It’s a lot…

I have something to say, it may or may not be important and I may or may not ramble, because it’s something hard to talk about, being emotions and all. BUT: Non Nobis Solum Nati Sumus: “We are not born for ourselves alone,” so here we go.
Facebook has been kindly reminding me all month that exactly 5 years ago this month that I was in fact, engaged, to a boy I desperately loved. A few months later we were not, we were… disengaged if you will. As someone who feels everything all the time for everyone deeply, and can remember every single detail about pretty much anything, it’s something I carry with me. A wound. One I either talk about way too often, making it appear I might be bitter or holding onto it or a myriad of other sad things. Or don’t talk about it at all, making it appear I might be bitter or holding onto it or a myriad of other sad things. Can’t win for losing it would seem.
Anyway, this wound. I kept it locked deep down under my intestines in a cavern I carved into my hipbones. I would rationalize, with rejection brain, “no one wants to hear about this” “no one knows what this feels like” “don’t be the buzz kill” “stop being dramatic” blah blah blah blah. Until I couldn’t hold it in anymore and a Niagara Falls rush of words and tears would assault anyone in a five mile radius.
For a long time I was angry… angry feels like an oversimplification. I was depression mixed with Hulk like rage and fire ants in a shark tornado. Mad at God, what kind of Father would let his daughter go through pain like this? Mad at my ex fiance, mad at everyone who stayed his friend and cut me out of their lives with no explanation. Mad I was still on the leash. Mad that it hurt so much and there was no magic button to make it all stop. Except there was, a glowing exit sign in the form of a tree shaped car.
No, this isn’t a post to glorify sadness or to extract pity. It’s one of hope… hopefully. The thing about the lullaby of suicidal sonnets running through my head was they were quiet. Small. While laying on my bed, in the dark, staring at the ceiling all cried out for weeks at a time, it was nothing more than a hum of the fan in my ears. Something dim. I would never do it, even at the lowest points. The dry heaving, throwing up, swollen eyes, gaining weight, itchy limbs were never enough.
There was always hope.
The whispered songs of love over me were always just a little louder. The, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made” the “I have plans for you. Plans to prosper and not to harm you” the “I love you” promises. Reminders of who I am or was and would be.
There was always hope.
And there is always hope.
“We are not born for ourselves alone.”
Or as someone close to me once said, “We go through what we go through for someone else.”
Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, writes and rewrites and rewrites over and over and over again the phrase, “You aren’t alone” in his book “If You Feel Too Much”.
And you aren’t. There’s always hope. Even when it’s dark, even when you’re crying under the covers, even when you’re an island in a sea of sorry’s and that sucks and the tidal waves of furrowed brows and sad eyed pity.
You aren’t alone. I promise. I pinky promise, I never, never go back on my pinky promises. I pinky promise….
So to wrap it all up, since I’m droning on a bit.
Remember truth, or seek out and hold onto the people who speak it over you. Let promises of the future be louder than the thunder of the past. Remember your name isn’t a diamond ring. Let yourself forget, and then be reminded and smile. Wish him well. Remember you’ll love again. Better. More. Real. Beautiful.
The sadness is a part of you, but its the old paint. Layer compassion and love and yellow over it. It’ll still be there, a reminder. Something to share with someone at some point I’m sure. But remember to move forward.
It doesn’t define you.
Your name is beauty and grace and lovable.
You are free.14671094_10155479590632818_9192728937037023072_n

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It’s a lot…

Who Isn’t Jane?

I am abrupt.
with laughter
with rage
with sadness
and decision.
I am abrasive,
everything I say and do
rakes across your piano key teeth
prods your internal organs
rubs your skin just the wrong way.
I am bright.
Too bright
and shining everywhere
spilling light on all the wrong things
because I see everything
open doors that should stay shut.
I am vast.
If I was a bed you couldn’t stretch your arms and legs to reach my edges
I’m full of stars
and sky
universes are caught, trapped helplessly in my eyes.
I am full.
So full of so much
of too much
of everything.
Of love
Of fear
Of hope
Of dreams.
Of storms.
A raging tornado
devastating earthquakes and floods barely contained under my skin.
I am the right choice
at the wrong time.
The wrong thing
right when you need it.
The drug in your veins
the smell of mom’s homemade apple pie in the kitchen.
I am boundless,
endless
forever.
The perfect ending
the set up for the most beautiful beginning.
I am a disaster,
I am a whirlwind.
I am lightning.
But people usually stay up to watch the rain pour.

