We Got Way Too Much in Common

We got way too much in common. We both came out of broken families, one that stayed together and one that didn’t but both were broken none the less.  We emerged from mothers who couldn’t mother and fathers who did their best. We emerged wounded and raw and each a different kind of fucked up.

We got way too much in common. Neither of us knows how to escape our past and we insist on replaying the worst parts with each other. You shut down when I become too emotional and I plead with you to comfort me. We are both stuck in a loop and no matter what we tell ourselves or each other we may never get out.

We got way too much in common. We both got hurt before we could see what was beautiful in the world and we both got hurt more than most people do. We both had our bones hollowed out and our minds shattered in a scream. We both had to pick ourselves up and remake ourselves anew. We both walk on shaking limbs and possess a fragile heart that breaks everyday.

If I’m being honest with you, I have been afraid that what we have in common is what will tear us apart. I have been afraid that what we have in common is why we shouldn’t be together.

If I’m being honest with you, I am afraid the dysfunction we have worked so hard to escape is something within us. I am afraid we have the past within us and we are boud, fated even, to pass that on to our future family.

I used to ask, “Who wants to love somebody like me?” I wonder if you asked the same thing too.

You wanna love somebody like me? It’s hard to believe and hard to accept. I will ruin you and us and you will ruin me too. Still, I wanna love someone like you too.

If you could love somebody like me then maybe I am not so bad after all. If I could love somebody like you then maybe you deserve that love too.

Yeah, you must be messed up too, but maybe the kind of messed up you are and the kind of messed up I am will make the past easier to bear for us both. Maybe the kind of messed up you are the kind of messed up I am are just what each of us needs to get out of our pain.

Maybe the kind of messed up you are and the kind of messed up I am will save us from ourselves.

***

Post inspired by the song In common by Alicia Keys:

Advertisements

Feeling Beautiful at Thirty

In just about three weeks I will have completed yet another revolution around the Sun and turn 31 years old. Before this happens I thought I should take some time and think about what being 30 has meant to me and write a few posts marking the year that saw me moving into true adulthood.

One of my biggest concerns was that my body was going to start going to shit. I don’t know if my body really changed more this year than any other or if I was just hyper-aware of the changes this year because of my fear. What has turned out to be really surprising is that I love my body more now than I ever did.

My whole life I have been pretty skinny, with moderate curves in all the wrong places. My boobs are small, my butt is big, I have chicken legs, and my hips are almost nonexistent. I felt awkward in everything I wore and I wished to gain weight in all the places I didn’t have it so things would appear a little more even out. Thirty heard my wishes and chose to grant them, mostly.

I feel like my body is growing into itself and even in the areas that are not improving, I see them a little differently and I kinda like it. For example, my stomach is getting bigger day by day but instead of hating it the way I did last year when it was starting, I actually kinda like it. I am always reminded of that scene in the movie Pulp Fiction when Fabienne explains to her boyfriend Butch that she wishes she had a pot belly.

Everything seems to be getting bigger—my thighs, my boobs, my butt—and I do want to start working out to make sure things don’t get out of hand, but for now, I think I look pretty damn good :)

Besides having more curves to love I feel like my face has slimmed down, I don’t look like a little kid anymore, my skin appears healthier, and my hair is growing faster than ever. I attribute all that to drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables.

All this, and maybe my maturing brain too, means I feel more confident and more secure in my skin than I ever did before.

I feel more like a woman. I do not mean to say that I feel especially feminine or even sexier, I just mean I feel like a beautiful, strong human being. I feel like something special, something magical, something I never thought I could be.

I look forward to what the next year might bring.

“I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her skin.”

// Sandra Cisneros

***

Featured image via Unslpash.com 

Because I Always Feel Like Running

I always feel like running.

I always feel tense, no matter where I am, or who I am with. Sometimes it is only a little, like when I am only hyper-aware of my surroundings. Sometimes it is worse, my hands are balled into fists, my jaw in cycles between clenched and unclenched, and my shoulders are raised. When it is really bad I start to twitch, first my right eye, then my shoulder, then the muscles in my thighs. I feel trapped, I feel surrounded, I feel as if I am on my way toward the danger even as I sit here perfectly still. I am in a constant state of worry, of fear, of fight or flight from death, and I need to get away.

But where do you run to escape the dangers around every corner. Cover and safety are illusions, do not be fooled. You cannot hide from Death, the only question is, is it running at you as fast as it can, or is it slowly stalking you, getting ever nearer, wearing you down for easier prey? Death could come in any form, a slip, a fall, an unknown heart condition. It could come in the form of a stray bullet, a four-car pile-up, or a burglar in the night. Death is approaching, of that, there is no doubt. No matter where you run, no matter where you hide, it is keeping pace. It watches always and it never rests.

Now I am tired. My heart beats hard, and I get the feeling it may stop. I cannot focus and I cannot just be. My mind races with all the things that can go wrong and even in my sleep I dream of being chased and threatened with violence and harm.

