a reason to stay.

for as long as I can remember, my life has been about running from everything that scares me. everyone who knows me well, know that i’m a very calculating person when it comes to almost everything. and what i mean by that is i have a daily to-do list and a master to-do list. among many other things i do in an effort to control my life. i do this with mostly everything, except anything i’m scared of. when i tell you i run-i don’t think you’d know how fast.

even when i didn’t realize thats what i was doing. before even really thinking about it, i was getting on an airplane to go live with my best friend for who knows how long, all because i wanted to stop hearing my mom ask me what i was going to do with my life now. at 17- i wasn’t even sure what that meant. what did i want to do? and why? i had always been pretty decisive. but all of the sudden, everything was closing in on me. i spent all this time being this girl who didn’t really mind if people disagreed with what i did or didn’t do. but there i was. at the airport- knowing that 1) i had brought way too much clothes to a tropical place and, 2) that this was the moment i knew, i knew that i was running away. thats where it started, to say the least. if i could pin-point a moment in time, that would be the one. there was so much more to the random choice i had made, but the truth is i was really just running away from my own head. being only 18 the first time i left home- it felt like everything i was looking for. i worked just enough to be okay. i lived with my best friend. i cried whenever i had to. i laughed whenever i felt like it. i went to the beach whenever i wanted to. i knew which secret entrance to go through and would stop by to get falafels at my favorite place. i could spend hours there. i miss that feeling. is there a word that describes the feeling of wanting to freeze a moment in time? thats what life felt like then. i felt like i was my own person for the first time in a long time. i was no longer the girl who felt pressured to decide what i was going to do tomorrow. or even the next day, or even the day after that. in that moment in time, i didn’t feel like all the responsibilities i had been given without asking for them, i felt like they were gone. is that what it feels like to have no problems? that feeling lasted a while. a good while. but reality always hits you like a truck, to say the least. eventually you have to go home. even if its to the most dreadful place on earth. no more days spent on the beach, but instead days spent busy from morning to night. my days were shuffled between 5 am wake up calls for early morning service with friends (bless their hearts), working at a restaurant and going to night school. my days were endless. i remember this like it was yesterday. one day it was almost midnight and i was doing my anatomy homework with tears in my eyes, and i really really wish i was kidding about that. but i’m not. my mom slid a cup of coffee to me. what a depressing time to be me- i thought to myself. ahhhhh little vi had no idea. none whatsoever. this was the easy part, really.

in reality- yes, that was not the hardest part of my life yet. i remember feeling so lost after all of that though. like no matter how much i did, it still wasn’t enough for the people around me. at the end of the day i was just tired and over caffeinated. and found no real reasons to stay in one place. if it wasn’t for the people i love, i’m not sure what would have kept me there for so long. i think maybe i didn’t know myself well enough to know what i was doing. and how living to try to meet others expectations was never going to make me happy. in reality, it wasn’t making me happy. my parents were happy, my friends would tell me i had it together- but on the inside it was the complete opposite. so from that point on- i promised myself that whenever things got bad, i would go somewhere new. somewhere i had never been before. and i can’t say it didn’t help. it did. but there was still some kind of surreal happiness i felt away from all the things that hurt me- and it all quickly faded away as soon as i was flying back home. my reality isn’t what i wanted. i always wondered why it felt so devastating to go back home. now i think it had a lot to do with my perceptions. and all the burdens we associate to one place in general. when in reality, it really is just a town you grew up in. what was hurting me was the way i was perceived. the way that whenever i wanted to be a better person- i was met with humiliation. is that harsh? yes, no? i’m not sure anymore. but to be honest- this isn’t anything i wouldn’t say to someones face. in fact- i don’t think its something i haven’t said before.

anyone who knows me well, knows how much i love taylor. and some of my newfound favorite lyrics of her can describe how i felt in that moment in my life:

“when you are young, they assume you know nothing.”

it was a feeling of wanting to run as fast as i could. nights spent praying asking for not things i wanted, but just to please at least get what i needed if i couldn’t get what i wanted. it was a feeling of craving understanding more than anything else. it was being met with disappointment and humiliation by the people i considered my family and friends- all because i wanted to a be a better person. all because i wanted to be happy. its something i never quite understood. i guess eldest child syndrome is a real thing. but i knew even things that i wasn’t supposed to know. even things i didn’t want to know. its being scared to not be good enough while also striving to be the best version of yourself just so your parents didn’t have to worry about you. if i did everything right- they wouldn’t have to worry. after all, they had so many other things to worry about, they had other children to worry about. if i do nothing to worry anyone, if i never mess up, everyone will be happier. it was this unspoken need to be a poster child. thats what i lived with for years on end. it made me a people pleaser and an approval seeker without even realizing it. its one of those things you can’t control though- i wouldn’t change having my little sisters for the world. they are the most precious things on this planet to me. but sometimes, sometimes i wish i wouldn’t have had to grow up so fast. i would just smile when people would tell me how mature i was for my age- when in reality i was holding it all inside. opinions and all. i was too scared to say the wrong thing. i was too scared to mess up. i had this unspoken promise with myself that i would do everything possible to not make anyone worry. this obviously ended up blending into every other area of my life.

