they weren’t really listening but they saw the truth anyway. it looked, for all its effort, like a lie. came wrapped up in a story they didn’t understand. but they only stuck to the surface, wanting a laugh, wanting a smile, wanting a fake face and a comfortable tale.
and so the truth slipped into the unknown, alone and lost and wondering why so many walked by, shrugging at its apparent sounds of struggle and pleas for help.
but then you happened upon us.
one silly smile and the world was alight with sun globes and sparkles and all those little pieces of confetti that were thrown away at the end of the parties. gathered up and stuffed in our pillows, because you happened upon us.
it’s not just that you sauntered on by. it’s that you stopped.
in the stopping, you breathed in, like a dragon with a belly full of fire, waiting to soak in every moment, notice every tiny detail in a world impermanent and ever-changing. a momentous shift in the state of things, nothing more than a spec of a second to you, the gem at the corner of your eyes.
a blink, and what’s what has changed for you.
yet you paused, a galaxy worth’s of memory, and you saw us. smiled, and reached a scaly hand down, down, down into the depths of what most ignored. their sideways glances bringing hurried steps quicker and quicker, further and further away. wouldn’t want to have to deal with it. wouldn’t want to have to change or help or stoop down to lend a hand.
but you dipped your claws into the muck and the hidden, pulling the truth from behind the curtain, and held us in your hands like the most precious of treasures.
we realized then. the truth isn’t what’s written or noticed. we didn’t need them to see in order to be. the truth is the truth, no matter the trappings. and you showed us the cost of accepting is brilliancy untold.
I mean, I’ve had friends. Loads. I never had a problem making friends. But this was different. He didn’t want to have sex with me. He didn’t want to stay in an unhealthy phase of life. He did want to connect. To uplift. To be uplifted. Real friendship.
I typically only get along with people this way when they’re older than me by a decade or two. Been that way since I was a munchkin. I tried to fight it for a while in my teen years. But why? I mean, I believe we existed before this life. I could be substantially older than my mother. My younger brother could be eons older than me. *shrug*
Anywho, the amazing thing about this, is the relationship was healthy. The only healthy relationship this gal has ever had from start to finish.
I met him in the blogosphere when I began blogging, about 6 years ago. We had a lot in common. We critiqued each other’s novels. I learned a lot. He was honest. We called each other out. We consoled one another. We got each other… On the same wavelength, you know? He sent me a box of books. If that doesn’t scream friendship right there, I don’t know what does.
This relationship has been my rock. He, along with a book series and my family, are the reasons I got vulnerable enough to consider therapy. Which I chose to allow me to change my life for the better.
This relationship is what got me through a lot of my issues. Helped me remain humane with myself. Remember that I mattered, wasn’t a monster, and having issues didn’t make me unlovable. I learned to trust someone. I learned self-value in part because of this friendship. Someone else who saw all my damage could love me.
But, as I’ve recently learned, friendships don’t last forever. Not even the healthy ones. People change. We grow, evolve, move forward in different directions. This friendship died a healthy death.
That’s never happened before, and I, therefore, didn’t know how to deal with it. All my unhealthy coping mechanisms were gone, you know? I’d burned them alive and let them die the painful death we needed them to die. So I looked for a healthy one.
I chose to write about it.
I figured I’d share the resulting poem with you. I cried writing it. I cried reading it. I cried sending it. But I cannot say I have any regrets. I cannot say I regret anything with this relationship. I believe we all have people come into our lives for a reason. And I believe we come into others’ lives for a purpose.
Maybe the truth is that I did NOT lose something this year. I grew. He grew. We figured out how to create a real relationship where neither of us ended up hating one another, but instead parted in healthy ways for healthy reasons. We bettered each others’ lives. Ta da. Healthy relationship. I certainly learned a lot about myself (and my writing).
But I digress. Here are my blood and tears, encapsulated in ink and vocal chords.
Perhaps this is part of becoming new
I am not so broken up
But I am
How can I be a phantom
Yet so brilliantly alive
In the same heart beats
Through my veins
All at once
Then not at all
These same tears
Are saying two different things
Perhaps this is part of becoming new
Shedding dead skins
And remembering them fondly
These dew drops of joy
I’ll store them in a jar
There will be so many more mornings
Dewdrops to collect
I’ll keep the safety
In this snapshot
Never having to worry
More was building
I never breathed so freely
I think maybe perhaps
I will buy some new jars
Open the lids
I cut my hair short
Put my old stories through the shredder
I sent out a letter
There’s a purple ruby on my desk
It’s from you
Perhaps this is part of becoming new
Final nail in the coffin
Of the phantom in me
Last crack in my shell
Something winged set free
Dying a natural death
In other words, change
Alchemy of the soul
We each need different chemicals
To destroy ourselves
So we can rebuild our bones
Trade fins for wings
Maturation into brilliancy
This is part of becoming new
You were a much-needed ingredient
So I could see the dead skin cells
I clung to
Wipe them away
Close my eyes
Clean up with all these tears
To break through
And pull myself out
And ever so new
It was is time
Please wake up
To something beautiful
If you could go back in time, and tell yourself up to five things, what would you say?
