I don’t know how to reconcile what’s been going on inside me with how I really feel. The moment the words I had been holding back, for months, longer maybe even, passed through my lips I wished I could swallow them back down. Even though they taste bitter and leave my stomach aching. I wished none of it to be true. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it is.
We stare at each other, eyes swollen and barely open, cheeks damp with the sadness of it all. I inhale deep greedy sobs, drowning in my own emotion. I did this to myself. I did this to us. I wish I could take it all back.
My house smells of coffee in the mornings now. It never did growing up. In one of the small sacrifices I can see now, my dad didn’t drink it because my mom didn’t like the smell. He would buy a coffee or get some at the office instead, never complaining. She eventually bought him a k-cup when the conversation came up of how much money he was spending on coffees, though she insisted on taking it when they separated a few years ago. It sits in a cupboard in the apartment he pays for, just like the elliptical she demanded to keep, which is buried beneath boxes and knickknacks in her study. It wasn’t the hill he wanted to die on though, so he obliged, not the last of his many sacrifices.
It took me a long time to warm up to coffee and I am still not a habitual drinker, though there is a pot made every morning and it’s aroma fills the whole house. It reminds me of my grandparents house, my mom’s parents. Their house always smelled like coffee in the morning. I don’t understand where the disconnect is between them and her, but there is one.
It isn’t just about the coffee.
I have lived in this shared one bedroom apartment with my craigslist roommate for close to three years. I have stared out at the dirt and mildew stained walls outside my window thousand of times thinking about my life and existence and the future. I keep feeling like I will be sad when I leave on Saturday, but I suddenly realized that this place has never really been my home.
In my transient young adulthood, this is the longest that I’ve ever stayed in one place, but the yellow tiled bathroom and beige walls don’t belong to me. No matter what efforts I put in to making this place mine, the calendar on the wall, or chalk boards with my to-do lists, it never really felt quite right. It was always a shared place, not fully my own. I think about all the memories I’ve made here, all the ways that I’ve really come into my own and become a person I am happy to be, and built relationships here and a life, but that isn’t about the place itself.
Sure, I will miss the memories, and maybe a little bit of the freedom I had in this ~300sq ft room, but this place was never really my home. Now I have the chance to make a real one for myself, if I am ready to give up the idea of myself as a transient youth and move forward into a real life with someone. It’s scary and overwhelming, but I’m ready to say goodbye to this non home and move forward into a real house with plants and dogs and friends and a man who loves me.
So goodbye, mildew stained paneled wall. I don’t think I’ll miss you.
I decided today that I like myself. This happens from time to time. It is not necessarily an all day, everyday kind of thing, but today I really felt it. I went to school and the gym and for dinner with a classmate. I felt tired and hungry and annoyed and sad and happy and lonely and excited all at once. And I was okay with it. That’s the thing about how you make me feel. You make me feel like, no matter what, I am okay. You never look at me with judgement in your eyes; you are always ready to accept where I’m at, no matter what. No matter my fears and doubts, I am always grateful for that. I love you. Always.
I have spent about the last ten years of my life on the search for the perfect man. I was an idealist, a romantic; I believed he was out there. I don’t believe that anymore. Continue reading “Perfection.”
Sometimes I drink a bit too much wine and listen to romantic songs and daydream about all my loves. Lately I have’t been thinking about you anymore, and I don’t think that’s a good sign. I think about the handsome bearded guy from the sushi place, who couldn’t stop smiling at me. I think about the fella on the bus who sat beside me and smelled like sandalwood. I think about the smart, well dressed gentleman from my class, and I dream about a tomorrow where I am sipping wine and telling them my story.
I tell him about how I tried my very best with you, but that it just wasn’t enough. At the end of the day you lacked empathy, and I couldn’t teach you how to do that, no matter how bad I wanted to. I talk about how it was the hardest decision I ever made, because it probably will be, because I was choosing between what I wanted (you), and what I knew I actually needed (more). I sit, and I daydream about it. But instead of action, I just take another swig of wine and smile when you enter the room. You don’t even notice my red eyes and tear stained cheeks.
I don’t know what to do.
I think about your smile and flowers grow in the darkest parts of me. I imagine folding you into a big hug, breathing in your earthy scent, feeling your little wisps of hair against my cheek. There is something so reassuring about knowing that you exist in the world.
When I’m sad I sometimes like to picture you happy. I imagine you clutching your stomach and tipping your head back, eyes closed, in laughter. I picture the goofy little face you make when you know you said something funny. I imagine you making yourself soup and drinking a fresh cup of coffee. I just like thinking about the life you live, with or without me; I’m happy when you’re happy.
This isn’t romance, my darling, but it could be. Our love for one another is the type of love they talk about in fairytales, a no matter what kind of love. It’s friendship. Uteruses before duderuses. It is everything.