real talk

What I would say to the last 10 people I texted if I was being 100% honest with them:

1) you’re overwhelming and sometimes it’s too much for me to handle

2) I wonder if you even know you’re lying to me (and to yourself)

3) you’re a source of pure light and laughter in my life

4) you’re one of the only people I can be myself around

5) I trust you more than anyone I know

6) you make me feel like I’m doing some things right

7) where you are scares me because I think I’m headed there, too

8) I don’t always agree with you, but I’ll always stand with you

9) I’m glad things have changed

10) you’re one of those few people I would classify as a ‘soulmate’

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seeking scars

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“I don’t want to die without any scars.” -Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

I think most people are too careful about the way they tackle life. They’re afraid of getting hurt, of being scarred. They tiptoe around the perimeter, walk on eggshells, hop over the cracks in the sidewalk.

I’ve got plenty of scars, and I’m not sorry. Some are visible. The one my cat gave me over winter break that has resulted in a few concerned questions because of its unfortunate location. The one on my knee from Girl Scout camp when I was 9.

Some are invisible. The ones left in my mind by the person who hurt me more than I care to admit years ago, the ones that took too long to live with. The ones in my heart caused by people I loved being ripped out of my life, both expectedly and unexpectedly.

Other ones caused by new people crashing into it, in the best and worst ways possible.

Some scars come in memories and dreams, continuing to leave their mark many years later. Photographs leave more than paper cuts as they dredge up the bittersweetness of what used to be. Nightmares haunt waking hours with what could have been and what almost was.

Getting hurt sucks. The process of acquiring scars is painful, but scars have a bad rep I don’t think they deserve. People don’t like scars because they ruin the perfect picture of a perfect life. They remind us that we’ve been in dark places; scars won’t let us forget our past.

But, should we? Should I forget that someone destroyed my heart or that it hurt when I lost someone? Can we ever really forget where we’ve been? The things that give you scars are, many times, the things that help you grow. I’d rather be reminded.

We’re too focused on living flawless-looking lives that we’re afraid of even the tiniest of scratches. The threat of imperfection becomes too much to bear. Taking risks becomes taboo to the point where I wonder if we’re living at all.

What’s the point of being alive if you’re not going to at least try to do something extraordinary, if you’re not going to come out a little beat up?

I’ll never stop seeking scars- not because I’m a masochist, but because I want proof that I took chances and went after life with everything I have. I don’t want to forget where I’ve been; it’s made me who I am. Never getting hurt makes for a pretty dull life story.

Sometimes I think you’re measured by the mess you make.

rise to your occasion

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“To love on occasion is not love.” -Dejan Stojanovic

Last week I had a thought I haven’t been able to shake- one that has sparked a whole web of thoughts in my mind. I don’t know how true it is, but then again I don’t know how true a lot of things are.

The thought is this: at any given time, every person in our life represents either an obligation or an occasion.

Obligations are avoided until they can’t be any longer, dealt with because they must be, accepted out of comfort and convenience. Easier succumbed to than run from, but never really wanted.

Occasions are chased, loved, rejoiced over. They’re thought about and sought after because they bring joy and light. They’re run to and desired, and they make life fuller.

The invitation to hang out coming from an obligation is an annoyance. The invitation to hang out coming from an occasion is a gift.

I think people fluctuate between these two categories at any given time, and as the nature of our relationships with people change they drift back and forth over this hazy line in definition.

Real heartbreak happens when we become obligations to each other, when we begin to treat each other as if we are something to be dealt with rather than rejoiced over. Real friendship and love happen when we become occasions to each other, when we treat each other like something to look forward to.

It’s the difference between wanting to support someone and feeling like you have to support them. The line between being an obligation or an occasion is indistinct and potentially devastating.

If someone matters to you, treat them like an occasion. Everyone drifts into obligation territory sometimes, but the people who fill you with happiness deserve the best of you. They deserve to know that they are the equivalent of something to be anticipated and enjoyed, something to be loved.

Occasions deserve to be risen to.

here’s to 100 nights

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“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” -Bill Watterson

You know you’re nearing the end of college when most of your friends are drinking out of bottles instead of cans and Tyler (who once taught you the basics of beer pong) passes on a free drink because he has to go to work in the morning.

Senior Thesis Day is less than a week away, your landlord notifies you that she’ll be showing the apartment tomorrow and the toast of the night is “here’s to 100 nights until graduation.”

The conversation has changed over the years, from figuring out which core classes to take together to cleaning up Twitter accounts and applying to jobs. Sometimes it seems like you all met yesterday and sometimes it feels like you’ve known each other since 4th grade. Time is weird like that.

In the midst of side conversations about internships and grad schools, Krista wins the poker game, because she has no clue how to play and you’ve come to expect that kind of thing. You sit back and look around at the people you’ve grown with, grown apart from, and grown closer to on any given weekend.

You think about all that’s happened since these people first came into your life. Jackie deals the last hand and you remember meeting her the first day you moved in, praying you two would be friends and taking the fact that you both used Herbal Essences as some kind of sign. You wonder how different your life would have been if you hadn’t been roommates, and you’re grateful it’s not.

You realize that even though you’ve all had your ups and downs, the people around the table have come to resemble some kind of eclectic family that will always come to mind when, years from now, you think about college. You know you’d be someone else if these people hadn’t come into your life, and you wonder if you would have liked that other you. You decide you probably wouldn’t.

You think about the seniors you met when you were a freshman, and you wonder how they seemed like they were so much older than you are now, and how you thought they must have it all figured out. Now you have to laugh to yourself because although you know a lot more than you did at 18, you know that 21 is not the year you figure it all out.

More than anything else, you think about how you only have 100 nights to do things like sit around and play poker with your friends until 2 a.m., and how you’d better take advantage of every one because the “real world” is coming, and it’s nothing like MTV.

Here’s to every night til graduation, and to making it count.

coffee cups.

Eliot measured life
in coffee spoons
but I’ve never
taken sugar;

I could use cups
to plot my course
through a lilting timeline
of The dance-

my cup runneth over
with the liquid warmth
of living…

QUICK!

sip up each drip,
lest the vitality
grow cold
and get discarded
down the drain.