Dating after divorce is not fun. I met my ex-husband when I was 17, got married when I was 23,
separated at 28, and the divorce was finalized when I was 31.
Guys never really asked me out in high school, I don’t regret that. I had the best time with my
friends. Having water balloon fights, throwing Elijah Wood parties just so we could have cake,
watching all six hours of the BBC “Pride and Prejudice” with vintage Colin Firth. My high school
days were full of theatre and happy memories.
But at the end of four years, only having “dated” one guy for barely a month, that seeping doubt
began to creep in. What’s so wrong with me that no one wants to date me.
The first week of college, my ex husband asked me out. I said no. I didn’t want to go to school
and just be someone’s girlfriend. I dated one other guy, for about a month. And that was fine.
After a year and a half, my ex-husband and I got together. It was the midwest. I had a
boyfriend. There was validation in having found my person.
When things fall apart and no one really did anything wrong, it hurts. You’re left reeling. I had
only ever dated two other guys before him, and for a little over a month. Dating wasn’t my
strong point. When you’ve been married, you’re supposed to do things for that person. Spend
time and grow together. And when that sort of comfortability is compromised. Out in a big city,
dating and casual sex are like a foreign language.
I was a virgin when I got married. And here I was at 28, having only been with one person. All
of my friends and coworkers were having casual sex and dating around. I’d go to parties, and
just practice talking to men. It felt weird. I couldn’t bring myself to go home with them. The first
time I semi-drunkenly kissed a guy at a party. I froze, immediately went home and sobbed. I’m
in my 20’s, the prime of my life. I should be having fun.
Since then there have been a few guys. Nothing super serious. But my low self confidence
with men usually leads to my self-sabotaging the possibility of a relationship. And for a long
while I’d promote the “I fly solo” theme out there. Because being vulnerable and letting
someone new in is scary as hell.
Starting your dating life at 28 is a doozy. But I gotta keep growing. Keep on pushing to open
myself up to the possibility of love. While it doesn’t happen very often, the guys I’ve gone out
with give me lots of hilarious stories . There’s the guy who lit up TWO joints on our hiking date.
The guy who kissed me, barely touched my boobs, then immediately came in his pants. To the
guy who for the first time I thought might go somewhere, only to have him text me out of the
blue that he was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend.
Those guys aren’t my person. Some people don’t have one person, they have many. My
family, my friends, and coworkers. I’ve grown so much by being independent over the last five
years, finally being comfortable being alone and being with myself.
Over the course of the last year, I’ve learned to let go on dates, and just enjoy the experience.
I’m now growing into the powerful force I’m meant to be. And maybe that scares some men, but
it hopefully will lead me into the direction of someone just as independent as me. Who gives me
plenty of room to be myself and gives me that authentic need for freedom so we can both
realize our full potential.
And if not, I’ll just keep on being awesome.
Kate Orlando has performed in It's Personal On Stage and will be joining us again this summer for the Fringe show: Los Angeles. We are thrilled to have this lady be apart of It's Personal and THE PERSONALS.
A woman, getting older
Instead of colder
With two strong shoulders
Beneath a head swirling with things I told her:
That being alone and being sober
Turn you into a female soldier
The first to admit
her needs don’t include a man to fit her
For the sister glitters without a mister
Wants no other to need or complete her
Her independence is transcendence
And no one person’s entrance could possibly end it
Or so I told her
Then one day
Because her knees were weaker
The days tasted sweeter
And as if it had been eager to meet her -
Love greeted her
And in just a moment
Her heart burst wide open
She found that it had her feeling
Like someone peeling back the covers
Who then discovers
That the world has secret colors
And she was just now able to see them
Now, behold her:
A woman, growing younger
Filled with a new and lovely hunger
That will make her fight through rain and thunder
To simply watch her lover slumber
They say that age is just a number
And if that’s true
Then growing up
Is merely showing up
To the possibility
Of falling, headfirst, into opportunity
And perhaps maturity
Is understanding life will treat you brutally
And just as often beautifully
To lean into that lunacy
Is to be behaving humanly
Maybe love is that confusing dichotomy?
