Past

Sometimes people walk into your life and everything just clicks. They’re a puzzle piece you didn’t realize was missing, a perfect fit in the open space in your inner circle. But then, suddenly, something changes and they’re no longer filling every crack of the empty space, rather they’re an awkward lump that no longer can mold into that perfect spot.

I came across this quote recently.

“Everyone has their own path. Walk yours with integrity and wish all others piece on their journey. When paths merge, rejoice for their presence in your life. When paths are separated, return to the wholeness of yourself, give thanks for the footprints left on your soul and embrace the time to journey on your own.”

Nothing I have ever heard or said has seemed truer to me. When I think about the individuals that have walked in and out of my life, I ask myself this: how have they changed me, for better or for worse? Would I be the same person had they not had a chapter in my life? Usually the answer is no, I wouldn’t be the same. It’s rare to have someone in your lifetime that doesn’t affect who you are.

Innately, when humans spend a significant amount of time around another human, they begin to adopt similar styles of speech and mannerisms. It’s why if you want to learn a new language or an accent, the best way to do so is by integrating yourself within another culture entirely. When you remove yourself away from where you’ve immersed yourself, it is only then you truly realize the extent to which this experience has impacted you.

Of course, to come to these conclusions it takes an immense amount of self-awareness. One must be able to see the bigger picture, to be able to take a step back and truly critique themselves. The only way to achieve this is by completely removing oneself from their past situation.

As with all memories, my brain finds itself lingering in nostalgia. It likes to leap back to fonder times, times when certain people were still by my side. But the rational part of me steps in to give a reality check- those people, they’ve drifted away for a reason whatever it may be. Maybe it was them, maybe it was you. Whatever it was, they aren’t here now and most likely, that is for the better.

It stings to think of happy memories of past times when people who used to be in your story treated you with care and kindness, something so unimaginable coming from them today. It’s a raw feeling to think of how you once felt so much for these people but now when their name comes to mind its confusion as to how you feel nothing at all.

And the thing I’ve learned from reaching that point is that, the past is the past for a reason. While a person needs to be proactive to make things happen, I do think that for the people that float in and out, there is always something to be learned. Always something you didn’t know until it’s over, something you wish you knew but you know now.

It’s easy to say negative things about those who have hurt you- but where does that get anyone? Saying negativity not only brings another down, but it doesn’t make you a better person either. Walking with grace and leaving another to peacefully stride on their path alone is the best way to let one go, and if I could have one do-over, that is what I would change about the last person who floated out of my life. It may hurt unbearably, and you wish you could turn back time and change things, but in reality, there is no better way to let the things that need to float away than to do so with eloquence.

I sit here and write this while I continue to journey on alone. I know that wholeness is not found within another person but found within myself. I am the only one necessary to be complete. People will float in and out and every once in a while, there will be one who’s forever. But usually, it takes a long road to get there. So for now, it’s best to focus on the now and the things that matter that I am in control over and to let the past be the past and remain a place I can do nothing but learn from.

xxx

M

Sea of Memories

Forgetting the past. It’s not easy to leave behind what we once lived, what we once loved or hated. People say to forgive and forget- but what they don’t quite express is how.

In my head, I always give people the benefit of the doubt. That is my issue. Because even when someone has treated me worse than garbage, for some fucked up reason I still find myself caring about them. I need to stop doing that. I need to cut the ties and move on with my life. My life isn’t coming to halt because a person is no longer in it, life is moving on with or without me. And, no other person ever should have the ability or power to make me change my life and lose myself because of them.

I keep using too much of my vivid imagination to remember the memories clouding my judgment. Every time I look at the horizon of the future I see the memories of the past and justify my actions using the genuine good moments. My brain has boxed up the negative memories and stored them deep underneath the sea, the positive ones floating on the surface.

The positive ones are easily within reach. But in life, the things easily within reach, is that what we always want? No.

We want to aspire to go further. So, I bend my knees, stick my arms together and a pulse runs through my lengths as they propel me into the air. My lithe body cuts through the surface of memories and suddenly I am surrounded. I’m choking, coughing. My wet head pops up to the surface of the sea, inhales a deep breath, and then I duck back under.

I feel a tug pulling me deeper into the water. Playing with memories is a dangerous game. The most lethal memories have sunk to the bottom, but they’re the most enticing because to re-live through them is to learn why they ended up there. There’s not always a guarantee you’ll make it out though. I need to keep my head inside and stop the flow of memories in and out. I go up for another breath and back under.

