Come here, and let me tell you a secret. I’ll whisper it between fingers to point you in the right direction. There’s a place in the sky where the stars in our hearts collide. Meet me there. I want to be where you are in space when the dust settles. I want to be with you while the fires still burn. I want our eyes to share something while our hands wrap themselves around each other. I want to tell you all about me without using words. We can do what we want. We can have everything. Come with me.
T.H. White, The Once and Future King
They pulled me off the floor in a way that made me feel that something very important was about to happen. They had me sit in a room by myself for awhile. There was a folder with my name on it sitting on the table. The door closed. My review. I have to say, it went well.
Hard to let myself believe it’s been exactly a month and four days since I’ve started working for Costco. Harder still to believe I had spent a little over a month looking for a job when I got here. Two months and about one week since I packed up my life in California and came here to start something. Brick by brick I can feel myself building a foundation. I don’t have much, but what I do have are the things I have always been missing. I can feel the momentum of it begin to build with the anticipation of growth I have in the past only stumbled upon.
School starts on the 24th, and already I’ve been more proactive about funding my education than in my first years in college. It feels good to start things that are important to me, but it’s terrifying wondering if I’ll feel this confident when the doubt settles. I’m learning to push through those moments a little more firmly. It’s a process, but it’s the kind that gets easier the more I’m reminded to do it. The year is ending, and I look back thinking this was the last place I ever thought I’d be. I wonder how often in life I’ll be genuinely surprised when I hear myself say that. Some things never change.
The wind of this city sends the flames of my heart into a flickering dance. I wait for smoke, but lately I’ve been finding other ways to keep my candle bright. I want my soul to catch fire. I’m on my knees with my hands in the earth, tilling the soil of my spirit until what I manifest is the dream I have only hoped of harvesting. Still the fruits of my labor are a long way off, and winter leaves everything deep with an icy hush.
I’m pretty introspective here. There’s a quiet in me that cannot be disturbed. It’s unnerving, but productive. I am beginning to wonder if this is what adulthood consists of. It is as if my volume has been turned down to a more manageable level. I’m a mellow melody that promises a beat that builds. People keep listening because everyone knows that something is coming. I wonder about what the revelation could be. I know whatever it is, it’s mine to discover. I know I’ll find it first. Until then I focus on what’s in front of me, and the next week simmers low. I take my time. I let myself marinate in the development of things. I wonder if the quiet just grows until everything takes on this kind of rational thinking. The emotions are secondary here. They float along the surface while I swim in the silence beneath. It’s the most level headed I’ve been in almost a decade.
Christmas seemed to jump out of nowhere, and I have tried to put thought into presents. It’s hard not to think about who’s not with me at Christmas, but the trade off is more than fair. I’ve never been so happy to be with family. Heartstrings are loosened a bit, and time has delivered some relief. The more I think I’m still in love, the more my head reminds me that reciprocation is the part I never think about. I remember the first night I felt in love, and I told him how much I enjoyed his ability to love me back. I wonder where that went? I always forget myself.
Conversations feel friendly, but I feel like a ghost to the people I left behind. Someone to ponder but never touch. I crave heart to hearts. Missing connections turns me all the more inward. I think about goals instead of love. I think about improvements instead of friends. I sink my roots deep and look up for sunlight. I think I’m ready to grow.
As for the final bits of heartbreak, I’m sweeping the rest of the pieces under the rug. They can be dealt with accordingly, and most importantly, later. I’ve decided that the storms have mostly passed, and now all I am left with is a numb sense of nostalgia. I can live with that. I try not to shuffle about and decide whether or not I love. Most likely I do, but most probably it doesn’t matter. So I just let it lie. Most often I try and think of my motivations. I ask myself what I was getting out of certain relationships. That doesn’t do much to help me, but I did realize that I am not ashamed of myself. Since I left I’ve been beating myself up for falling in love, but I was looking for something special, and I can’t regret that I found something I thought was worth the risk. I allow myself to be a little bit sad and a little bit disappointed about not feeling the same way about me, but I can’t beat myself up about believing something was real. Life can’t be lived like that. My ultimate motivation was always love, and I think realizing that makes it a lot easier to give up the chase. So I fell in love. So I got my heart smashed, broken, blown up, and run over. So what. That’s life. I wrote some beautiful poetry. I listened to beautiful music. I came out on the other side of heartbreak a little bit fiercer then when I came in, and I’m alive. Sometimes that is the consolation prize.
It’s the end to a long day that started early and ended late. I take comfort in fresh linens and a heavy sleeping bag. The cold that lingered so close all day is finally somewhere else for the remainder of the evening. Tonight The Shins are my only company. I half listen to Sea-legs playing softly from laptop speakers. I remark the small pleasure of being bundled in flannel pajamas, especially after feeling completely overdressed for work. Even the short shift is long behind me now, separated cleanly by a hot shower, a hot meal, and a long awaited Christmas episode of Glee. Still, I was missing the proper end to a day like today. A good day, a productive day, a day sprinkled with family, fresh air, and good thoughts.
