As It Was by Noreen Heffernan, Writer

Updated: Jul 29


As It Was by Noreen Heffernan, Noreen Heffernan

You know when a song triggers you. It brings up memories or moments, as if you can taste or smell it. "Ants Marching" by Dave Matthews brings up when I fell in love with husband amidst the sticky floors of the Sig Pi house behind a pizza place. Sometimes, it brings up feelings within you. "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities brings up the feelings I was trying to instill in my children in March and April of 2020. “Even if the sky is falling down, I know that we’ll be safe and sound.” Vance Joy’s song "Missing Piece" is my daughter’s tap song that instantly makes my heart soar with joy. Pay attention to the soundtrack of our lives.


Driving home from the beach, a Harry Styles song came on called "As It Was", which I always thought was just an ok song. But for whatever reason, it struck me this time with the windows rolled down and the sun lowering to my left, pinkish red.


“Holdin’ me back

Gravity’s holdin’ me back…

In this world, it’s just us

You know it’s not the same as it was,

As it was, as it was

I started thinking about how different life is now, and how I cannot decide if its better or worse. Or, if it is simply different, and that is the way it is.


The ‘what ifs’…

The ‘only if’s… (Come in only if…)” or the “(Return to school only if…)”

the we should keep it small…

The never returned text messages,

The lapses of friendships

“Let’s keep it tight”

The, pick one friend to go with. Maybe 2.

There are too many second guesses to list. Gravity is holding us back even though we are moving forward. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we could possibly be moving forward. This feeling inched into our being. It sunk its teeth into our hearts, even if in the smallest way. Bite marks. And we trudge along with sand in our shoes, and we do the things, but there is a small, tiny little voice in our head, isn’t there? The voice that questions your decisions sometimes. The voice that says, “I’ll get to that” or, “maybe I shouldn’t, or “let me think about that.” Even if there isn’t that voice and you are past it, there are still thoughts about it. I know it. Or, the fall out of it all. Divorce. Loss. Change.


I tend to be a problem solver, but I realize that there might be no way to solve this one. Time will tell; or it will be the continuation of the trudge. Eventually we will forget about it all and it will go back to before. If we don’t water it, it can’t grow. Right? But maybe it won’t go back, even if we do our best ignoring like we are 13 years old. The lapsed friendships will be revitalized; but there is chance they won’t. An outing to a concert will just be that, and you won’t turn your head away from someone coughing 6 people down the row. Habit.


Perhaps there won’t be a before and an after. At least we can hope that, for our kids, and for ourselves.


Just maybe, if we keep on moving forward, against whatever is holding us back; we can come to a place in our souls that feels like it did, as it was.


Noreen Heffernan, Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR , Writer, Growing Ladies and Beautycounter Consultant, Noreen.heffernan@gmail.com