So behold her:
A woman, timeless, on the rise.
A belly full of butterflies
A heart of easy compromise
Sunrise dawning in his eyes
Moonlight resting on their thighs
She needs him, but she needs him not
Love simply isn’t what I thought -
Truly a better endeavor
Than I was ever taught.
So I did not plan it
And I may not understand it
But by god
I now demand it
We hope you enjoyed this beautiful piece written by Anna Snedden.
I appreciate my vagina. I do.
This thought kept going through my head as I used the bathroom in the Vegas airport during my layover cause damn it, I appreciate my vagina. I do.
I was flying solo, which meant I was getting drunk solo, which led to ordering Burger King solo. And, then I realized, I'm a goddamn champion. And, it's because of my vagina.
My vagina keeps me sane. If my vagina's healthy, I'm healthy. If my vagina feels good, I feel good. If someone messes with my vagina, I’ll fuckin’ kill you.
But, it didn’t always used to be that way. I didn’t always appreciate my vagina. There was a time when I hated my vagina.
I grew up in a house with 3 brothers. My mom took incredible care of us- we’re very close- but anything pertaining to, or in mention of the vagina was off limits. Not because my mom was being neglectful; it was because I’d rather get my leg gnawed off slowly by an army of angry mice than to have to look at a simple, hand-drawn diagram of my fallopian tubes. Ew. I got home from school, and my mom said, “Emily”, and waved me into the kitchen. I sat down awkwardly on a stool at our island table, like omg, what is it mom. She scribbled something onto an index card and slowly slid it in front of me. It was a very simply drawn picture of a uterus. The f*ck is wrong with you?! is what I wanted to say. Instead, I looked up with an expression of full on hatred. I don’t know if you’ve seen a tiny, prepubescent girl in the shape of a twig turn into a raging baby alcoholic, but I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happened. I’d been successfully pushing off this conversation since my grandma bought me a bra for christmas when I was 9. The f*ck is wrong with you?!
My mom quickly rattled off the briefest explanation as to what a period is, and why I will want to kill myself. She did this because she knew, based on past experience, that she had about 5 seconds before I got pissed and started throwing shit, and bolted for the closest door or open window. I didn't wanna talk about it!
I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t used to talking about female stuff, or because I just wanted to be one of the guys, but I felt super weird about it. My mom eventually resorted to getting one of those period books about Sally accidentally getting period blood on her gym uniform and having to ask her friend to borrow a tampon. It was in one of those books that I learned how to put in my own tampon. It was also in one of those books that I learned my boobs might not fully develop until the age of 18. I had time.
However, I did have a slight change of heart once my friends started getting their periods, and marking their calendars. And then I was like F*ck. When am I gonna get mine?! Oh, I got it. 4 years later. Then I got braces, almost simultaneously. Then some kid in Chemistry said I had hairy arms. High school was good.
At this point, I wanted to know more, more than just the basic period stuff. More about my vagina. But, for some reason I still couldn’t talk about it. Then college happened, and ya know, ya get drunk. And you eat mcdonald’s sitting on a curb, and ya pass out on a couch next to a hairy dude wearing a pair of fairy wings. You maybe kiss a girl for the first time. Maybe you like it, maybe you don’t, maybe you’re too drunk to know. Then you start to see this guy, not the hairy dude, another guy, a cuter guy, and you have sex. For the first time. And, you make him wear two condoms at once just to make sure. And, then after two periods and 3 pregnancy tests, you still think maybe you’re pregnant because you “feel” like maybe you’re pregnant and it doesn’t matter that 3 tests came back negative or that now you’ve had 3 periods. But the worst part is, you feel dirty. And not in the good way. And then he never texts you back.
That’s when I started talking. I just, I needed some answers and there was no way in hell I wasn't gonna talk to my mom, so my roomie- my best friend - became my therapist, and my own instant pocket comedian. She’s the best. Things got better, and I started to appreciate my vagina.