As I look below me, I see memories play out one by one, a movie screen on the seafloor. I’m treading water, but the calling of the depths makes me want to stop. It isn’t time for me yet. I came here to find closure, to close the pages of the last chapter of my life. To stop clinging on to memories that do not exist in the present, to banish those to the depths where I can’t re-live them.

The memories of people that became toxic, the memories of moments that should never be spoken of, the memories of conversations that broke boundaries and burned bridges. The memories that led me here, the memories I want to stop clouding my judgment and veiling my decisions. The memories that have disrupted the magnetism of my moral compass, one that used to overpower anything it encountered.

The images extending hundreds of feet below me through the water begin to flicker and change faster. My flippers keep kicking and my face is contorted into an inexplicable expression. Why would facing my past help me forget it? It has been said that in order to move on, you need to face the things that are haunting over your future. For me, that is my memories.

The faster I kick, the faster the memories flicker, the more rapid the water movement. I’ve seen what I need to see. With the flick of my hand, the images go out and the crystal aquamarine water is back to what it once was, except the murky depths seem a little higher and little darker. The flickering moments exist there now, in that draining, daunting area that every child is warned not to go down into.

Now what? The silence is deafening. I don’t quite remember how I got here. I know the second I poke my head above water I will be flooded and overwhelmed with happy memories. Those need to stay at bay, on the horizon. My clean slate needs to remain untainted, baggage-less.

I throw myself on the sand of the shore and lie sprawled star-fish style. The sun warms my salty skin like a warm blanket and the droplets of any traces left of the memories begin to evaporate. I want to forget my past. I want to reinvent who I am. I want to give myself a new start. I want to begin again. I’ve got the lessons of the past in my storybook- I need to learn from them instead of re-living them.

Here I am. Ready to face the future without clinging to the memories of the past. My wings are dry and I’m hoping to soar without looking back beyond my shoulders. I’m going to speed head first into the open air ahead of me. The sand flies from my skin as wings flap strongly behind me, the wind fingering through my hair. And this point onward, I don’t want to look back. I have no regrets. I only want to make a future worth remembering as I soar towards the never-ending horizon on the sea.

M

Loneliness

One. Two.

One. Two.

Left. Right.

Left. Right.

One foot in front of the other. Just keep going. Keep walking. You can do this.

With each step, my knees plead to give out and my tear ducts release the dam that has been holding the flood back. Lately each day has been the same. Miserable. Just another day to get through, spent counting sunrises to midnights. Moments when reality hits you and suddenly your face is soaking wet and you can’t figure out why. Moments when you lie to yourself yet another day, saying that tomorrow will be a better day. Moments when these lies feel so real you believe them.

Then tomorrow comes and you know they were never more than mere lies. Lies that were so tangible you could hear, see and feel them, how they comforted you and guided you when you were lost. Lies that gave you hope when you had nothing left. When you lose the lies that sparked your hope, what is truly left?

I sit on a bench in the sunshine, hoping some of the warmth will infiltrate my heart that has seemingly grown broken and cold. I’m surrounded by people in every direction, yet I’ve never felt lonelier in my life. It is absolutely crazy that someone can be in a place with so many companions yet feel like such an awkward stranger that the people to them barely exist.

I see groups of friends playing with Frisbees and laughing, gossiping over homework, couples strolling by. And then I see myself, an outsider sitting in a blue and white checker-printed dress, white sneakers and sunglasses sitting on a bench alone. From afar, I look the same as everyone else. But what makes things different is that right now in my life, I’ve never felt so alone. Every person I’ve ever trusted, ever loved, ever been best friends with, ever opened up to, they’re all either backstabbed or left me.

What is it that I do wrong? I’ve been told that I’m too kind and caring and “that’s just who I am” and it’s “nothing I ever did or say or were.” So, what is it? Why is it that I constantly find myself in this pathetic state of solitude? Why is it so damn hard to find people who will stick by you rather than leave you on the cold sidewalk to walk alone?

I wish I knew what it was about me that made me this way, this person seemingly having nothing but surface-level friendships because anything deeper just ends up in regret or disaster. My heart longs for what I used to have and craves the comfort of having a best friend. But all my life I’ve walked alone, so I know I am strong enough to continue no matter what life throws at me.

