“i think we hold on tightest to the things that aren’t meant for us because at some level, we know they aren’t really ours. we’re always seeking the love we don’t have. we’re always trying to prove the things that are not entirely self-evident. we know that when we stop thinking and talking and racking through the details again and again, it will really be over. when all that exists is an idea, holding on is the only way to keep it.”
– 101 essays that will change the way you think (why we hold on tightest to the things that aren’t for us)
i think one of the things i’ve had to accept or even work on the most in my life, or the most i ever have is realizing i’d been holding onto some really unfortunate memories, whether they were good or bad, or happened a long time ago or recently- they still were breaking my heart a little bit. when i have loved people, past or present, i tend to keep their memories in my head. kinda like safekeeping but in my mind. i may not remember their favorite colors but i remember what they sound like when they laugh for a really long time. long after they leave. but then they’re gone. and that is that. it is what it is. and its such a hard concept to grasp for me if im honest. i still see glimpses of some people from so long ago, but its never really enough.
or at least thats what i felt like until recently. “we’re always trying to prove the things that are not entirely self-evident”.ouch. that one hurt inside. i feel like i have been trying to prove to myself and maybe lately more so to others that i am completely okay the way that i am. and that is not entirely true. sure, its not entirely self-evident. i think i must truly seem okay most times to my friends and the people around me. there’s not necessarily anything bothering me in a huge way. my life has been drama free ever since i moved away from “home”, which is the epitome of the word, unfortunately. so i guess you can say i sincerely live a pretty calm life in comparison. so its not evident, but i know the truth at the end of the day and it really really blows. i don’t feel at home no matter where i go. and trust me when i say if i could run again right this second i would. but the person i am now promised herself she would hold herself accountable in all things. and that is what i’m trying to do. i promised her i would do a better job this time at surviving and living. and i can’t say i’ve been doing the greatest job at it, but i’m doing it still. the small, mundane things that i know everyone does are pretty big accomplishments for me sometimes. i spend my fridays doing laundry, buying groceries, and sometimes if i have the mind for it, i read. sometimes i cry a bit because i can’t seem to get it together but can someone be honest with me and tell me that they actually do? so its as together as it can be right now. thats what i tell myself these days when i wake up before i start thinking about the day ahead. i say to myself and i remember that one day in the past the small, normal things everyone does were hard for me to even fathom doing. i remember that the girl i was back then did not believe in herself enough to know that she would make it to this very moment. even if that moment is just grabbing enough groceries for the week. even if its just that, i am truly thankful for the moments that i still get to live in the here and now. i am so thankful that my relationship with my family has improved, with myself has improved, with previous close friends who were not close but are now okay have improved. i am so very thankful for that. even if it did take me moving across the country for them to treat me better. honestly- sometimes being able to move past what it took is better than contemplating on what ever went wrong in the first place.
” when all that exists is an idea, holding on is the only way to keep it.”
i’ve always felt like im running and running and trying to catch up to everyone around me but i never make it past the first lap. and this year i realized that my running looked different. it was always going to look different. maybe my shoes weren’t as good or i couldn’t see as well as everyone else. no one trained me to deal with everything i ended up having to deal with. so at the end i felt like i looked around the track of my life and i couldn’t find anyone else. and like i mentioned before, i promised myself this time i would for sure stop running. but thats so hard when you make it to this never-ending finish line and you see everyone else is long gone. so much so that no one even notices when you make it.
