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Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

I know I’ve written to everyone but you. I know you’ve had to endure too many stories of guys that came before you. I know that it’s not fair. I have strung you along like a yo-yo, up one day and down the next. I don’t deserve you, and I probably never will. For you are the opposite of everything I used to love. You are kind, even when I’ve hurt you. You are comfort, those arms I already miss, the afternoons spent curled up in them lying on your couch. You are laughter, a sure excuse to let go of any bad day and just breath. You are considerate, the desire to make me feel valued. Which you did, always. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like I really mattered. My opinions. My hurts. My struggles. My weaknesses. My dreams. You listen with an attention I know is real. You look into my eyes and I know you care. Thank you. For doing that, for being there when I least deserve it. For wading through all the bullshit of my past, to give me hope for a future. Even if it’s without you. You have given me more than you will ever know. Beautiful memories that actually are beautiful, instead of just a imaginative version of what was. I don’t remember the last time I felt so safe. A place to be myself, instead of who I think you might want me to be.

All of this makes letting go of you so very hard. I jokingly said you’d move on before I did. I wish I hadn’t been right. I wish it hadn’t been her. And the hurt and anger I feel stems back to everything that happened before you. The reality of being just an option, instead of the only one. I guess I’ve always loved with my whole heart. It is this flaw that keeps me from moving on. It’s hard to understand when people don’t do the same. I sit at breakfast with another man, and all I can think of is you. I wonder if I’ve just made the biggest mistake. And, I think about all the reasons why. The missing feelings. The uncomfortable nights spent trying to understand what went wrong. The disconnect I wish I never felt. I have to hope I made the right choice, even now as I write this in tears. Is it jealousy? Am I selfishly trying to hold onto you? Is it real? Is it now just making sense?

The reality is, you deserve more than what I gave you. I’ve taken the person I can’t stand, and become him. Someone who can’t commit. Someone who can’t deal with their demons to love the way you should be loved. Someone who wants you, but not enough. And, I’m sorry for that. I wish I could figure things out, give you the answer you deserve instead of this back and forth game we play. I wake up in your bed, and it feels right. I leave your apartment, and it feels like the last time.

I don’t deserve you, not now and maybe not ever. I just hope that she does. I hope she looks in your eyes and feels the same way you do. That she wants to be with you as much as you want to be with her. I hope she appreciates your tender touch, the way you never made it just about you. I hope she does things for you, because she wants to. I hope she meets you half way. I hope she gives you what you deserve. The relationship I never could. And, I promise I’ll try to be supportive. I promise I’ll try not to show you how much it hurts. To see you get everything I always wanted, everything I never gave you.

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This town is full of too many loves that never were
Familiar faces are only fragments of what I’ve tried to forget
Close enough to want inside of everything but my heart
But hearts are givers without choice
I believed I deserved better before I met you
Now I hardly believe in myself
And the ability to love again

Giving works until there’s nothing left
Just the memory of what I wished had always been
The fairy tale I grew up believing in
The one with the Prince who saved her
The knight who said she was the only one
I’m Cinderella without a fairy godmother
My hand of cards is missing a chance

I listen to Dixie Chicks radio when I’m sad
You’ve ruined everything for everyone
Who has tried to steal my heart away
And sometimes I wake up crying at night
The hurting is always all mine
I pray to be set free so
Goodbye Earl or whatever your name is

I thought mistakes were just moments
Not the prologue to the rest of my life
I wish I could love him the way I loved you
Twice the man and an even better friend
I can’t imagine the heartache if you had cared
I’m still picking up the pieces
Of a love we never had

This town is full of too many loves that never were.

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I turned twenty-six on Thursday

I remember when I was in high school, I had all these plans about where I’d be at this point in my life. Dreams, really. Naieve notions about how old is old enough for this, that, and the other thing. I realize now I don’t know as much as I thought I did then.

Life isn’t a timeline of should have’s.