I am told to relax, to take it easy, to put my mind to work on other things, but it isn’t so easy. Can’t people see that staying put is what is dangerous? Can’t people see that through running I can save my life? Why does no one else run? Maybe no one sees the dangers that I do. Maybe the danger is in my head and no one else’s?

No one really cares when you are scared. You must always be strong and you must always appear relaxed. You can’t talk about it, you can’t look like it, and you definitely can’t act on it. So I sit here, tense and twitching, scared and worried, watchful and anxious, waiting for the danger I know is coming. I will sit here and plan and plot to escape and wait for a reason to run.

Because I always feel like running.

***

Inspired by the poem Running by the late, great Gil Scott-Heron.

Featured image by D Sharon Pruitt , CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia

From Me to Me in Twenty Years

Dear me in Twenty Years,

I do not know you, but I guess you know me quite well.

I will become you in twenty years but one thing I have learned is that trying to picture or predict what the future will hold is futile. I never knew the me I would become now and I cannot fathom what your life must be like.  I have learned instead that I can only hope and I hope that my future is a happy and fulfilling place.

You are 50 now and that means your body is probably creaking and sagging in all kinds of places but I hope you don’t care. I always thought it was silly that older women spent so much time and energy applying creams to fight the breakdown of collagen and various hair dyes to fight the graying. I hope you have a ton of laugh lines and long gray hair. I hope you look in the mirror and see how beautiful age can make us.

I hope you still have your dreadlocks. I love my dreads now and can’t imagine having to cut them off. Please tell me that won’t happen! I also hope you have more tattoos. I have been saving my pennies to get more and I don’t want all that saving to come to nothing in the end.

I hope that you are healthy. I know you have always worried about what you eat and how little you exercise. I hope that somewhere in between the time I was me and the time I became you that we found a way to take care of ourselves better. I know you remember the nights we lay awake facing our mortality. I hope you aren’t still afraid.

I hope you are working for yourself, doing the things that you love. I hope you are writing and creating art which I know has always been your passion. If you aren’t

I hope you are still in love and that your relationship continues to flourish. Our love for a particularly special girl is what got us our of the darker times. I hope you are treating her well. Do not forget the lessons we learned the hard way in the past. If my hopes are misplaced, please, don’t tell me. I’d rather stay ignorant and blissful a little while longer.

I hope our family is well. Your niece and nephew would be all grown up now and our siblings will be getting older right along with you. I hope you see them every Sunday still. I hope they all turned out to be fine men and women with their own happy lives and happy families too.

I do imagine that in the time between me writing this and you reading that you have experienced many hardships and some devastating losses. I know that life is often harsh and at times quite cruel. I hope you have not forgotten that life can be beautiful too. I hope nothing has broken you. You are such a fragile creature at times. I also know you are strong when you need to be, you always have been.

Whatever is happening in your life, wherever I have ended up as you, I know that we did our best and I promise when I am you I will have no regrets.

I can’t wait to meet you one day, we will have much to discuss when I do.

– Love always,

You at 30

This is part two, can read part one here.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

Original image via Caleb Roenigk

From Me to Me at Fourteen

Dear Me at Fourteen,

You do not know me but I know you very well.

You do not know me but you will become me one day.

I want you to know that even though life is hard right now, that even though you feel alone and hurt, know that I love you. You do not love yourself yet, that won’t come for a very long time, and not without a lot of work, but it will come.

I want you to try to have hope. I know it must seem silly to have hope in a world where things only ever go from bad to worse, but it isn’t. You must have hope. You must try to survive. I promise you there is light at the end of this very long and very dark tunnel and you cannot imagine how beautiful life will be.

There will come a time when all of this will feel like nothing more than something bad that happened to someone you once knew. The wounds will heal and there will be love and security. It seems impossible, I know, but it will come. You only need to hold on for just a few more years.

Until then, try not to be so hard on yourself. I know you are struggling to figure out what is right and whatever you choose is ok. You are only a child and those who are meant to teach you are leaving you to figure it out on your own. It’s ok, you will get there. Try to be patient with yourself, no one else will and it’s what you will need the most right now.

I know no one has told you but I want you to know that you are amazing. You are beautiful, and kind and so, so smart. More than that though, you are strong. There are so many people who would have crumbled under half the weight life has piled on you but you can handle it. You are stronger than you know, and stronger than they tell you you are.

One day, when you are all grown up you will be happy.

All you have to do is survive!

– Love always,

You at 30

This is part one, can read part two here.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

Original image via Caleb Roenigk

Trading One Sense for Another

What if you could give up one of your senses for super sensitivity in another? Which would you choose to give up? Which would you choose to gain? I read this prompt from the Daily Post and I barely had to think, I immediately knew the answer.

I would easily give up my sense of smell in order to have a better sense of sight.

I feel like my sense of smell is pretty sensitive now. I often smell things before those around me and the smells are usually unpleasant. I smell skunks, and trash trucks, and my dog when she comes in from the rain, ugh. I smell the sewer back-up at work, other people’s body odors, and a co-worker’s bad breath. I hate smelling bad smells. I actually get angry about it, especially if the smell is coming from a person!

