how to lose them

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“I felt wise and cynical as all hell.” -Sylvia Plath

This is how you lose them:

The same way you fall in love: not all at once, but piece by piece.

You don’t lose him the day you break up, but in the days and weeks before. You don’t lose her with what you’ve done, but with what you haven’t.

You lose her when you make a casual remark that cuts her down and you don’t notice in the slightest. You lose him when you start to assume he’ll always be there. When you stop telling her about the little things in your day that make you happy, angry, sad.

You lose him when you start to send those ‘good morning’ texts less and less. You lose her when you stop calling her by that nickname you came up with two years ago.

Suddenly, you’re taking her for granted. You’re showing him slowly but surely, through cancelled plans and unanswered messages, that he’s no longer the priority.

One day you’re listening to the radio and a heartbreak song hits a little too close to home. You finally understand the lyric that never really made sense before. You’re losing her.

One day you’re with him and you realize that he’s no longer excited to be talking to and spending time with you. Another piece falls away.

You’ve lost her when things start to seem forced, when she becomes an obligation. You’ve lost him when you realize you’re sleeping in the same bed but further apart than ever.

You lose her when you fail to tell her what you want, what you need. Where you want to be. You lose him when you stop asking.

You lose them when you don’t try any more, because every relationship, every friendship requires some effort, some maintenance. You lose them when you don’t care enough to make them feel wanted.

Yes, you lose them the exact same way you fell in love with them- you do it day by day, week by week, until you wake up and suddenly wonder when it all started and how you got here.

This is how you keep them:

You say “I love you” every day, and mean it.

don’t you (mis)define

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“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” -Allen Ginsberg

Whatever you do, don’t misdefine yourself.

Don’t you dare think that wandering and being lost are the same thing.

Wandering is exploring, learning. It’s a relentless calling to know more. To have no clear destination and not being very intent on arriving- there’s a sense of freedom there, the fundamental hope that anything can happen. There’s a will to experience, a will to enjoy life.

Being lost is desperation, is being afraid. Being lost is panicking in the dark instead of letting your eyes adjust to see what’s around you (because there are things you learn, in the dark, if you choose).

Don’t you mistake letting go for giving up. 

Letting go is knowing that holding on is selfish and destructive, and being brave enough to act on that realization. It’s acceptance, and it’s the truth that the only way to grow is to release what’s comfortable and take a chance on the things that scare you.

Giving up is cowardly, it’s running away- It hurts everyone more than it heals. It leaves people in a lurch instead of setting them free. It’s a lack of conviction.

Don’t you even for a second confuse breaking and being broken.

Breaking is choosing to feel pain so that you can move past it. Embracing everything it is so you can remember how it feels.  It’s the short term destruction that sets up a more solid foundation. Breaking is something you do as opposed to something you are.

Being broken is fighting the pain because you’re clinging to the past. You’re too afraid of what you’ll see when you get up to do anything but lay on the floor. It’s something you let take over you instead of something you own.

I may be breaking, but don’t you dare think I’m broken.