I Didn’t Think About You Once Today

I didn’t think about you once today, for the first time since I met you. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was simply that it was too cold to get out of bed; I did not wish that you were there beside me. I went to the closet and got dressed without thinking about whether or not you liked the shirt I was putting on, didn’t think about whether you’d already seen me in the sweater I layered over it. I skipped breakfast, as I always do, and I didn’t hear your voice chastising me in the back of my head,  I just glanced at the clock, grabbed my keys, and shut the door firmly behind me.

I didn’t see anyone who reminded me of you on my way to work. I didn’t hear anyone who had your laugh, didn’t see anyone sporting the same shoes you wear.

At the office, I answered phones, got coffee, checked emails, sorted paperwork, chatted with coworkers, spaced out, got stuff done, all without interruption. When my boss handed me a bunch of work right before it was time to leave, I didn’t have to suppress the urge to text you and complain, didn’t even think back to a time when something like this would have made me late to have dinner with you. I made it home eventually, and when I got there I called up a friend and asked if he wanted to come over and watch television with me. He did. We laughed, we made popcorn, we had a great time, and not once did either of us mention your name.

I went out for a run with my iPod on shuffle, and I heard a song we danced to together at our favorite bar, the night you wore a dark gray t-shirt and I ordered my usual, one shot too many. But that memory of you didn’t accompany it this time.  I didn’t care that you weren’t with me,  I just kept on running.

As I’m lying here in bed, about to close my eyes and drift off to a place where I will not dream of you, this is when I realise I haven’t thought about you today. Some might say this realization ends my streak-of-not-thinking-of-you, that I’ve inadvertently let your ghost return to haunt me once again, but this is not true at all. See, in thinking about how I haven’t thought of you, I’m not really thinking about you at all — I’m finally thinking about me.

You’re just an idea now, a dark shadow, something I’m only considering as it relates to my own evolution. I’m recalling what I used to be like when you were all I ever thought about, when you seemed to own my thoughts morning, noon, and night. I’m thinking about the tear-stained pillows and empty wine bottles that decorated my room in the time I spent trying to get over you. I’m remembering how badly I longed to free myself from your spell, but secretly believed that day would never come.

And yet, that day is here, that day is today, the day I did not think of you, and I cannot help but smile, for I am finally free. Everyone said it would happen eventually, and I’m happy to report they were right (as they almost always are). I’ve moved on, as we all seem to do eventually. The best part is, I doubt I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow either or ever again.

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You’re Back…I’m not Snow White

You’re back, and you announce it to me via text or email or Facebook message or skywriting or carrier pigeon. “Hey,” you write. “I’m back.”

Oh. How nice. How nice for you. I…I don’t know how I’m supposed to react.

Did you think that when you left, I froze? That time stood still and I just stayed exactly the same in exactly the place you left me? Did you think I wasn’t upset, wasn’t moved, wasn’t changed by your leaving and the way you left? Did you think I just went, “Oh, okay. I’ll wait here” and plopped down and twiddled my thumbs and waited for you to return?

I am different than when you took off. I was alone and I was sad and I picked myself up, dusted myself off and kept on. Well, what was I supposed to do? Go to sleep? Hibernate? Go into a coma? Die? Was I supposed to die? And then rest in a coffin in the forest and wait for you to come back and kiss me and wake me up? Am I Snow White?

At first, I waited for you. Maybe intentionally.  Maybe just because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I convinced myself that you were coming back and it was me you were coming back for. I convinced myself I could hold out, and that if I just remained pristine and perfect, I’d be preserved for when you returned. But then, time went by and I moved on. You have no right to come back and expect me to just drop everything like we were a book you get to just put a bookmark in and return to whenever it’s convenient for you.

There is no bookmark. My story continued without you.

Is this a TV show? Did they just want to stir up my storyline for sweeps or a season finale? You used to be a series regular and then you thought maybe you could do movies or something so the writers wrote you out of the show. Then, a season later, your movie career failed and you asked to be written back in and so the writers shoe-horned a reason for you to just show up at the coffee shop and voila! You’re back!

But here’s the rub: you missed a whole season. Maybe I was given a new love interest or maybe I went through some trying “Very Special Episodes” but either way, I am not the same. You can’t just expect me to be the same.

I’m not even mad at you. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m mad. I’m just frustrated by all this. A big part of me wants to run into your arms and never let go. A big part of me wants to resume everything as normal. A big part of me wants to believe you’ll never leave again. Will you ask me to wait for you this time? I want you too, but I’m also scared.