you see- i love my friends. the relationships i have right now are probably the healthiest ones i’ve ever had. and maybe thats why i’m struggling so much. for years, everything including my relationships were just chaos. and i came to love or even expect the thrill of it. every time someone disappointed me or yet again left- again, my brain would go “yep, there it is”. you were waiting for this one, weren’t you? and thats the way it always was. maybe i was surrounded by equally damaged or broken people. maybe they just sucked as people. im not sure. and the thing is- every single time i knew exactly when one of my relationships was going to end. i knew it like the way one knows the drive home by muscle memory. i knew the words people would say, the excuses. the “its not you, its me”. the eternal silence of the one minute after breaking up with someone. the eternal silence of not knowing what to talk about with friends you fell out with. its like the beginning quote mentioned- and if you read that whole essay too, which i absolutely recommend! it talks about how a lot of times we know that the end is near, that this special or not-so-special persons going to disappoint us, but we somehow expect a different ending and well, im sure everyone knows how that goes. once again, we are trying to maybe prove to ourselves that this time it will be different. or in my case, i honestly held on for so long to certain things because i couldn’t accept that it was completely over.
so i guess now- that hasn’t happened in years really. and sometimes I feel like my life is kind of boring. and its so stupid. i guess i thought i would always feel the way i used to. or i just refused to believe deep inside of me that i deserved any better. but now when people treat me well and tell me they won’t leave, and then they actually follow through, it is so confusing for me. its like my whole life i was used to leaving the door open for people to come and go. and for a long time i closed it. and now when i open it, its so ridiculously scary i only open a tiny bit. and little by little others have been coming into my life. and its so weird because i didn’t grow up in a way that i guess a lot of people do grow up in. i think i stopped thinking or acting like a child long before i actually stopped being one. so now- i know how to manage myself. i can move on my own, i make my own food, do my own laundry, take care of my car, i pay my rent. i do all the things that an adult does. and i do them well. but something inside of me feels like a 12 year old version of myself when something goes wrong. or when i feel so overwhelmed that i know that as the adult i am, i have to get certain things done. but, in those moments sometimes i feel like crying. its like this weird overwhelming sense of wanting to go back to this childhood that i never really fully experienced. i just have bits and pieces of one. of a really broken one. in those moments, i want someone to help me like you would help a child find their way home. and i hate to admit i’ve cried in the aldi’s parking lot more times than id like to say right now. but the truth of it all is that i can never get that time back. im past the age of wanting to blame it on anyone either. id like to assume my parents did the best they could’ve done and thats that. there’s nothing i can add or take away.
but i do think that as an adult now who grew up in a somewhat difficult situation- its a little bit infuriating when you realize that your life will not be like any of your friends who grew up in a healthy environment. and like i said before- love them! but it doesn’t take away from the fact that sometimes people have no idea what you’re talking about so its 10 times easier to just stay quiet about it unless they ask. but its hard. its so so hard. i know that no ones life is like a fairy tale and that social media is fake. i know both of those things. but let me tell you, its really difficult as a young adult to realize that you might have to work 5 or even 10 times harder than your friends just to get into a decent relationship. just because there’s so much baggage to uncover. and not everyone wants someone like that. so sometimes it really does look like a movie watching your friends like that. and you just sit and watch. and while it is absolutely beautiful for me (as an avid hopeless romantic) to see the people around me fall in love and be so just compatible and comfortable enough to love each other? its just beautiful in my eyes. but it does not take away the little inkling i get as soon as i get home that tells me i am so incredibly behind everyone around me. and i don’t want to feel that way.
