on having friends in the 21st century

The thing about life is that not everyone wants to show you their human side. They don’t want to talk to you about their hopes and fears and about what it feels like to be whoever they are when no one is watching. Instead, they surround themselves with beautiful people. People who make them forget what it feels like to be alone. And if those people want to be around them, it makes them feel like they’re worth a little bit more. Maybe they decide they want to be around you, because you add to their external ambiance. They invite you to parties so they can point to you from across the room and tell people, “see that girl, she’s mine…” And that works for you for awhile. Makes you feel good, that someone thinks enough of you to show you off. But you never really feel safe. Because you’re just a shiny new toy. Always kept at arms length. Maybe some friends are just meant to have fun together. For me, that has never been enough. It’s nothing more more than a political alliance. Always leaving me feeling empty and alone. Sometimes I wish that I could be so vain. Perhaps it would be easier if I could learn to build bridges that are made to be broken, instead of walls that I never manage to keep up.

waking up alive, when you’d rather be dead

this is the first, unedited journal entry from my time in the hospital after my suicide attempt. 

Every morning, I wake up to the sound of either someone screaming or a stranger asking to take my blood pressure. “Are you in pain?” they always ask. Oh, of course not, I think. I’m just fine. I watch the nurses here and I wonder what they must think of all of us. What they must think of me. I wonder if I am just another body to fill a bed. To them, this is just another day at the office. They come and go as they please. Sometimes I even hear their cell phones going off in the pockets of their scrubs. It must be nice to be free.

I look around and I am surrounded by so many sad people. No one seems to be getting any better. In fact, most seem to be getting worse. Each second I am here, I feel more and more miserable. No one has even talked to me about why I’m here. I don’t think this place is meant to make you better. I think it’s where they put you temporarily so they don’t have to deal with you. I can’t tell people this, but I still wish I had been successful in my attempt.

As I write this, I can barely even hold the pages of my journal together. They made me take out the string that ties the pages to the leather-bound cover. I guess they’re afraid I might use it to strangle myself. Little do they know, that would never be my method to commit suicide.

I have to ask for a new pencil every couple pages, because God forbid this place had a pencil sharpener. Lord know what all of us psychos might do with that. And we’re only allowed to have short pencils- no long ones. I cannot even imagine the reasoning for that and I truly don’t want to. I think the next time Ashley visits I might ask her to smuggle me in a pen.

This place makes me feel so hopeless. And the worst part is, I don’t even have the energy to fake it and get myself out.

 

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Blood and the 21st day of never letting go. 

Every single time, this is the outcome. And every single time I tell myself that I can handle it. Yet somehow I’m always left standing in the same spot: alone on the side of a road with no lights and no street signs. Not a human in sight. And when I look down at my chest I have to stop and catch my heart as it falls to the ground. I look at it in my hand through the darkness and I can see that it is now withered and black. Sucked dry of every last drop, my heart is the shell of what it once was. Blood no longer runs through its core to keep it warm and softly beating. Instead, it’s probably lying in the bed of your truck somewhere a million miles away. And the worst part is that you didn’t steal it from me. I gave it to you willingly, and when I saw how careless you were with it, I didn’t stop the bleeding. Now here I am, once again, with nothing to show for it. My only hope is that you’ll turn around and come back for me one more time. And I know you will, because you always do. But this time, when you finally make it back to that same spot; the only thing you’ll find there is the shell of a girl who has nothing left to give.

On love. And whether green lights mean “Go.”

I had a conversation with someone the other day about love. Specifically relationships and the ways in which we can choose to nurture them when the ‘honeymoon’ phase wears off. It got me thinking about my past relationships and the ways in which I have always failed to do the work after those initial butterflies wore off.

So what does it all mean? How are we supposed to know whether or not something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ for us? How do we make the distinction between what it feels like to fall out of love and what it feels like to be in a relationship that just takes work? When do we stick around and keep fighting, and how? When do we say goodbye?

I wish I knew the answers to these questions, but as usual, I’m just as clueless as anyone else. I know that love can be really painful and walking away is sometimes even harder than staying. I don’t know how we’re supposed to know which relationships are worth the extra effort, and which ones just aren’t right. I don’t know whether or not it really matters either way, or if its just all about making the choice to stick around.