You were like an imprint in a car seat or a divot in the sand. I knew you’d been there, because you left a mark, but then you made a choice and you were gone. It really, really hurt.

You’re back, you tell me. And you want a response, a reaction, something, but I feel too many emotions at once to figure it out. Can I both slap you and kiss you? Confuse you the way you confused me?

I’m sure we’ve both changed. I bet you’re also unsure and tentative. You have so much you want to tell me, so much to share. Where do you even begin? Where should I even begin?

But it’s halfway through the next season and even the writers can’t salvage this one and I don’t want them to. Let me enjoy my happy ending this time.

I’m not Snow White…

 

It takes a man to live… It takes a woman to make him compromise

When we were younger we thought
Everyone was on our side
Then we grew a little bit
And romanticized the time I saw
Flowers in your hair
It takes a boy to live
It takes a man to pretend he was there

So then we grew a little and knew a lot
And now we demonstrated it to the cops
And all the things we said
We were self-assured

Cause it’s a long road to wisdom
But it’s a short one
To being ignored

Be in my eyes
Be in my heart
Be in my eyes
And be in my heart

So now I think that I could
Love you back
And I hope it’s not too late cause you’re so attractive
And the way you move
I won’t close my eyes
It takes a man to live
It takes a woman to make him compromise

Be in my eyes
Be in my heart
Be in my eyes
And be in my heart

For Helen…because its true and I will miss you!

Remember how he walks, the colour of his skin, the curve of his neck, the shape of his lips, and find it in the strangers you meet day after day. Find him in other people and think how truly ordinary he is because you see him so much in other people.

Forget how his eyes looked when he was trying so valiantly to tell you how sorry he was. Forget how deep it seemed that cold rainy night and how the pain reflected in his eyes was enough to make you stumble forward and hug him like it was the first time. You gave your all to that hug, wrapped your arms around his body and buried your head into his arms. Forget how you wanted to stay there forever and just skip the talking. Forget how you pulled away and looked into his eyes so you can tell him that you still don’t believe him.

Forget how the sides of his mouth turn up and how his hands reach out to touch any part of you every time you see each other. Forget the feeling of ‘being found,’ do not even feel that way again for anyone.

Forget that one boring afternoon when you suddenly convinced him to shoot music videos. He was the star of everything. He was too good in your eyes that you even included the crappy shots. Do not even watch it for one last time. Delete all the memories to forget. Delete the music. Delete the place. Delete the person from your hard drive. Fill them with someone else right then and there. Remark at how easy it was.

Forget his gift for your  birthday. Forget his efforts for you. Dispose of all his gifts, those things that he bought for you because you both know it would be funny. Laugh because you can’t find it anywhere. Not in your room, not around the house, not in your bag. Hate his letters but don’t throw them away yet. Convince yourself to not believe in those kinds of lies and read them anytime someone tells you those things again. Do not ever forget these lies.

Forget the time he cried one night because he was telling you something about his mother. Forget his secrets, his quirks, the things that he claims he had only said to you. Share them with someone unrelated to him. Someone who doesn’t really know him. Transfer the burden of the only person knowing those things right at the moment. Assure yourself he’s going to tell them to someone else sooner or later. Cherish the idea of having a social side wherein no one knows he exists. Find time to be with them as much as possible.

Forget who he is. Remember to forget. Remember how he walks, the colour of his skin, the curve of his neck, the shape of his lips, and find it in the strangers you meet day after day. Find him in other people and think how truly ordinary he is because you see him so much in other people. People you don’t even know. People you know. Fight the nostalgia. Be in understated comfort knowing he wasn’t really special to begin with.

And lastly, forget yourself. Forget who you are when you are with him. Forget the unwilling relationship he had imposed on you, leave all the traces of his negativity behind you. Forget how happy he made you feel, likewise remember how stupid you felt when you believed him. Forget being forgiving, how he was the only person to have broken your trust more than enough times and yet, stick to him undeserving so. Forget being noble, for sticking to a person who doesn’t deserve you. For thinking that maybe you both could do good in each other’s lives. Forget being idealistic, how he managed to corrupt your mind that something can overcome all trivialities: something called love (platonic or otherwise). Forget being mad and mean, a consequence of being in a place wrought out of lies.

Forget who you are when you are with him and find yourself in a place rid of any trace of him. Forget everything and start in a better place.

From the Thought Catalog

An open letter to a friend who calls herself ‘we’

It seems though that now, whatever it is you participate in, enjoy, or experience, is being fed through a second set of nerve endings and sensory receptors, because I have yet to hear about something that doesn’t involve “we.”