and so then, its hard to even catch up when you’ve always been behind. it just so happens to be that i can never seem to catch up to everyone else. no matter what i do. and i don’t want to say i’ve given up because i haven’t quite yet gotten to the surrendering point in my life. and you may think she’s young, what in the world does she know? and you know what? you’re probably right. what do i even know. the only thing that i know right now is that im done trying to catch up. i only ever hurt myself in the process. i just want to live a life where im not constantly reminded of all the things i don’t have. i don’t want to think about how much im disappointing certain people simply because i can’t be where everyone else is. why is being 24 so hard? right now i have no idea what im doing. it seems as if i need to change everything im doing. i need to sleep more, take care of myself more, laugh more, stop comparing myself to other people, take my vitamins for once, stop crying in my car, get a different job. the list goes on. i don’t want to be that girl. but its incredibly hard to yet again start from scratch. how many times have i done this now? I’ve lost count. and i say not this week, ill try again next time, tomorrow next week next month and all of that turns into the next year and it makes me terribly insecure. but thats where im at right now. because while everyone else was figuring out their lives and getting married and whatever else people do i was just trying to stop having anxiety attacks. i was just trying to process as a young adult everything that happened. i was trying to make it make sense. i was trying to figure out why the only person i loved suddenly didn’t love me anymore. because a lot can be said about certain things not even hitting you until you’re finally away from it all and older. because when you’re by yourself, you have to rely on your own skills and abilities all the time. and when you didn’t have enough time or even head-space to develop certain basic life skills, you have to uncover all of the past. so now that im much better in that sense- im scared of what’s to come. i feel as if im sort of grieving wasting all that time. all while understanding and trying to be compassionate towards myself. she couldn’t have done better- really. im pretty dang proud of her, truly. but it doesn’t take away from the fact that i didn’t live those years the way i should have. and now its as if i can’t even make up for it because we are all in a situation that stops us from doing virtually anything that we could have easily done before.
so now. now i’ve been in new york for almost 2 years. and i have most definitely grown. incredibly. truly. but i can’t help but feel a little stuck in life at the moment. because while i have (thankfully) developed better coping, life, and just general life skills- i somehow don’t feel all the way at home. i cant deny that i’ve grown to love driving through the trees. and i love aldis. and i love the way that its always a peaceful kind of quiet here. i like that theres one grocery store and i know what’s in each isle. and that i have a favorite gas station. i even love dunkin donuts. i love that i don’t have to do anything i don’t want to do. i love that i don’t have to sit through family functions where everyone takes turns pointing out what in my life they would fix. i love that i can choose what to fix and not because i hate myself but because i kind of love myself (sometimes) now. i love that i can live my life at my own pace, not the pace that other think i should be at. but i also can’t deny that that is incredibly hard sometimes. because having full control over what i do also means that sometimes i don’t do what im supposed to or i sleep too much or i say too much or i am too much. but isn’t it okay to be too much these days? isn’t everyone too much for at least one person? i think the key to that balance must be to be too much of all the things somebody else wants. maybe then, it would be the right kind of “too much”. but honestly, i don’t even know. i just feel like what everyone tells me when it comes to loving someone like that isn’t what i want to hear. there must be more than what others are saying. there has to be more. i’m not asking for a picture-perfect story, i think all i want is to not settle for less. to not settle for only the small things. those things are important of course but if someone wants to be with you, they will also do the big things. and of course, i believe in compromise, of course i know that things will never be perfect with someone else but come on, do i really have to settle for men who don’t even like taylor swift? i’m kidding (not really). but seriously. how hard is it really to find someone who will do more than the bare minimum? you see, the thing is i don’t want lukewarm, i want the i-thought-that-i-was-dreaming-when-you-said-you-loved-me-frank ocean or i-once-believed-love-would-be-burning-red-but-its-golden-daylight taylor swift kind of thing. and until then, i will evidently die alone. until then- its mosaic broken hearts here. and i will truly try and make the best of it. i want to be happy. and i am for the most part, but this past year has uncovered some of the things id been pushing away for so long i almost forgot that they even existed. so i take this is a chance to work on that. to add that to the already never-ending pile of things i strive to better at that im sure we all have. until then i will try to feel more at home, maybe if that means its only within myself. maybe that is what i need to do. until then, its just me and my beautiful little and sometimes broken heart. the word mosaic means : “a combination of diverse elements forming a more or less coherent whole”. and i like to think that my heart is just like that, a more or less coherent whole. with all the ups and downs, the highs and lows, and the inevitable cracks on the edges, it has been quite the ride. but its beautiful. like a mosaic wall or painting. everyone always appreciates all the different pieces that make them up. and i truly believe thats the way we should all accept each other as well, even the smallest, tiniest parts that we cover up are often beautiful to someone else. so here it is, but mine is not for sale. i want to keep it and heal it and put it back together like i already have been.
mosaic broken hearts.