When I got older, the subject of my vagina was later replaced with finances. I still won’t talk about em, but I’ll talk about my vaginaaa all damn day.
Here's another weird piece by Emily Dorsett. I can say that because I am her. Enjoy.
Oh Veggie Burger,
How did you entrance me?
Mere seduction of my need to feed
Especially on a day I couldn’t eat meat
Such a feat, I never thought would occur
Taste buds on overload, hyper drive, what a blur
To think I avoided your presence
I was self-sentenced to life, as a carnivore
Especially thinking back, before all this
Memories of my youth
Long have I knew
Of my food habits
Rigid, safe guarded
Never would a garden touch these lips
Never would greens and oranges and reds
Breed romance onto my eternal menu
Only tried and true foods
Would pass my tests, and just as all of the rest of my days
I would find ways to bypass the change, the new
So was I afraid of you?
Was I afraid of what I could become?
A predator becoming docile
A lion? No; a goat
Grazing on the landscape
Hopping freely, dancing till sunset
One I hoped would happen for me
As I grew and matured
My horns sharp, my hoofs overworked
To prove my existence to this world
Change became inevitable
The more foreign fields I would graze
Others like me could see the quality
That makes me, me
Smiles all around
So easy to come around to the new
Of wanting to fit in
So change once again rears it’s ugly head
If I were to relate, my palette would be redesigned
Against my better judgment
So reluctant in my attempts
Such weird, hideous looking foods before me
So lewd as they, my friends, viewed
Eyes rudely glued as I tried eating these foods
Hopefully they understood how I excluded so much before
How dare they attempt to woo me?
Collusion aside, nowhere was safe for me to hide
From them, I would renew myself
Bravely included in their shrewdness
Guided, no longer fighting it
Giving in, growing up
Factually enticed by the tastes
My face red, with anger and embarrassment
Anger for the time wasted
Embarrassed of my past omissions
It was now my mission
To reach for the new
To grow I must bestow my head, my horns
Humbly to whatever comes before me
On a mountain, beyond the lakes
The unknown awaits
Such as what I just ate on my plate
Oh Veggie Burger
I whisper my thanks to you
A new chapter can begin
As I finish you and order myself another
Such an honor to find you
After all these years, system reset
Safe to say, on that particular day
On life, not quite full yet.
Andy Quintana is one of our core-members in our live show. We <3 Andy and his veggie burgers.
Have you ever sweated over a decision? Brought the stakes to life or death levels and
thought about it day and night, even dreamed about it? Have you ever had to think about
something for weeks on end, until you ultimately you have no time left to decide? Let’s
say you have. Because if you have, you probably look back at that time and wonder: why
was that so hard?
I put off my college decision until literally the last day. It was down to two choices. One
school I liked more in general, but the other school had a slightly better program. One
school was about twice as far away, but aside from that all the other factors were the
same. Months of putting it off lead to hours of pacing, looking over the programs from
both schools, trying to call each one with last minute questions, using my parents as
therapists while I talked it out, and looking at the programs from other schools and asking
myself why I didn’t consider these options more seriously?! Ultimately I went with the
school that had a slightly better program, and everything turned out fine. I don’t look
back and think about what life would have been like going to the other school. Odds are it
also would have been fine. I still would have studied film, and I still would have moved
to California when I graduated. So why so much panic?
It’s easy to be paralyzed with indecision. To get caught between the head and the heart
and not know what the right thing to do is. Whether it comes down to moving far away to
pursue your dreams even though you won’t know anybody there, or quitting a bad job
that you’ve become reliant on but it literally incites your clinical depression, or getting
out of a relationship that isn’t apparently bad but is missing something. You can get stuck
just mulling it over because the right, or “correct,” answer isn’t spelled out.
You become accustomed to the situation, and there’s some security to it so you don’t act.
But then you become stagnate, and everything falls to the wayside. You can’t break past
this one big roadblock so you just focus on the little inconsequential things. You begin
looking more at the day to day and the big picture starts to get blurry. So you tell yourself
that these are that baby steps will get you somewhere eventually. But then two years go
by and where are you? What have your efforts yielded? Eventually, you become
comfortably numb, and Pink Floyd starts to make a lot more sense.
