too old and too wobbly, but the scrapes they left on the other blocks stuck around for as long as the stack stayed up. I wanted to start afresh, not just again. I was terribly tired of who I was, sometimes, and I wanted to escape not just life, in general, but myself. It was too loud, too often.
Everyone I’d been before was still in me, albeit in parts and fragments, and everyone I’d met before had changed me, albeit in ways I couldn’t fathom until I used a particular word or a certain idea riled me up or a specific fragrance killed me inside. It was then that I’d take a step back and sigh at the finite finality of what we went through as time passed.
Everything stuck around, everything was a part of us, and nothing that happened was wasted or left behind. The best course of action, I realised, was to let yourself be changed, continually. To always be in motion, to always be fluid and to let time guide you; to always be open enough to be scarred yet again, clinging to the hope it doesn’t leave a lasting mark.
If you were lucky, you never got scarred at all, sometimes.