If I had to guess, I would say it’s not like what you see in the movies.. Shocker, I know. If I had to guess, I’d say that maybe the answers come with time. As you learn more about yourself, your needs, weaknesses and strengths- you figure out where you belong and who you belong with. Or rather, who you’re supposed to fight for. Sometimes, in the end, maybe you don’t get the fairytale happy ending with the person who makes your heart skip a beat, no matter how much time has gone by. Maybe you get a life with the person who makes you feel like you have both feet on the ground. Is it possible to find both? I don’t know. Maybe I never will. As much as I’d like to, however, I haven’t given up hope just yet…

everlong, the acoustic love story

Sometimes when it’s late
And the stratosphere turns from
Red to black
I can still hear you
In my ear
See your army greens on my floor
The image of everything
We were never supposed to be
But we did.
And we were.
And you made me feel like
The winds of change
Didn’t have to be so cold

Letting go of the living

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do is to let of that which I so desperately longed to hold onto.

I’ve experienced death before I was ever prepared for the gravity of it’s consequences. It broke my heart in a way that I was certain I would never recover from. But recently, I have learned that sometimes there are losses we must endure which cut deeper than even the pain of death. These are losses not forced upon us by the cycle of life. You simply wake up one morning and realize that nothing will ever be as it once was. No matter how many different ways you remember it. No matter how much it once meant. The chapter is over. You are not the same, and neither is anything else.

And so you have to let go of things you still love. Ideas, feelings, and people. They’re all still there, within your reach. You can see them and touch them, but they’re not meant to stay with you. So you have to let them go. It hurts because their story does not end when you say goodbye. It will go on without you, just as yours will go on without them. And for some reason that has been harder to come to terms with than the death of anything I’ve ever loved. We can’t control the cycle of life and death, but we can control the path we choose to take while we are alive. Choosing to leave behind something that once gave you life… Resisting the temptation to sacrifice everything in an attempt to get that feeling back. I really can’t think of anything more painful.

 

Photo Source: Unknown

The truth about being 25

I always thought I would have my life figured out by the time I reached this age. I’m pretty sure the rest of the world expects me to be a lot farther along in that respect than I actually am. The truth is, I spend most of my time trying to make up for whatever poor decisions I made the day before. I don’t know who I want to become or how I’m supposed to get there, but I know who I am right now.

The truth about being 25 is that although I understand the meaning of the word moderation, I have yet to master the art of applying it to my real life. I eat cookies for breakfast and consider Subway to be a “healthy” alternative to my usual diet of Mcdonalds and pizza. Sometimes I cancel my plans to stay home watching Netflix and I haven’t gone to the gym in over a year.

The truth about being 25 is that I still don’t know how to have just one glass of wine and I always take more ibuprofen than the bottle says I should. I eat french fries in bed and leave the ketchup on the coffee table over night. I don’t ever show up on time unless I absolutely have to, and I spend money on paper plates and plastic silverware because I’m too lazy to do the dishes.

The truth about being 25, is that I don’t know how to change a spare tire and the inside of my car would probably make a homeless man cringe. I can’t seem to remember anyone’s birthday and one of my favorite past times is accumulating credit card debt. I still am, and probably always will be, the notorious “drunk texter.” I have a tendency to open up to the wrong people much too quickly, and to look for love, validation and acceptance in all the wrong places.

The truth about being 25 is that I’m starting to become aware of what I don’t want my life to become, but I have yet to figure out exactly what I do want. I make the same mistakes at least a couple of times and I push myself to the limit in almost every possible way. The truth about being 25 is that I don’t know what I’m doing and for the most part, I guess I’m pretty selfish. I try to make it look like I have things figured out, but I’m still just trying to find my way.

The truth about being 25 is that I’m not perfect and I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know what the future holds, or if I’ll make it out alive. The truth about being 25 is that sometimes you lose your way. You make a wrong turn or miss your exit, and you have to take the scenic route to get back to where you were. It’s okay to stop and take some pictures before you get back on the highway.

Because the truth about being 25 is that it’s mostly detours. And that’s best part of the trip. 

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When the dust settles

So I’ve taken that giant leap of faith and somehow ended up sitting here, cross legged on my bed, typing this blog post. I sat here for quite some time, staring at the blinking cursor on my computer screen, wondering what I could possibly write about next. The only answer that I’ve been able to come up with is simply that I really don’t know.

All of the small stuff has come to me very easily up until this point. It didn’t take me long to get settled in here or to find a job. I was finally able to let go of the things that made me miserable in the life I left behind. All that’s left to do is put my dreams into action and start building the life I’ve always wanted. Of course, the part that matters the most will ultimately be the biggest challenge. Not only does it require more effort than the rest of this journey, but it’s also much more daunting.