Dear you,

Look, I love you. We’ve been friends for so long now, and you know you’re amazing. There is no one I could have more fun with, no one who will so reliably hold back my drunk hair and then tell me it’s okay to wear sunglasses indoors at brunch the next day because my eyes feel like despair. We’ve been through so much together that, at times, I can take you for granted. I assume that you are a constant in my life, and if that has led me to treat you with anything less than the love you deserve, I’m sorry. You are the greatest friend anyone could ask for, and there’s no one I want happiness for more. No one. So when I found out that you were dating someone, I could not have been happier. I thought, “This is it. We’re all finally going to be happy and get what we want, and we can all run off into the sunset together linking arms, singing that song from the end of Grease.” If only I knew then how wrong that would prove to be.

It starts off innocently enough. I call you, wanting to do something, and I don’t hear back from you for a while. A text or two goes unanswered, and when I finally get a hold of you, you mumble something about being “really tired,” and not feeling up to going out. I can hear your lover in the background, trying to pry the phone away from you from all directions like a many-tentacled squid, but I ignore it. You’re in love, and there’s nothing wrong with spending some quality afternoon time in bed.

But then it gets more worrisome. You start missing out on things you love, your social appearances become so rare as to elicit a “Woah! Look who crawled up for air! Hope no one is pregnant.” every time you show up. Your hobbies and interests start morphing, slowly, to adjust to those of your new love. Your affinity for bowling has been switched out for a serious vested interest in wind surfing, and the fashion magazines you once pored over with glee you now refer to as “banal.” Who taught you that word? My friend would never seriously refer to something filled with free cologne samples as “banal.” But I digress.

The point is, I can see the “you” that makes you who you are evaporating in front of my very eyes. Aside from the new interests that seemed to appear overnight and replace all the things you used to love, is the strange assertion that this is nothing new. Come on now, let’s be real. We all know that your long-standing, passionate interest in Greek philosophy is about two weeks old, tops, and is inspired more by the fact that you’re getting laid on the regular by someone who likes to read than any interest in understanding mankind. I mean, I get it, but let’s just be honest with ourselves. And I don’t begrudge you this new persona! On the contrary, it’s fine to see someone grow and develop. I mean, it would be nice if this were a little more self-motivated and less based on making yourself the ideal mate for someone you are unhealthily attracted to, but I suppose the ends justify the means.

However, there are certain things that irk me more than others. For example, last I checked, you were a single unit — one person, no more, no less. As I understand the English language, that would mean that you would use the first-person singular nominative case personal pronoun, known in some circles as “I.” You would say, as you used to, things like “I went to the store,” “I really liked this movie,” or “I picked out this scented candle that makes my house perpetually smell like chemical pumpkin pie and suffocation.” It seems though that now, whatever it is you participate in, enjoy, or experience, is being fed through a second set of nerve endings and sensory receptors, because I have yet to hear about something that doesn’t involve “we.” “We went to the new exhibit, it was bourgeois.” “We used to really like Woody Allen, but Midnight In Paris was like watching him dance for pennies from the everyman at your local multiplex.” “We decided to arrange the apartment to get more south-western light in our living room.”

I don’t recall being friends with a two-headed hydra who can’t stop talking about the concert it’s going to next week, but then again my memory’s never been great.

Look, I’ll reason with you here. You and I both know that this relationship isn’t going to last forever. Feign your outrage, talk about moving to Vermont and having barefoot children, and then let’s get back to reality. At some point, you’re going to find yourself hating all of the pretentious and uninteresting things you pretended to do to participate in this farce of a commitment, and that’s okay. Come on, we’ve all been there. I once learned about everything there is to know about modern banjo playing with a foaming-at-the-mouth urgency to impress this guy I ended up breaking up within a month. (True story.) But you know what was awesome? When I regained consciousness and realized how much of an utter circus that whole thing was, and I regretted how quickly I had tossed aside my friends for what I imagined was true love at first sight, you guys were there to take me out and remind me how much fun it is to be myself. And I want to thank you for that.

But now it is your turn. So have your fun, ditch your friends, lose your head. Just remember who was there before, and remember who will be thereafter.

From the thought catalog

22 things I know at 22

I think the main think I have learnt in life is to learn. Every day we all learn and to stop learning would mean I…you…have stopped living. Every day is a learning curve, even in the little things. Just last night I learnt not to ever eat miniature hot dogs at a cocktail function.

Here is a list of 22 things I know at 22, I plan to do it every year to see just how much I’ve learnt.