As simple as it may be, the truth you have to accept is: there is no correct answer, only a
right one. You can pace around the room, reason both sides to death, and you’ll find an
argument either way. But it’s you. You’re holding yourself back. Whether that’s due to
fear, insecurity, or whatever ails you, the only thing preventing your decision is you. You
may have known all along what the right choice was anyway. The challenge then
becomes not knowing what you have to do, instead the challenge lies in doing it.
And no, it’s not easy.
You’re not going to know where you’ll land, you won’t even know how you’re going to
fall… but that’s why it’s called a leap of faith.
Danny is our 2nd guest writer for the blog, and we are so lucky to have him! We hope you enjoyed his piece as much as we did!
Heartbreak to me feels like the bed indentation of Norma Bates’ corpse in Psycho. Literally, I have felt how that bed feels. Metaphysically. Metaphorically. Except, my heart is the indentation and the corpse, and the mattress, just sinking under the weight of death. Underneath another corpse that was a relationship, but now is just my son dressing up in my clothes, and talking to himself as me.
I guess the only way I can describe this is through a metaphor.
The first time I had sex with my son...what? Sorry. No.
The first time I had sex with my son, I thought, wow. This is incredible. Two beings not hindered by time, or space, or ancestry. Sharing a motel of love and vulnerability and sexiness. I touched him, and he touched me. I had a little bit of whipped cream on my boobs and he licked it off.
We started out as friends, well I raised him. Then, we became friends and eventually started dating and made sex together. He told me he liked me for a really long time. He was really funny, he looked like his father. Then, and I don’t really remember this next part, we were arguing because he was sexting another woman with my same name but not me, and then he lied about it, and I told him to leave. But, when you see your own son on your bed, I mean, can you blame me? So, we did it again, and then I told him, “Go Home!” which was here, so he stayed, and we had sex again.
I woke up the next day and he told me he was cheating on me for a long time. Then he killed me.
Except not because I was engaged and stopped showing him attention. No. Some other very rude lady stayed at our motel and they ruined our motel of love, and then killed me and left me in a bed for a long time. And I decomposed into a skeleton.
It is what it is.
I lost my best friend. And the protective casing around my heart shattered into hundreds of pieces, stabbing me multiple times in different ways. It’s the kind of pain you can’t move away from. You just have to wait for it to heal.
I guess the greatest lesson I learned from this was that it had nothing to do with me. I mean I did have sex with my son, but it was consensual, and that’s beside the point. He wasn’t gonna stay unless he wanted to. He was just a boy, and maybe would never become a man. And if he really loved me, he would have treated me like he actually loved me.
I stood on the sidewalk and yelled at him, “As your mother, I will hold you accountable for your actions.” I said, “You don’t treat people this way, especially people you care about, especially people like me. So, figure your shit out!”
Heartbreak is hard. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I did wrong and missing everything that I thought was right. Letting go of it is the hardest thing, but the most important thing.
For the record, I did not have sex with my son. Do I even look old enough? To have had a son? Who would then be old enough to fuck me so good I'd call him "Daddy"? No. But, as someone with experience, I recommend staying away from that. It’s sexy, but it’s not worth it. You will end up a hollow skeleton. Also, don’t date people who make you feel like you’re their mom.
We hope you enjoyed Emily's piece from our last It's Personal show: Heartbreak.
The sun was shining, a nice breeze was blowing, and I was vomiting into my roommate’s plastic witch cauldron.
This is Rock Bottom.
I don’t know if you know Rock Bottom, but she’s fickle. She leaves a bittersweet taste on your tongue. The hopeful flavor of things can only get better from here accompanied by the cruel tinge of you know this isn’t over. She doesn’t accept a breakup. She doesn’t let you sleep. She crawls right into your ear and up into your brain and she sets up camp. She’s got a pup-tent that fits her and her friend Shame comfortably. They’ll light a fire. You’ll feel it back by your spine, burning hotter and hotter and you'll think you can ignore it. But it will burn until it lights your brain on fire. And suddenly you’re gone, a pile of ashes where a person used to be.
