you wake up when the sun sets and you walk to the mailbox drenched with yesterday’s sweat on your skin and grease on your hair. and all the little children down the street look at you. the only time the children see you is when you’re smoking on your balcony or taking your beer bottles to the trash can. you brag to your friends about having not eaten, and you have others laugh with you about it. people call you to ask you to go to lunch, you lie and say you already have plans with some other friends. you always go to restaurants alone and write thank you notes with smiles to the waiters because it’s the only form of connection you feel comfortable with. you try to find new ways to escape yourself. the home won’t do. the beer is strangely keeping you where you are. you’re unfaithful to all the books you’re supposed to read. being around people only accentuate how uncomfortable you really are. you go for a drive to try and find some semblance, and you cry. you never mean to, but that’s what always happens. and it’s an awful thing, it surely is an awful thing when you’re at the stoplight and the other driver sees you crying, and you want to tell him not to worry, but what you really want to say is that you’re sorry they have to see this. you come home and write some words strung with sad adjectives and call it poetry. the new year rolls around and you’re still 21, but you feel 60. your heart feels sore. and you swear you’ll never fall in love. you kiss the boys who don’t matter, and never the ones that do. you don’t allow them to grow close to you because it’s safer for them. you attract connection as much as you repel it. and you don’t care. you have your leftover cigarette butts to prove it. you buy drinks for everyone but you reject other people’s offers. you always look up or down but never straight ahead. someone at a club once asked you about this. you didn’t respond. your mom calls and you tell her you are doing fine. you talk to your brother and you realize no one can alleviate the pain. you can’t put yourself together so you avoid everyone. you let the phone go to voicemail but you keep in touch with everyone through text so no one worries. you trust the ones who don’t care if you never come back. you have a whole case of wine to yourself, again, and it’s somehow not enough. and so this is what you do. this is what you do all day long. you waste time by destroying yourself. you want to tell somebody you’ve made a lifetime out of feeling lost. someone once told you that you’re tormented by yourself, that your inner battle is like a pure darkness, and she told you it was mesmerizing because it reminded her of aurora borealis. you think it’s beautiful too, but you don’t say anything further. because you know once you share anything about yourself to someone, you start to miss them. you know people only come so they can leave. you don’t allow people to love you. you romanticize your life and people and fictional characters and you call it love. you are homesick for a home you never had. you don’t know if you will ever be brave enough to reach out your hand. you don’t know if that’s what you really want. you feel like road construction during traffic hour, and so you turned yourself into an open freeway at 2am. but then you sobered up. and you call this your so-called life. you tell yourself this is everything you’ve wanted.
this is how you
take your life for granted:
there are people
who take pictures
of the town you live in.
you are a flower
you can tell what a writer values based on her themes. what she holds on to, what she lets run free, her deepest desires, her darkest secrets. it isn’t about what she writes on the surface, it’s about the tone. her themes are what she considers the focal point of her existence, whether big or small, it’s representational. it’s easy for a sad poet to write about depression. it takes courage for a writer to realize there’s more to her writing and her own life than her sadness. that there is meaning outside who she’s been, that there is substance beyond the pain.
writers are always trying to romanticize the ugliness of the world, unable to realize that for every moment they dip in glorifying negativity, they lose a moment of recognizing positivity. they live in so much pain that they have confused it for beauty. but pain is not beauty. there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling pain, until they create a reality where all they see is sadness. it’s unhealthy the way people hold onto their sadness as if that’s all they have. you can’t trust sadness. you can’t make sadness your best friend, because it’s too loyal. that’s the problem with sadness, you need to walk away from it. people try to tell me their best artwork comes from struggle, that they are empty without it. it becomes hazardous at that level, because yes, amazing work can come from struggle, but amazing work can also sprout elsewhere. artists depend on their sadness and let it fuel them. it becomes an addiction, it’s true.
but true beauty is not spiteful, frustrated, hopeless, judgmental. true beauty is light, forgiving, accepting, loving, free. for all the writers out there who think pain makes their existence worthwhile, i want to hug you slowly, and aggressively, until you realize that you are only suffering as much as you tell yourself.
it’s hardest to hear, that the way we prolong suffering is indeed a choice and not an act of the world dooming us with bad luck. in order to create good memories, to be surrounded by people who accept you for who you are, to love life, and to have passion, one must actively search for it. is living in the past and holding onto hurt, but a lack of movement in some areas of our lives? there is a world of possibility out there, but it does not begin with someone else doing it for you, it does not continue with holding onto the past, and it most certainly does not mean holding a dim view of the future. it comes from the simple act that you believe you are worthy of value. true value. wanting to give yourself the life you deserve. people are so confused by the act of self-worth that the only kind we have prevents us from appreciating ourselves.
i want to tell you this. you are not a wilting flower in a harsh winter, you are a caterpillar waiting to become a butterfly. but one has to leave its cocoon, its comfort zone, to embrace its potential. one has to want to see what the world has to offer. but no one can make you transform into a butterfly, no one can make you realize that you are a butterfly. but you, you can already fly. you have the wings for it. and so, when is a better time to lift off, than now?
you have to realize butterflies are not meant to be trapped in cocoons. cocoons are not homes. but when you hide there, no one can see your beauty that way, especially you. you have to know that you can be beautiful without having broken wings. we can’t always write about the winters we barely survive, because there’s always spring. there’s always room in the journal to write about how you can soar, about how you will.
you don’t want to be remembered for your pain, and you may tell me that’s not what you want to be remembered for, but we always write what we can’t forget until it becomes us. please, instead, want to remembered by how you overcame the pain. when you heal yourself, your story is always remembered. it’s always remembered, because healing is contagious, and your courage will inspire others to heal themselves. create a revolution.
i was watching him play league of legends as his health was depleting and the enemies were closing in on him. and in a second he says “don’t fear” and i look at the screen and he jumps into the enemies and survives the damage. i wish i could explain with precise detail what happened in the seconds that followed when he said, “don’t fear” but there is no way. you just had to see it for yourself the way he launched his character into a crowd not expecting whether to win or survive or die or damage the other, he didn’t anticipate any result, but to just do it for the sake of taking a risk. for living. / we are most alive when we recognize our fear and let it motivate us. / because he once told me, “the answer is always no if you don’t try” so that’s what i immediately thought. and i mumble to myself, “don’t fear, don’t fear” and i think that’s perfect. i think that’s a perfect metaphor for him. if we were part of a logo, he’d be “don’t fear” and i’d be “love more.” and i think those are so complementary. so complementary of what we stand for and of each other. i am still someone without him, but i am not the same without him. he complements me. he’s the other half of the whole. we are two wholes of another whole. the concept only expands. i’m always daydreaming about how our messages will be received in the world. i’m always daydreaming about who he’s going to be, because i know the world is looking forward to encountering someone like him.