I approached her. The girl who looks like you.
It was because there were five of us in class, and she was reading a book, and before I knew it my feet (and maybe heart?) were moving me.
Maybe because the semester is ending and my chance to was running out.
I went to your Instagram (for the first time since our breakup) to show her your purple hair since I didn’t have any recent photos.
I told her, “You look just like my best friend.”
She looked down at you and smiled with gap teeth, “She’s super cute, thank you.”
I told her no problem. I told her I stared at her sometimes because of it. She laughed, and talked casually with me for a while.
I noticed the whole time we chatted, my fingers twitched. I was thinking about your pictures.
All the reasons I had avoided checking up on you came flooding into consciousness. You looked healthy and happy like a little ginger baby. I was happy for you. I wanted to like them but I have no desire to invoke your hatred of me before I can fight it rationally. Your engagement ring is beautiful and unique like you.
You were living on, just fine,
I suppose, standing there, my heart was breaking all over again.
I wondered if you ever thought about me.
I wondered why I was doing this, talking to this stranger about a ghost.
Living out a fantasy situation.
I wondered if her and I could be better friends somehow, and if that would kill me.
I was dying already.
The conversation ended when class began.
I went back to the opposite side of the room.
I let me legs shake all the nerves I held in, out.
I smiled because I felt accomplished.
Of what I’m not sure.
I did not directly face my fear, but I tried.
I hope one day I have enough forgiveness and adoration in my soul, so when I try to win you back, I will have the words and heart to face you with strength, and make you feel my love.
The day we broke up, I had cried on the phone. But it wasn’t immediately for your loss.
It was because I had known that moment was coming,
long before I had even done anything to make you judge me so harshly, and despite anything I had did or not done and anything you had not done or did,
nothing could change that my closest friendship had inevitably come to a close.
It was because you described us as ‘not cool anymore’, and I was racking my brain about
when you had become someone I had ‘just been cool with’ to not be ‘cool’ with me anymore.
Hadn’t we walked out of high school, gownless and proud together, not to mention literally surviving with one another through grade school?
Did you not urge me to cut my hair and be brave in natural beauty, and had you not been part of me enough to do it yourself?
Had we not spent countless days staring at one another, not quite alone but not engaged, just being?
Had I not cleaned up your vomit from a strangers bathroom floor, and you mine off your own?
Had you not penetrated me many times, in many ways? In both my mind and body?
Had we not spent summers listening to music we probably never return to together?
Had we not walked and played and danced together?
Had we not gone the distance for one another, taking care of each other?
Had we not run from danger, stood up for, and ranted to one another?
Had our days been so numbered from the start, or was it someone’s, my fault?
I cried that day because I knew the moment would come. I just didn’t know it would be over because of this.
I could hear it in your voice when you talked about how everyone else could go.
My heart knew I was included and I ignored it because I didn’t want it to be so.
But so many things had brought me to this disappointing reality earlier on.
Not to place blame on either of us, truly, though. This is life.
We were already drifting, and now our life together has gone far beyond the horizon of time, like a sun never meant to rise and set again.
That day I was too mad to cry over you. I was mad at both of us, though mostly myself.
I stayed very angry, quite sad, and deeply engulfed with shame for weeks after that.
Every thought of you brought me an immense amount of both pain and frustration, and
perhaps it was not fair of me to have been so bitter towards you, but the more I digested the reality of our lives,
the more I resented you because (in my opinion and POV) you truly left for no other reason than you wanted to go and you did not mind making me your scapegoat. You actually enjoyed it.
I am still trying to accept this and move on.
I had been doing well, accepting that you would rather scapegoat me than to give what I felt our friendship of 10+ years of friendship deserved and earned,
until your brother messaged me, about something unrelated, and also told me he had no parts in the hanging of my character.
I knew that already, but it brought me back down to that energy again.
And at dinner, I cried.
As I messaged him, my hands shook, I was not upset with him at all, but his presence made me feel very sick, thinking about you.
I thought for a few seconds about how I should hate anyone with anything to do with you, and then
my real feelings bubbled into the forefront of my mind and I saw,
that this feeling
And then new thoughts came to mind.