I’m not the same person I was last year. I’m not even sure I’m the same person I was a week ago.

I carry with me a lot of the same surface level dreams I did then: Get married. Have a family. Write a book. Travel to Europe. Run a marathon. Be a better person. But, my view of those dreams has changed and adapted over time due to the circumstances I have endured and the people I have encountered. They say, you become who you surround yourself with. I used to be a stubborn enough person to not believe that was true.

Now, I realize people change you slowly, melt you like a candle. Some people are cigarette breaks, others are forest fires. One day you wake up and realize your flame has burnt out. And you have no idea how to get it back.

I’ve learned that subtle compromises often turn into great risks. That first time you choose to be less of who you are for someone else is the first time you lose a piece of your heart. He should ask you about the tattoo on your ankle. Care about the fact someone you loved deeply died for it to be there. He should ask you about the tattoo on your wrist. Ask why you thought God’s grace was so important then. He should ask you about your heart. What makes you come alive. Why writing is so important. Why you haven’t slept with everyone like he has. He should care about loving you the way you love him. And, you shouldn’t have to ask.

I’ve learned that just because you’ve been friends with someone forever, doesn’t mean they will stay. I’ve learned that just because you want to get married and have a family, doesn’t mean you’re ready. I’ve learned that even though you believe in God, doesn’t mean you believe He loves you.

I’ve learned that words really can hurt you. It’s hard to sleep alone, after. Sometimes, you won’t be the friend you thought you were. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Your family will love you even when your friends don’t. It’s okay to cut people out of your life. Music is still beautiful, even without him. You can be angry. You can cry. It’s okay to stay up all night, and call in sick the next day. Retail therapy is okay as long as it’s not your only therapy. Loneliness will either make you run toward hope or into despair. Life is a series of choices. Sometimes, you’ll make the wrong one.

I’ve learned that life is really hard. Often, you fight battles you can’t even see for yourself.

One of my friends recently said, I miss Kari.

I miss her too. In the past couple years, I’ve lost large pieces of who I thought I was.

I hope that twenty-six is about finding her. And not who she used to be, because I don’t think you can ever really go back to who you were. But I want to find who I want to be. The pieces of the girl I miss, transposed by the experiences of the woman I am. To something brighter than where I am right now.

We all have our own demons. And, to clarify, that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for my life or the people and blessings in it. Because I have an amazing family who love me unconditionally, friends that have stood by me through thick and thin, a job that challenges me every day, and a God who chooses to protect me even when I don’t fight for Him. I am blessed beyond measure.

But I’ve learned that it’s okay to not be okay. And to be honest about it.

I hope in the year to come I am able to share that with each and every one of you out there. May we all be honest with ourselves, and fight for who we are.

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The last words you ever said to me are saved to my phone. Five sentences. Sixty-two words. Eighty-seven syllables. Less than a hundred ways to signify our thousands of days together.

You used to be a constant, and now months pass by without a thought of you.

Standing in the middle of a crowded coffee shop, singing the songs you wrote about me. Something about seashells and adolescent hopes I’ve long ago forgetten. Washed away with the fading memory of what was, what will never be again. The late night Skype sessions, characterized by hours of conversation and a shedding of clothes in our later days. Nothing was ever frightening with you. The familiarity of wrapping up in your arms. The tears you never ran from. The loss you helped me through. Love was what made us work. Unconditionally real, through good times and bad. Bible verses or cuss words. Music or silence.

You were my best friend.

Now, a memory. One that resurfaces when least expected. I’ve never been hit with a ton of bricks, but I imagine the expression signifies the way this feels. I close my eyes, as if the wind has been knocked out me, and it all comes rushing back in. Who you were to me. What conversation meant to us. When everything was different. Where it all began. How loving you felt.

