We were sitting in a team meeting somewhere around 2013. Our team was small, maybe twelve people and for the most part, we felt comfortable around one another. We were all company veterans and these meetings were usually used to inform us of what changes the company had made that would affect our schedule, our paycheck, our lives. Amidst the conversation about wildly inappropriate and irate customers, someone asked my friend a question. I can’t remember what it was exactly. Maybe something along the lines of “Didn’t you have a really terrible customer a few months ago that kept calling back?” My friend, who was eccentric and rather quiet, shrugged slightly and replied, “Things happen. And then they don’t.” The room paused… “Was that his answer?” And me, being the outspoken girl I am, broke the silence with a pointed, “WHAT?!”
“What does that even MEAN??” I asked. The room laughed, including my friend, and we moved on from there.
Things happen. And then they don’t.
Over the next couple of years, we kept saying it. Sometimes when we just wanted to be difficult and cryptic and other times when it was really true. When a pointless company policy finally was revised to make sense. When my tire went flat and then got repaired. When he broke up with his boyfriend. When I broke up with mine.
Things happen. And then they don’t.
Last week I watched as Taylor Swift burst into a hundred glittery butterflies from a pink snake and I thought it again. Things happen. And then they don’t.
If you’re not up on your celebrity gossip, let me fill you in. After a dramatic series of events involving Kim, Kanye and Taylor, people flocked to Taylors social media to leave her snake icons in the comments. The video Kim released didn’t look great for Taylor and people were ready to pounce. Taylor then came back with a vengeance. She embraced the comments, making a snake her mascot for her Reputation album and producing a dark, edgy persona where she announced that the “Old Taylor” was dead.
Myself and her other die hard cheerleaders screamed support from the sidelines as she championed her way through that tunnel. Around that time, I remember my conversations with other TS fans.
“I’ll love her through anything but I’m sad that the old Taylor died.”
And then, two years later, Taylor decided, “Okay, that passed, let’s move on.” and she resurrected herself, yet again, by creating the most colorful music video of all time. Praise hands.
Because that was a dark time…like, a terrible time… a time where she felt judged and misunderstood and villainized. But she didn’t let it be permanent. YES, those things got to her. She felt the hit. She allowed it to shape her next album and the entire tour. But she didn’t allow it to shape the rest of her life.
I think so often we allow these things to hit but we don’t allow them to heal. We don’t allow ourselves to move on. We let the “old us” die and never come back again. But things happen….and then they don’t. What a gift that we are allowed to move on from our mistakes, from the bad, from gossip or drama or whatever people want to throw at us. We can let it happen…and then we can move on.
So that’s month six. I’m learning to move on. To let go, to realize that, like Taylor, I determine the narrative and not someone on the other side of the internet. And so do you. Whatever hiccup happened last year that you’re still dwelling on, learn from it and move on! You’re allowed to! I give you permission! Whatever wrong turn you took, whatever misstep, whatever failure you faced, you’re allowed to burst out of your old form into your new form and start again, only better.
|Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris|
Hey. Do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard. All the elements in your body were forged many many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years, these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe. There is only one of you. And there will never be another.