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.

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.

 

Wishes to the Universe

Had a wonderful and spontaneous night at home in order to see my best friend. It involved copious amounts of tequila and the perfect amount of french toast. Our hungover asses sat in his hot tub on a freezing day, fully bloated from the previous night, discussing life, praising the mountains, and feeling grateful for our town. I did, anyway.

As I’ve said, as it gets closer to graduation, I find it harder and harder to leave my little town behind. My heart yearns for the mountains, and I’m always so awestruck when I can catch the colors of the sun setting over the mountains or between the trees. I can’t tell you the number of times my gaze has left the road a dangerously long time just because I’m trying to enjoy the beauty of the sunset. I’ll say it here, if I ever die in a crash because I was watching the sun set, at least the last thing I saw was something I loved.

Morbid… Anyways.

Yesterday I stayed in town long enough to greet my parents after they had finally gotten home from their cruise. As I waited for them to call me, I laid down in bed, trying to close my eyes since I was running on a mere four hours of sleep from the night before (still went to the gym, proud of myself for that!). But I couldn’t close my eyes. My room was too beautiful. A light, happy, peaceful yellow, filled with a similar relaxing sunlight drifting in through the open blinds. I cuddled the pillow next to me, staring at the beauty that my windows framed, that my blinds teased. I wish staring at the sun wasn’t bad for your eyes. I’m not sure I’d ever look away.

I love to linger in those peaceful moments. I want to be able to just share that serenity with someone else, for them to understand my love for a beautiful sky.

IMG_4738

I told Ryan how excited I was to spend a few weeks out in the mountains, just me and Phoebe, someone else who appreciates nature and namaste-ing as much as I do – if not more. It really just made me more excited to think about being outdoors for days on end, not caring how dirty I get, not trying to impress anyone. Just me and her soaking up the wilderness.

Also, side note, I think I’m getting slightly better at yoga. It doesn’t seem like as much of a chore to do downward dog anymore. Part of it might be because it’s nice that my roommate enjoys it as much as I do, so she helps motivate me. She does, however, also motivate me to eat cookies all the time, so I’m trying to work on my will power here.

At the same time, yoga has also allowed me to see how much I need improvement, especially in my mobility. I’m hoping it opens up my hips, but even just side body stretches can be ludicrously difficult sometimes. It reminds me of when Mom makes me her physical therapy guinea pig and I realize I can’t hold poses/postures that are seemingly simple. Like sure I can squat a decent amount of weight, but can I lift my leg while keeping my core tight and hips level? Way harder than I thought.

I had a scary revelation yesterday. Mary texted me asking where I had slept the night before (she knows my drunken habits – I giggled), and I truthfully said that I had slept in my own bed that night, and then we had a short conversation about my love interest where she brought up how it’s been a long time of us being on and off and how he needs to get his act together (preachin to the choir, girl). And I realized that this on again off again thing has been the second longest “relationship” I’ve been in…

I officially dated Chad for a little over two years, I officially dated Adam for maybe a year and one or two weeks. Connor and I were on again off again for maybe four months. But this current one has been a year and three months. I’ve been battling with him and our feelings for each other for longer than I was with someone I had considered moving in with, someone I had considered marrying. It was a weird little revelation.

I doubt he reads my blogs, so I have no qualms speaking freely about it on here: I just haven’t been able to get him out of my head. Sometimes I struggle with it, especially the first time he grew distant. I wanted to be hurt and say “screw you” and never talk about it again. Easier said than done when you see him every time you go home and he’s there in the kitchen of your place of work. And he’s been there longer than you so you can’t be any kind of territorial over your workplace. Some days are easier than others, but that’s usually when I’ve been away at school for a few weeks and we haven’t spoken anyway.

You’d think that with all the back-and-forth, I’d be sick of it and just be done. Part of me wants to be done, sometimes I say with confidence that I am. And then I come back home and fall right back into it because there’s something about him that’s irresistible to me. He has such a good heart, the kind of person that doesn’t like to say anything bad about anybody, and he’ll usually correct himself if it has any kind of mean edge to it. He’s all about enjoying life, though I wish he’d do more with it. But who am I to judge.

There’s some part of me that just wants him. And I haven’t been able to explain to anybody, even myself. I’ve asked so many of my older friends for advice, something I rarely do, and they’ve helped me talk through my feelings, how there’s no reason for me to be as hung up on him as I have been. But I’ve never been able to put my finger on it.