I wished you were a sister of mine too, so that you would have to love me and believe in me and
at least try to hear me out like a human being.
I wished that the last time we hugged and cried together, I had known to cry for you instead of for an unrequited love. I wish I had squeezed you tighter.
I wished that the last we had spoken on good terms, I had told you that I loved you.
I wished that I would’ve told you everything about me and cried to you instead of letting my anger and resentment get the better of me.
I wished that I had tried harder to let you know that you could talk to me, because I loved talking to you.
I wished that I wasn’t such a disappointing person and that I could make you happy and smile
that extremely beautiful and gappy smile that made me ok with looking at myself in the mirror.
I wished that I had been a better person and friend.
I pretended to sneeze and wiped away my tears.
I know that I am being irrational, because not only has our relationship died, but you have to me too. In a way.
I know the person I yearn for no longer exists in you. As wrong as I was in my actions… I am not the person you have chosen to make me out to be.
Every day I work hard at forgiving you for the things you have said to break my heart.
It’s also extremely awkward to get even more distasteful news that isn’t actually true about you.
I pray that you aren’t the one that conjured them up.
In doing these things, saying those things, we have most certainly gotten to not knowing one another, anymore.
That’s suppose to be ok but sometimes, I am not satisfied with that.
So I hold on to you anyway.
I remembered, sitting at that table, that I had told you that if your heart were to fail on you, you would live on with me, and I would talk to you instead of myself.
So here I am.
Holding on to her, you, whoever this phantom woman is that I love so dearly.
She is still with me, in my heart. She tells me, when I think of the things you and others have said and feel like nothing, that anyone that feels that way about me can fuck off.
She says it strongly to me, with fight in her amber eyes and conviction in her heart.
That if someone doesn’t have the sense to come to me about my life instead of flying off the handle when it isn’t even their business, they can fuck off.
She brings me to the old music you shared with me because out of everyone, you knew my heart best.
She tells me I am important and someone will see me that way once again one day, because I didn’t lose my value and never will.
When I am alone I watch things I would’ve shown you, and promise myself to be smarter and to be bigger because I am going to help change the world one day, and your voice echoes through my mind, you always sounded so sure of me. I can’t thank you enough for that.
Every word of encouragement you’ve ever given me has never stood out as much as it does now that you are gone.
I’m so sorry for that.
Even if I am a slow learner, I am learning.
There is a girl in my class that looks more like you than anyone I have ever seen.
She is pale and beautiful and pierced and has blue hair. She has thick thighs and a flatter booty with a skinny face and a celtic woman nose.
Her walk is lazy and her feet drag often, her hands are smooth and small with short nails that she gets done on occasion. Her dress is punk hiphop chic mixed with apathy. I wonder what her major is.
Her lips are thin but plump and naturally hot pink like yours and I stare at her on accident, often, expecting her to look at me,
and tell me this is all a cruel joke
with your voice.
But she never does. She just looks back at me with small, unfamiliar darker brown eyes; kindly, with a very telling and docile smile.
I find it fascinating because she could be creeped out but in this way she reminds me of you as well. Very accepting of the strange. Maybe I remind her of someone, too.
It breaks my temporary illusion but makes me look harder, because there is a meaning in this depressing irony.
The two of us could never quite put our mortal brains together and figure it out but
I know there is meaning somewhere.
Even in leaving me, you have given me a precious gift.
I have been following a woman on Instagram, @yoga_girl Rachel Brathen, for a while now and about a week ago, her best friend was killed in a car accident. She says at that exact moment in time, her appendix ruptured and as her friend was rushed to a hospital countries away, so was she.
Rachel has been very open about her feelings, all the pain and love that come with losing one of the most precious things any person can have.
I can’t imagine how many people, including myself, who have cried with her.
This story brought a lot of peace to my heart, because
I realized that I want a friend (hopefully more!!) that listens to me, and respects me, and cares enough about me to listen to my point of view instead of treating me like a child and belittling me. I want people to be attached to me and think highly of me because I think highly of them and we can think highly of each other. There is no competition, or jealousy, or put downs towards me to make them feel better about themselves. We don’t laugh at each other’s life decisions or scoff at one another’s pain. I want a friend that knows my flaws but thinks that I am precious anyway, because that is how I see them.
