We all have fears.
You may fear nakedness.
Some may call them irrational; some may call them illogical.
You may fear being stripped of your clothing.
Call them what you will, but that doesn’t make them any less or any more.
You may fear seeing the expression on the other’s face.
They are still there.
You may fear letting yourself be scrutinized.
Like a stain that will not wash out.
You may fear hearing the thoughts they are thinking.
They are still buried beneath the surface of your calm, cool exterior.
You may fear standing there in all your glory.
Like a splinter embedded deep.
You may fear having no glory to bare.
They are still sharp enough to pierce your confidence.
You may fear showing the real you.
Like a thumbtack pinning grievances to your soul.
We all fear who we really are.
There is plenty I do not know about love. It would be easier to list all the things I do know. Everywhere I have looked, it has been the same. Fairy tales, movies, books—love is made out to be some highly fictitious concept that sits pretentiously on a pedestal always out of reach. At first, it feels as though love is some grand idea I am unable to grasp. Second thoughts leave me with the notion love is just an island with a civilization on one side and a seemingly deserted beach on the other where I have been shipwrecked and rendered hopeless. All I have to do is wield my way through the jungle, creating my own path instead of following some example set forth by the likes of Hollywood. It is a journey, an adventure, a quest to prove yourself. The jungle is a treacherous place, my friends. Little did I know just how dangerous it was until I set forth, proverbial machete of willpower in one hand and a flask of burning truth in the other, on my yearlong crusade without sex to find the greatest love of all—the love of self.
Before I went in search of a better me on a journey some would call masochistic torture, I thought I was happy. Hindsight has taught me the difference between thinking and knowing what is true. I wished I had known better. Have you ever experienced the feeling of waking up after having what you thought was make up sex only to realize it wasn’t as much as “make up” as it was just sex? It feels as though your heart is a white, paper napkin and someone has wiped their grubby hands on it, wadding it up and tossing it aside. I lay there in the deafening silence with tunnel vision as rasps rattled through my hollowed-out chest. My thoughts were at full force, running and jumping to conclusions until doubt came to a sudden stop. I had held onto the rope for far too long in vain. It was the clarity I found as I let go, the bottle of champagne breaking over the bow of my ship, the beginning of my new outlook on love and life.
Those initial steps were the hardest to take. The thought alone paralyzed me with fear. My all was taken just to stand, to balance on the balls of my feet, to dare gravity. Standing on your own is wearisome, and I fell. Again and again and again I fell, bruising my ego. I was learning how to walk all over again. Had I been scared as a child? I couldn’t remember. The only recollection I had stored in my memory was laughter. Flashes of children teetering on unsteady legs crossed my mind along with the laughter. Children were not afraid to walk. They were excited and mesmerized. Walking was a new adventure for them, and the world had yet to push them down. If they could do it, why couldn’t I? Despite all the horrible aspects of life I have experienced, I put my best foot forward, eased down onto my heel, and repeated. One step. Two steps. Three steps. I teetered as the world shimmered and shined with the promise of adventure the farther my feet carried me.
It was thrilling.
And I laughed.
outdated, out of use, out of style
an antiquity—my soul
you played me
listened to my music
scratched my silver linings
what good am I now?
no music can be heard
songs are skipping, incoherent
funny, broken thing—my soul
you played me
carefully opening each case like you didn’t care
rearranging my soul
scratched, played over and over
beyond repair—my soul
hands delicately traced each haphazardly stacked case
not a place for everything not in its place
one by one I rip them out
across the room, I toss
click! clack! cases clatter
softly whispering as they sail through the air
“I was played one too many times”
click! clack! against the wall
breaking apart, flying discs no longer compact
old silver linings glinting with a blink
click! clack! on the floor
the past piles up
of the music you played
of the times we danced
of the lyrics that brought us to life
sparse and plenty and free
room for new silver linings
I will get soul.
Nothing would’ve changed, but still I wished I would've been warned;
By the hand of naivety, innocence is brutally slayed.
I never imagined I would become this person.
Preparation wasn't taken for the knowledge I fell privy.
Promises were nothing more than a traitorous tongue’s cheap words.
Must you always push me to my utmost limits?
In-between the hollow words we'll never share silence screams its loudest.
You’re my greatest strength but my greatest weakness.
Freedom exuded me, but you spoke your part.
Since when were we on terms to speak?
Selective hearing no longer bodes well.
Over think, over analyze, over rate my actions—you make me.
If it were possible, my hate would consume you.
Why is your punishment of the cruelest kind?
Ignorance was thy bliss.
Why pry open thine eyes?
Ill-conceived thoughts brought upon an ill demise.
You're a fickle fiend—I swear it!
Banishment! Exile! Be gone!
Pack your bags, and do forget to write.
No. I didn’t mean that. Forgive me.
Don't go. Don't you ever go.
I could not live without you—I wouldn't.
With only this pleading thought, from you I will then depart:
Promise me, my dearest Heart,
You’ll be stronger than strong; you’ll be all I believe in.
The blank parchment of my
face is covered by my
mouth penning the
words as my
choking down your words
tastes like swallowed pride
a spark of truth
is all it took
for me to set fire
to you and your gasoline lies
words are much too big
try to push them out
try to relinquish their burden
their weight is the cat
my tongue is held
I'm not a prisoner of my own devices;
I am the warden of my heart.
I'm not a victim of circumstance;
I am a survivor of heartbreak warfare.
I'm not a helpless dreamer;
I am the hero of my own love story.
(I neither own this image nor do I know the artist in order to give proper credits; it was sent to me via fan mail, and I couldn't resist sharing.)
The greatest lie that we tell ourselves is that we are strong. Sure, we each make that definitive claim that we are capable of standing on our own, that we belong to no one else but our self. It’s funny how willingly we buy into cheap words and knock-off promises because...all it takes to knock us off our feet is one, single blow—just one to cause our perceived reality to crack. Then, memories of everything we promised we wouldn’t let happen again start to seep in through the fractures of our perfect façade until we are demolished.
I don’t know why life is like that. I don’t know why it’s always the same story. Maybe it is life’s way of humbling us and reminding us that we aren’t invincible, that we don’t hold the upper hand. Now, we have to build ourselves back up—our ego, esteem, and faith are always in a constant reconstruction.
Some laugh, proclaiming they won’t let another get the best of them, that they are "over it." Such fools! While they may be "over it," the person or situation or time in their life is within them…the mark has been left on the blocks for which we are to rebuild with. These marks will forever be there—they are scars of the past. They are the very beams supporting the bruised ego we harbor. They will always remind us of our destruction.
I guess all we can really do is to learn from these people and situations and trials in our lives; we must set to work. Life is nothing but one giant construction site. We build only to get demolished. And so, the pattern continues until the day comes when someone isn’t there to tear you down but to assist you. They have their tools, and they’re ready to help you—that’s right, they make an appearance in your life to help. They will reinforce your foundation, your support beams, yourself. They just may be a friend or a stranger or even your better half.
We just have to believe they will help us make improvements.
Blind trust is terrifying, but it’s the only way we learn to build character.