Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is Yesterday Still a Friend?

When I was younger, I used to be really arrogant. {*irony meter explodes*} I loved to hear poems or songs or stories and dismiss them as "stupid" because they didn't speak to me. I thought that I was so much wiser beyond my years, and if there was anything to be gathered from a work, I'd be able to gather it--at age twelve.

Daddy and I talked about these things a lot. He was never rude or judgmental and he never mocked or laughed at me. He would listen to my conceited little tirades about love and life and then suggest that I might come to understand the song better as I experienced life.

My dad's profound strength in humility always caught me a little off guard, and made me at least give lip service to the fact that maybe I didn't know everything.

At nineteen, I know more than I did at twelve. However, I'm also acutely aware that I don't know what I'm doing half the time, and the other half I'm quite possibly wrong anyway.

I like to think {and I hope I'm right} that this admission of ignorance has made me less judgmental and more open to new understanding. Now, when I encounter a song, poem, or story that doesn't speak to me, I try not to write it off. I consider it from many angles, play with potential double meanings and puns, try to apply it to different scenarios, and look for symbolism.

My most exciting recent revelation deals with a line from one of my favorite Shinedown songs:
"Now that you've lost tomorrow, is yesterday still a friend?"

I tried to make sense of that line for a long time last summer, and came to the conscious decision that I had not yet experienced that phenomenon. The words made sense, but the essence of the concept was lost on me. I decided to continue to love and listen to the song, hoping that someday I would understand what it meant.

I think I finally do.

We live our lives towards a future. Sure, we all have those nights when we decide to live in the moment and make a poor decision {and by that I mean eating that third chocolate bar, of course}, but overall we are goal-oriented people. The way we live our lives today reflect what we're ultimately striving for.

This might mean making good that you can get into a good college/get a degree.
This might mean investing in a that you can spend your lives together.
This might mean saving up your that you can travel over the summer.

More or less every decision is made with "tomorrow" in mind.

But what if you were suddenly disillusioned? What if you suddenly discovered a truth that undermined your future?

What if you realized you had read the wrong chapter in your biology book?
What if you realized your special someone had been lying to you?
What if you misplaced your money?

This new knowledge means that you have lost the "tomorrow" you were striving for.

Knowing what you know today about tomorrow, would you have acted differently yesterday?

Would you have checked the syllabus again?
Would you have demanded answers sooner?
Would you have taken your money directly to the bank?

Now that you've lost tomorrow, is yesterday still a friend?

It's a beautiful, sad question, one that I finally understand. I'm oddly proud to be able to say that. I'm thankful to my daddy for teaching me how to listen to things I might not understand, so that I can be prepared to understand them when I'm ready.



  1. having gone through the experience where my significant other had lied to me about a great many things, and not just little white lies either, i'm talking big outrageous lies that just keep going deeper and deeper. he stole my tomorrow from me. that life that i had planned around him. it was gone in what felt like the blink of an eye. and then, because it hurt so bad, the yesterdays all hurt too because he filled them up as well.

    it's amazing at how far i've come since then - that was two years ago. and now i've made new tomorrows and filled up different yesterdays.

    we may not always understand everything, but time and experience definitely help with that.

  2. This is something I've struggled with this a lot in the last several months. I dated Micah for two years, and well.. you know the basic deal there..

    I refuse to regret and despise my yesterdays with him. Like it or not, it's made me who I am today. My tomorrow is oh so very different than it was when I was with him, but I have him to thank for that.

    Life is a mess of choices, and living with the consequences. I chose not remorseful for what I've lost, but joyful for what I've gained.

  3. Natalie: I know exactly how you feel :'/ It's been a huge encouragement to me to watch you grow up and beyond your past heartaches. I'm praying for you, and I know God has excitingly wonderful plans for you :)

    Alana: Oddly enough, I don't really regret anything. I've been waiting to...but I can't say that I do. That knowledge makes it easier to breathe.

    Great decision :)


  4. Stephanie..loved reading this article.
    So true that some statements make more sense when the moment actually arrives...and we are so ignorant towards initially...but life has its own way of giving answers!!