2016 – Resonance.

These are the lessons I have learned, the words left unsaid, the words that have resonated in my heart.

  • Don’t compare yourself to other people. Each and every person goes about life at their own pace. It doesn’t matter if it takes you one month, three weeks, or a few years longer than everyone else. Do not lose your individual color trying to catch up to the world.
  • Look at where you are, who you’re with, what you’ve become. That is exactly where you need to be. Do not be afraid of the future and do not dwell on the past, because at this exact moment you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Do not doubt that.
  • If you’re depressed and you know it, admit it. That is the first and most important step to recovery. Don’t cover it up with facades like a band-aid. Nor should you wrap yourself with it like a blanket. But throughout that whole process of healing, know that you are still you. When you’re humming along to your favorite Daphne Loves Derby song or when you’re crying in the corner of the bathroom, that is still you.
  • Accept that others want to help you, too. You are not meant to go about this life alone. No one is. There will always be a community of people, small or large, that is willing to stay by your side. Some moments might be obvious and come in the form of a telephone call or a hug. Other times it may be that they see bits and pieces of you in their day, and that is enough. You don’t need to do everything alone.
  • Guard your heart but do not barricade it from the world, even from yourself. I believe it’s been long enough and you owe it to yourself to open up.
  • You had a very simple dream in high school. You wanted to touch people’s lives, to help them love themselves in a way that you never could. You wanted to make sure that everyone saw a light, even when they couldn’t see it themselves. Even if it was only one person, that was your dream. Right now, at this moment, you are accomplishing your dream. Remember that.
  • You will have your time to leave on a new adventure. It may not be now or in the next month, but that time will come. And when it does, be ready to leave without looking back. One day you’ll be able to stretch your wings.
  • You will be okay.

Dear You Pt. 18

dear you

Many things invoke fear into my heart; ceramic dolls that stare for one second too long, heights, trying to find a common topic of interest. Trust me, there are more things on this list. What I am most afraid of, however, is losing you. I fear that one day you will disappear like sea foam. I fear that you will vanish right in front of my eyes, and that there will be nothing that I can do to stop you. You will disappear quite naturally and leave behind no reason other than “it was bound to happen.” As I think about it now, however, I do not believe I am ready. I am not ready to wake up one day and fully accept that you are gone. I may seem strong enough so you can do that, but I am lacking in many aspects of life. I know that one day, I will be fine. I know that one day I will be able to live with the absence of you. So please, won’t you remain here for just a few moments longer?

Won’t you stay?
Me

Inferior.

Like many things, I felt this at the tender age of six. It was when we were asked to pick seat partners for the upcoming field trip. For some odd reason, I wanted to sit next to a girl, covered in an infectious coating of cooties, something that I had failed to see. I was turned down with the ever-so-innocent “ew”, and while the class erupted in playful laughter, I accepted defeat and took a seat next to my friend.

I felt this way throughout high school. But let’s be honest, it’s only natural during that season of life. In a place where cliques run rampant, top grades lead to acceptance letters, and awkward sloppy first kisses are had, high school is filled with inferiority complexes. But one particular moment that comes to mind is when she left without any warning. The days that followed, I had so many unanswered questions, so many words left unsaid, and a knife slowly twisting in my chest.

Then it came again after college graduation. When the ‘good job’ turned into whispers behind cupped hands and the triumphant smiles turned into looks of disappointment, that is when I knew. The feeling began to swell in the depths of my chest for God knows how long. Maybe for a few months? Maybe even until now? Either way, the feeling remained rooted in my chest, making it difficult to comprehend my worth. Or if I was worth anything for that matter.

In these moments, I do not feel infinite. In these moments, I felt inferior and weak and that everything I did/do/continue-to-do is for naught. And sometimes, I think those words are right. That I really won’t amount to anything. But in these moments of darkness, I also look for strength. I somehow gather the courage to become a beacon of hope to others, to serve as a reminder that there is an end to the darkness. You need to only realize that there is a light. A light that is called “you”.

Dear You, Pt. 17

dear you

I know I never got the chance to say thank you. Before I knew it, you were gone like a wisp of smoke on a windy day. And just like that, I was swept up into a tidal wave of emotions, consumed by lust and greed and loneliness. Despite all of that and the journey that I took, I kept arriving at the same conclusion: there would be no other person to take your place. You became an irreplaceable memory, engraved into the tapestry of mind that I didn’t have the heart to throw away or set on fire. I continued to bump into this and that, continued to lose this and that, and realized that I wasn’t supposed to be living like an empty waiting for it’s owner to come home. I wasn’t meant to live like that. But my passions became stained with complacency and without realizing it, I had stopped moving forward. I remained in the same place for years, wondering why nothing had changed. It was a weird feeling, to see everyone leave me behind and not look back. But I slowly began to see the glances, the bewildered stares wondering why I hadn’t come with them. Their eyes prodded me into action, is what I would have liked to say. But they didn’t. Their eyes scared me into hiding, until there was nothing but darkness around me. At first, I thought that the darkness suited me and that I should remain in darkness for a long, long time. But then I started to see others, I started to realize that I was not alone. And almost as if by instinct, I gathered up the courage to speak with these other people and slowly, we made our back into the light. It was refreshing to feel the sun’s rays again and the first person that came to mind was you. I know it sounds strange, but I want to thank you. Thank you for guiding me into the abyss. Thank you for helping me to find light in the darkness. Thank you for opening my eyes to different perspectives and ideas.

