Summer Rain

To set the mood: it’s a arid, rainy night, the rain sloughing off the humidity. Lightning flashes silently, its applause so far off I can’t hear it. Listening to something I recently discovered thanks to Spotify.

Life moves on. It keeps rolling with no intention of stopping, neither for the good nor the bad. Life continues.

For me, it has meant a lot. I’ve graduated. It doesn’t feel like it yet, but maybe it’ll hit me in August when I’m not packing up to go anywhere. My grandparents are still in the hospital, and I am adjusting to life back home.

Exciting things happen! Last weekend my sister got engaged! It was a beautiful, magical moment, and we both cried tears of joy. I think for her it seemed like the end of a long battle between her heart and her anxiety. For me it was a mix. I was so happy for her, but some part of me felt like I was losing my sister. I know it’s not true, I’m really just gaining a brother who is pretty much me in male form.

There were also times that I felt a little hollow during the celebration. My family was saying “Oh you’re next!” And the smile just couldn’t reach my eyes. How can I even entertain that idea when I don’t have anyone? The only person I was interested in clearly was not interested in me. I had a few small flashes of loneliness, but they were quickly swallowed by my happiness for my sister and her now-fiance. He’s a great man, and I’m happy to welcome him to the family.

As it turns out, things may have stirred somewhere else, a friend of my new soon-to-be brother-in-law. But I’ll wait to delve into that until there’s more to talk about.

I have noticed I am more open this time around. Recently, my social anxiety has gotten the best of any semblance of love interests. It scared me whenever they were flirty or wanted to see me. I felt awkward when they showed any emotion, and I refused to show any back. I’m not sure what it meant, whether it was my intuition protecting me or just succumbing to social anxiety, but either way this time is a little different. My emotions are still dulled at this point. I wish I remembered what it felt like to wholeheartedly be excited at the start of a new romance, but it’s been a while, and I’m scared of overwhelming anything. Both because it may scare off the other person and it may hurt me in the end. But I hold on to the hope that this one may be different, and that in itself is something I haven’t felt in a while.

So we’ll see how things play out. Until then, I will be working and hiking (drinking).

Love

 

 

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.

Bloody Bags and Muddy Shoes

You are the gentle thumb sweeping across the back of my hand.

You are clutching my fingers in your hand, the reassuring squeeze.

The goosebumps of a warm rain on a cold night.

You are emanating love.

* * *

It was a strange and beautiful weekend. I learned you didn’t think too much of yourself, that you really were scared because of what girls had done to you in the past. My hurt hurt. You need to know what I think of you, drunk and sober. The kindest I had ever met. The most beautiful soul to experience. I want to love your pieces back together.

You must have hit your head pretty hard because you told me you love me.

I was running around, wishing for clones as I searched for your dog, searched for a bag of ice, searched Google about head injuries. 

I told you I love you too, and you paused, stared at me, and pulled me into the most passionate kiss. I wanted nothing more than to be your nurse forever, even after dumbass incidents.

I borrowed your clothes, a simple “this is what I want” smile crossing your face. Like you’d found peace you didn’t know I could give you. Like everything was as it should be, with a bandage on your bleeding skull and a beautiful girl in your baggy clothes.

Cleaning your wound, purging my own. I didn’t sleep a wink, and I’m glad you woke up. Though you should’ve let me take you to the ER. 

You were appreciative the next day. You called me your little nurse, and I couldn’t help but smile.

You wore a horrible suit for a themed party and you loved it, exclaiming “I’m getting married in this!” Tina turned to me and said “don’t marry him if he wears that.” I blushed because she thought it would happen, like she knew his love for me. 

Appreciative, apologetic kisses tickled me all the way home. I slept.

Fuzzy Feelings and Blurry Pictures

Yesterday was a magical day all around. A warm February day, warm enough for me to wear shorts comfortably, I did some homework outside, my time at the gym felt incredible, I painted (!!!), did some yoga with Alex, and had an unexpected visitor (yes, the one I write about all the time). I was up for an adventure, and he was willing.