So now I sit here, serenaded while I finish my new scarf. I can’t help but feel the satisfaction. It may not happen enough, but today I got it right. I spent most of the day outside pushing carts in the cold Colorado air after a morning at the gym. The body hurts, but it’s worth it. I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets in recent memory this evening. On one side enormous mounds of pink pancake clouds were marsh-mellowed comfortably in the deep sea of light blue and purple shadows of a dying day. On the other, a sky so clear and thin with night that the stars seemed to shimmer even through the sun’s colorful goodbyes. All along the horizon, Pike’s peak and the rockies, heavy with sleep, the unmistakably dark and still giants of quiet stone. The only thought to be had: Before the beginnings of things, before remembering, this must have been humanity’s first joy, to bare witness to such things as gorgeous sunsets in the eve of a long day. Even in the bitter wind and cold, you had to stop and stare. Such a wonderful day. <3
Today was as long as it was full of longing. I am often surprised at how grown men still think teasing is equivalent to flirting. My patience wears thin, but I make nice. I smile, but I think that sends the wrong impression. The truth is I don’t like being picked up. The truth is that all it does is make me think of where you are. The truth is all it does is make me ask myself why you aren’t here. I missed you more than ever today. I keep thinking it’s not fair, but then again, when has it ever been fair. The silence grows inside me and the words go into hiding. Loneliness settles into my stomach, and suddenly I don’t feel well. I retreat within to find my happiness. My only rule is not to think of you.
Things I need Tonight:
- Hot bath, but I must settle for a hot shower
- Florence and Ani
- Some knitting to take my mind off the day
- Good book and cup of tea
- A good night’s sleep and a solid dream state
It probably comes as no surprise that I’ve been wondering. A habit I entertain most frequently. A habit that is often the root cause of both my enlightenment and self inflicted torture. I wonder about last words and last conversations. I wonder about what it is that’s real, and what it is I only want so much to be real. I think about what was said, and what I heard. I wonder about the distance between the two. I hope for the best. I put my faith in the idea that things happen as they should.
The subject of you leaves me surrounded in so much gray. I feel the colors leave me. Suddenly I’m washed out and stretched thin with missing you. Memories of the fullness in my chest, in love with you. Thinking how much I loved being with you. It’s all so far away now. I wonder if it’s worth it to feel that way again. I wonder if I’ll ever feel as comfortable next to anyone else. I thought you felt like I felt. That was probably a mistake. I thought we told each other all the important things. That was probably a mistake too. I think when the seams started to loosen and come apart the truth had no choice but to bleed out from between the careless stitches. I found myself sitting in the middle of it, trying to make sense of a scattered mess. It’s hard to put things together when everything is all mixed up and tossed around like that. Chaos had already made it’s home in both our lives. Order had long since packed up and gone. All the signs said the end. Everything we shared withering away, until all that was left were the hollowed bones, so light, so empty. In truth it was irresponsible knowing I was so blind to the changes in my life that I had just noticed the absence of everything important to me. Of course things fell apart. I had forgotten myself. I stopped dreaming my dreams. Instead I dreamt of you, and they were foolish dreams of a foolish girl.
I recall how hurt I was about dishonesty, about lying through omission. I often wonder why you couldn’t tell me things. I wish you would have. Maybe then I wouldn’t have felt so invested. Maybe then it would have been easier for me to walk away. Maybe I wouldn’t have thought you were just as in love. Maybe that’s what you wanted. None of it matters now. I just wonder about the things I can’t know, but you weren’t the only one with secrets.
When I omit you from my life, I know that I had certainly reached the point of absolute entropy. Things had come together, so beautifully for awhile. My life, my job, my friends, my ability to live my life in a way that felt true, it all came together for a time. I had crested that peak, and before you came around things were already coming apart. Broken friendships, work on the rocks, financial instability and no family support for decisions I couldn’t see myself through. I was ashamed of my crippling fear. I was ashamed of my family relationships. I had walls too, but I thought maybe you loved me enough. It was a stupid assumption. As if love could save me from things I needed to fix myself. I am my own salvation. I know that. I always did, but you made me feel more love in my life then I had in so long. It was hard not to think I had left certain undesirable moments behind. A siren song on a reef I did not want to see.
So it’s easy to say now that it’s over that I know why it ended. I look down at empty hands knowing that my ship of youthful and foolish independence sank to the bottom of the sea, claimed by hungry and experienced ocean tides. It was rough and I feel weathered, but I’m a pretty good swimmer. I’m alive, and I’ve found my way home. Sometimes it takes six years to hit a little bit of good timing. I feel lucky. I try not to forget what brought me here.
The part that I wonder about now is the passing of time. Absence seems to make me want you more. I don’t understand how I can still miss you. One good exchange, and my heart comes back to life. How is it that I find myself here? It takes so little to bring me back, and so much to move me forward. I’d feel shameful if I had any control over the feeling of things in general. I suppose I should be thankful I cannot act on them. That would be counterproductive. I should be grateful for small favors. I suppose the truth is that I am very single and unavailable. My heart seems more fixed and stubborn then usual, and I wonder if there is some secret being kept from even myself. Some hope or unmentionable desire keeping me from letting this go. I miss. I miss, and I still love. That much is certain. I miss, I want, I love, and I know that what I truly hope for is to let go. Let it go. Walk away, but it’s not so easy. Here I’ve done a few better and flown far away, and still. I think I still love you. Foolish little girl, still in love.
Yet the truth remains. The truth cautions. The truth keeps my feet on the ground. Never did he ever say love. Never did he ever say want. We are not equals in love. I deserve my equal. Missing me is natural. Missing me is sweet, but missing me is not the same as loving me. I want to be loved. I’m tired of entertaining substitutes. I miss. I love. I want. Single and unavailable until further notice.