I don’t know why this song started streaming in my head after more than ten years have passed. A decade is a long time. So many things have changed during that time. So many changes have occurred in my life, too. A broken relationship, a healing move to Hawaii, and back to my old, familiar place only to move again, a new relationship, and a child, many job changes, and many, many depressive episodes that relapsed year after year. I was so busy sustaining my life. When I had a life I was responsible for, I got even busier sustaining the life of my child. My mind was fully occupied with my new life. I seriously had no idea this old song was still in the back of my head somewhere, waiting to creep back into my life and catch me off guard.
Off guard I was, because, when this song came and along with it my sad, dark memories of my mental battle, I was simply washing dishes in silence. Washing dishes is one of my favorite things to do because it makes the simplicity of the mind possible. Perhaps I was as prepared as I could ever be to have the memory attack. The weird thing about me remembering my old memories is that remembering is not the best choice of the word. I am reliving my past. When the memories attack, they come with full force, just the way they were when I was living those moments in the real time. In psychology, this phenomenon would simply be termed in one word: Trauma.
It’s impossible to move forward with your life if you are harboring any lingering feelings about the past. The reason the tune of Ice Age struck a cord within my soul back then was because of the sad, lonely voice quietly repeating “I want to go back“. In my heart, I was always repeating ‘I want to go back, I want to go back” silently. I wanted to go back to the times before I knew the pain of separation, longing, and loss. I desperately hoped that I could wake up to the distant morning in the past when life seemed a bit more manageable and choices I had to make did not carry such grave responsibilities. I was perhaps feeling a pang of maturation, but like a child simply closing her eyes to avoid the fear, I wished that I could make the fearful present disappear so I could just go back in time.
More than ten years later, in a different place and time, I am yet again listening to this song, Ice Age. I want to go back, I want to go back, it’s still repeating with that same sad, lonely tone that I once associated with my own inner voice. But no, I didn’t want to go back anymore. Instead, I was thankful for all the paths that I have taken for they all have contributed in leading me here, in this moment. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. I want to be here, it is right to be here, for the moment, this is good. Still washing my dishes, I kept repeating the song but it did not make me cry this time. All those vivid memories were still there, but here I was, too. I was still breathing, stronger and more hopeful than ever, after having survived my Ice Age.