We spent the night as we usually do when we’re together – curled around each other, sprinkling kisses on each others’ skin, and laughing every step in between. I love the pattern we’ve fallen into, remaining independent, but coming together for special moments alone.

There were many moments I appreciated, but I think my favorite was I had turned over to finally go to bed, and he grasped my face, turned it toward him, kissed me, and said goodnight. An easy way to send me into some sweet dreams (though I can’t remember any because he kept me up with his snoring…).

The moments continued into the morning, wrapped around each other, him exploring his new surroundings for the first time. We rustled the sheets (sensually and otherwise) into the late morning. He was drifting off again, my head on his chest, his hand finding mine, when I told him we needed to get up and go to lunch if I was ever going to allow him to leave.

(Realistically, he needed to go home and enjoy a day off with his dog for once, and there was a lot of affectionate cuddling that depicted how neither of us wanted him to leave, so we had to spend as much time on each others’ skin as possible)

After lunch, I drove him back home, his hand finding my leg or my free hand (“mine,” he said) as he drifted back off to sleep on such a gorgeous day. I reminisced about how I loved sticking my head out of the car window when I was younger because damn is that wind exhilarating! Something that fueled my love for amusement parks.

It was a short goodbye and a “see you in a few weeks”, and for some reason it was really hard for me. I wanted nothing more than to stay in Middletown, go hiking, spend the afternoon with him, curl up on the couch after such a nice lunch and just continue the cuddling. I’ve grown to love being independent and having my alone time, and maybe it’s because I’ve been single for so long, so I’m hoping that slipping into any kind of relationship, titled or otherwise, doesn’t also send me back to being a more dependent person.

Anyways, it’s hard not to enjoy the days growing warmer (at least for the moment), and the feel of nature and fresh air on my skin is absolutely addicting. It reminds me of endlessly playing outside when I was younger, fresh air, a thin layer of dirt and sweat that clued you in to the fact that you just had an amazing day connecting to your friends in the presence of nature. With Phoebe and I going on our backpacking trip (July 5th!!), I can’t wait to douse myself in that feeling for two whole weeks. I really think it’s going to do my soul good.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to focus on my schoolwork due to the beautiful weather. I just want to sit outside, but College Park isn’t really conducive for just sitting and relaxing in nature (another reason I think it was so hard to leave my little mountain town today). Thank god I’m in my last semester, otherwise I don’t think I could make it.

I’m not even sure I want a white-collar job. I can’t see myself waking up for the morning commute, sitting in a little office, staring at the road in boredom while sitting in traffic on the way home, and doing it every day while trying to have a life and family outside of it. I personally have always loved blue-collar work (and workers). People that aren’t afraid to get dirty, people that are good with their hands, people that are fun! They don’t have to take work home with them, stress about the next project. They leave work at work, throw back some beers with friends, unwind, have a good time with each other! That’s what I want to do, and going to college may have been a mistake as far as that goes for me. Maybe in the future I will find a mix between my degree and what I do with my life. As with most Americans, I just don’t want to feel like my job is useless. But I do also want to keep bread on the table, while at the same time pursuing my interests and hobbies.

Clearly I’ve been itching to get out there and explore more of the world and of myself. I’m so close to that freedom! Life is good! Even sad emotions are signs that you are feeling and interpreting the world around you. Love that energy, embrace it. It makes the world better.

Love

img_4613

Remember that life isn’t always about the clear pictures. An honest, true, lovable life has blurry pictures that sometimes are more important. This one just happens to feature some of my favorite people in my life.

Reflection of a Mediocre Paradise

Romance movies, romance novels, and 90’s music. Sundays are meant for lazing around, and it’s as though the entire month of August has stretched from one long, hot Sunday.

As I maneuver winding country roads, I desperately wish I could print the mental photographs I take in my head. I am in awe of the countryside, gazing, gaping at the rolling hills and copse of mountains that maintain my paradise.