It just really, well sucks, because yes, I know I am a bitch sometimes (but isn’t everyone when they need to be?), overall, I am one of the most loyal people you will ever meet. And when you break my trust and royally screw over that loyalty, you hurt me more than you can ever tangibly imagine.

So that leads me back to now. Walking through the trees on a path where I am surrounded by many, yet I have never felt more alone in my life.

M

Every beginning has an embarrassing start it seems

Hello and welcome to your daily dose of M’s embarrassing inability to act like a normal person in front of a guy. Yes, you read that right. Remember how I said every story of a relationship involves something super embarrassing happening at the beginning? Well, bingo. Cheers to that- here’s what happened.

I’m a struggling pre-med student. Who isn’t pre-med and struggling (if you’re not struggling as pre-med please, let me know your secrets and the rest of the world, we’d love to hear it)? Sometimes pre-med students are socially awkward. But in contrast, I’m also a journalism major. I’m legitimately learning how to talk to people, perfecting my people skills. So there are the people pleaser journalists and the socially awkward pre-meds. And then, there’s me. I’m a whole different category. Sometimes I have my shit together. Sometimes I don’t.

I’ve been told I’m quite unpredictable, whether that means yelling incoherently random sentences in the frat quad at midnight after a mixer while completely sober and sprinting from one end to the other or simply just keeping to myself and not speaking at all. I’m all ends of the spectrum. Even though I’m sober. Which is 99% of the time. So sometimes, I even surprise myself with how I react. Like the other day.

Let’s start back to Tuesday. I was running late. As usual. When do New Yorkers ever run on time? The answer is they don’t. That phrase means nothing to us. I threw on clothes, brushed my tangled hair, threw on my glasses grabbed my bag and ran to psych class. It was more of a half-assed speed walk because seriously who jogs before noon? Not me. I prefer to gradually start my day.

En route, of course, I bump into my high school ex’s best friend to whom I swiftly ignored via the most brilliant of strategies: headphones and looking really fucking disinterested. Did I seriously want to make small talk with you on this lovely morning when the sun was shining for the first time in weeks? No. I did not. I kept walking. Don’t have time for insignificant bullshit.

Finally, I make it to the building where my psych class is held. I practically stomp up the two flights of stairs and stealthily open the door to the lecture hall, secretly praying no one turns around to look. I hate being the center of attention. Only a few heads turn. Okay, I can live with that. Where is the closest seat? Back row. Between two people but I’m tiny enough I can slide through without having to go all the way around.

Shit. My backpack.

“Oh my god I’m so so sorry I’m such a mess.”

Of course, I almost whack the person I’m about to sit next to in the head with my backpack. I’m truly a brilliant piece of work. You see the worst part was, not only was this a stranger, but he happened to be a very cute stranger. Instantly I wanted to melt into the seat because of my embarrassment. Way to make a fabulous first impression.

He kinda just smirked at me with a little giggle. I didn’t really know exactly what to do next due to my embarrassment, so I did what any rational student would do in class: took notes and ignored all distractions. Go me. I’m fantastic.

“We’re just learning about eye anatomy it’s interesting. She also keeps doing these experiments with us which are crazy.”

Wait. Was psych boy over here right next to me actually trying to pursue a conversation? I guess maybe I’m not that hopeless. We each had received pieces of paper to demonstrate what blind spots in sight are. With the rest of the class, we picked up our papers and found our blind spots…but he and I both burst out laughing at the same time and looked with our giggles at each other instead.

“This is ridiculous. What even is this class.”

“I know.”

The lecture ended. I began to pack my stuff and got up to leave and then I heard this:

“I sit back here in this seat every day, it’s my unofficial assigned seat. You know where to find me now.”

I turned around to look at him and saw a smile that made my words get stuck and so I nodded and skipped as fast as I could out of there. Instead of flirting back, I ran. Where did my confidence in talking to guys go? I used to be so forward. Why am I the biggest weirdo under the sun? I’m cringing at myself. Way to make your impression even better.

Which brings us the trainwreck that was Thursday. So my original plan was to sit next to him.  But oh my did things go differently. My friend was still a tad tipsy from last night so thus I ended up sitting with her because she begged. Our third friend didn’t bother to show up because she slept through class. I sat directly in front of him. And even worse? I didn’t even say hi…because I was too nervous. I’m just waiting for when I mess up things with him further because clearly with boys lately, not my line of perfection.