I would give that all up in a heart beat and never miss it at all. Well, there is one smell I would miss and I’m not even sure what it is. I smell it here when spring is turning into summer. I smell it on the light breeze and it’s gone before I can ask the person next to me if they smell it too. It’s a flower, I’m sure of that, but it smells very, very sweet. It is my very favorite smell and whenever I smell it I stop and take in as much as I can.

I have never been able to figure out what it is exactly, no one I have asked seems to know. I would miss the mystery as much as that sweet smell itself should I ever lose my sense of smell one day.

Oh but to gain more sensitivity in my sight would be amazing. For one I wouldn’t have to wear these stupid glasses anymore. Sure, they look good on me but I have always felt that they were never a full correction for my deficit in sight. Glasses give me a very close approximation of normal human sight, but it isn’t the same. Real eyes never get cloudy with fingerprints and hair product and they don’t get covered in minute  scratches over time.

My lenses are at their best the first day I get them, then it’s all downhill from there for another year or two until I get another pair.

More than that, I’d hope by giving up my sense of smell I could get even better that the average human sight. I’d like to see better than 20/20, I’d like to see the world the way cats or owls do. I’d like to see every detail of the world around me. I’d like to detect the smallest movements in the distance. I’d love to see better in the dark, almost as well as I do in the day.

I’d like to be able to see more colors too. I’d love to see into the ultraviolet range like butterflies do, or into the infrared like boa and pythons.* I bet the world would look so different, so much richer. The most beautiful flowers made even more interesting by the pattern on their petals that no human can see. There are probably a ton of bugs and animals that glow bright in the UV spectrum. Can you image what they might look like at night?

So yeah, to give up my sense of smell for a better sense of sight is an easy-peasy choice to make. I wouldn’t have to deal with things that stink and I would gain a whole world of light that I have never experienced before.

Image by Allan-Hermann Pool (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Too Tired and Crabby for Free Writing

My mind is empty this morning and I don’t know what to write about. I’m usually a master at these free writing exercises. I mean I free write everyday. I have never really dealt with not having anything to write about. My secret is a quote I read once from Earnest Hemingway. He said “write hard and clear about what hurts”. If that fails I try to write as if I’m writing for someone I love. Those two ideas have gotten me through a lot of writers block but today even those strategies aren’t working.

I guess I am just tired. I woke up last night with a cough. The fit lasted for about an hour. The same thing happened the night before too. I don’t know what’s causing it but I suspect it has to do with a combination of allergies and smoking cigarettes. My girlfriend was sweet and got up to rub Vicks on me and make me a cup of tea. I was able to stop coughing after I’d finished the tea and I got back to sleep but the damage was already done. I knew I was not going to feel rested when it was time to get up for work.

Being tired like this is causing me to feel almost numb. Not good, not bad, just neutral and numb. I am uncaring, and that is what is causing writers block today. I guess you have to care about something in order to have something to express to the world. I admit that’s an interesting lesson to learn. How do you make yourself care when the mind is just too tired? While writing this I have paused multiple times to try to get inside my own mind. I’m trying to jump start it. I’m trying to get it riled up about something, anything! Every time I am met with nothing, just silence. I just want to sleep.

I am sure the weather is only making things worse. Today fall has decided to finally show it’s face and the clouds have rolled in. It’s dark and gloomy and a little chilly outside and we are expecting rain. Weather like this always saps my energy. I get a bit down and sleepy. Everyone is telling me to smile but I don’t have the energy. You ever notice how when your not in the mood to smile and people tell you to smile it makes you want to smile even less?

Everyone is also telling me that this is a beautiful time of year and I should be glad that the heat of the summer has passed. I don’t agree but I am tired of telling people that the clouds and cold depress me. I need sunshine and warm air to lift my spirits. They think I’m crazy. So now I just smile, nod, and agree. It’s less work that way and I save a little bit of the energy I need to make it through the day.

I think some food would be nice right now too. Something salty and greasy and not at all good for me! I had one of those Naked protien smoothie things for breakfast and while they do fill you up, they are not satisfying. I could really go for some potatoes, eggs, bacon, and cheese all piled up with maybe some peppers and a nice warm coffee. That would brighten my mood and get me writing! Oh now my mood has tipped just to the sad side of blah. I have nothing good to eat, I can’t take a nap, and the weather is not going to improve. I am stuck now.

But maybe not. I don’t want to feel like this, there has to be a way to cheer myself up. People always say that you choose your attitude everyday. I can’t change the things that are bringing me down but I might be able to do something. There is a Keurig in my bosses office, I could at least get a nice warm coffee. Maybe I could throw my headphones in and find some music to wake me up and get me moving. I might even try just wandering around my job and saying hi and good morning to everyone. Making others smile will definitely make me feel good.

For having nothing to write about I sure did type a whole lot of words. I already feel better just knowing I accomplished that. So now I’m off to cheer myself up, I hope you all have a beautiful day.

Free writing prompt came from both The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt and the Writing 101 course. I did write for more than 10 minutes but I didn’t edit except for obvious spelling errors I caught before hitting Publish.