IMG_3653

Mary has helped me pick up a new hobby. I need something to keep my hands busy, something that takes less brain-power than trying to find the right words in writing. I’m steadily learning the art of decoupage in the hopes that I can graduate to something less concrete and perfectionist to something where I can feel comfortable creating images from my mind. I wish I could capture and share the beauty I see, but cameras are too expensive, car rides are too fleeting, and my hands aren’t skilled craftsmen.

I’m a little sad to go back to school. I want to continue to explore without being interrupted by schoolwork (though it will be nice to get back to my own apartment). It’s disheartening to think I’m leaving most of my friends behind to go to a strange place with no job, but maybe I need that push to succeed. I’m determined to adapt well, as I’m hoping to move to West Virginia or North Carolina after graduation. Adventure is pacing on my doorstep, and the handle is finally within my reach.

Something about nature is calling me too. I got to help Mary and Beth feed the calves today, and it was my first time bottle feeding a calf.

Every time I can sneak a glance at the mountainous terrain, I imagine I am in North Carolina, driving home to my private apartment or single story home.

Yet I will miss the connections Middletown has blessed me with. I love feeling welcome at my place of work. I do fear what I will miss (FOMO, as Bob calls it).

As unsteady as the future is, there is only so much I can worry about. It’s hard to worry about it intensely until it is there, ya know? I think I’ll be okay. And I’m still looking forward to it.

I only feel really lost in love. I’m confident he will find me, I’m just too impatient a person. I believe there must be past lives, because it seems I was born an old soul ready to love from the moment I entered the world.

Until then, I have my wonderful friends to swell my heart. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard so often in quite some time. Love drunk is a true idea, as is laugh drunk.

Also, something I’ve learned about myself; for some reason I love romances in which someone is tragically taken and the other has to pull him/herself together to move on. I don’t know why, it doesn’t exactly resonate with me because I haven’t really lost anyone in that way. Maybe it just seems like a beautiful love story, maybe a past life resonates in longing. Who knows.

Embarking

Making It Right

I’m probably just going to start adding whatever music I listen to while I write these blogs.b6b4e185-fd16-4375-aaea-1d4bb43ab981

So life’s been busy between the end of the school year winding down and my new hobby as a writer for the Odyssey online.

I celebrated my sister’s birthday, had a questionable weekend at home the next weekend, and just celebrated my 21st this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s finally here! I no longer have to be nervous going out to the bars! It’s so freeing.

With the questionable weekends I’ve had, I have been doing a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out why I was doing somethings that were so unlike me. Of course, I still feel a little lost, and I’m so sure I overthink things.

One thing I asked myself is what I want, on a small scale, from a boyfriend. Everyone says the other person should bring out the best in you, and I was questioning what that meant to me. My first boyfriend was/is a wonderful person, and I think he helped shape my kindness and understanding towards others, but there was some part of me that felt like I had been forced to be this person, fit this mold that I wasn’t sure suited me; it didn’t feel completely natural to me. But I figured he was bringing out the best in me, so it should be a good thing.

As I’ve grown, I think “the best of me” is something other than kindness and understanding. I exhibit those traits on my own, without feeling forced. I have always been such a shy, timid person, and I don’t like to be pushed out of my comfort zone. Often I fight it and recede if someone tries to make me do something I’m not ready to do. However, I have also noticed that I’m willing to do something different and new and make a fool of myself if I am encouraging someone else to do the same.070d3aa8-5192-4e22-9c98-1e286d373704

I think I need someone who is about as outgoing as I am, so I can be happy and positive and encourage them to try new things. I think it will encourage me to step out of my own comfort zones and help me become a better and more outgoing person. As someone who has typically been drawn to more outgoing people, this hasn’t been an easy feat. I’d rather not have it be a competition because that shuts me down for some reason. I guess it’s a person problem? Although I can’t really say that I dislike that about myself, so maybe that’s just how I am at this point in my life.