I’m hoping to sit with him Tuesday. But for this to go smoothly, I’m gonna need a stellar explanation for why I blew him off. Any ideas? Send a prayer for my sanity.

M’s forte isn’t boys these days it seems.

xox,

M

 

 

 

 

 

Charmspeaking; the things you learn

I came across a poem today.

So Close, So Far by Adeline Whitmore

What a terrible thing it was

To have been

So close

To you

And now

Here we are

So far apart

I wonder

If it would’ve been better

To have never felt

Your love at all.

 

To me this struck a chord: it made me think of memories I didn’t want to think of, shards of my past I had dusted into a pile left sitting in the dust-pan waiting to be emptied into the trash. But for some reason I had been waiting- waiting for what? That I do not know.

I used to think I knew everything. I could predict everything, get everything to go just how I pleased. As a young girl, I thoroughly was convinced I could talk my way out of anything. Charmspeak, a term coined by author Rick Riordan, is what I resonated with. I wanted to be like Piper, a daughter of Aphrodite goddess of love, who could talk her way through anything and convince people of anything. Piper took the phrase I live by literally- if there is a will, there is most certainly a way.

When I grew older I realized I would never be like Piper because not only am I not a daughter of Aphrodite, I am a girl who doesn’t live in a fictional story no matter how much I wish I could. The story I live in is authored by me, it’s a wild crazy shitshow that is constantly being written as we go. I wish it had a classic fairytale ending. But I am going to assume that it doesn’t. In the very least I can hope that it ends with me happy as a cardiothoracic or neonatal surgeon living in California with two husky puppies. Maybe I am a bit ahead of myself. That’s okay.

Lately my brain has been focusing on the concept of wasted time. How you can waste so much of your life on another person. But is it truly wasting time if you learn something from them? If you learn to not make the same mistakes again that you made? Not to fall for the same sweet words over and over because they just say or do the right things you desperately want to hear?

I learned to stay guarded. I’ve learned that sometimes I care too much about the wrong people. Sometimes you just have to let people go and that can be the best thing you can do for them no matter how little you want that to be. Sometimes for better or worse people change and they just aren’t who you want around anymore. Sometimes people hide and forget to tell you things that are incredibly important and wait for you to ask when they should have said something months ago. Sometimes people just don’t know how to let you go when they really need to. I learned I can only rely on myself and people are manipulative users who will hang you out to dry no matter how good you are to them. I’ve learned what it feels like to both be cheated on and not be cheated on, but also be in a faithful relationship where it feels like cheating is happening, but you aren’t there to watch it, so you’ll never know and you cannot question it. I know what it is to put all of your trust into another person- and for them to shatter it and for you to realize they’ve given you reason not to trust them.

I’ve learned to love unconditionally the people in my life, even the ones who have screwed me over. And every single damn time, my heart aches and I wish I would just realize my fatal flaw of caring too much. I wish I was a cold-hearted bitch. It would make things easier. But my values are too strong and my moral compass too magnetic.

I used to live with my brain as the guide, but I’ve slowly transitioned into living following my heart and by my feelings. This is incredibly stupid sometimes, but it is also exhilarating. But it leaves you in heartbreak and an emotional rollercoaster. Because you care when things go wrong in other people’s lives. Because there was a time when you were alone and felt like there was no one- and you told yourself nobody would ever feel that way again because you would stick by them.

To the ones that have hurt me, I’ve forgiven you. Because that’s who I am and that’s what I do. I forgive and forget and am constantly taken advantage of. Yet, for the life of me I don’t know why I stick around. I know I deserve better. I know what it is like to feel loved and cared for. And even if just as a friend, I still deserve to feel that way after you have made me feel worthless. Because I’m the girl that’s “too good for you” people say. I’m the girl who pours her soul into whatever she does because I’m fucking passionate about what I think and what I have to say.

Nothing is forcing you to listen to me as I smash through every expectation people had for me and I surpass those to prove them wrong, all the ones who doubted me or bullied me. Nothing is forcing you to stick around till the end of my story. Right now, it’s usually about the time where I’m clutching onto strings that should’ve been severed. Because those who have hurt me, if you cared well you’d do something. But you and I we’re better just coexisting from a distance it seems. Sometimes I wonder if it were better if we never met, to have never loved you at all. But this cycle, it’s not the first and last time I’m going to feel this way.