Who Isn’t Jane?

De·pres·sion

Depression is an odd thing

The world still turns

People continue on with their jobs and families and extracurricular activities

And so do you.

Some days you smile,

Observing the parade of other knuckle dragging

Routine driven

Zombie-oid crowds going the same places doing the same things sipping the same drinks as you,

Forgetting its isolation at all.

It sits quite most times in the deep mossy wet swamp lands of your belly

Something you don’t talk about

To anyone

For any reason

Waiting.

Not always an anvil tied to your ankles drowning,

Gasping

Grasping for air.

Some days are bright teal and lavender smell of crayons

Others maroon tabloids and dust colored bed sheets,

You ignore it until you’re in the dressing room trying on that blouse and skinny jeans that hug your love handles and you run your palm over your belly button despairingly

You glide over it

A small cancerous bump of comparison to the right of you small intestines.

Then the waiting is done and the nightmares they come

All angry plum bats with red eyes and tan locust gnawing

Gnawing

Gnawing at your muscles,

Your arms and legs turned to noodles.

Days and nights pass one after another agonizing over little things

Over big things.

Trapped in a cylinder prison without any hand holds to climb out

Your fingernails bloody stumps but you still can’t escape.

A never ending roller coaster of

“Will I ever be anything other than me right now in this moment on this couch watching this TV with tears streaming down my cheeks unsure of absolutely everything”

The mirror reflects back a body you don’t even know.

Your middle squishy sporting dark stretch marks you never noticed before.

Eyes bloodshot

Arms weak and broken from lying in bed on your side for hours

Days

Years you don’t even keep track of anymore.

Mournful

Hurting

Itchy

Knees radiating electric shock therapy painfully into your temples

Dejected tear drops dripping down your slack jaw mouth.

Your thoughts polluted with the elapsed heart aching

Bitten by a viper of things you didn’t say.

You’re too tired

Too awake

Too much of too much to suck to venom out

Overwhelmed.

And then it’s dimmer,

Fading bit by bit by bit by bit until its just a dull thrum in the soles of your feet

Still there just waiting again.

Silver lining peeks its ever optimistic skirt hem up and over tornadoes

The clouds part ever so slightly

Taking their sweet time.

Before you know it you’re singing in the shower again.

In the car.

Flossing and cleaning your room spotless.

But you can feel it.

Sitting like a rock on top of your pelvis,

Heavy

Brooding

Morose

Waiting.

You ignore it for some time

Sometimes days

If you’re lucky weeks

If you’re strong months.

Depression is an odd thing,

Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like depression at all.

De·pres·sion

An·tag·o·nist

Everything about me screams

“Dare me”

Steam hissing out of my ears

My whole head is on fire

I’m inside the knife fight,

The rabble is within.

Everything about me screams

“Make me”

How I run my tongue across my teeth,

Crack my knuckles,

Pop my gum.

My heart always rapidly beating beating beating.

Everything about me screams

“I wish you would”

It’s in my eyes

In my smile

In the way I carry my shoulders

How my body wiggles and jiggles.

Everything about me screams

“Dare me, I wish you would.”

An·tag·o·nist

Gwen

When I was still small

Because I stayed so very small most of my life

In middle school, probably eighth grade

I put on blue jeans, a black t-shirt, a jean jacket, converse sneakers

and a very special matching blue monkey scarf and ski cap.

My dad dropped me off at the church and I walked in alone

Everyone clad in all black

Black skirts, black shirts, shiny black dress shoes and hats

Flowers march up and down the isles and isles and isles of chairs

There were so many chairs full of seas, oceans of people

All with little liquid diamonds perched precariously in each eye.

I watched, silent, surreal

Surrounded by adult strangers, clipping royal blue ribbons to their lapels

Shouldering their heavy hearts in brick filled purses further up their arms and stuffing pebbles deeper in their pockets, sniffling.

So many oceans and seas and boats full of sniffles and tissues they could of filled the entire church.

I sat at the back and watched mom dad brother sister huddle together and talk

Putting on brave faces, singing brave songs.

