Drink Your Poison

Noise overstimulation has become a big problem lately. I’m not sure if I had would have more patience if I wasn’t surrounded by blaring sirens and the honking horns of pissed off drivers, but I can hope. It’s gotten so bad that sometimes it’s unbearable to listen to my roommates’ mundane and polite conversations.

Yoga usually helps clear my head. Alex and I chuckle side by side as we pick apart our yoga videos online. It’s probably the brighter side of most of my days, just social enough while also allowing me to retreat into my mind shortly afterward. Plus, when you feel limber you feel good.

Today we watched Boyhood, a movie that follows a boy and his family over approximately 12-13 years of his life, from age 5ish to his first day at college. We all kind of criticized it; the mother for her horrible choice in men, the father for his immature parenting style, the daughter for her boring and sassy attitude, the boy for his gloomy speeches about existential crises.

As much as we criticized, it was interesting to watch, and in ways it was very relatable. You grew to connect to certain characters and their fucked up life stories. I definitely related to Mason on not wanting everyone breathing down my neck about what to do with my life, something I’m sure many people our age experience. Even following the petty high school break up experience. There was something so quietly entertaining about watching these events unfold, partially because there wasn’t really any action – kind of like real life. There weren’t many dramatic scenes, no thickening movie plot. Just life and how it moves, changes, unfolds. How people develop, for better or worse. How life just goes on.

It’s an incredible juxtaposition to the other show I (and the rest of America) have been watching: 13 Reasons Why. That is quite the dramatic show. With some terrible acting and cheesy one-liners, but that’s what sold in middle school, when I first read the book that the series is based off of.

It seems to glorify suicide in a vengeful way, something that I can’t get behind showing to the vulnerable young-adult public viewers. It makes me mad. This girl is so dramatic. The things she faces in life are by no means easy to go through, but I think they are things she could get over without taking her own life. Granted, I didn’t have the mental stability I like to claim I have now when I was back in high school, so she probably doesn’t either. Hindsight, I guess.

Regardless, the thought of vengeful suicide angers me. It’s such a final, definitive move. But in the same vein, it’s not final. Hannah commits suicide and supposedly her pain is over. Except her pain lives on through other people. It’s not a final move, just the next one. A transfer of that energy. A selfish act. It hurts me most when they show the parents as they struggle to find out what went wrong, why their daughter was capable, why she felt this was her only option. This girl had a support system – two loving parents. They weren’t drug addicts, she wasn’t neglected. They cared about her. I can’t imagine doing that to my mother. I can’t imagine someone doing that to me.

It really struck a nerve because my friend’s dad committed suicide in December, and that was its own transfer of pain. But the cases were different. Scott had a mental illness that he couldn’t beat, and it took him. It took him from his wife. It took him from his three kids, the youngest of whom is only about ten. It took him from his friends, his church, his community. It left a scar so deep we don’t talk about it. People ask me how my friend is doing and all I can say is “good” because how am I supposed to delve into that kind of pain with my friend? How am I supposed to ask him how he’s holding up since the man he looked up to from day one decided he couldn’t take it anymore? It’s created a barrier between him and his friends, the wound we never touch, and one that will never heal.

But no, Hannah Baker gets groped by some jerk, nasty rumors spread around her, a stalker taking her pictures. And that’s all it takes to push her over the edge. (I’m not finished with the series. Maybe it gets worse and makes more sense, but for now I’m just angry). And the show seems to glorify suicide as the final, vengeful act, this girl only caring about how to end her pain than think about who her death with destroy. At the very least, the number to the suicide hotline should accompany each episode.

*   *   *

One episode brought me plummeting right back to you. You know how indie shows now use indie songs by unheard of artists just to seem cool? Yeah, well, I recognized Lord Huron in there. A beautiful song shared between Hannah and Clay. But I couldn’t pay attention to the show once that song came on. I just thought of you.

I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you.

A heaviness hit my chest. I don’t think that song was even out by the time we ended things. Maybe it was. Did you listen to it? The summer that Lord Huron was your muse? The medicine that also broke your heart, that album on repeat as I danced my cares away with a boyfriend that shouldn’t have been more than a rebound? Did you torture yourself with one of my favorite bands as a way to expel your thoughts, your sins? You deserved this, you thought, to wallow in pity and despair. You did that whenever you messed up.