I tried to outrun her. But she kept catching up.
Rock Bottom ruined my favorite Mexican cantina. She ruined my favorite shirt. She ruined 2015. And a bonfire in my brain wasn’t enough. She unzipped my skin, crawled in, and stretched out until she was at the tips of my fingers and toes. And then she touched everything she could and wouldn’t let go until it burned.
Rock Bottom told me she was everything. That she was past, present, and future. That she was the red in my eyes and the ache in my body. She’d say this was her last visit. And then she’d turn around and laugh. And I could hear her. And we both knew she’d be back.
There was a time when I was drowning in the open air. I’d wake up choking on the day, unable to breathe, afraid to get out of bed, to open my door, to walk right into her again.
But slowly, like the winter months, the Rock Bottom days became shorter and shorter. The sun caressed her face less and less, until she was merely the silhouette of what once was. The plastic witch cauldron resumed her duty as decor. Bottles of liquor started gathering dust. Nights no longer sleepless, days no longer filled with regret. Rock Bottom put out her fire and picked up camp. I could breathe.
They say time heals all wounds. I don’t know that that’s true. But time softens hurt. We exist with it forever, our bodies covered in burn scars, invisible, permanent. But they won’t ache. They become the landscape of our bodies. A part of the self, something for new fingers to graze, your hands to caress, a good lover’s lips to kiss.
This is Rock Bottom.
This is me now.
Anna Snedden always surprises us with the great pieces she writes. We hope you enjoyed Anna's piece about Moving On.
To my boss
To my present
I must confess, the amount of resent I feel
Now, in your present, in my present
Each day I clock out and vent in the hallway
Walking back to my car
Locking it tightly, sitting in the driver’s seat
Sobbing ever so slightly
Screaming, roaring from afar
From you, from your assumptions
From your well-intended future of me
Promoted, to go far with my job,
Your job, your career.
Misunderstanding my smiles
To put it simply, pure denials
Of my current situation
Of the choice I had made
Call it fate that we happened to cross paths
Well-laid plans, certainly none of mine
But what I did find, unknowingly, surprisingly:
Balance, humility, financial security
Foreign artifacts as a tour guide
As I then let my self-worth slide
Punctured as I walked, self-deprecated sharp knives
Believing I had less of myself to give
So I fibbed to myself that I could ever find
A chance, a way to escape
The confines of a safety net
Because who would ever let a good thing go?
Who would be willing to move on?
I could, I would and I did.
This is what hero myths are based upon
As scary as it was, as tough as it may have been
Leaving then did more growth for me within
My talents, my friendships, illuminated
Acquaintances scattered to the wind
So many I believed would stay
My naiveté finally plateauing
No longer would I serve the undeserving
I could continue on, maturing
Into a better performer, a writer, a man
To which I plan in becoming in the future, in my future
Away from the desk that I detest with each passing day
Which brings this back to you.
You took a chance on me
You rescued me from my plight
I don’t know what I might have done
At that time, feeling stagnant
Feeling pressure with my time, my youth, my talents
Just ticking away as I fought away for a future
I am now coming to terms with
See, if I was ready to settle down
If my life was already bound for this need
Then of course I would nurture this seed, planted
Expecting bountiful fruit from all the hard work,
What a harvest it could have been
But as I said before, as history is bound to repeat itself
I simply refuse to shelf my passions aside
The passions continually and cravenly difficult to hide
As I try to escape from my cage
That on occasion you aid in the steps of my escape
With each new meeting, and new performances I give
I inch closer and closer to the end
So that I can live.
So when the day does come
Sooner than what you might have imagined
My two weeks notice
Hopefully won’t offend you, as I hope that you will understand
How my life cannot be contained in safety
This Nightingale sings poetry
Of blue clear skies
Of the sunlight touching his eyes
As he soars, as he breathes
Fulfilling his dreams at last
Feeling tasked with taking his destiny by his hands
So I thank you for this
For the self-discovery found
In your present
For my present.