Screw being hot and the girl all the guys want to sleep with these days. I’m content with being intelligent and successful and focused on bigger and better things than I can even imagine tangibly right now. I am the one who matters in this story and I’m done wasting words and paper writing about the peoples of the past’s haunting memories that have floated into my reality.

Those pages are floating down the river for now.

As a wise English teacher once told me:

You must let the wind underneath your wings and let the road rise to meet your feet.

Sometimes I miss people from my past. But the people who they were, not the people they are now. But time, it exists for a reason and well, there’s no going back now.

xox,

M

 

 

Trying too hard to be happy leads to. . . sadness?

Throughout my eighteen years of living, one thing I’ve concluded is that being happy isn’t easy. People in this world say happiness is a choice, but if it truly was that easy wouldn’t everyone simply just choose to be happy?

As humans, we have this innate quest to find these so-called feelings of joy and elation. Yet, we spend so much of our lives searching that we forget to enjoy things or better yet, we just reside in a perpetual state of misery because we don’t know how to help ourselves to the capacity that we need to. Maybe we don’t like talking and opening up, maybe were in denial, maybe we just don’t know what the heck to do.

As simple as it seems, the feeling of showing excitement or contentment is rather more elusive than what appears to merely an observer. For me, hand in hand with happiness is finding and determining meaning. While meaning is arbitrary, it has the power to lay the foundation of a person’s opinion and outlook; the way the cement base is the heart of a house supporting the skeleton of walls, windows, and hallways. I live my life searching for meaning in everything, sometimes getting me into trouble because every so often, some things just don’t have a meaning.

Despite this, without meaning, it is near impossible to find even a glimmer of happiness. How can one find themselves ‘happy’ skipping the crucial step of knowing the impacts of their actions or words on both themselves and others? The definition of ‘meaning’ is unclear in its own nature: what is the intended effect and significance of the text, concept, word, action, or idea in question? A person can become so preoccupied with defining the meaning that they lose the true essence of why they were involved with said action or concept in the first place. But is it this lack of meaning that leads to lack of purpose which leads to lack of happiness?

One may never truly know. As we continue to move through life and beyond, sometimes we lose sight of the things that are most important or the things that truly matter. In my experience, the hardest part of it all is determining what these ‘things’ are. To each and every individual, it’s different. Whether a person admits it or not, we are all dealing with things that aren’t always visible at first glance. It may be an invisible chronic illness, drama with friends or a significant other, a learning disability, depression, academic hardships or simply life shattered in pieces in general.

Whatever it may be, it impacts you and your outlook to the world despite if you admit it or not. And that’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to be biased, to feel sorry for themselves. But, it shouldn’t get in the way of life in any way, although it may be easy to just admit defeat to the problem and not fight against it. However down on the world you may be, trying and forcing to be happy may just be making you sadder and more miserable.

Instead, focus on the little things that are good. The things you may have that the rest of the world may not be as privileged to have access to, such as an education. Step outside and appreciate the grass that lines the lawns, or the clear sky on a sunny day. Revel in the immense opportunity there is in the world to experience. The future is out there, the future is bright no matter how dull it may seem. And if you don’t believe it right now, if you keep telling yourself that, maybe someday you’ll believe yourself.

If a person continually focuses on trying to be happy, they will be perpetually miserable. Happiness is something that has to happen organically. No matter how stressed or miserable a person may be, there is always a silver lining. So, you did terrible on the midterm? Work harder and get as close to perfect on the next test as you can. Use it as a learning experience. So, you didn’t do as well in sport you practice as you were hoping to? Train with finesse and show everyone how much they should’ve taken you more seriously.

In any situation, take a step back. Look at the situation holistically for what it is, rather than what it should or could or would be. Instead of looking back to the past, look forward. Through all of this, ask yourself one question: why am I doing this? If the answer is something you don’t agree with, then don’t do it. Find motivation to do something that’s never been done before.

When happiness isn’t searched for, it finds you. And the minute you stop wondering when you will be happy, slowly and steadily things will turn up and you will become happy no matter how long it takes. But for now, when life seems absolutely horrible, you just have to sit tight and get through it any way that you know how. You’re stronger than you appear, smarter than you believe yourself to be, and underestimate your own abilities. As with everything, this too shall pass. And when it does, the feeling of optimism and positivity will be irreplaceable.

xox,

M

Living in the Now

You know that feeling when you do something you haven’t done in a while and then it sort of hits you in a cinema style fashion, why haven’t I done this for so long?

