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.