Thank you for hurting me,
Me

Fifty Percent

In life, whatever we decide to pursue or challenge, we’re often told that we must give our one hundred (or even more) percent in order to succeed. And in most (if not all) cases, that’s true. When we put in the effort, we’re able to push forward and accomplish our goals, transform dreams into reality, and make the impossible, possible. While growing up, I’ve learned that this concept has been proven true, time and time again. But recently, after a small exchange with a friend, I began to think about the relationships in my life.

I’ve made and established many relationships, whether it’s with friends, significant others, and even family. And after a lot of heartbreak, a lot of nights spent thinking alone, accompanied with this aforementioned chat that I had with a friend, I started to notice similarities between the relationships that have worked and those that have sadly ended. Of course, there’s the whole spiel that life just happens. Because we get so caught up with our own daily lives, interests and priorities change, it’s only natural that we lose touch with certain people.

But now I think that’s not completely true. It’s that we stop trying. We stop giving our fifty percent of effort in order to maintain that relationship and because of that, it dies. So why is it fifty percent and not one hundred? It’s because in a relationship, where there’s two people involved, we’re meant to meet the other person halfway. If we always gave one hundred percent of ourselves, while someone else gave less than that, we’d become exhausted and may feel like that we’re the only one trying.

I can personally say that I am the latter. I would put in one hundred percent of myself into a relationship, while the other person only gave so much. At first, I didn’t expect anything. I thought that this was what a good friend/family member/person should be and that they would naturally reciprocate my effort in due time. But then reality hits and suddenly, I feel like I’m not wanted and that all the effort I put into the relationship was for nothing.

Even now, I firmly believe that in order to maintain a healthy relationship, both parties need to put in their own fifty percent and meet each other halfway. However, as much as I want to believe in solely that, I also think that there are certain exceptions to this rule. We mustn’t forget the genuine people that we encounter in our lives, those that deserve our one hundred percent no matter what. So pick and choose carefully, unless your soul becomes worn out and you begin to despise those whom you once considered close.

Thankful.

After a morning spent preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch, an afternoon spent in the company of family and great food, it is without a doubt that this Thanksgiving evening should be dedicated to having some rest and relaxation. As I think back to all the things that I am thankful for, the list goes on and on and on and on. In other words, there’s a lot on that list.

I could say that I’m thankful for my ever supportive family, the friends who give me 5 A.M. memories (good and not so good), the strangers who told me “Bless you” when I sneezed, and every other blessing that entered my life during this year. But as I arrived back to a home almost covered in a blanket of night, the darkness reminded me of another list to be thankful for.

And this list is filled with as much bad as there is good in my life. I am thankful for the heartache that I felt because of an absence of “us” and the sleepless nights that soon followed afterwards. This taught me the importance of differentiating between falling in love with the person and falling in love with an idea. An idea can be grand and marvelous and filled with a fairy-tale romance. But a person is living and breathing and able to warm you up when it’s cold. I am thankful for the broken family I had during my youth. During this season of my life, I learned that every family situation is different and forgiveness is a key element to healing. I am thankful for the loneliness that built up into an avalanche of suicidal thoughts that threatened to bury me alive. Because I reached the bottom, there was nowhere left to go but up. And perhaps by the grace of God, I was able to come across various rays of light that would eventually lead me home.

Over the course of my life, I have accumulated both good and bad memories, experiences, whatever you want to call it. But these moments gave me strength, taught me valuable life lessons, and helped me to discover the person that I am and am becoming at this very moment. So before you begin your post-Thanksgiving-meal hibernation, I hope that you will be able to take a moment and appreciate the bad just as much as you’ve appreciated the good in your life. It’s worth it.

Dear You, Pt. 16

dear you

I’m sorry that I constantly tried to bottle up all of this darkness inside of me and didn’t allow you to help when you could. I’m sorry that I was unable to string sentences of words together, in order to fully convey the emotions and ideas that resided in my heart. But I am thankful that you still took the time to listen. That you still took the time to be with me, in my silence, as I tried to figure out everything about myself and about this world. It was difficult, and when I say difficult, I mean it. It was really difficult to meet other people and to talk to them. But you continuously encouraged me to do so. You continued to prod and poke at me, reminding me that companionship is needed and that it’s never good to be alone for too long. And you were right. From past experiences, from how I once was, it was never good to be alone. And I’m thankful that you helped me to realize that before it became too late. I’m thankful that I no longer feel alone or as alone and empty. At least not like before. I do admit, however, that I still struggle and fall and contemplate about running away. But as I remember your words, as I remember you, I will continue to strive to be better. I will continue to live and be an active participant in this cold world. And I promise to not focus on making you proud, but I will make sure that I am happy. And I think, if we were to meet again, that I will be able to say that I am truly happy. So I hope and I pray that we meet once again.

Thank you,

Me