My Myers-Briggs type told me I’d do this

I used to complain about the ache in my bones from the cold, but you have ignited a warm flame in my chest.

-Thank you for keeping me warm

I just want to hold you and never let go, tell the world how the universe planned our meeting just right and how I never knew I wanted this until I met you.

-I know there is value in waiting

There is someone out there who sees your value, will be there for you when you cry, and who you can be there for when they cry. You will be able to celebrate each others’ victories and lift each other up when the burden gets to much. You will be happy with the idea of marriage. It will be magical. He will be magical.

-Dear 17 year old self

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Grief

I have read a lot of literature on grief, specifically dealing with death. I have watched family members and friends all deal with death and grief in their own way but I myself have not dealt with it in a personal way.

Yesterday, I received a call from my grandmother that my uncle had passed. Honestly, it wasn’t a call I was expecting. My uncle was 37 and the picture of health except for his heart condition. What concerns me more is that he was alone for 6 days before someone discovered his body. His last words to his mother were “I love you, momma.” But I cannot for the life of me tell you what his last words to me where. I have racked my brain over and over and there’s nothing in that file. I don’t even think a “last words” file exists in my brain. I don’t want it to exist because I don’t want to believe that anyone truly leaves. I guess this is part of the denial stage of grief.

I may not remember the last words he said to me, but I specifically remember our last phone conversation. He told me to be more spontaneous. He said when someone calls and wants to hang out, do it. Don’t make excuses as to why I can’t go or shouldn’t go.  Just go. So that’s just what I’m going to do. I’m going to go and be spontaneous and do the things that may scare me. I’m going to sky dive and climb mountains and take risks in my relationships and with my career. I’m going to make more friends and get to know more people because one time he said that if I learn anything from him, he wanted me to learn to always know a guy (or gal.)

Even though I have all these great things to learn from him and to remember him for, I’m still hurting. I think I’ve cried a total of 5 hours since I found out (yesterday morning.)  And while I’m a very emotional person, this is still a lot for me. When I asked my grandmother when the funeral was, she responded with “oh no, we’re not having a funeral. We’re having a party.” and honestly this is only the right thing to do. My uncle was alway ready to go to a party, to meet new people, and to celebrate life. So it is only right that we do the same.

My uncle and I only really got to know each other for 2 years because of my weird family dynamic. I’m so thankful we got those two years. In those two years he loved me as if he had known me my whole life. We got to explore Canada, go to a Pink Floyd concert, and enjoy different food restaurants. I learned many life lessons and was able to add a person into my tribe, or rather he added me.

The next couple months are going to be difficult. I’m going to cry a lot. But I’m also going to celebrate my life because that’s what my uncle would want me to do.

Living in the vulnerable

Ever since I was little I’ve never been able to keep a secret. I used to believe it was just because I have a big mouth (and maybe I do) but I think it has more to do with I believe in living in the vulnerable. Because I live in the vulnerable I think everyone else should to. If you live in the vulnerable, nothing can be used against you. You can just be. No one can be shocked by how you act or believe or feel. I realize living in the vulnerable is a privilege that not everyone has. But being as vulnerable as we can be generally leads to beautiful things. It leads to more honest conversation, it leads to closeness, and it leads to openness. Sometimes I wonder why I feel this way when we live in a world of secrets and honestly I think that’s why. My family is huge on secrets. Growing up around the dinner table I always heard “now don’t repeat this,” and “I heard this but I’m not sure so don’t repeat.” Honestly, I think I just got tired of it. Obviously I have boundaries to the vulnerability (is that contradictory?) If it’s something personal like an addiction or a difficult time that you’re going through I tend to keep those things to myself or if you specifically tell me to keep it to myself. Otherwise, I believe it’s fair game to talk about in conversation should it come up. Maybe, this is trivial. Maybe, this is childish. But it’s just how I choose to live.

On Death

I am going to live to be one hundred and twenty I tell you as we lay in the afterthought of bliss. Your inquisitive nature begs you to ask me why and I say “just cuz.”

I do not think I can cross this world and explore all of her crevasses and divinity in a mere 60 years. If this is what twenty two years of life looks like, then I am going to need 5 times as many 22 years to get it right. 5 times as many 22 years to breath in the sun, take in her warmth, and expel it out of my chest to blind the haters. Thats right, at twenty two you come to learn that some people just like to throw stones to see how long it takes for the glass to break but jokes on you because you cannot break glass if the sun is shinning so bright off of it that you cannot see it.

There are many rooms in my house of glass. So many you will get lost. Lost in the memories that replay in my head every day, each in its own beautifully decorated room with drapes of spiderwebs wrapped around each box sealed tight with the remnants of memories too unpredictable to let out. One minute this box is torn up sketches of a night I don’t entirely remember and the next its a masterpiece painting depicting a drunk girl crying at her own demise. Crying at what she has lost. Not all who are wander are lost but trust me all who say they are lost are indeed lost. It’s like I’ve searched through dozens of maps just to find my way and each one leads to a dead end. Another… you should have done this, another joke to ease the pain but guess what, with each joke you are just chipping away at the soul that is already halfway gone.