I broke away from you, turned my back and ran. That was when you finally listened to all the songs I had been suggesting for months, the movies I’d wanted you to watch for years. I just wanted to share them with you, appreciate them and analyze them with you. We were insightful, emotional.

My favorite memories with you aren’t even memories. We would lay in your bed, ready for sleep, wrapped around each other, talking. Just talking. We would have those insightful conversations, ones that I wouldn’t remember in the morning. We would talk until we couldn’t move our lips anymore, couldn’t form the sounds. Sometimes we talked about how much we loved each other. When things got bad, we talked about what we were sorry for. How we could work on things. And sometimes we just talked about our thoughts. The world. The universe. We were in love. We were present in that moment, our energies floating through the universe, anchored by a warm blanket and each other’s presence.

I think back, and I miss those moments. Will you always be one step ahead of me? Would I feel the same as I did back then? Or would I be afraid, as I am so often now. Of letting you in, of being hurt, of committing to loving so wholly again. I know it is brave to love. But it is also tiring.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that you are my first love. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know if I’d believe romantic love existed at all. I’d think romance was all just a game. That connections were impossible to keep for more than two months. That boys were all liars that just wanted to fuck. Thankfully you showed me that that isn’t the case. You showed me love, intelligence, emotional and intellectual intimacy, and I am truly lucky to have found that in my first boyfriend. And this time it’s me who fucked up. But it’s all about how gracefully you let go, right? You were water.

Thank you.

Clustered Tulips

It’s late night dance parties in your studio,

Early morning kisses in your attic,

Getting locked outside in your clothes,

Talking to your mom as if I were here every morning.

Every little bit makes it harder to let go.

*   *   *

You found out she got married this weekend. In a little black dress at the county courthouse, with the brightest smile you hadn’t seen in years. My heart broke for you as I felt your last thread of hope peeling away. It was so subtle, with the impact of a guillotine. What could you do about it? She is not yours. You’re not sure she ever was, but maybe that’s what kept you on your toes.

So what did we do? We got drunk. I was excited to see my friends, some unusual faces in the crowd. I think you were torn between distraction and numbing. I got you to dance, but that’s the best I could do.

We slumped up the stairs, falling back to our puzzle piece rhythm. And my own misery couldn’t hold it in any longer. I asked you about it. I asked if you were okay.

In those moments, I feel like your friend. One that just wants you to be happy, to be okay. That one that’s empathetic because she’s been hurting too, one that shares your pain because it’s all she knows how to do, how to comfort, how to react. You talked, your voice plain, and I asked more, careful questions. In those moments we know each other. In those moments you find solace of your loneliness with my head on your chest and your arms around me. You find a love that you don’t know how to hang on to, and you’re too tired to try. I am too.

Like probably every other girl that’s tried, I want to fix you. I want to love all your broken pieces back together. Save you from your past, from your loyalty, your first love. And like every other girl that’s tried, I can’t.

*   *   *

I had a really great time visiting home this weekend. Work was hectic and annoying but we made it through as usual. Any motivation for free alcohol right?

I live for the nights that I can connect with people. As someone who has been introverted (and extremely shy) her entire life, relating to people and connecting to people through conversation is very inspiring and fulfilling to me. Some of them were my coworkers, and some my own family members.

I woke up to his kisses Friday morning, somehow made it through the entire day on four hours of sleep.

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Saturday I was well rested (he was gone), so I hiked by myself through Harper’s Ferry. Though the inclines were incredibly steep, especially with a 10lb weight in my backpack to help condition, it was probably my most rewarding hike. I had time for myself, to do and think about what I wanted, not worry about keeping up a conversation (I probably wouldn’t have been able to anyway). The view was spectacular as I watched birds swirl high above me, heard the train rustle below, the river to my right. It was incredibly peaceful, and it made me excited for my trip. It was also the first time my legs had been so sore in a while, and it made me feel so alive, that I was heading in the right direction, that the plateau was over.