I want a friend that will talk to me about my life instead of gossiping and being petty and all of a sudden, so unfamiliar.
I want someone I can just be honest with without them trying to make their ego the point of conversation.
I want someone who can at least try be rational instead of adding a whirlwind of more emotional turmoil for me to sort through when the subject of conversation is my life.
It was in her posts that I realized that I didn’t have that in my old friendships.
That even thought it was ‘all good’, I really, wasn’t happy or being treated well myself.
They say our relationships with other people are a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, so,
if my closest friends lived and thrived off trying to be better than me, putting me down, controlling and manipulating me, and attempting to make me feel like I need them to validate my decisions, then I really, was gonna have to face the music of hating myself one day, anyway.
I hate to have hurt people,
but I am not sorry to be out of a circle that destroys one another.
I want a friend that’s heart is connected to mine and does not try to hurt me for personal gain.
On this journey, I will find them.
Everyday I have thought about the people I have hurt. I marinate on what is my part of the blame about the pain in their hearts. I look for answers and guidance. I pray for more compassion.
This feeling is remarkably different from guilt.
Guilt hung on to their words and absorbed the blows of the reality of the critiques I was receiving because of my own shameful actions.
Guilt reminded me at times where I wanted to fight for them, or the relationships, that it was all ending because of my decisions.
Guilt reminded me that the only person I had to blame was myself.
Guilt told me I was a bad person. It told me I was wrong for trying to make amends for my wrongs, that in that I was selfish. It told me every smile and moment I had shared with these people was a farce and that I did not deserve friendship. It told me every bad thing that happened to me was my karma. That since I was bad I deserved bad.
Guilt held their faces to my eyes and read their words and clung on to my memories with them, had me wishing every day that if God would just let me go back I could fix what had happened because they were meant to be in my life because I loved them and if they weren’t I had not only failed them, but I had failed my very own existence.
It told me I would not attend my best friend’s wedding, at that was my fault. That I would never dance and jog and have one of the sweetest friendships I’d ever known become more than that.
It told me that I would never be able to speak to any one of them again.
And it was all my fault.
After about three months of constantly thinking this way, I grew weary of my own grief.
The feeling came suddenly.
I got tired of looking around at the beautiful things that still existed now and downplaying them because something I had done months and years ago was haunting me.
I got tired of ignoring what the people right in front of me were saying because I was in my head, condemning and criticizing myself and the situation.
I got tired of feeling like I was a bad person.
It was in noticing that my BODY and MIND were DONE with the stage of guilt that I decided to TRY to not be so miserable. If I were MEANT to be unhappy, then why did I feel this way?
Why do I get out of bed every morning if I am a plague upon society?
Why do I study to be someone who will HELP people if my default setting was I was a DEFECT?
Why do strangers still smile at me and give me the chance to just be?
Why do I have friends that have faith in me, despite my obvious shortcomings?
Why does my family still adore me?
Why, deep down, did I still love everyone in my life who had ever hurt me?
Why, deep down, did I still WANT to love myself?
This was the true beginning of my spiritual journey.
Up until these moments, everything I was doing, school and career wise, socially, artistically, had been for the betterment of someone else.
I wanted to change the world and save the people. I wanted to bring light to people’s darkness and give fulfillment and food to those that were starving for either. I wanted to bring children to a place where they would not be bought, sold, or auctioned into a life of suffering. I wanted lonely people to feel love from me because I had plenty to give to them. I wanted to make people in my everyday life, feel something more than mundane movements and feel my energy. I wanted people to see themselves as I saw them.
I felt and did these things because deep down, focusing on other people’s pain made me feel like I was keeping mine in perspective, when really I was just trying to avoid facing it,
and changing it.
I have always been something of an escape artist, if you will.
Ever since I was a kid, because of failed expectations in the pre-operational stages in my life, I had this notion, that everything around me was.. not enough. I did not get excited about much.
Teasing had made me shy to other children, criticizism from my mother made my shy to adults, rejection of the idea that my life could be more than what I saw, made me shy to myself.
