There are so many times I wish I had been able to say something in a different way. To have been calmer, kinder, less emotional. Whenever I am a the end of my tether with the boys, when I am overwrought about something and spiralling or even when I am so excited I just can't stop myself. It's not healthy to live with regret, I know this. However, I often think if I hadn't done it this way things would be better. Not the big things so much. More the every day actions or words that didn't have to happen. I have discovered that you can delete messages in WhatsApp, which is a blessing really. Messenger and text messages are irretrievable, so I now take my time to reply in case I get it wrong. Often I start replying to a message and then decide against it until I'm sure about what I want to say. Sometimes it takes so much effort to craft a response that when I get a reply I feel cheated as I know the respondent hasn't struggled nearly as much as I did.
Face to face is much harder to edit. I will practice what I want to say when I have a potentially difficult conversation, but I can't predict what the other person will say. I once spent an entire train journey getting myself increasingly distressed about meeting someone. I knew they wanted to talk to me about something important, but I was upset with them and just wanted to yell and say, "how dare you do that to me !" I didn't, but as I walked over to them at Victoria Station I thought I was going to throw up. I wished I hadn't come. It was already far worse than I could have expected. I couldn't speak. I was shaking with nerves. At times like this I just want to disappear. I want to edit myself out of the situation.
When I post photos to instagram or facebook I take my time to get them just right. I think about what I'm doing it for, what it says and whether it is good enough. Sometimes I decide not to. I'm posting fewer images of myself as I don't feel the need to share myself so much. It's not like a genuine anonymity because I'm still behind the image, but I don't want to be in them. I know what I look like - for better or worse. Instead of a heavily edited selfie I would rather show where I am or the feeling it evokes. Editing photos for me now is about how to arrange a series of images to best effect.
How I look in real life is also an act of editing my appearance to suit the situation. Ok so I'm at work and that is a particular look, but if I'm going out it's different. Having been a stay at home parent for so long I haven't needed to adapt from day to night and got used to being pretty low key all the time. If I went to the theatre I would just change my jumper, but still wear jeans. I didn't want to draw attention to myself so I didn't dress up at all. As it's Sunday I have been in scruffs all day. We've been building a bunk bed and I've been sorting out the house so it hardly warranted getting properly dressed. I do like to have my armour when needed though. Whether that is make up or clothes that make me feel powerful. I've had some pretty tough meetings at work lately and I go into them dressed and made up in a way that makes me feel self assured and strong. It isn't how I really feel, but I'm not letting on that I am nervous or out of my depth.
There may not be an edit facility in life, but I am making it my ambition to recognise when I need to and doing it anyway. It's a work in progress so if I still get it wrong just bear with me please.