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I don’t want you, for one second, to feel good about what you did. I want you to carry this guilt within you, to affect the decisions you make in the future; it will make you weaker, but it will also make you more sensitive, more emphatic – qualities I always thought you could have worked on for a little longer.

I want you to know that me disappearing doesn’t absolve you of your sin – I want you to know that I haven’t been able to breathe since you left, that my chest feels like a rock hardening and tightening under my skin, rupturing the flesh underneath. I want you to know that I allowed you to let me imagine a future with you, something I had never done before, that I was so ready to be vulnerable because you told me I was taken care of, and I believed you.

I want you to understand that I heard the frustration in your voice last night when I tried to make conversation, when I followed what you said when you told me we could salvage the night. Inside I knew that you were waiting, that you were bidding your time until you could properly break up with me – even though you told me differently, even though you said things were going well, my mind whispered,  don’t believe him, but my heart wanted to believe every word you said because it was comfortable, because it was easier. Because it felt good to think that somebody loved you as much as you loved them; this thought is so powerful that I let it fool me into thinking it was true.

I want you to know that experience did shit; even after all I’ve been through and the lessons I learned, they taught me nothing in the end. I chose, instead, to purify myself with your words, everything else went unheeded.

I really thought there was that possibility – that this monster inside me could be bared and loved anyway, unconditionally, no matter how many times you resisted, no matter how many times you tried to communicate to me, wordlessly, that the things you were saying were not what you felt. We are our actions, not our words, and I saw your actions so well – they told me so much – but I stayed blind, because it was easier, because I was weak.

The only way I can forget you is to pretend we never happened – that the past year was a rift in time no one could account for.

I’m not going to be your friend because you need to understand that you can’t just use people and euphemize it with honesty; that when you tell somebody you love them you owe them responsibility; that your actions have consequences.

Remember that time when you sat across from me, and I told you, that once you start making a certain amount of money, you will change.

With a painfully confused look in your face you asked me what I meant.

“You’ll see,” was my only reply, “but remember this. Because you’ll see.”

 

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#81

75 years ago today, Virginia Woolf committed suicide by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into the River Ouse near her home.

It is commonly thought that if she had lived today, she would have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

This was the letter she left her husband:

Dearest,

I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.

I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.

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#80

Even if you don’t feel it’s true, tell yourself that everyone is doing the best they can.

Whether it’s a drugged out teenager on a stretcher, a 70 year old alcoholic, a 22 year old with 6 kids on welfare, or a standard 25 year old with a cold, try to remind yourself that everyone is doing the best that they can.

They’re doing the best that they know how to do with their resources, mental capacity, and means. When a person is 5 years old and being told by their mom that they can be anything they want to be, no one picks “I hope I’m strung-out and relying on the government so that others can judge me.”

A series of life events unique to that individual (but probably shared, in parts, by many) have gotten them to where they’re at. They have enough people judging them, preaching to them and looking down upon them. You’re not there for that. That’s not your job.

Treat everyone with compassion. Treat everyone with respect. It may be the only compassion and respect they’ve received in a long time.
And I know the above doesn’t always seem true. But you’ll become much less cynical, spend much less of your already-limited-energy, and have a better outlook on life if you try to see the world from a perspective in which everyone is doing the best they can instead of spending that time analyzing why they are making the decisions they are making.

We’re not all born with the same IQ. We’re not all born with the same financial stability. We’re not all born with the same family support.
You can judge others. They’ll come to you in abundance. Or you can potentially be one of the very, very few who doesn’t. And, even if you’re cursed out, unappreciated, and mocked by them
– you can go home knowing you treated everyone the same.
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