My lips sewed shut my eyes dried out

This couldn’t be real.

When I was small still very small in eighth grade maybe

My best friends little sister who I taught in kids church

Loaned my very special blue monkey scarf and ski cap every time I saw her

It was her favorite

Died in a tragic accident

The course of his family’s life was tossed and shaken like dice in a cup

Yahtzee

I was twenty before it felt real.

At twenty four I still have it

Gwen

Kin·der·gar·ten

When I was very small

A very small blonde hair

Blue eyed

Tan and freckled little girl

My mother would catch me standing proud on my stumpy legs with my tiny fists planted on my tiny hips

reciting this mantra to myself

“You are amazing

You are beautiful

You are the best at everything you do.”

And I would smile my dimpled smile with all my teeth and nod and get ready for the rest of my day.

Blue and green rain-boots on

Pink tutu and tights secured

I would take on the world

Wiggling and giggling and twirling.

In kindergarten I fell in love with a boy, his name was Spencer.

We got married next to the sensory box and built a block house under a long tall table.

We shared animal crackers and Capri-Sun pouches.

He liked my cotton sundresses my mom made and long blonde braids.

I liked his green eyes and that he always helped me color my pages.

He liked to color in the lines, I liked coloring outside the lines.

At the end of the year on the very last day his dad came early to pick him up. Told him to say his goodbyes.

We were sharing a rice crispy treat and cried. He told me he was moving to a different school, in a different state.

We hugged and sniffled and he walked out waving goodbye.

I never saw him again.

Sometimes I still think about him.

His green eyes and sweaty hands. His small shy smile and the way he would touch my hair.

Everything is so much simpler in kindergarten.

Kin·der·gar·ten

Nos·tal·gia

Looking back it wasn’t all bad… but everything looks better through lavender colored lenses of pressed rose petals and crinkled photographs of prom.

When you can’t feel the sting of backhanded complements and snide weight implications.

When you forget about the curious stomach churning feelings in the form of quick glances as another girl passes by or small flirtations and “she’s like my sister.”

But everything, everything looks better through the kaleidoscope of nostalgia.

That’s why nostalgia is such a dirty little bitch. Making you remember things like you wanted them to be, not as they really were.

Never underestimate the drive of a melodramatic, inexplicably angry, teenage girl’s ability to rationalize glaringly obvious, banners waving manically, warning lights flashing, “DANGER WILL ROBINSON” screaming, red flags away when she thinks she’s in love and thinks she’s loved back.

When she thinks she’s found the one.

The thing about taking about marriage with your older boyfriend when you’re seventeen is you really think it’s going to happen.

You think he’s serious.

And he might be.

But this was not the case. Not for me.

This was the case of an insecure boy who understood only one thing; that this girl, this bright eyed, play dumb blonde girl, would walk into the depths of hell for him.

Would make the sounds of the ocean and rub his back to wipe away his insecurities.

Would make him feel like Iron Man. And for that he would love her the only way he knew how; rough and mad and dominate and “manly”.

This is the case of a naive girl, drunk on the idea of love.

But looking back on it, through the emotional, mental and sometimes physical abuse; I’m okay. I made it through.

Nostalgia aside. Bias aside.

I am stronger for it. Foraged of fire and lightning.

I feel like I should send him red carnations and a thank you note for inadvertently making me the woman I am now.

Someone brave and strong and happy. I dodged a bullet of a lifetime of comparison and heartache and for that I thank him.

I’ll allow nostalgia this round, fondly.

And I wish him very best; I hope he’s happy. I am happy that his happiness doesn’t involve me.

That is the blessing in the curse of nostalgia. I can look back now, over all those years and see a boy who was only a boy.

To that boy I would like to apologize; I’m sorry I gave you everything I had without making sure you wanted it.

We were just two kids; sharing hot summer nights under the stars, crying desperately into the fabric of each others clothes, holding hands though crowded malls and theme parks, breaking up on the weekend and professing our love for one another all over again on Monday.

We were just two kids; longing to be adults we weren’t, expecting the other to be more than they could ever be.

We were just two kids; call it nostalgia, call it forgiveness. Whatever you call it, we were just two kids and it’s okay.

Nos·tal·gia