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I spent the afternoon sanding a breadbox, of all things. At first it was stressful and annoying, time-consuming. But as usual once I slowed down I really actually enjoyed it. Working with my hands outside. Nothing but me and my thoughts. The more solitude I have, the more I realize I like myself. I’m not a perfect person, but I make myself happy, and I appreciate my own thoughts in a strange, cyclical way. img_0129.png

That night I went out with Kristen, Rosie, and Heather. Kyle owed me some drinks so he gave me a good amount of patron for free (love it). I didn’t get to spend as much time with Heather as I wanted, but I got to spend some time with Rosie that I think she needed. I don’t think she has a great outlet, and she deals with a lot of shit in her life. She’s such a sweet person that just wants love, and she definitely deserves it. She doesn’t get enough from some of the places she should… lots of heart to hearts. Like I said, I love connecting with people.

Sunday was a day with the family. Lauren’s absence was noticeable, and I don’t think I filled the space to its entirety, but I think it was good enough.

Something that I recently admitted to my mom is that I think the Main Cup is the only place in which I have felt truly celebrated, and that was kind of a tough thought to accept. I have always had an immense love for my family, and like I said I’ve always grown up kind of in someone’s shadow without it really bothering me. I don’t need to be center of attention all the time, I just like appreciation.

I shared with mom that I’ve always been in the shadow of my sister, through no one’s fault. I’ve just always been quiet and reserved and she has fit in better with the extroverted side of the family. Most of the time when Lauren’s missing from family events, the first question I get is “where’s your sister?” like I’m not good enough to entertain them in the same way.

I don’t want to paint a woe-is-me story about my life, because I have been blessed in so many ways. I’m just saying it’s not always fun to grow up in someone’s shadow.

But Main Cup has been different for me. I’m a different person. I’m more confident because I’ve learned that people like me for me, that they give me a chance because they want to, not because they know my sister. That they aren’t comparing me to her, let down when I’m not as outgoing. It’s given me a sense of self. Of finding who I am with fewer influences.

I love my sister. But I’m happy to be discovering who I am on my own. Why I love me. Why others do too.

Love

 

 

Elastic Warriors of the Universe

There’s something to be said about not being the victim anymore.

For the longest time, I knew my baggage was “my first boyfriend cheated on me, therefore I am teeming with trust issues so you should be empathetic when I’m crazy.” It’s not a fun place to be, and I thought I would be that way forever.

But something happened about a year ago, and I just stopped.

I didn’t want to be labeled as “the girl that got cheated on”, I didn’t want to carry that baggage with me into every new relationship I had. I didn’t want to be crazy about the trust issues, constantly wondering where my new boyfriend was at all times, worrying over who he was with, if he was lying to me about something. I noticed all of those tendencies slip into my second relationship. Slowly, my trust issues receded, which was such a big relief for me.

Eventually the trust issues came back full force, but that’s what happens when you date sleazy guys that are down for any attention girls throw at them (no matter how much love and attention you give them).

It took a long time to get over labeling myself as a victim. I felt I had an explanation, a justification for my overly anxious attitudes, that whoever I dated next would have to be okay with me being worried about them all the time.

One day I realized I just didn’t want to think that way anymore. I didn’t want to have to worry every minute of the day. I didn’t want to have to check up on someone all the time and then not believe him anyway because I was lied to in my first two relationships. Relationships are built on trust and friendship, and I couldn’t have a good one if I could only promise half of those characteristics.

I can’t even explain how liberating it was to finally let it go. I didn’t want to be the victim anymore. I didn’t have to keep lugging around this heavy, anxious weight all the time. Maybe it’s naive, maybe it’s resilience, but I decided I needed to trust people wholeheartedly again if I was ever going to find a relationship that gave that trust back to me.

I know I have a big heart, and sometimes that’s why I get screwed over. But I try not to let it make me bitter. I know that there is so much good in the world just waiting to be unlocked, that there is so much love being shared out there. I know that if I put love out in the universe, it will come back to me somehow. Maybe I can show others how to love, maybe someone will surprise me by showing me that I can love more.

I’m still not perfect, I still see the trust issues creep in every once in a while. But I see the progress I have made, and I’m usually pretty proud of it. I believe that one day someone will prove to me that trust is real and true, that loyalty and commitment are not too much to ask for in this modern dating world. Until then, I will be working on myself, perfecting how to breathe, let go, and let myself be vulnerable to others in the hopes that they prove their trustworthiness.

The point is, you don’t always have to be the victim. Heroes don’t have easy histories. It’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up.