I always come across these quotes, essentially saying that the only thing holding us back from our greatest desires is fear. I have found that notion to be exceedingly accurate, which is both empowering and intimidating. Fear is what drives us all, whether it is simply keeping us safe or holding us back. I would argue that it is one of the most difficult emotions to overcome, because despite it’s vitality in our daily functions, the source of our fear is not always clear. Many times, we have to dig deep within ourselves to identify our fears before we can even begin to put them to rest.

At this particular moment in my life, it seems reasonable that the fear of failure might be my driving force. I’ve always been very sure about the fact that I wanted to be a writer. Recently, that is something that has given me a lot of discontent. Everyone is always asking me, “What do you want to write about?” For some reason, that question is one that almost always results in a certain level of irritation on my end. It’s a perfectly normal thing to ask someone who says they want to be a writer, but I can’t seem to come up with an answer that feels sufficient.

I know that I love to write, more than I love to do anything in this entire world. The thing is, I truly feel that I can write about almost anything and enjoy it- even if it’s a topic that doesn’t personally interest me that much. I love researching topics I know nothing about and writing about what I find. I love writing about my own life, opinions and ideas, as well as those of other people. I enjoy writing poetry and fiction. I just love to write. It’s not that other people aren’t satisfied with that answer. No one has ever told me that it wasn’t sufficient. The problem is that I feel like that answer isn’t good enough. At least not for me.

I’m still left with the question of what to do next. I know that I want to write articles for a publication of some sort, but I don’t have a clear idea of exactly what I want to write about or which publications I want to submit to. I could write a novel, or a memoir, or compile a book of poetry. I feel like there are so many options, and the fact of the matter is that I just don’t know where to start. I don’t really know what my niche is yet or what I hope to accomplish with my writing.

I want to write something that matters. Something that makes a difference. Whether that means writing about my own personal experiences, or creating something much bigger to inspire social change. I don’t have an answer right now, although I can’t say that I’m not actively searching for one. I guess, for now, that’s all I can really do. Keep searching until I come up with something that feels right. I just hope I’m headed in the right direction.

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Trusting yourself

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Everyone seems to have an opinion. Something I’ve started to realize lately is that no matter what, there are people who will take any opportunity to kick you while you’re down. Sometimes those people are the closest ones to us, people we love and trust. So when they tell us who we are, we believe them.

I consider myself a very open minded person. It’s always good to see both sides, and I love to listen and try to understand different points of view. But what’s not okay, is when those opposing views are meant to make me feel small and insecure. I think that people like me assume that the rest of the world is the same way we are. I want to believe that people mean well. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing people in this world. I want to believe that most people are inherently good. But we all make mistakes and we are all selfish. There are a lot of bullies in this life, and they don’t stop being bullies when high school is over.

But I’ve begun to trust myself again. I know who I am, who I want to become. I know my worth. I won’t question my intentions or my heart for one more second of my life. Because if we can’t trust ourselves, then who can we trust? No one should ever have to feel that invalidated. So if you’re doubting yourself, then don’t. How could anyone know you better than you? It’s as simple as that. People deflect their own bullshit onto other people, and that’s not about anyone but them. You’re still you, and yours is the only opinion that matters. Trust that. It’s the best part about you.

Rediscovering happiness…

The other day, I had a moment of clarity. It happened unexpectedly, and for no particular reason. I wasn’t doing anything I hadn’t done before, but all of a sudden -there it was. Happiness, in its simplest, purest form. As the feeling washed over me, I realized that it had been so long since I felt it, I had almost forgotten it altogether. I hadn’t been truly happy in so long that I didn’t know anything different. I didn’t know what I was missing anymore.

If I look back, I honestly cannot tell you a time when I felt this way. I think maybe I never have, even as a child. For the first time, I am becoming the person that I want to be. I feel truly accepted and loved. For the first time in my entire life, the weight of my existence is not looming over my head throughout each day. I feel free. I feel alive. I feel like as long as I keep living my life without fear and without restrictions- I can stay this way forever.

Less than a year ago, I could not come up with one good reason why I should stay alive. Now, I can’t think of one good reason to be sad. Because every morning I wake up, and I get to paint the picture for what I want the day to look like. I get to decide who I want to be today and everyday. And I don’t have to apologize to anyone for it. Because what I’m learning is that I’m actually not as bad as I once believed. I’m actually exactly who I’m supposed to be. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m good. I’m enough.

Photo: my uncle, cousin, aunt and myself (left to right)