I began what I later learned was escapism.
Headphones in my big, bulky white radio that buzzed me awake every morning, hours of cartoons and then hours of day dreaming.
Hours upon hours of daydreaming. I have probably spent more time doing that as a hobby that anything else, which believe it or not is saying a lot.
As I got older the dreams changed but they did not cease.
Instead of being in an animated fan fiction I was my own fan.
I was a performer, a fighter, a lover, a traveler, a winner, a hero, a villain, a double agent, a healer, a gypsy, an award winner, a book seller, a speaker, an activist, a philanthropist, a millionaire.
I could be anything and for a long time it had just been me and my beloved dreams.
I thought, If my life cannot be grand at least I was given this mind to imagine one of abundance with.
In my personal life, everything was virtually the same. Dysfunctional home, no pride in myself, nothing happened that made me happier than my dreams.
Until someone unplugged me, literally.
I was fighting my ex girlfriend. She broke my headphones, I noticed. Enraged for once, I fought back. We tussled until she called the police.
Though that battle did end that night, the next morning I was filled with sorrow.
I did not have enough money to eat, much less, buy new headphones with good enough sound quality to make my dreams come out pristine.
Now I only had my actual life to pay attention to, and it didn’t make me happy. At all.
I fell into a (deeper) depression and didn’t come out of it until I noticed a homeless man one day off of Virginia Avenue. It was summertime and he was dressed in tattered clothing, was dirty, and looked scary to 17 year old me.
We were at a gas station, I was running in for snacks, and he was what I thought was loitering.
But he was actually opening the door for people and smiling and offering to wash their cars for anything.
This brought tears to my eyes.
I had never thought much more about the desperately impoverished than to avoid them for safety.
But in him, I saw myself. I saw his eyes light up at being given change, and the amount of gratitude he showered the person who had given him nothing but a smile and a wave.
I imagined that if he were taken to a hotel, and given the opportunity to shower with hot water, he might cry in it like I had.
I imagined that if he had a steak and potatoes that were promised to not have dirt or roach footprints on them, he might cry, like I had.
He inspired me to many things that day.
One of the most important was that I would find happiness in making people EXPONENTIALLY more safe/clean/stable/satisfied with their lives and situations.
And since that day, up until three months ago, I thought the key was to do my best to make other people happy, so that I could be happy.
In a lot of ways, that still holds true, but BEHOLD, there is a TWIST.
The saying goes, You can’t give it all, to them all.
The other saying goes, you cannot love another if you do not love yourself.
In these two phrases my issues have been summed up.
It was not until it was brought to my attention that my thinking had some flaws and fallacies, that I begun to think differently.
That I saw myself differently.
Yes, I was a piece of shit liar dirtbag whore snitch idiot that would never be like the people I envied or the people that inspired me because I was a delusional jealous hypocritical narcissistic cynical destructive negative ugly lazy uneventful undeserving poor dramatic bastard of a crackhead.
But it was not until a couple weeks ago after seeing myself this way for YEARS that I have decided to stop.
It’s been a self fulfilling prophecy, much to my own and other people’s dismay.
They say, if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you would have none.
Welp. They’re right.
So I will face you, Shadow Self.
I will learn you and then we will unlearn this, because deep down,
my heart begs for bliss and authentic companionship.
Well. Everything basically ended two weeks ago.
A week ago I understood the terms and conditions of my termination.
Today I understand that the contract I signed hadn’t had the second signature I needed…. but apparently the offer isn’t off the table.
Going from happy to unhappy to mildly depressed to whathefuckishappeningtomylife will knock the wind out of a person.
I feel like many of the people I love took their fists and blew out my chest themselves.
And right when I get to a point of, ‘I get it, you all are looking out for you, lemme follow suit before I’m destroyed by my mangled, unmanaged expectations’, I’m again pulled into this annoying, sick dynamic of my babying other people’s egos and pride and sense of what the world is.
And I can’t selfishly indulge myself to block out the truth like everyone always does. Like I’ve always done.
I have to face it in it’s ugly glory because it’s facing me.