i write stories to survive… i write stories to remember that i am still alive. this year is weird. this year is being scared and being brave. a few years ago, when i found myself all alone, i thought it was like the whole universe was shaking its fists at me, at us (my kids and me). sometimes i forget about the times silence filled up the house, and sometimes i forget about the nights i didn’t sleep and sometimes i forget about my shaky legs carrying me around from one empty room to another empty room trying to find comfort.
people probably are under the impression that i walk around with these things tucked in my pockets, and that i wake to my sadness and greet them in the morning; but i think my grief, and sorrow has a way of hiding themselves in the gaps of my bones, living under my skin like a itch that doesn’t go away and they only rears their head now and then.
there are other things hiding there as well…. things i don’t talk about, because when you give them words, you give them weight and they are already heavy enough on the nape of my neck pushing me down into the earth. i don’t need to share the weight. and i’m not afraid of them, but they are unnecessary, unerasable reminders on the path behind me. i am not claiming i won’t look back. but i’m trying to not let the things from my past falter my steps forward. there are a lot of things i could tell you about.
like all those sliced up thighs and thin red lines on my wrists and the time the only boy i ever loved telling me to turn around and never look back. there are a lot of things i could tell you about, you know ? my friend screaming at me to stop me doing something stupid and the night at the hospital i sat next to julien knowing that it was the last chance to say goodbye.
but i don’t think it’s something that i’ve got to do because those stories are just stories and their effect has already been filled. i am what i am but i am filling into the details and i am still learning. like how i’m realizing how there’s something attractive in distance, to me. there’s something harrowing and beautiful about getting in the car and just going. which is what i do. often. and, one day, what i think i’ll do. i think, because of the ways that changed me, running as far away from things as possible and holding them at arms length feels right, even if it stifles the way my eyes shine, and the way i am trying, ceaselessly, to bridge all of these gaps and stitch up these miles. it’s not just about love. it’s about owning up to all of the things that i feel, which is something i am bad at and which makes my lips stutter and my hands shake.
so the things i’m learning to be brave about? they’re not about the suicides or the hasty goodbyes or leaving a home i thought i knew. and not about all those things that people shoot me sideways glances about. it’s about the feelings i tucked inside my chest and didn’t tell anybody about–not because i was ashamed but because i didn’t think they were relevant or that anyone cared.
so i’m growing up and still learning, and i’m getting to the place where words are always burning that the tips of my tongue. it feels a little uncomfortable, but how else am i supposed to deal? i’m gonna find a way to let them go. and it’s not brave in a “baring your soul for the world to judge” type way. it’s brave in a “finally becoming comfortable with being who you are and not letting anyone, namely yourself, tell you that there isn’t worth in that.”
i have been trying to be brave for a few years now and i do this over and over again every december… i have a little post it note on my bathroom mirror which says “become committed to being scared and being braver” and i’m gonna start living by it, or i’m going to be doomed to a life of sidelining myself, and only ever being brave for other people.
so i’m showing up here again with my heart on my sleeve and a handful of things i want to tell myself and to let go. i hope i’m ready to listen, i hope i’m ready to believe. it’s not a process, it’s not a step-by-step program. it starts the second i want it to, the second i step up, and that second, for me, is right here. right now.
hello again, december !