and when i felt like i was an old cardigan, under someone’s bed- you put me on and said i was your favorite.”

there are very counted people i consider close to me in this life. very counted people who have seen me in the worst state of mind i could’ve possibly been in. have you ever met someone and wonder where in the world they’ve been all your life? its as if they were sent to you somehow. as if there was nothing that could’ve prevented you from meeting them.  its when you meet these unexpected people and they turn into unexpected blessings- its then that you realize there’s a glimmer of hope deep inside you. the one that was going away- they help you keep it. its so simple. its so so simple. she understands me even when i feel crazy- is exactly what was going through my mind when i met one of my best friends now. but that is really how it feels when you meet people you have connections with- like you were forgotten and somehow in this lifetime- they found you. and in that moment you can’t help but feel thankful for being able to exist at the same time as them. for sharing some of the best and worst years of life with them. that is what it all comes down to. these are the same people that have seen me go from ‘i can’t live without him’ and ‘i can’t possibly survive this’ to ‘i’m really, actually happy’ and ‘i’m moving away for good.’

even in the middle of a stupid pandemic- my life is really beautiful now. when i was 18, i came to new york for the first time ever. and even back then, i knew this is where i wanted to be someday. i couldn’t quite do it then, as much as i wanted to unpack my bags and stay- i was still too scared. i was still running from so many things, so many i wouldn’t even have been able to number them for you if you asked. i really wish there was enough words to describe how i felt back then. something as monotonous as driving or eating or walking around, or even being sad always felt like it would be better if it was done in new york. i dare to say- its the best place on earth. even now, every time i see and exit sign that says New York City- i freak out a little bit inside. and yes- the rent is astronomical and everything is expensive and sometimes people are mean for no reason and driving through jersey is the worst thing you could possibly imagine.

but there’s one single, but very important thing it does have: it holds a reason to stay. 

the one thing i hadn’t felt in what felt like forever. this place carried so much of me all at once. it finally felt like home. even when bad things would happen. i still wanted to stay. i  think so many random things have gone wrong in the past few months- now would’ve been the perfect time for me to run as fast as i could. but i didn’t. 

for once- i wanted to stay. 

for once- every ounce of me wanted to be here no matter what. the words that i had told myself years ago when i had first come here were essentially true- even if you’re sad, its still a better day here than being sad anywhere else.

“when you’re young you just run, but you come back to what you need.”

now, now i want nothing else but to stay where i am. i want nothing more than to be at my best friends apartment, in our small town with literally one grocery store. i don’t need anything else but this now. we cry, we laugh, we talk about everything that hurts and everything that makes us happy. we all do our own thing while existing in the same space. it would seem like nothing from the outside looking in- but i’ve come to realize that this means everything. i’m not alone anymore. it doesn’t matter what comes next because i have everything i need. all three of us- hugging each other and crying in han’s living room. every time i remember it, i can’t help but think about how grateful i am to be this happy. i forgot that i deserved that.

 “remind yourself that you are not the only person in this world who loves like that. there are people out there that will love you the way you love others. there are people out there who will give you the kind of love you have always given to everyone else. there are human beings in the world who would do anything just to love you, just to keep you in their lives, just to care for you. they exist. believe in that goodness. believe that you are worthy of it.”-bianca sparacino

back when i was around 19, every time i would come home i felt like nothing was changing and everything was the same and every day i’d come home and i felt very sad at the time but there was one thing i would notice every time i came home that didn’t change every day. that is the last turn i would take to turn into my street was a stop light so as i was waiting- it was always at 5:30 give or take- there was a flock of birds that would fly across every single day in a formation. and i always thought that was beautiful. that they knew what to do without anyone having to tell them. the sky could be different colors, it could be winter or summer, it could be raining or sunny but they always remained the same. sometimes, as strange as it sounds- i would ask myself if they ever got tired of it? i honestly don’t know if they did (i mean-do birds even have that capacity? probably not) but either way i always thought of that. and honestly- it really kept me going for a while. they would do the same thing every day but wouldn’t complain or just stop doing it one day. it always made me think about how even when i felt stuck, when I felt tired, when i felt like i was doing the same thing every single day and i wasn’t getting anywhere- in reality i was getting somewhere. and that was such a pretty thing. that i was still moving forward, i was still trying very single day even when it felt like i’d never get anywhere.  i guess deep inside of me i felt like i’d never heal

i thought i needed apologies before being able to heal before, but in reality i just needed to apologize to myself for being so hard on myself all the time. for thinking that healing would be linear- i should very well know by now that its not. healing is messy and it takes years. and even when you’ve healed, your body remembers what your mind doesn’t. the anniversaries or landmark dates that used to take space in your head before are now just a random day in september that looks like just like any other day. you go to work or school or its your day off and you don’t know why you feel a pit in your stomach but you do. and then you try to just keep yourself busy all day only to end up sad for absolutely no reason (or so you think).

