seesaw [excerpts from a book i’ll never write – twenty-one].

i think i love you.

but i wouldn’t dare say the words out loud.  wouldn’t dare speak them, or write them to you.

i think i loved you in a past life, too.  your soul feels like the other half of mine, which is impossible – because i am already whole, and yet, not.

knot – that’s what my stomach feels like when i feel you pull away, as i plunder forward, wanting more, always more.  ’til i plant my feet and say, “enough,” and retreat.  and we seesaw again.

new year’s day.

you can’t wait to wash the curls out.

they don’t feel like you.  you’ve always been more of a wave, slowly rolling, over and over, pushing some things out, pulling some things in.  you like your hair to match your spirit – wild, messy, not too perfect.

you thought the curls would lift your spirits, but they just made you feel less like you.  it was the perfect cold weather occasion, but you couldn’t shake the thought that you weren’t where you were meant to be.

so you’ll rinse the curls out, stand under the scalding hot water, let it strip away all the secrets you tried to hide in your hair, and start fresh.  isn’t that the way it’s meant to be this time of year, anyway?

#MondayMantra: happy new year!

“for what it’s worth:  it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be.  there’s no time limit, stop whenever you want.  you can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.  we can make the best or the worst of it.  and i hope you see the things that startle you.  i hope you feel things you never felt before.  i hope you meet people with a different point of view.  i hope you live a life your proud of.  if you find that you’re not, i hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

-f. scott fitzgerald

i resolve to change nothing.

2017 was a year i could be proud of.  i said yes when i wanted, or no when i didn’t.  i traveled, and loved, and laughed.  laughed a lot, actually.  that’s part of the reason i chose the above photo from our trip to l.a. to do this post – i was laughing so hard at my sister because she was freaking out that i jumped up on this tiny ledge just to get a pic with the city in the background.  it was a chance, and a memory i’ll probably never forget.

this isn’t to say that i didn’t struggle.  because i did.  a lot.  but the struggle never outweighed the lessons or the memories.  i feel like this is the first year (and i hate to be so cliché about this, but it is what it is) that i really felt like myself.  part of it is that i stopped taking birth control in 2016, so my body is finally my body and i don’t feel as on edge as i used to, but there’s also the part that is that i wasn’t wasting away in a relationship that wasn’t meant for me.  if my 20s were about being in fruitless relationships, then i hope that my 30s are about this feeling i have right now, sitting alone in my bed, reveling in the knowledge that i can create my own happiness.  and by that i mean that if i never fall in love with another guy, i can still have all the things that i want and i can still leave the legacy that i wish to.

f. scott may have been a crappy husband and father, but he certainly knew his shit.  we are completely in control of ourselves, if nothing else, and that is enough.  there were a million times that i wished i could’ve been in a different situation, but i had to accept what i had to work with and just live.  and evolve.

so, instead of resolutions, i instead intend to live this next year with resolve.  i intend to continue to take chances, to put my heart on the line, to write, to love, to travel, and, most importantly, to grow.  i intend to live with a kind heart and an open mind.  i intend to live in such a way that when my time comes i leave this place better than when i arrived.  i intend to live a life i’m proud of.

happy new year, y’all.

the goodbye.

there are no tears left for you.

she cried them out so many months ago, so there’s nothing left to fight the hate-fires in her heart.  they just have to slowly burn out, like the love she used to have.

you lost her long before she cut you out.  you lost her long before the night she said things she couldn’t take back.  you lost her in the moments you chose not to be present, in the moments you chose dishonesty and secrecy, in the moments that you chose not to be public with your relationship.  she wondered if it was even real at all, or had she only just imagined it?

it was the little things that set her in motion, that rolled her closer and closer to a cliff she had no choice but to throw herself over in self-preservation.

and words were said, and regret was planted, and then she tried to make herself smaller to fit back into your closed off heart.  but you had already cracked it open for someone else, so she never was going to fit.

it’s done now.  she no longer misses you on sunday mornings.  she no longer holds her breath when she sees a truck that looks like yours.  she no longer hears a song and thinks of you.  your name isn’t the one she’s hoping for when her phone dings.  there’s no pebble-sized hole in her carefully guarded heart shaped especially for you.  there are only smoldering cinders, from pain gone up in flames.

wristbands on the bedroom floor.

i picked a concert wristband up off of my bedroom floor, and a memory hit me like a freight train:

two concert wristbands on the floor by his bed, torn from the wrist and lazily thrown aside the night before after the chris young concert at the rodeo.

i asked him why there were two, and he replied he took one off for his sister.  but why were they in his room, if he walked past the trash can? for some reason my gut didn’t believe him, but my heart chose to.

another memory:

months earlier, lying in bed at his place, he tore a concert wristband off his wrist, reached over and tore mine off, too.  he threw them both on the floor, then wrapped his arms around me.  warm and safe, i fell asleep.

***

i have to keep reminding myself he never loved me.  even in the moments i think he did, i have to tell myself that those feelings i had aren’t true.  there was no intention on his part of the relationship.  there was never a chance for a happily-ever-after.  i was just another two year passage of time for him.  those are the feelings i’m left with.

he would tell me i hate him.  i used to say that i didn’t, but i’m not so sure that’s true.  hatred is such a strong, passionate word.  the older i get, the harder it is to produce that emotion.  but when i think of the time i could’ve spent getting to know someone else, someone who intended to be a partner, a best friend, a soul mate…i hate him for taking that from me.

***

in the moments i allow myself to wish and hope, i dream of a man who wants to go to concerts with me.  someone who gets lost in the music like i do.  someone who hears the poetry beyond the lyrics of a pretty song, in the moments of “i love yous” and sunday morning breakfasts with the radio on.  someone who won’t make me afraid to put pen to paper for fear that my pages and posts will fill with angry, hurt, vulnerable words and memories i’d much rather forget.

i’d rather forget you, than hate you.

#MondayMantra

i promise i haven’t forgotten y’all.  i’ve just been struggling with my voice lately.  there’s so much i want to say, and so much i don’t want to say, and it’s hard to toe the line between the two.  but i promise to make more of an effort, even just for my own sanity, because it’s really hard to focus with all the words jumbled up in my mind.

i used to think that you had to hold back and wait for special moments to do things that felt special, like drinking an expensive glass of wine, or admitting how much a person means to you, but i don’t believe that anymore.  sometimes i give way more of myself than feels comfortable, and for a minute or two i wish i hadn’t, but i’ve learned that moments are fleeting, and things could change without a second’s notice.  and i’ve learned that there’s courage in being open and honest, and sometimes it just makes you feel good to say the words out loud (or over text) and know that you gave yourself a fighting chance.

so now, i book the flights/hotels/roadtrips when the fancy strikes, and i burn the expensive candle because i love the way it smells and that sensory experience warms my heart, and i buy last minute tickets to a concert out-of-town because live music is my happiest place.  and maybe i’m still alone, and maybe i’m a little bit lonely (even when i’m with my loved ones), but i know how to make myself happy and that’s enough for me.