So maybe someday we’ll give it a shot. Maybe I’ll be hung up on him until I move to another state, though the thought of never seeing him again makes me sad. Maybe I’ll be hung up on him forever. Some days I imagine (guiltily) that I’ve moved to North Carolina where I’ve met a nice man, but that I come home to Middletown and rekindle something with him. I want to give things a shot, almost as if it’s unfinished business. That it needs to run its course before I can give it up. But then again, I’ve never really been the one to give things up first, unless, sadly, my foot was safely planted in another canoe (I’m still sorry).

I have worried that I seem to be turning down guys because he still holds the higher pedestal in my heart. He’s the one I drunk call most often. I hope to not close myself off to the possibility of other, perhaps better suitors just because I’m hung up on him.

Some days I just ask the universe for him. And weirdly enough he seems to be headed in the right direction. So I guess we’ll see what happens. Maybe one day I’ll reread this and laugh that I was so attached to him, maybe one day I’ll read this to him. Who knows.

As the sirens screech down Route 1, I can’t help but crave the utter silence of my bedroom back home. So I need to go to bed, as I’m still recovering from the four hours of sleep night I had so recently. Life is great, isn’t it?

Peace

IMG_4709

 

Past Curiosity

Tonight I came across old pictures and videos, some that had you in them (unsurprisingly since we were together for a while). It was a little odd looking back on that time in our lives, but some part of me just couldn’t stop staring.

Then I looked through old emails, from the good times, the bad times… and the end. I’m surprised with how profound and mature our responses were at the time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a little, so I just won’t say anything.

I wonder what it would be like now. The you that I knew in that era is appallingly similar to who I have become now. I think of how much I have grown, of what I expect to give in a relationship. I say give because I’m not sure I have many standards for what I receive in one anymore, which is a sad thing to say, and I know that past you would be disappointed by that information. I wonder how you have matured. You always seemed a few steps ahead of me in maturity, in belief development, and so I wonder if, now that I feel I’ve caught up to you, would you still be a few steps ahead? A few years down the road just waiting for me to catch up when I never will?

As a writer, my mind jumps to the fact that this could be the most inspirational love story ever told. Boy and girl fall in love, go through hell, go their separate ways, find each other again years later once they’ve grown and matured, and come back together for their happily ever after. Such dangerous thoughts, but I blame the idiom that you never forget your first love.

All I know is I wonder, and I wonder if I will ever find out.

Some Days You Think So Much That You Write So Little

I can’t get your smell off me today, just like I can’t get away from you. No matter how hard I try, you’re always there. Your cigarette smell hovers over me, a poltergeist. Or is it the soap? The scarcely familiar smell of your house that I sometimes miss when I’m not there? That rugged and homey scent, the one that wracks my brain for a better name than wood, peace, and sunshine. Normally when I leave, you don’t exist in my head – you just don’t fit together. But today you followed me.

And I didn’t know what to do.

 

Solemn Joy

Break was over in a flash. Those 12 days flew by in a blink of an eye. I was genuinely sad that I would be returning to College Park so soon. I was rarely in my house long enough for me to be annoyed with it, I feel like I didn’t get a sufficient amount of time with my friends (though I got to see all of them in one break which was great — all it took was 12 days).

I took care of my friends animals, and it was wonderful to be surrounded by so much fur. They were all so loving, and having each of her cats purring on my chest gave me the joy of what I think a mother feels when her child falls asleep on her. I guess I’m more of a cat person, and that shouldn’t be a bad thing. I love both species so who cares.

Some unexpected turn of events occurred over break, some that shocked me to my core. My friend’s dad killed himself right before Christmas, and I can only explain it as horrifying for all. I was told right before one of my shifts, and all I could say was “oh my god.” It was so intense, so pure and terrifying. I thought I was going to cry, and I questioned why I would feel so strongly for a man I had only met once. Looking back on it, I think I was moreso crying for my friend. The heaviness in my heart as it yearned to be with him, to support him in such a devastating time.

Our friends bound together in support. Our coworkers put together baskets. Everyone I talked to either went to the viewing or the funeral.

It was incredibly solemn that Tuesday. Dressed in my mom’s black dress, because I didn’t pack any funeral clothes for my trip home. Why would I? My heels clicking through the church, sun trying to shine through the stained-glass windows, I sat with some of my closest friends, and I experienced something with them that I never thought I would have to. I watched as we all dealt with the grief. We all cried while trying not to cry. We listened as our friend delivered a strong, inspirational eulogy for his own father. We watched as Scott’s friends gave their speeches. It was a strange moment for me to watch grown men cry and learn that they cry like I do, that they can’t talk, they have to take sharp breaths, they have to stop and swallow that rock hard lump in their throats.