Andy Quintana is a core member for It's Personal, and we are lucky to have him! We hope you enjoyed Andy's piece about moving on.
I woke up, changed my clothes, and started my 40 minute commute (thanks, traffic) from Studio City to West Hollywood. I went to bed last night telling myself to “just breathe” and woke up with Anna Nalick’s “Breathe (2 am)” stuck in my head. I hooked up my iphone’s bluetooth and played the song in my car. On repeat. For forty minutes.
“No one can find the rewind button, girl,” she sang as I glanced at the once blooming and colorful foliage of Laurel Canyon now looking soggy and droopy from last night’s downpour. I contemplated how I used to confidently correct people on the punctuation, informing other eleven year olds she was addressing particular people in that song. Instead of having the comma between button and girl or boy, I thought said comma didn’t exist. I told my friends it was “rewind button girl” and “rewind button boy”. I believed these rewind button people could close their eyes and project themselves into the past, like magic. I laughed, recollecting that passionate fallacy I once possessed regarding the punctuation of a music stanza. I’d like to believe I’m a little wiser than I was in 2004, but I could be wrong.
Thoughts blossomed throughout my previously quiet mind. The next thing I knew, the car stopped. Okay, that was dramatic, the car was already stopped (thanks again, traffic). I considered that I was onto something back then. “Rewind button girl,” I thought. “Why did I think there was no comma? Did I want to be one all those years ago, too? Or solely now?”
Rewind Button Girl goes back and tells her parents the first time her younger brother mentioned suicide, breaking his trust but ensuring his future. Rewind Button Girl comes home from college on weekends she’s not doing anything to visit him and the rest of her family. Rewind Button Girl takes him somewhere special on his sixteenth birthday instead of skipping it to party with her friends. Rewind Button Girl magically returns to fix the mistakes.
Rewind Button Girl isn’t afraid to talk to her older sister after their brother’s death. Rewind Button Girl takes her out for a drink to help numb the pain. Rewind Button Girl doesn’t run away from the unknown, and treats her sister like...a sister. Rewind Button Girl ignores her parents wishes and drives two and a half hours to see her sister in the hospital before she dies.
Rewind Button Girl rewinds to her last relationship and makes her slow down. Rewind Button Girl takes away any of her actions that ever caused any pain. Rewind Button Girl doesn’t makeout with guys with girlfriends. Rewind Button Girl goes to therapy sooner. Rewind Button Girl knows exactly what to say and when to say it. Rewind Button Girl isn’t a prick to her family when all she needs is a long hug from someone who cares. If I were a rewind button girl, I could breathe. Just breathe.
Breathe. I forget how to breathe. Crown me The Queen of Reflection, constantly wishing I was one of those rewind button girls. I learn from my mistakes, but I wish was smart enough to not make them in the first place. That’s why I’m never relaxed. I’m always on the go, working like the madwoman I am and chiseling down my never-ending to do list. Rewind Button Girl is chill. I am not, nor do I have any “chill.” I go full force into everything I know: my career, my friendships, my relationships, events, social media, my writing, my music, every little thing I love. I’m a train going at full speed yet running on empty. Rewind Button Girl stops to refuel every now and then.
Anna Nalick’s “Breathe (2 am)” haunted me for a month, playing at the airport, on the radio, at work, Target, The Grove. Each time I heard the strum of the first chord, an irritating question sprang into my head. Over and over again, I rolled my eyes and dismissed it. Today as I’m off to work, driving along the traffic-jammed Laurel Canyon, that song plays once again. I look out the window and notice the plants along the road starting to bloom. Traffic lightens up. I breathe and let the question I ignored for seemingly so long take over me. “How do I become a person who doesn’t feel the perpetual need to be a rewind button girl?”
Then it hits me. I don’t.