All I know is I shouldn’t feel embarrassed and regretful because of someone I have feelings for, and I’ve been upset with myself because of my questionable weekends because those feelings of embarrassment and regret occurred. Just thinking about it today, I cringed. That’s not how it should be. I need to take a step back and gather myself, preferably before I go home for the summer and face my questionable decisions, but I think that may be too much to ask.

Side note, you should also never feel absolute rage when thinking of your significant other/someone you like. I am a fairly patient, loving person, and while it doesn’t take much to annoy me, it takes a significant amount of effort to make me physically angry. On the rare occasions I have experienced this rage, I knew I could no longer be with the people that caused it. Never be with someone who brings out the worst in you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my friends. We have a complex relationship, and I’ll leave it at that, but I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate him. Ever since I’ve met him, he has been the kindest, most understanding person I have ever known. I have never seen him be negative towards anyone, and he always tries to put smiles on others’ faces, and that’s something that not a lot of people do nowadays.

We have always had the deepest conversations. I haven’t known him intimately for more than a year, and I have already shared with him more than I have shared with anyone. It’s nice to not have your walls up, not hide behind humor, and I sincerely appreciate him for that. He knows what is at my center, and when I confide in him my thoughts and feelings on certain, touchy subjects, he has always had a gentle hand at calming me down and helping me see myself – if that makes sense.

And I think I helped him too. When we first met, he really hid behind his jokes whenever we started talking about personal stuff. I called him out on it, and I showed him some love for opening up to me.

I think it just goes to show that people are scared to be themselves because they don’t know how other people are going to react. Everyone is really just looking for acceptance, be it from others or from themselves. I can’t stress this enough: be kind to people.

So many people out there deserve so much love. Be that person.

With genuine love.

5ddb975f-57c6-49dc-9d2b-fb805f44d05b

Genuinely appreciate those who came out for my 21st, as well as those who endured the morning after with me 🙂

 

Stillness

This poem needs background music. Click here.

The first word that comes to mind when I think of your relationship is “gentle.”

You may not have been explicitly there,
but you are hinted at.
Your presence is there, is palpable.

If she is a movie, you are the score.
You are not the plot, you are the feeling,
the emotion, the inspiration.
Everything she did, you were there in the background.

You were not forgotten. You were there.
Through her artistic eyes, you were there somehow.
You were the street she walked on,
the snowflake she caught on her tongue,
the bubbles tasting her lips.

She was proud of you, the naive love you had for her.
You were a new soul, new life,
yet she was old.
She needed you, her cane, to steady herself,
and you obliged.
You needed her more.
You kissed the hem of her being, her child.
And she loved you until she didn’t need you by her side anymore.
She left for you to grow on your own, this lost new soul,
to wander and wind your way through life’s branches.

Still she grasps your tiny fingers, guides your footsteps as you learn to walk.
And still you need her, and still she loves you.
It is soft, brush stroke kisses, love stained splinters.
It is there. It is gentle.

Enigmatic

Recently I’ve come to question if I’ve ever been in love. I have loved, I have felt loved by friends and family, but I don’t know if I have ever had a pure, deep, romantic love.

I had to think about whether or not I knew what love is. It isn’t really a checklist of items, values you look for in a significant other. I tried to figure it out on my own, but maybe I’m thinking too much. Is love just a feeling? Is it a mental effort? I’m still not sure.