You say it sounds like I fear death. I tell you it is not the death I fear, it is the rebirth. You tells me there is none, its just peace. But how will I know if I am not there. I have been taken over by the darkness before, chipped away until there was nothing, that is to say I had died. I have died each time I think about that drunk girl. That drunk girl died. That drunk girl never found herself again. She died and peace was not the end result. How can you know what comes after death when you have not had your soul ripped from your body and been forced to find it again? Been forced to scream out into the unknown hallows of each bone of mother earth searching for some remnants of who you used to be, of who you are, only to find that the coyotes are already feasting on the marrow of these bones, chopping into them until they are nothing but the dust that makes up the sand.

How I am supposed to find myself in the sand? A million souls that in the end amount to nothing, but in a body makes up the whole of a person. Sugar means nothing when it is by itself but when it is taken out of a cake no amount of Splenda or Teavia can make it taste like an actual cake and my sugar was stolen from me. Stolen by a boy who thought himself a god. Looked in the mirror and saw a strong unwavering force. When I looked at him, I saw anger. Red cheeks flushed with a tint of alcohol, hushed voice with the tone of the devil, I am scared. You see the devil and god aren’t that different when you break it down both take lives for their own bidding one just happens to say he does it in love while the other one does not lie about who he is. At least he’s honest, at least he doesn’t claim love and steal souls in the same breath. At least he’s predictable. He was so predictable. Sweaty drunk boy with strong groping hands. I should have known. I should have known my soul was about to be extracted from my body. I thought I was prepared to fight.

My mother warned me about boys like you. Warned me about what to look for, how to leave, what to scream. But she never prepared me for this. Soft whispers weaving their way down my throat and blocking my vocal cords. Stones wrapping theirselves around my limbs keeping me from moving, blackout. My soul has left my body and I no longer know who I am.

So no, I am not afraid of death. I am afraid of men who take life. Men who think they have been invited to the exhibit and then steal the Monalisa. Men who leave me with a lifeless body and SHHH don’t tell anyone.

Sticks and Stones

Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll ever get out of my middle school angst “phase.” When do people stop calling it a phase and just accept it as a state of being. I’m sure some people get over the angst and maybe that is a sign of growing up, but maybe its not. Maybe it’s actually a sign of stifled emotion, emotion too hard to bear so we just swallow all the sticks and stones because of them being used to “break bones.”

I will instead choose to ingest them and destroy myself from the inside out. At least that way no one, except myself, will be held responsible for what is happening. If I am in control of them then maybe I can choose the sticks I swallow. Preferable maple tree twigs so they will taste sweet as they go down, maybe the syrup wrapped around the edges will allow it to go down smoothly instead of playing on my ribs like a xylophone. I would choose to swallow stones that are covered in moss. When lost in the forest, moss grows on the side of the stone that faces north so maybe if I swallow one I will find my true north. Moss also has a way of patching wounds that would never quite heal in the wild. So maybe if I swallow enough moss covered stones, these wounds that never quite healed will slowly begin to weave themselves shut.

But it’s hard to swallow sticks and stones when you are throwing them so viciously and quickly at me that I cannot catch them and put them in my mouth without fear of being struck. I can only be struck so many times before I am forced to run or just sit and endue each blow as if nothing is happening to me.

Maybe this is why some people stay in their middle school angst “phase.” These are the people who never seem to catch a break from the blows of the sticks and stones.

The Liberation

I am a feminist. As most good feminists, I do not hide it. I exclaim my feminism from the rooftops. People like my feminism. My feminism is easy to swallow. Let me break it down for you.

  1. It’s ok to have a dick, just don’t be one
  2. don’t comment on what I wear and I’ll try to be respectful of things that will make you uncomfortable.
  3. lets pay people who perform the same job the same pay regardless of gender.
  4. don’t put your dick, fingers, or any other things you may own (or don’t own) in someone without their consent.

Sounds easy right? 3 easy to swallow pills and I’ll even provide the water to wash them down with. But I’ve learned that my feminism is not loved by everyone and even if it is, it comes with bashing of other feminists. It usually sounds a little like this “I can handle your feminism. It’s the bra burning, topless, men hating feminists I don’t like. They take it too far.” Did they really take it too far or is that how far it had to get for you to notice? So today, my feminism is not one of the easy to swallow pills. Today, I am braless (a bra burning feminism) and damn… I feel good.

I have a paper and an assignment due tomorrow but here I am. Screaming. Can you hear me? Can anyone hear me? I need someone to squeeze me so tight that my heartbeat is forced to meet theres. I felt a wave of needles wash over my body and the funny thing about pain is eventually you experience it on such a level that your body goes numb. Numbness is a funny thing. How do you explain numb? The absence of feeling? But what is feeling? A sensation? An emotion?

Whatever it is, I don’t like it. Feeling and the absence thereof makes me altogether whole and undesirable. No one wants the broken but how do you know the difference between broken and whole when you have always walked on the line? Never smart enough for advance classes and too smart for the regular ones. Never crazy enough for hospitalization yet never sane enough to survive by yourself. Never stable enough for a relationship but never at peace enough to stay celibate. Not desirable enough for a respectable relationship but desirable enough for a fuck without asking and leave.

One day, I hope the sun shines down on me. Better yet, make me the sun. Let my rays reach down and love the girls who find theirselves just like me. Self destructive behavior after self destructive behavior just to cope with the fact that you need to give up a different self destructive behavior. Girl, let my rays reach far down enough that you feel my burn. Please don’t hurt yourself. Please feel my warmth and know you are loved. Let my love burn into your skin so that there is no room for anything else. Let the sunburn of my love be all the branding your skin needs. Maybe that numbness will be enough for you.