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I Still

Thoughts on . . . too many things.

By Call Me LesPublished 2 months ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read

There is a natural tendency amongst those who write to over analyse. After all, we are the creators of characters, plots and places. If we didn't examine our world, we wouldn't end up with much depth in our stories.

For example:

"John ran," doesn't have nearly as much impact as, "John ran on a rampage of personal introspection and concluded that it all all went wrong in the 4th grade when he teased Sima, the girl he liked, who didn't find it funny and that is why he is doomed to eat this sad little tomato salad for dinner for the third night in a row in his lonely apartment while the cat watches him in contempt."

How's that for a run-on, runaway thought??

All joking aside,

I still look back on things in my life and pick them apart.

"I wish I could have said or done this, or I wish I'd had the clarity to understand the bigger picture, the savvy to stay away from those likely to hurt me, the strength to follow the good advice, or the ability to rise above the murky clouds of grief."

Grief is the worst of all culprits when it comes to mistakes you regret. Trying to navigate social complexities while grieving is like driving drunk - just don't do it. Take it from me: it's better to put the burdens down early while things are still alright and come back much later. Pushing forward has consequences for more than just yourself and there isn't much you can do once you've crashed. Some things just don't go back together again.

Granted, sometimes it's best they don't if they were not a good idea in the first place. Other things, there may always be a pang of sadness and you may always wish for what could have been. You can still see that other road not taken in the rearview mirror and it looks temptingly sunny. But it's past, and you have to remind yourself that there will be more sunny roads ahead. Those that joined us once may return or they may simply be on their way to their own sunny road.

We all deserve that.

Anyone I've ever parted with, I still wish for them to find that sunny road in life and I hope that I'm given the same forgiveness I myself so freely give others. But there are no guarantees. To anyone who needs forgiveness from me, rest assured you have it, and to anyone that needs me to ask for their pardon, trust that I do so with all my heart.

Then there are things I am still not over.

And those thoughts are what I still think about.

Months later, they still wake me at night and send me replaying what happened like a broken record, hoping this time I'll see what I couldn't see the last thousand times. I feel haunted and hunted by "what-ifs", "if onlys" and "should-haves". I scour every sentence, every word spoken and unspoken for understanding and meaning. Moment after moment, sweat and fear and pain tumble through my head like stones in a washing machine and I can only hope that the dents they leave this time will be less deep, or perhaps buff some of the previous dents into a new, more congruent shape.

Those types of thoughts make me wish desperately to go back in time to change what happened, but, of course, we can't any of us change what goes on in the past. It's important too, to remember that you were not the only player in the game. Even if you had done things differently, it doesn't mean the outcome would have changed the way you wanted it to.

My 2022 takeaway:

Though I'd have gladly given everything to do it, it was not in my power to save you. I'm not to blame. I did not fail you.

I will never have all the answers and I have to stop chasing after them. You cannot come back.

I was not meant to be the heroine of your story, but I still have time to be the heroine of mine.

These conclusions are what I still need time to reflect upon.

Ultimately, as long as I'm still here, I'm doing alright.

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear one. For our accidental shepherd.

* Author's note: This piece was meant to be published in January ahead of the Chronicle's 2022 Year in Review Issue but covid has taken a heavy toll on me. The issue is still underway, although at this point, it will be more a Valentine's gift than New Years celebration.

Much love,

Still and always, your Les


About the Creator

Call Me Les

She/her | Cat enthusiast | "Word-Nerd" | Fueled by buttertarts

  • Co-Founding admin at Vocal Social Society & Great Incantations
  • Co-Founder of the Vocal Creators Chronicle
  • Vocal Spotlight
  • Book: Owl in a Towel


No words left unspoken.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (23)

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  • harimely3 days ago


  • Nedelcu Alina2 months ago

    Great Job!

  • Gerald Holmes2 months ago

    I knew this would be a Top Story! Congrats Les, well deserved. You could be a motivational speaker.

  • Samara Simson2 months ago

    Such a lovely way of writing. Love it :) Already read it twice.

  • Allie Bickerton2 months ago

    Les, this resonates so deep I feel like your words have uncovered new life in me. Thank you for sharing something so personal and relatable. I’m now motivated to forgive myself and let go of those things, whether important or silly, that still bother me, most of which being words I can’t I take back or words that I didn’t say. Take care. ♥️

  • Scott Wade2 months ago

    Awwww Les. What a compelling and beautiful piece. The Reflections on your journey move me. “For Auld Lang Syne, my dear one. For our accidental shepherd.” ❤️❤️❤️

  • Alauddin 2 months ago

    I appreciate you sharing this touching essay.

  • J. R. Lowe2 months ago

    Aw a very heartfelt return to Vocal. We’ve missed you! I hope you’re keeping well, Les 😊

  • Really touches my heart ❤️

  • Test2 months ago

    Great work

  • Dana Stewart2 months ago

    So insightful and heartfelt. Great writing, Les. I hope you continue to feel better, too. ❤️

  • I don't even know where to begin with how hard hitting this confession article is. So I'll just say that so much resonanted with me and you put into words what I often don't even have words to express. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • C. H. Richard2 months ago

    Very earnest vulnerable beautiful writing. I so agree about your view on grief. Many hearts for this one ♥️

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    Congratulations on your top story, very emotional and honest Les

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this heartfelt piece, congratulations on Top Story!

  • Holly Pheni2 months ago

    Heartfelt and very well-written. This really hits home, appreciate your vulnerability in sharing it.

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago


  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Have a lump in my throat!!! Your words touched my heart! As always, brilliantly written, my friend!!! 💕😊💕

  • Sending comfort and support to you for this, as always well written

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Heartfelt and so eloquently stated. (Hugs)

  • Gerald Holmes2 months ago

    Thanks for writing this. Your words have touched me and moved me to deal with something in my life.

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