Nightmares

So I usually go through about a week of nightmares after not having them for a long time, and this week has been nightmare week. I typically get pretty freaked out by my nightmares, especially if I wake up and it’s still dark. I’d love to know what happens to my brain when I have these nightmares because they are always so emotionally charged, be it paralyzing fear or heart-wrenching sadness.

So, I’m kind of obsessed with Game of Thrones (after rejecting the fad for so many years), and earlier this week I had a nightmare that was GoT-esque but it also involved my family. I was fighting beside my cousin and Jon Snow, and my sister was fighting in the same battle elsewhere. In the battle, Jon and my sister both died and I was consumed by this overwhelming sadness. I woke up in tears for only the second time in my life (that I can remember, anyway. The first time was after my first cat passed away and I dreamed that he was still alive and I remember crying in the dream because I was so happy, and I woke up crying in my then-boyfriend’s bed. He didn’t do anything to comfort me, by the way. Similarly, he did nothing when I cried over that cat dying… I should have known then, right?).

The most recent nightmare was a little more plot-heavy. The government was infecting people with this zombie-like virus that was killing people off very quickly, it seemed very end-of-the-world. But we knew that the government was responsible for it, so to combat it, people were essentially suicide-bombing government buildings or else sacrificing themselves in other ways (hoping I don’t get flagged by the CIA or FBI here). I was kind of trapped in this room while most of it was going on, but when I was finally let out into the newly desolate world, I found out that just about everyone I cared about died trying to take down the government. My sister, her boyfriend, my best friends, my coworkers, all gone. And in that moment I was fighting back tears. I knew that they did it so that I – and other survivors – could live and be happy, but I suddenly didn’t want any of that without them. I think my parents were even still alive, but the thought of having to tell them that my sister was dead was dreadful. I didn’t want to live in a world without these people. I woke up, thankfully not in full-on tears this time.

It was just very odd, very eye-opening. First, I wonder why I keep dreaming that my sister dies. Then, I marvel in the fact that it was so easy for me to consider suicide or martyrdom without these people in my life. I have never admitted to having any kind of suicidal thoughts (other than the dramatic what would people do when I’m goneteenage bullshit), so it was interesting to see that my own motivation for living just depleted when I learned that these people died. It was just strange to me.

Corri asked me if I had anything on my mind, anything unusual stressing me out. Nothing out of the ordinary, honestly. I think this is the least stressed I’ve ever been about school (senioritis!), I’ve been taking care of my mind and body, I haven’t fought with any of my friends lately, and it’s the same old with my love interest. I haven’t been eating or drinking before bed. The only thing I can think of is that I was recently sick and maybe this is an aftermath of my weird fever dreams.

Or maybe I’m just overdue for some kind of mental/emotional breakdown. I’ve been telling just about everyone for two weeks that I’m overdue, which I guess is true even though I don’t have mental breakdowns that often. Sometimes you need a good cry – one that doesn’t involve your closest friends and family members dying.

Anyways, it’s late, I’m tired. I started a new book the other day, one I wasn’t totally sure about, but it’s gotten pretty good lately. Slade House, for anyone who’s interested. Also, if anyone knows anything about dream interpretation and can help me out, that’d be cool, comments are welcome.

Goodnight, blogging family!

 

Nowhere Bound

Happy anniversary! I released my blog over a year ago, and I love how it has allowed me to express my own personal thoughts and feelings. It seems my blog has turned into a bit of a journal with a hint of poetry in there. And so the saga continues!

The rose-colored glasses remain glued to my face, and it’s causing quite an internal struggle. But even I’ve grown tired of analyzing. The heart wants what it wants.

I was talking about it with Mary the other night, one of the many people opposing our union. Normally I expect the “why won’t you listen to me” attitude that always comes with it (I rarely follow people’s advice), and part of it was still there, but she empathized. I told her how I struggle with letting go when there’s no one else waiting in the wings, and she said sometimes it really does take someone else to get your mind off of someone, for you to realize how good you can be when the right person comes along. It was nice. Different from the usual lecture I get from everyone.

That whole night was just incredible. I came home because Rosie finally came back from NOLA after being gone for six weeks! Heather and Kristen were both working too, and I convinced Mary to join for the evening (she said one drink and then stayed for, like, 5!).