Lately since my life has been going through a great deal of all that. I’ve started dancing spontaneously again, breaking out singing Hamilton on my way to class (quietly of course) and in the shower (when the belting comes out), not caring what others think, being sassy, spunky and flirting again.

I met a cute guy in one of my classes a little while ago. Well, let’s just say it’s been funny so far. It might progress or it might not, but regardless I just need to stop acting like I’m in 6th grade and dysfunctional around boys every single time he talks to me. I literally have forgotten what to say around him sometimes and well it is, uh quite bad.

Last time I saw him in passing, he smiled adorably and waved. I felt like an absolute idiot with this dumb grin on my face when I waved back. I haven’t done anything quite so embarrassing yet around him (key word- YET) but stay tuned because it’s bound to come. Love always starts with embarrassing stories right? Send me some help.

I’m not quite sure he is fully aware of my existence for sure. He has my number. We have texted quite a bit, surprisingly, but at the same time, how can you tell if a guy is interested if well, the way you text him is strictly business? I’m wonderful and great with boys. Not. I guess we will find out- you and I are both curious as to where this is going, which is well, hopefully somewhere!

I absolutely love the way things are going now. I became extremely sick a few months­ and also fell into a relationship then that supported me when I needed it most, but realized through all of that I sort of became dissatisfied with my life because I was unhappy and lost myself. Things broke off with that relationship for their own reasons and it just wasn’t working, and everything happened for a reason to get me to where I am today. And now, I’m gaining it all that I lost in myself back.

When you’re sick and cannot be yourself, you lose the flame inside you. The spunk that fired the sassiness; the throwing caution to the wind so that the road can rise to meet your feet. Even though I was supported and loved, I wasn’t me.

And now, slowly and steadily I am regaining who I was and transforming into who I want to be. I am rebuilding piece by piece the shattered glass I became, broken and scratched and unknowing of the uncharted territory I fractured into.

But this territory, it’s a new place I find delightful. I may have different people surrounding me and be a part of different things, but I have never felt brighter or clearer or sparkled more.

I feel at peace with certain things of my past and am leaving those things there.

Now I am bubbly and bright, sassy and spunky, unfiltered and willing to be riskier than I used to when I was that shy, timid, complaining, whiny sick good girl who never felt good. Now I smile like an idiot at cute boys in the hall and go out with friends until 4am and not worry about if I’m going to enjoy it or be healthy enough to go out.

Now I participate in writing and theatre and am a recognized photographer on Instagram by a few professionals that have reached out to me. Now I have started working with cerebral spinal fluid of rats as I work with my neurobiology lab’s model to discover more about Alzheimer’s. Now everything feels as if it’s falling into place.

Now I live without looking back, something I’ve wanted to do forever.

Now I have the chance to do it, and I’m not ever letting go.

xox,

M

Moving On & The Changing Meanings of Words

Everything is confusing in life. Each day we make choices, these choices are what dictate our lives. Every thought we have, every step we take, every word we say has an impact.

In my head, it’s easy to re-read things that were written in the past or think about things I did. It’s hard to realize that those words might have lost meaning to what they are now, and whoever wrote them might now regard the recipient almost like a stranger. In my head, it’s always a game of should’ve, could’ve and would’ve.

If someone showed up one day guaranteeing one chance to change the past, would you take it?

I know there are certain things I wish could have happened differently, but these are things a person can’t know until they’ve experienced it before. The only option is to take life as it comes, make yourself be the best version of you that you can be and move on with your life. Letting the things that have had their time go away with the wind with peace, poise and eloquence.

There’s no point in trying to involve yourself in someone’s life because that’s “what it used to be.” There’s no point clinging to strands of what could’ve been, because that’s not what is. People keep living and loving and learning and it is a constant never-ending cycle that you have no control over.

I am the one thing in life that I can control. I am the only one with my thoughts, feelings and emotions- the only one who can do what I am capable of.

Maybe you were only a part of someone’s life for a brief period in time. Maybe you were a four-year investment that ended in you disappearing. Maybe you faded slowly into the background with time because distance desensitizes the memories that once stung every time you thought of the passion within them.

A few years ago, I had to cut out a toxic person from my life. I had to relinquish all points of contact, but with no explanation. Now this is probably one of the most hurtful but necessary things I have ever had to do, but it got to a point where this person was living in a place where they thought memories from two years before this point were what was now.