and then it slips into your mind. today was the day you always dreaded. they day that used to remind you of good things or bad things or things you no longer know how to feel about. so i guess thats what healing really is. you forget. you really really do. you forget what peoples voices sound like, or what they look like when they’re happy (you used to know in a heartbeat right?). or what they look like when they’d wipe the tears off your face. you forget why that type of tea is now your favorite because its just natural to you now. but once in a while it slips into your mind- they showed you that. but it doesn’t hurt anymore. and the thing is- just like healing isn’t linear, forgetting people isn’t either. we can forget or even think we forget everything about them but still, even now-we carry parts of all the people we’ve ever loved in ourselves. so we should be thankful for that.

“but we were something, don’t you think so ?”

and i guess its true- no one in this world ever gets used to being left. but when you think of the bigger picture now- you can see how they led us to where we are now, and all the things we can offer to other people now have bits and pieces of our pasts intertwined with our future. they led us to where we are now. none of us are as unique as we think that we are. we are all made up of all the love we’ve ever been given. and all the pain too. those people were really something. and we were something to them. some of the greatest stories end before we think they will.

but hey- the sun comes up right?

just like flowers, sometimes we wither when the lights come off and we don’t get enough water. but then the sun comes, it always comes out again. and we bloom again, and someone remembers to give us water. or it rains and we get it without expecting it. but we bloom. maybe not as best as we did last time or the first time when none of the troubles of this world had worn us out yet.

but nevertheless- we do grow in the midst of it all. and the sun comes out again. thats something i’ve learned time and again. and something i’ve come to appreciate more than most things. whenever i’ve been in the darkest rooms- the only thing that could sometimes get through to me was knowing that things could get better again. that i would laugh until i cried with my friends again or that i would laugh while crying to them. thats the beauty in between the pain. that we have been created with the capacity to regenerate ourselves time and again. to mend our broken little hearts time after time. i’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how broken your past is, there’s always the most beautiful opportunity that can kind of change everything. you let it make you better. more loving, kind, with more understanding of what others go through.  when we know what its like to smile through hardships- we learn to recognize the same behavior in the people around us.

i’m almost sure that this is the longest post i’ve written so far (leave it to me to analyze my whole life through a new ts album, right?)- but there are really so many things that have left me thinking after being here for almost a year. after deciding to stay time after time when i could just as easily run away. for finding my own reasons to stay after it being a pretty innate quality to me at this point in my 23 years of life to just go when life gets hard. but learning to appreciate things i never really saw before, learning to make it on my own, not pretending anymore. that has been plenty right there. i see myself now and i see someone who didn’t let herself become bitter over the past but instead worked hard to stop running from it.

and to this day- i keep adding things to my list. my list of reasons to stay where i am now.

these days- its been beach days. and stay-cations. and learning to live and to stay and to stay and to stay once again. its learning to to understand that when people say they will stay they do mean it- just because others haven’t meant it in the past doesn’t mean it’ll happen again. these days its the “whatever you need me for’s” and the obvious but unexpected blessings in the form of people. its my best friend teaching me how to take care of my annoying curly hair for the first time. its the deleting your exe’s phone number (its not like you’d actually use it anyway, right? what a drag). its telling myself and repeating to myself that no one in their right minds would actually, willingly give me up like i was nothing. its what everyone who loves me truly around me tells me now. so its about time i start believing that right?

 isn’t that something? almost a year later and i wasn’t sure how this year would exactly pan out- and honestly didn’t envision a pandemic in my near future- but here we are. here i am. seemingly in the most comfortable place i’ve ever been with myself. and although in my head and nostalgia i’d imagined a whole summer in the city, going to concerts and coffee shops, running around brooklyn ( my favorite place ugh)- this summer was okay. it was my first summer in new york, it was different- not as hot as arizona, but just hot enough to feel like a real summer.

this morning i walked out and it felt like fall. and i had never felt that in august. and it felt nice. it felt hopeful. it felt like introspection. like when everything connects and comes full circle without you asking it to.

here’s to another new york year. here’s to another year of discovering what violet is really capable of. hopefully much more happiness, i hope she gets that, i really really do. i hope she doesn’t give up on what she knows she needs and wants. and i hope the next year brings her more of that. 






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