Wanting to be a rewind button girl taught me that I shouldn’t need one. I will never be able to live my life without wishing I was a rewind button girl if I can’t let go of my regrets. No longer can I live like that, attempting to fill the empty void with solutions for problems I can never fix. The traffic is vastly out of my control, so there is no need to be bothered by it. Furthermore, I might as well admire the plants. You know what helps? Remembering to breathe. Just breathe.
Jackie Webb has been one of our guest stars for a number of It's Personal shows. She is joining us again for our 2nd show of the year, Gross. We hope you liked her piece about Letting Go.
No poems this time. This is me talking strictly to you, so buckle up.
A dear friend of mine recently told me, “you have a memory like an elephant. It means your memory is really sharp. Elephants don’t forget anything.” She couldn’t be any more right. As a matter of fact, you could say I live as elephants do: constantly carrying a trunk wherever I go. Forgive the pun but hear me out.
If I had to measure when I started my journey, when I began to: form concrete memories and critical thought of the world, first grade would do it. That would place it to almost 25 years ago. I was around five/six years old, trying to make sense with what little I understood at the time. I mean I was too young to understand how to understand, so whatever experience came my way, whether a success or a mistake, I was given an automatic pass.
I can remember growing up, sheltered yet willing to open myself to others. I remember sharing my favorite toys, my favorites games, words, food, shows, and anything else kids loved to talk about at that age. The one thing that I learned quickly, and unfortunately then, is how children, by no fault of their own, are completely unfiltered, real, Freudian Id personified. Whatever came to their minds, they just spoke it out, whether it’s cute, crude or hurtful. Now, I realize the argument on how children are far too young to realize what they say or do could potentially affect each other. Naturally, bullied children would face the brunt of this commonality society has to deemed to be “kids being kids”. However, I am a true believer in which whatever happens in the process of growing up, can have potential lasting impacts onto adulthood either positively or negatively; but that discussion is for another time. I just know what I’ve been through. Scars never fade away.
It was at that time until maybe, the tail end of college where I closed myself off from others. I never truly got along with people my age. Teachers and adults in general, were the ones I stood close with because teachers would never harass you about your weight, or leave you to have lunches by yourself at the bench tables. Sure, I had some friends I could talk with but it few and far between. I learned quickly about betrayal, deceit, aggression, cliques, isolation, mob-rule and I didn’t even hit middle school yet. Those building blocks I would carry in my truck as I slowly matured. Think of it this way: if kids were the hares of growing up, I was the tortoise; I would get there eventually but I would always be late to the party.
As I’m about close to turning thirty years old, I realize now that some things are beyond my control. Till now, I’ve always had one foot in the past and one foot into the future, yet I never stepped into the present. I never truly enjoyed what I had in front of me. I just couldn’t let go. Letting go meant leaving the trunk behind. The large, black heavy trunk I’ve carried well past its prime. Whenever I felt sad, angry, disappointed, they would go right into the trunk. You see I always make it a point to never forget anything. There are people I knew, and even people I know now, hopefully reading this, where if they bring happiness to me, or if I’m slighted negatively, I would carry that with me, into the trunk. It could’ve happened ten years ago or ten days ago, each instance is catalogued. I believe it’s a somewhat petty coping defense mechanism.
I realize now that I have to leave the trunk behind. I have to let go of that part of myself. As clichés as it might sound, I truly know now who I am, what I can give, and what I want in a life. I know now not to waste my energy on things and people that don’t bring me joy, or aren’t there for me. I know whom I care for, and whom I can leave behind because that’s life. Life moves on, and I can’t take everyone with me, including my former self, still sitting at that bench having lunch by himself; that boy, I can safely say as he turns thirty soon, knows how to enjoy his own company. He doesn’t need others to define who he is, what he should be doing, or what his choices are. He can survive with people, and without people. A fortress on a lone island: welcomes visitors but can manage on it’s own. A fortress guarded by the most fearsome, dangerous yet kind, lovable elephants in the world.
Andy Quintana is here again in a slightly different style. We hope you enjoyed his piece!