They were leaving to go on a long trip, so I wrote a letter to them. But, two years later, after fights and anger and hatred was poured into the mix of the relationship, they referenced that letter. What they didn’t realize was what my reaction would be: that letter meant nothing now. It was how I felt then, in the moment, a stupid young girl in high school not knowing what to do with her life.

But the two years later, I was much swifter and smarter and wiser. I knew how I felt and I knew what I needed to do. And looking back, I wish I had never written that letter because they had kept it and probably still have it. Sometimes I wonder if I had handled things differently how things would have ended up. But, to this day it still confuses me how much power words can have and how someone can write something so passionate and suddenly it just doesn’t have meaning anymore.

No one is innocent. We all have done this but hurt some more so than others.

This is what makes me wonder. What if I had never written that letter? What if I had never read the letters I got from various people in my past? Would I be thinking this? Would I be wondering?

In my head, it’s a pendulum of understanding how someone can say something so passionate and truly mean it. Yet, with time, they can look back and wonder how in the world they wrote or said this. Or not even that, but just how since then, things have desensitized because of time and unfamiliarity.

It is a double-edged sword, edges I’ve felt both of. And, to this day the power of words still confuses me.

In order to move on, you need to let go of the words, let go of the memories, place them on a timeline that crafts your past, and look forward at your blank future. It’s a blank canvas ready to be splattered with paint, you just need to paint it.

So now in this present chapter of my life that is only beginning, for a change I am actually making active changes in my life. For once, I am the priority. I am no longer concerned about keeping everyone else in order, but just myself and being the best me that I can be.

Because, I’m learning, everything else, it will fall into place unexpectedly and when it is supposed to. And until then and as this happens, it’s time to be happy and live life in ways I’ve been afraid to in the past.

xox,

M

It’s a start with the Head and the Heart

The head and heart are two peas in a pod. They are what dictate the way one lives their life, the choices a person makes, and the risks a person takes. Via the carotid artery, the myocardium sends blood to the brain at a rapid rate of three feet per second. When danger is sensed, a cautionary alarm is fired to the hypothalamus in the brain, the hub for the human hormone system.

This causes the sympathetic nervous system to jump start which pulses cortisol throughout the veins and begins the process of surging adrenaline. At this point, the myocardium steps in jolting to a rapid heart rate, speeding up the pulsing of blood throughout the body. Our bronchial tubes open wider and with each breath, our focus intensifies and the strength of the head and heart working together only becomes stronger as we protect ourselves.

But what are we protecting ourselves from? Sometimes this is imminent danger, obvious in its own nature. But other times, it can be similar to when we hear bad news, or something is about to drastically change. In this particular instance, our vagus nerve connecting the heart, brain and stomach is affected, resulting in contraction of the digestive system. Our heartbeats slow and we freeze and feel like we’re choking.

Why does all of this happen? Why do these two reactions juxtapose each other? The head and the heart dictate all of these occurrences. They make us move, make us love, make us learn. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are.

To live is to make choices, but what determines our choices?

I struggle with whether I am making the right choices based on what my rational mind says compared to my heart’s feelings. Is there a way to reconcile these two incongruent approaches to living?

It’s constantly a battle between the mind and the main blood-pumping organ. Each tries to outlast and outmaneuver the other, fighting from two radically unique battlegrounds. The heart, nestled in a forest of capillaries, veins, and arteries, is shielded by the courageous ribs of the thoracic cavity. The brain, on the other hand, resides coiled up into paths of everlasting thought in a bubble of imagination, encased by a daunting skull. Together, they unite a person into a fully functioning machine with a sprinkle of soul and a dash of empathy.

Sometimes, the heart short circuits the brain, striking first. People act without considering repercussions, speak without a filter, and write about anything, no matter how ludicrous.

When awareness of the heart happens, emotions take over. When the heart is the leading light, all logistics go out the window, despite whatever the brain thinks. But then, after the heart conquers, the brain comes back with a vengeance. It’s a slap across the face when you wake up realizing, what are you doing? No planning ahead, didn’t consider what could happen. Now what’s left is damage control and praying it isn’t too late.

Despite what the outcome may be, good or bad, happy or sad, the brain is still a beautiful thing. It makes a person brilliant in every way, handing over the keys to find out how life works.