  1. Although it feels like it will heartbreak won’t kill you
  2. It is not the situation you are in that shows what type of person you are, rather how you handle the situation
  3. Anger is a useless emotion
  4. Whose Line is it Anyway never gets old
  5. Caring about others more than yourself will get you nowhere
  6. As a teenager parents know nothing but as you grow older you learn to relate, I think my mom should write a list like this
  7. More than anything I would love to be a mother…someday NOT now, a few years ago you wouldn’t have caught me saying that
  8. People get married for the wrong reasons
  9. Sometimes a lie protects, sometimes it destroys
  10. By 22 you know the friends who will always be there
  11. There is no such thing as objective
  12. I still enjoy romantic teen comedies and I’m not sure it will ever change
  13. No matter what my dad will always protect me
  14. Never betray a friend for a man, friends are forever men are passing whims
  15. Travelling alone is the best way to travel
  16. Asia is my true home
  17. Kindness is the greatest gift you can give someone
  18. God exists, even if it’s just in my heart
  19. No one has room to judge anyone else
  20. The world will get itself together
  21. Routine is king

And finally

22.I am 22, my whole life is ahead of me, and it will all be alright

 

I can make myself sick in every way I can think of

I can make myself sick in every way I can think of. Drink too much, vomit bile, mute my thoughts with downers; burn through countless packs of cigarettes to keep my hands from shaking, curl up close my eyes and rub out the dull headache.

I can be mad at you, unreasonably angry. I can wonder how you can love someone with all your heart, cradle their body against yours and create an aggregate of biology, and then just suddenly…not. I can rehash this strange concept in my head and hate you completely and sincerely, sit shaking in my room with the curtains drawn and wonder blindly about the meaning of words; wonder if you ever meant it, if you meant it at the time, if you just lied to me and never meant it. I’ll make myself feverish with the thinking but know underneath it that no, you weren’t lying, you did mean it at the time and now you don’t. And that will be the saddest thing.

I can make myself sick in every way I can think of. Drink too much, vomit bile, mute my thoughts with downers; burn through countless packs of cigarettes to keep my hands from shaking, curl up close my eyes and rub out the dull headache. I can singlehandedly damage my biochemistry and make myself crazy, hope you’re still cosmically connected to me in some way and will try to reach out though I know you won’t. I can throw empty words out into the void and ask it weakly, repeatedly, what the point was in the first place.

I can blame you for the death of us even though I know full well it takes two to make a relationship flourish or fall apart and I’m just as responsible, maybe it was more my fault than yours or maybe we’re like oil and water, unable to mix even with the best of intentions, who knows and who cares. I can know this and recite it to myself earnestly, appeal to myself with logic and attempt to believe it and feel absolutely no difference. Feel frustrated that I’m able to convince anyone of anything except myself.

I can try to make you understand how much you hurt me, sweat over long detailed texts you won’t answer and see you everywhere, see your face in every passing one and hallucinate your hands in my hair with the wind. I can stop taking care of myself completely, stop caring stop eating and make sure to run into you looking malnourished and disheveled, eye makeup purposely smudged to make my exhaustion visible. I can order your favorite whiskey every time even though I hate it and wonder if you’re thinking about me at that exact moment, cheers to your memory. I can insist to you that you feel the same way I do you’re just too scared to realize and listen intently as you explain that I’m wrong, listen that way without hearing the words.

I can hyperventilate, chain smoke, take long aimless drives; write bad poetry, cry all over it, tear it to pieces; feel genuine regret, learn to pray, try to change myself into what I think you might want. I can project all that energy out into the universe, the despair and the helplessness and blind fury of it, tell you I love you over and over until the words don’t have meaning anymore, and so? It will be like trying to move a mountain with an eyelash with staggering fatigue. It will change completely nothing.

I can do all that or I can just stop bullsh-tting myself. I know I can run the post-break up script as well as the next wounded girl, recite the lines with all the dedicated tunnel vision of heartbreak and make myself feel like the worst kind of person, but should I? I can do that or I can just stop; keep nourishing my pain or snap my vertebrae straight and leave you in the past where you fell. I can shed my delicate skin and grow armor, feel safe in my own arms and learn to forget without forgiving. I can blot out the heart-puncturing memories, turn the page or buy a new book because memories only mean something if you let them. I can keep searching for happiness on the outside, keep trying to squeeze a hacked puzzle piece into the negative space of my heart, or I can stop viewing myself as inherently incomplete and become my own reason to smile

From the Thought Catalog