Two Years Now

The aches are back, and the
pain doesn’t go away
when I go to sleep.
I’m alive but
without living because
you are gone. Life
is gray – it is
unbearable.

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Life

With the end,
Comes a beginning,
And with a beginning
Comes a new adventure.

When life hands you lemons,
And you hate the taste of lemons,
Take them anyway because Life
Could have handed you a knife instead.

When a door slams shut in your face,
Kick that door down,
Or at least knock it off its hinges
If you want what’s behind it badly enough.

There’s not a rule book on how to live,
So you have to find your own way
To deal with the things that you have to face,
And how you have to feel.

So when you get knocked down,
You can stay down for a while,
But for your own sake get back up
And show this life whose living it.

– National Poetry Month, 2018 (#4)

[“Life” was written in August 2015]

“Love isn’t roses…”*

Love is hard,
especially at a distance,
but it’s also the
easiest thing
I’ve ever done.

With you, the stars align –
I align –
and the fears fade away.
The monsters crawl back
under the bed and the
darkness recedes.

Love is finding out
that I am a “full person”
without you, but
life is so much better
with you beside me.

– National Poetry Month, 2018 (#3)

* Quote used as title is from Julie Murphy’s novel, Dumplin‘ (2015)

Depression (and Me)

It is waking up and still
feeling tired. It is
floating through life, everyone
else living around you.

There are days that I am fine,
and there are days I am not.
The Bad Days haunt my good days;
I know they attack quickly.

When they do, I hate myself-
my mind, my existence.
On the worst ones, I pray for
an end that is quick and soon.

But on my good days, I am
sure that I should be alive.
The sun shines brighter and so
I do too. My only wish
is that those days happened more.

-National Poetry Month, 2018 (#1)

A Letter to Myself: The Gym-Go-er

Dear Me,
You realized your first semester of college that you liked working out – go you! That’s great. Then life started getting in the way, and you weren’t able to go since before finals of the same semester. Now it’s the beginning of the second semester, and you have eighteen credit hours, an honor society, and your own mental health to look after. Not to mention some semblance of a social life, which normally is reduced to pizza and a movie with your best friend on a Friday night (because Saturdays and Sundays are for homework).

You’ve been down on yourself recently, and that’s okay. You’ve been eating everything that you can get your hands on (which varies from day to day), and just this evening your dad asked you if you’ve been to the Rec. recently. You said no, but that you’ve been meaning to. However, the thought has only crossed your mind a handful of time since classes started. The truth is that you just haven’t had the time to think about it.

But tonight is different. You realized that you missed it, and you asked yourself why. Some part of yourself says to lose weight (because you still hate your body, even though you’ve made progress on being nicer to it), but the biggest part says that it’s much bigger than that. It’s more important than that. You like going to the gym because it makes you stronger. It makes you feel better, mentally and physically. It makes you tired. It makes you feel like your body is owned by you instead of drowning you.

What is there to do?

Be patient with yourself. Make time for the gym, when you can, and try not to stress about it when you can’t. Eat when you have time because God knows you don’t have a lot of time these days, and some days you might overdo it – indulge some times! But don’t take that feeling of pride for your body go away. Own it. Whether you reach that goal weight by the end of the semester or not: Own it.

Love,
You.

The Long Process of Self-Forgiveness…

With tears in my eyes, I write this, simply because I’m having one of those days. 2016 was not an easy year for me from the start; it was one change after another, after another, and I realize I’ve started to blame myself for being human, and that has created an internal conflict that has slowly been devouring me since the beginning of the year.

I was in the shower a little while ago when I realized what it is that I need: To forgive myself. I’ve always been a forgiver, never one to hold a grudge. There have been points in my life where my parents thought that I was too forgiving and trusting (and, well, maybe I was with some people). However, I don’t think I have that same philosophy with myself. I’ve always held myself to higher standards than anyone else has held me to, and I think that is one major reason why I suffer from depression and anxiety; I am a perfectionist with myself.

I’m not saying that this is going to be easy. I’m not saying that this is an easy fix. Heck, I’m not even saying that I know how to do it. What I am saying is that I need to let myself off the hook about some things, especially the ones that I had no chance of controlling. Whether people blame me for things or not, there are just some parts of the universe that I can’t change, at least, not now.

I am saying that I need this forgiveness, and I shouldn’t have to earn it. I deserve understanding from myself and to know that God has a much bigger plan than any of those that I could come up with.

I am saying that if God can forgive me every day for every stupid thing I do, I should be able to forgive myself.

 

A Look to the Future

Personally, I believe that I’ve grown quite a bit in my first few months of college. I’m living on my own, making friends, and not having to ask permission to go somewhere. It’s the life!
(That might be a bit of an overstatement. I’m still myself – I stress myself to the max most days, and honestly, when I’m not in class, 60% of the time I’m in my dorm room alone or at the gym.)

Either way, I’ve recently started thinking about summer vacation. After days of it being on my mind, maybe the only way to make sense of it is to write about it. So here I am! Trying that!

Since I’ve moved out, I’ve really started appreciating my home town. As much as I hated it when I was living there, when I was growing up, I really see how much it has affected me as a person, and I’m grateful for that. It taught me lessons that I’ve used everyday on campus. With that being said, I’m not sure that I want to go back to that for three whole months. I’ve escaped, and I don’t want to go back to that, to start depending on others again. Sadly, I don’t see a way around it.

I love my parents – seeing them, visiting, them visiting me – but I’ve gotten so used to being on my own that moving back in even just for the summer would be… weird.

What’s my answer? Summer classes? A job and an apartment? Going home and getting a job there?
I don’t know yet, but I’m sure that I’ll eventually find it.

The Art of Leaving

You’ve grown up being left behind. Everyone has because everyone leaves. Everyone leaves in one way or another, and they stay in small ways because of the marks that they make in your life.
They die, but they’ve left memories.
They break your heart, but they don’t take your feelings with them when they go.
They tell you they love you, and the words travel on the wind.
Then one day you realize: that’s you. You’ll be leaving soon and staying in some way, and it breaks your heart. You know how that feels, but to be the one to finally do it seems exciting. You mourn and rejoice at the same time. You realize it’s easier than you ever would have thought.