Everyone went to Hollow (even Matt and Cliff – it was nice not to be avoided), where we continued our love fest. I wish I remembered a bit more of it, but from what I remember it was a great time. Heather complimented my confidence, said she truly thought of me as one of her closest friends because of a heart-to-heart we had months ago about religion. She said she hadn’t found anyone else who shared her beliefs, and I honestly hadn’t either until we discussed it. I think it made Kristen a little jealous, but I thought I was going to cry some tears of joy and appreciation. Confidence is something I rarely associate with myself, so for Heather to compliment me on it just seemed so stunning to me. It felt like I had finally finished climbing that mountain.

Rosie and I professed our love for each other, something that has since become easier for both of us. We’ve grown very close over the last year together, and I feel pretty honored to be considered a close friend of hers. She’s had a difficult past, and I feel like I have earned her trust, which, to me, is another accomplishment.

I truly believe that everyone wants love. And with Kristen, I think she doesn’t feel as loved as she wants to be. I think that’s why she was a little hurt at Heather’s words, that maybe she doesn’t fit in as seamlessly as she wants, and I feel for her on that. This is probably the first time in my life that I feel truly accepted and celebrated among people. I want Kristen to have that, to find that, to be happy and loved in the way that she needs. I need to start being a better friend to her, because she’s always there for me, and she is a good person.

Hollow ended with a terrible cartwheel that has since turned into a giant purple bruise on my knee. My cheeks hurt from grinning all night, the air filled with laughter and shouts that fogged my heart and brain. There has only been one other night that brought me such happiness at Hollow, and that was the reunion of the Main Cup legends.

Thankfully this time I didn’t have any redbull vodkas. Although that may be why I first fell asleep in Zeus’s bed.

* * *

I stumbled into your house, the glowing light pantry light illuminating the hardwood floors in golden light, that familiar, musky smell the first thing I notice. I grabbed myself water, knowing my hungover self would thank me in the morning, and followed you up your secret staircase.

I not-so-gracefully made it to your bed, stripped down, grabbed some of your clothes, and fell into your awaiting arms, sprawled sideways on your bed. The snippets of conversation trickle into my head, sprinkled with drunken giggles and lots of love. (There’s no doubt in my mind that drunk you loves me).

Something about apologizing, clarifying from the week before. I finally got to tell you just how wonderful I think you are. You squeezed me so tight to you, your kisses falling on my skin like dew drops. Then we fell into a deep, hard sleep.

As usual, I woke to the sunshine streaming through your tiny window, cursing its light after getting four hours of sleep, my throat dry from salty tequila. I had more room in your bed than usual, even with Zeus on the bed. Everywhere I rolled, your arms were there, waiting. You wanted to be close to me, to hold me while you could. Your comfort. Your safety. Your love.

I was wide awake, moaning about my hangover, your happy chuckles punctuating my stories and complaints. We tried filling in some parts of the previous night, but with little luck. I told you how I missed your dog so much at school that I demonstrated to my roommates how I wanted to hold him. I felt like a toddler fighting sleep, completely ignoring the fact that your parents were home.

Sleep finally gripped me again, and you clutched me close when it did. I dozed off for another hour or so before I finally woke you up with more murmurs and kisses. I laid back down while you manhandled Zeus, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the body that matched your personality. The spark ignited, and I couldn’t help but stare. I’m glad you weren’t looking so that I didn’t have to stop.

You crawled back into the bed under the covers, biting my hip as you did so, and I knew where it was going. I slid the covers over my head, looking at you under its blue-ish hue, afraid to lovingly touch your head as I usually do because of your injury the week before. But you grasped my hand and showed me I didn’t need to be that gentle, though I was still careful.

You bore your weight on me, hugging me tight. Your green eyes stunned me against the blue of the blanket behind your head. You took your time with the kisses, something I hadn’t expected. I guess you remembered me telling you that neck kisses are my weakness. I just wanted to examine your eyes, but I couldn’t do it without blushing, your unblinking gaze striking right through me.

When it was over, you kissed my sweaty forehead, fingers tickling my palms, finding a way to recreate the intimacy while being separated (and cooling down). There’s something so intimate and caring about the hands.

You rubbed my back (you owed me) before you fell back to sleep. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from you. The promise of our next meeting hung in the air, as if you’d stopped fighting me, electric as the promise of a summer thunderstorm.