While I’m a big believer in having to live through our trials, pains, and sorrows in order to learn, grow, and become who we are today – I read this question in an email and it immediately captured me.
I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
So I asked a handful of people I know what they would say…
I’d like to play blog tag with EVERYONE WHO READS THIS POST.
Challenge thrown down.
I’d love it if different people could copy and paste this post – and add onto it, wisdom from the people in their own lives. Let’s see how many truths we can accumulate. Don’t forget to link back to me so I can see too!
Also, if you’ve got some answers — throw ’em at me in the comments section! I want to know.
“Love yourself as you are, but always strive to become better.”
“You’re beautiful and worthwhile and priceless.”
“You are a daughter of a King [God] and are destined to be a Queen. Act accordingly.”
To my fifteen-year-old self: “You don’t know everything, you’ve got a lot more to learn about the real world. Much more wisdom to hear.”
“If I had something to tell my younger self, it would just be that I wouldn’t change a thing. I have no regrets. My life has had the same ups and downs that every person does. But, I wouldn’t change who I have become. And, the best part, I have the three most miraculous children in the world! Just keep driving yourself forward every single day.”
“My feelings matter.”
“I am special and deserve to be loved and nurtured.”
“There is help out there for kids in abusive situations.”
“I was right when I wondered if families could be happy, supportive, and loving.”
“I can be truly happy and someday I will meet a wonderful man that loves me for who I am – and I will have a beautiful family of my own and have the opportunity to be the loving role model I always wanted.”
“It get’s better.”
“You don’t really have to grow up in all aspects of life; most of your best times will involve being silly and childlike.”
“Yes, I know it sounds foreign right now, but you CAN learn to meditate.”
“You are who you are and that’s okay. You can still be a wife and a mom. Most people will still like you and the ones who don’t won’t matter. You’ll miss out on a lot of peace if you wait until you’re 26 to realize this.”
“Don’t date that guy.”
“Go to class.”
“You’re not fat.”
“Say ‘no thanks’.”
“Don’t waste your time.”
“Be more attentive in school. Now I understand the true importance of history! It’s a composite of everything we are – and a true path to whatever we will be. What, with all the warnings of what to not do again!”
“Study Orwell more in depth. His 1984 is today! Are we in a time warp? Will we ever learn? And if we truly did, would we have the courage to change?”
“Keep God’s commandments and follow without question!!!”
“Go into baseball with Don Drysdale with the chance to pitch for the Dodgers.”
“Do not get married at age nineteen.”
“Do not start drinking.”
“Don’t sell your 1967 Mustang fastback.”
“Buy that house even if at first it will be hard.”
“Save money for a rainy day.”
“Don’t take that first pain pill.”
“Most of all, I would beat it into myself to put my kids first in everything and to show them support in everything they do.
“Don’t allow my fears to sway my dreams.”
“When I meet a church member, listen with my heart. Better decisions will follow that knowledge.”
“Career, financial, and investment advice.”
“However, most of the wisest counsel I would like to give myself, I needed to learn through experience.”
“Just because you do something differently than someone else does not make it wrong or the wrong way of doing something. It’s your own way!”
“Always keep an open mind.”
“Never make an important decision based on emotions.”
“This Earth is not our home. Our home is with God. Stay focused on your Eternal goal and not the worldly experience.”
“Stand up for the things that you need and believe in.”
“Don’t stress over the little things. God is there to help you through any trial. He will make the pain lighter and easier to handle.”
“Love yourself, shine your light.”
Stop hating yourself. If you don’t, this bad habit is going to grow until it’s taken over your identity.
Stop allowing others to choke the life out of you with fear.
Hope. Believe. It gets better. So much better.
I would read “Invictus”, hug myself, and whisper in my ear, between you and God, you are the master of your fate, you decide your life. No one else. Not anyone else. Not ever.
Get to writing stories you want to write! Enjoy it. That’s why you do it. If there’s no passion, there’s no life.