Through all the tangles of dendrites, cell bodies, and axons that make up a neuron, information is fired through from one place to another, pit-stopping in the brain for processing. The brain prevents from doing most things that people would regret; it always keeps running, a thousand miles ahead of the last step. Always running in-depth, overcomplicating things.

Knowledge is a gift, knowledge is power, and power is a catalyst for change.

The head and the heart are a jumbled up, rag-tag team who make up who we are to the core.

Together, the head and heart remain in a constant banter, but somehow despite them being so incompatible, figure out a way to work congruently.

Will it ever be possible to have control over both and to get them to work together to help guide in the best direction instead of sacrificing one to please the other? This is a skill one will learn with practice, and I have a lot of learning to do.

xox,

M

Time, Mistakes, & Skipping Rocks

Time is one of the only phenomena that there is no control over. It moves on with or without us. It doesn’t observe boundaries. It keeps going and going and going and nothing can stop it. Until, that is, it runs out.

I never truly realized the way things can change in an instant. One revelation, one action, one little thing can send off a ripple reaction and change everything.

There’s a girl standing by the edge of a pond full of navy-hued water. Lush, leafy clover green trees circle the perimeter of the pond, breaking into an opening by where she stands. In her slender fingers encased is a smooth gray oval rock. Her cascading chestnut hair is tied up in an intricate pony-tail. Her cornflower blue sundress brushes the tops of her knees and her bare toes tickle the edges of the pond water. She keeps turning the rock over and over in her hands, as if she’s unsure of what to do with it and the rock was the life choices she has to make.

In one motion, she bends her knees leaps forward and extends her arm, the orb of earth flying from her fingers. It dances across the water, skipping from one ripple to the next.

One.
Two.

Three.

Four.

Five.

Plop.

It swims down through the opaque water, deeper and deeper into a world it’s never been. A world in which it doesn’t think it belongs but it will try to survive in anyways. A world with a clear divide from where it once was.

The girl sits down in a patch of grass edging around the pond and peers into the water, her reflection’s eyes matching up with her own.

When did things get to this? How did things get to this?

Mistakes. Regrets. Looking back and wishing you could do something about a story written in the stone of the past. Decisions you made leading to things that not only hurt you, but those around you.

There are moments where I think back to and I cringe. I wonder if I had done something else if that would have changed anything. If I would still have the people in my life now that I hurt.

The most painful feeling is knowing you hurt people who didn’t deserve to be hurt. It eats away at you from the inside. There is absolutely nothing you can do. You took the tools you had in your life and you abused them. And now, you are left sitting on the edge of a pond wondering why you did what you did and if anything can ever repair the power mistakes have to wreck.

You think back to the most dangerous weapon your mind has to offer: memories. The beautiful pictures you painted, the laughs you shared, the moments that went unseen. And you shudder as a shiver runs through you as you acknowledge it was your mistake that ripped that all to shreds. And because of that, because of the power of mistakes, everything changed. And for once, there might just be nothing you can do about it.

Mistakes and regrets are terrifying because the ramifications are immensely powerful but the ways to repair are sensitive and obscure. It takes an incredibly forgiving and patient person to accept an apology and move on.

Apologies aren’t easy by any means, but that doesn’t mean a person shouldn’t try. They don’t justify the action that was taken that resulted in the hurt, nor should they be seen as an excuse. They are the only and best way to try to mend what has been broken. Only sincere apologies demonstrate ability to recognize those negative actions and hopefully can help to reinstall the trust that may have been broken in a relationship.

Mistakes and regrets shatter glass in an instant that takes forever to perfectly piece back together. If you have a clean piece of paper, take it and crumple it up. As tightly as you can. Fold every corner, crease every crease, squeeze it tighter than tight. Now undo what you just did. Get the paper back to its unfolded clean slate. It’s still crinkled? You’re right. It’s extremely hard to undo what you’ve done, frustrating and nearly impossible.

The girl looks at her arms, stained wet with charcoal colored streaks from her mascara. The crystal droplets from the corners of her once big, bright honest eyes are murky, clouded with the traces of makeup. She wishes with everything she could go back and change things. But she can’t go back and re-do time.

Because much like time, you can’t take back mistakes. You live and you learn and you keep moving forward. And you can only hope that those who you’ve hurt, they can find it in their heart to understand, let you back in, forgive and trust you once again.

sincerely,

M