We fell in love at the wrong times, all at once. And I’m so grateful for that. You showed me what it means to truly let someone in. To the deepest parts of your soul. The places that no one wants to expose, but the ones that really matter most. You let me know it’s okay to trust someone down there. And how people can breathe in more understanding than you ever thought possible. You showed me how to love someone for who they are, not who they might be. You loved me in spite of myself, when I least deserved it. We fought for each other, so I fought to let you go.

I now know you can love someone so much it hurts (each other). Sometimes it’s not healthy to keep things forever. Even security blankets are eventually outgrown. And yes, perhaps, the world is at first a little scarier. Sadder. But I learned something in your absence. The ability to stand on my own two feet. To move forward toward new memories and conversations and songs. To love the wrong way. To come home at night bawling without anyone to talk to about it. To move on. To let our past push me into my future.

You said, then, You deserve someone who can play all the roles he’s supposed to.

Three years later, I still don’t know what that looks like. But I want to thank you for showing me a glimpse.

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I am

an extensive novel housing
difficult dialogue
hidden secrets
complex character

I am

an epic love craving
honest heart
open trust
pure passion

I am

an energetic song blaring
fantastic feeling
infectious laughter
carefree contentment

I am

an easy evening holding
solemn silence
welcoming arms
lasting loyalty

I am

an entangled woman wanting
real relationship
quality time
mutual risk

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I long to reach across the air and touch you with every word you don’t believe and every promise you long to hear. To hold you in my arms and tell you this.

You are enough.

You are a warm hug at the end of a terrible day. In the same fashion, embrace the ones who treat your words like harmonies. Hold onto those who treasure your heart like their own. Envelop the friends who remember your stories and protect them with both hands. Be who you are, who you want to be, regardless of all the times you’ve been hurt before. Reach out to life and live it. Without fear. Those people who care about what you’ve done and have yet to do don’t matter. You are an individual with initiative. You are a person of promise. You are a laugh full of life. You are a smile rich with sentiment. Be who you are deep inside, beneath the regrets and lost loves and anger. Allow yourself to feel innocent again. Take hold of every opportunity like a child, complete with curiosity and lack of caution. The world will continue to disappoint you, but don’t disappoint yourself before you get a chance to try.

You are enough.

I promise not every girl you meet is a slut, out to conquer any man she can get her hands on. I promise not every girl is manipulative, making you feel vulnerable only to tear you down. I promise not every girl is selfish, concerned with her own emotions while never taking yours into consideration. I guarantee there are girls out there who long to treat you with respect. Who pride themselves in speaking with honesty. Who care to remain faithful with or without a titled commitment.

I promise not every guy you meet is a player, out to talk to as many girls as he can without getting caught. I promise not every guy is a liar, saying all the things you want to hear without meaning a single word. I promise not every guy is insensitive, bothered by your emotions and your need to talk things out. I guarantee there are guys who want to treat you like a princess. Who want to spend time with you and only you. Who will be your best friend.

You are enough.

You deserve the best. Don’t let your past mistakes dictate your future. Don’t settle for less or talk yourself down. You should never punish yourself about something you can no longer change. Let your mistakes teach you something. Let them make you a better person. Stand up for yourself even when you feel like giving up, giving in. Think of all the times you wished for a better conversation with someone you cared about, and have the decency to have those conversations with others. No matter how hard they may be, the truth really does set you free. You don’t have to live in a mess of the could haves and should haves. You can live in the present of who you really are and what you really want. Because it matters. You matter.

You are enough.

Stop believing the worst parts of yourself. Stop second guessing everything anyone tells you because of how many times you’ve been hurt before. Believe someone when they say they care. Maybe they’ll let you down someday. Maybe they don’t care as much as they should. But if you allow skepticism to rule your life you’ll never feel anything. And that’s worse than feeling something, no matter how painful it may be. Allow yourself to have the very best, no matter how much you feel like you don’t deserve it. Let people into your heart no matter how scared you are. I promise you it’ll be worth it. Because, at the end of the day, if your heart breaks after you gave it your all, at least you can walk away knowing you tried. Don’t make yourself feel so small in order to expect nothing. Because then you end up missing out on everything.