The entire time I sat in that church, I questioned. I’m not a fan of organized religion, though I believe in a higher power and I’m comfortable with calling it many names, including God. Is this how this man wanted his funeral to go? Was he really saved when the bible says suicide is a horrible sin? I tried not to get too philosophical, tried not to roll my eyes out of respect for this man and his family, my friend.

I questioned whether my friends were trying not to cry in the same way I was. I wondered whether one day we would be up there, delivering eulogies for our friends well before their time on this earth should have ended. As I sat wedged between Nick, Will, and Roeder, I wanted to hug them all. I wanted to touch them, hold their hands, hug them close, but I thought they might think I was being too emotional. Looking back, I should have done it. But I know that we were all trying to make it through without having an outburst or a panic attack.

When it was over, I could see Roeder’s red eyes, Will and I wiping our noses, sparing small smiles for each other, trying to revert to our natural, goofy states in a way that almost felt inappropriate. Nick remained dead-eyed. Sam (who performed a beautiful piano solo) and some others found us, all teary-eyed too. In that moment, I tried to be solemn out of respect, but I think it’s amazing the power of positive energy. How some people’s innate nature is to be happy, to make others laugh. I think it’s the most beautiful power in this world, to laugh and be happy even in the face of such devastation. In that moment it was nice to know that I have that power within me.

When we ventured to the basement for food, we all clung together, sitting together so tightly at those plastic tables that it almost felt like lunchtime in high school. A few of us didn’t say much, but it may have been the hardest I laughed all break. I wanted nothing more than to hold them all there, keep them so happy and lighthearted. And I hope that is a moment burned into my memory forever, when we were so young, too young to experience a death so close to our hearts, to our circle, and everything felt raw and desolate yet happy.

We found our friend, said our goodbyes. The rest of the day went by in a bit of a hollow blur. I cried to my sister afterward, still processing the day’s emotions. The rest of break went by without a hitch. We all kind of huddled closer together after that.

And now I’m back in College Park — too soon, I feel, but I look forward to the promise of Friday, when my friends will surround me again. My Spanish class isn’t the worst it could be (though I did study 233 words for my exam tomorrow). It’s nice to only focus on one class right now, and I might be in for a rude awakening come spring semester. I’m taking some time for myself. I’ve been doing yoga every day because I can’t bring myself to do more than 2-3 aerobic workouts a week right now.

This blog wasn’t exactly what I thought was going to happen, but it felt too important not to share. I’ll get back to you later.

So much love

Rest in Peace Scott

I Don’t Even Know the Question

What can I say about finals week… Sleep deprivation, I guess. Lots of anxiety. I might have heartburn? Who knows. But I’m ready to get the hell out, even if it’s only for 12 days.

So I’ve had this interesting dilemma. As you know, I like to write, and I’ve always hated reading and writing love stories that are entirely based around a relationship rather than some other major plot points (Nicholas Sparks doesn’t count as plot points, I’m sorry, he bugs me). In all, or at least most, of those love stories, you know who the person will or should end up with, if it works out yay if it doesn’t what a tragedy. Real life isn’t like that. There isn’t this be-all-end-all person that you know you should be with. Some people might like or dislike some of your romantic choices.

As someone who enjoys reflecting on her romantic choices, I had an idea. What if I wrote a book that had a realistic amount of love interests, something that took place over several years, and they all had their strengths and flaws, like regular human beings? I bet you different audiences would have different feelings about who the main character should end up with, and sometimes it’s powerful not pleasing everybody. Like I said, it’s realistic.

However, my dilemma. I have based my story, my characters almost entirely on my life story. Part of me wanted this, in a sadistic yet cathartic way. I enjoy romanticizing my relationships; it makes them more fun to miss. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how hard it might be to go through all of these old emotions.

It’s important to me as a writer to accurately describe when someone is devastated by a loss, to embody just how empty she may feel. Of course, as I draw from personal experiences, I draw from personal emotions, and I didn’t understand how hard that would be. It’s literally just feeling sorry for myself again, something I don’t enjoy doing very often. I think the book has turned more into a letter to my exes, which could be very dangerous.

I’m barely halfway through my first boyfriend, and I’ve had to hold back tears, something I never thought I would have to experience with him again. But I suppose that when you are truly attached to someone, when you genuinely loved them, those feelings are going to come back no matter what. Not in a meaningfully romantic way, just as a reminiscent nod to the past.

It also doesn’t help to write these emotional moments to this song, but I suppose both are rather beautiful experiences.

I’ll let you know whether or not the book is worth publishing. Perhaps it’ll just become a memoir. All I know is it feels good to write again, especially when it means reflecting on your past choices. Sometimes you catch something you missed the first time.

Love