I don’t want to downplay any of my past relationships. At those points in time, I felt very in love. But I’ve come to question whether it was love or an expectation of what was the next step in the relationship. So I’ve been reevaluating, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Love is trust – You can’t be an anxious mess every time one of you does something without the other. If you can’t trust the person you are with, then you need to look at whether it is because you are being jealous and overprotective or if the other person is the cause of the mistrust. But in order to be happy and healthy, there must be trust between you.
  • Love is being patient – Your significant other is going to endure the ups and downs of life regardless of whether or not you are by his/her side. To love that person is to help them carry that baggage, ease the load. If they cannot come to you for help, you are not helping each other grow as people. The best way for someone to endure their hardships is for them to have help. You can’t be that person if you’re going to be angry with them for all of their troubles.
  • Love is communication – As a comm major, I cannot stress this enough. Relationships involve a multitude of communication levels. You need to be able to talk through problems. Not only that, but you need to remind them that they mean something to you. Just by simply talking, the other person may feel important, loved, like you genuinely want them in your life. I’ve faced two long distance relationship as I go through my college years, and I’ve learned that all the little details of the day are not that important, but you miss out on so much of each others’ lives if you simply don’t put the effort into talking.
  • Love is kindness – You should not be the person solely responsible for your significant other’s happiness, but you should be a positive force in their life. I personally refuse to use derogatory names with my significant other. Words are words, but they can stick with you. I will never seriously degrade someone I should love with such hurtful language, and I will never accept someone who says such things of me. You must love yourself above your partner, because then it’s not a competition and you can be truly happy for and with one another. Your words should be positive, you should build each other up. Believe in each other.
  • Love is interest – Sharing interests seems trivial, but it’s important. Even if you don’t share these interests, it’s important to show interest in one anothers’ hobbies, of these things that make you happy, what makes your partner happy. If they feel they can’t talk with you about an important part of their lifestyle, their identity, then that discourages communication and connection.
  • Love involves effort, but it shouldn’t be an uphill battle through and through – Love can be a struggle. My first relationship lasted two years, 18 months of which were spent apart, trying to love each other from different states. It wasn’t easy by any means, and we faced our fair share of troubles, but the most important aspect is that we were both willing to work through those struggles to try and come out the other side stronger. Sadly, as we grew up we understood we were growing into different people, but it’s important to understand that life is not going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. You will be tested, you will face your own struggles. It’s when one of you stops trying that the love quickly dissipates. (Another strange thought: it takes two to start a relationship and only one to end it)
  • Love is support – For all the reasons above, support one another. You may have different interests – be happy for their successes in those interests. Be there for them when they are discouraged, when they are fighting a hard battle. Loving is not leaving someone in their time of need. Loving is being there for them through the good and the bad.
  • Love is being two people – I struggled with this one for a while, and I think I finally have it under my belt. Sometimes you think that time apart means they don’t want to be with you, and that’s not true. It’s important for you to be your own person, be someone who complements your partner and vice versa. Maintain your friendships, those relationships with other people you love. Pursue your interests, your dreams. It’s okay to be your own person, and if you can come together as two different people that bring out the best in each other, then you have succeeded.
  • Love is laughter – As someone who has always seemed to like the brooding type, take it from me: life is too serious to be serious all the time. You need someone who is going to make you laugh, and you should be a happy, positive force in your partner’s life.
  • Love is friendship – These two kind of go hand in hand, but I can tell you I have never been so happy as when I realize my significant other is someone I would genuinely be friends with. You love who they are as a person. You know each other’s secrets, fears, hopes. You make each other laugh. You can be yourself. Someone is going to love you for being unapologetically you. And you in turn will love someone for who they are.

This list may change and grow as I get older, but who knows. Maybe it will change the next time I am shown love. I can’t predict the future.

I hope this helps someone who needs it.

Wise Beyond Her Years

 

Nonexistent

Throughout my day, you are nothing.
Not a thought, not a memory.
Stretched too thin, clawing at calmness in the face of calamity.

You are between the scratches; the wounds.
The sizzle of an egg on the stove – reparation.
The toe tapping gently to sounds of an era in which you belong.
The slip of sultry whiskey, fire within me.
The whiff of tainted lungs, harsh habits and painted skies.

You live your life as an afterthought.
Content in passing, floating through lives in tormented search of belonging.
Scorching others in your path, branding them with memories.

For you too have kissed the sun and been plunged into darkness.
A gentle quiet, love unbound,
Before whispered betrayal reached her lips.

And you too were scarred.