You are enough.

I wish I could make you believe that with every part of my being. The same way I strive to believe it about myself. I am often criticized for giving too much of myself and my heart. I give people second chance after second chance after second chance. And, sometimes, it bites me in the butt. I have spent many nights crying over situations I should have seen coming from the get go. But that doesn’t define me. Those moments don’t take away value from how I feel and who I am. I won’t apologize for letting it all out. I will continue to give the people I meet my whole heart, greeting them with opens arms of trust and respect. If that’s not enough, then the relationship probably wasn’t meant to be. And, yes, maybe I will be hurt by the loss. Maybe I will carry the broken relationship with me for the rest of my life. But, at least, I will be able to say this: I gave them all I could give.

You are enough.

So give all you can give. To someone. To anyone. To everyone. Don’t let the ugliness of the world hide the beauty that is inside of you. Instead, let the world see you for all your worth. Let life happen. Believe though there is no reason. Trust when the road has no end in sight. Love in spite of the possibility of getting hurt. I promise you it’ll be worth it. I promise someone will hear your song.

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The past is a mist of memories: putting out a plate of cookies and a mug of milk next to a fireplace never used; the commercial assuring Santa likes cheese better; my little brother waking me up as I nestled further into my pink Minnie Mouse comforter; one piece footie pajamas; popcorn balls; cousins coming to call; decorating gingerbread houses with my Grandma; baking cut-out cookies with my Aunt; watching Home Alone with my family; making snowmen; sledding down hills; the familiar read stories of sugar-plums dancing and Jesus being born.

I remember simplicity the way I remember her laughter – a faded chorus I know by heart but can barely hear. I have yet to make cut-out cookies this year. They say things heal with time, but I’m unsure you ever recover from losing someone you love. A second mother, an aunt, a friend. Thanksgiving is hard on my mother, but Christmas is harder on me. I cry every time I make those cookies, every time I hear Silent Night for the first time. Each reminds me she’s gone, along with her gentle spirit and genuine care. The past is a mist of memories I hold close with all my heart.

Gone are the days of rushing to open presents, the childhood excitement and naive innocence. Things are more subdued these days. A calm gathering in the same living room we grew up in, casually passing out each present and calmly taking turns to tear off the carefully wrapped paper. We realize our grandparents won’t live forever, none of us will. So we¬†find joy in family togetherness, shared joy, and sarcastic grown-up banter. Back and forth to bring us closer for another year. Trying not to take a single moment for granted.

I don’t need a fancy new car, even though my friends makes jokes about the green Honda I’ve been driving since high school. It runs like a charm. I don’t need fancy clothes, as much as I’d like them. I have a roof I own over my head, a job that pays both financially and spiritually (thanks to the people I work with), a family who loves me unconditionally, friends who support me no matter what, a God who cares for me, food to eat, a library full of books to read, and good health.

I simply wish for time: To appreciate life as it comes, the beautiful things treasured and the painful things used to learn. To become a person I’m proud of, loving without condition, accepting without judgement, moving on without bitterness, dreaming without fear. To let others know how much I value them, how they’ve impacted my life in ways I will never forget. To make a mark on others lives in return, letting them know they’re enough just as they are. To travel the world. To write a book. To fall in love. To make a family. To experience things and meet people I have yet to discover.

They say this is the most wonderful time of the year. And, I believe it is. Not for the hustle and the bustle, but for the reminder that the joy of Christmas can be found every day. It’s not in the presents, or the cookies, or the elf on the shelf. It’s not in the holiday movies, or the peppermint lattes, or the lights on the house. Joy is found in the hearts of those we love and memories shared. The things we take for granted and the blessings we’ve already received.

May your days be merry and bright. And may you treasure every one.

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