personal

Reflections in the ‘Bend’

During a very serene and introspective moment last week in snowy old South Bend, I had the opportunity to reflect on my life in a quiet, barren city. As previously mentioned on his birthday, the winter season tends to be a hard one for me. Where do all the memories go when a relationship breaks? Why is it easier for some and not others? More importantly, how did he manage to forget in an instant? I wish he could tell me. Incessant thoughts worth six years are cast into words as nothing, yet become immense distractions that keep you wide awake wondering where it all went wrong.

This month has been interesting and in some ways, emotional. I don’t really know what to say except there are aching moments when I miss him still and it gets hard knowing in this great big place, he sleeps soundly without a single toss and turn. While I had been up north that week to meet up with family, I got a chance to walk the lone chilly sidewalks and really catch a glimpse of my place in this great big world—or in this case, state.

While watching It’s A Wonderful Life tonight (also known as, one of my all-time favorite films), I thought back to that moment in South Bend as I walked beautifully dusted sidewalks. If I never loved who I did and the way I did, I don’t think I could be who I am today, where I am today. In every understanding of my own life, I can proudly say now that I am content with myself and who I am because in every ounce of pain felt from these past six years and more so in these last two, I know who I am and my purpose in this world now. We don’t always get the dream house, but we get pretty close. And if I happen to tread a Kathleen Kelly kind of life sans Joe Fox (“I am a lone reed”), that’s alright because it’s better to be alone than in a relationship that makes you feel alone. Relationships have shown me that you don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life. As long as you are content with yourself and are true to that person you see in a window’s reflection, you are never completely alone.

Call it a holiday miracle or what you will, but those wintry streets opened my eyes and made me realize I have never felt more at home than I am when I am in Indiana. I have always loved this state and continue to, even though sometimes and especially in the past two years, memories sneak up and cast a shadow of doubt on my worth. These thoughts force you into a train of thinking falsified by fear and doubt, and make you think you don’t belong anywhere, especially where your heart feels more at peace. But those thoughts are nothing compared to what you truly feel deep down in your gut and the world you build for yourself. As I’ve lived my hardest in these past two years by working off my gut, living my truth and driving forth from passion, I don’t think I’ve ever belonged more in one place than I do today. Whether in Indy or South Bend, Goshen or Muncie, my soul in some odd way just feels a consistent concord no matter where I am in Indiana.

While work has given me immense strength and has been a helpful toll in fulfilling voids felt by loss, I have learned so much more about my heart and its honesty than I ever imagined. Every moment lived through this beating chest has taught me how important every step I take is to my life and the lives of others. I have been through rough patches along this path, but have learned every good thing you do with your whole heart, every ounce of love you put forth, it all makes a difference no matter how hard it is to see at first. While he might be moving on and is happier than can be, I have come to accept that nothing is ever conceived in vain even if things go awry. I have loved with my whole heart and still do, and I will not regret that even as I walk lonely sidewalks in a hushed city.

Tonight I count my blessings for that which I had, that which I have, that which I will receive and that which God has prepared me for. These past few years have proven to me that living an honest life built off love, passion and self-trust is a great way to understand your worth and reiterate that no heart is ever broken in vain. It might have been hard to understand during those months of crying to sleep and trying so hard to fathom why something so internal, so deep within you, a piece of your identity, could be shattered almost instantly as if there was no barrier to begin with. But over the course of time, if that broken heart was sincere and truthful, it grows stronger and allows you to see right through who you are to help you figure out your purpose and meaning.

I miss him. I love him. Some nights will be hard. Some days in northern Indiana will be harder, but I have come to accept that now because God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle.

“All you take with you is that which you’ve given away.”

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#HBD: 6 Wishes

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Winter tends to be a hard season for me. While I have been blessed in this past year to really dive deep into work and solidify my career as a writer—my utmost desired passion—things start to slow down as the new year approaches and memories start to creep in. Most times and in the tune of Talking Heads, these memories can’t wait though. As I skate through this season with my head held up, time gains on me and creates thin ice along the way, revealing memories that have lain dormant for months. Yet, lately they have begun to push at the door of my reality and send me in a tailspin that takes nights of mourning into my pillow to just get over. But letting that grief out doesn’t work, and it’s as if all that progress from months ago and just letting go has been lost all thanks to a season that beams as bright as it twinkles.

It’s a season governed by reclusiveness, where activities are fed to dormancy and our life becomes still, indwelling and most often silent. Like many others though, I think a lot during this season about my life, the people in it and the people who are no longer with us. Since the start of winter, I have stilled my soul, quieted my mind to the important bits that matter to my living, but every time I come up for air from this abyss, I find myself hitting a slope deeper into darkness all because I think about him.

B. (more…)

Le déni

location: elkhart, indiana

“Time takes all and gives all.”
Giordano Bruno

Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts about life and the circumstances we find ourselves in. You can learn a lot from your past and the choices you made when you aren’t so busy denying each and every one of them. But in life we have a horrible thing called “fear” and fear often permeates through every choice we make because of our incessant need to not be alone, to not live out a history, or live an ideal that promises happiness if we compromise ourselves. Yet, that is not how life works. Cowards always avoid difficulty and choose denial to steer through situations that are less than what they perceived for themselves. Such spineless attitudes that stem from a rose-colored perception is a sign of disbelief and broken faith. God help those who cannot help themselves.

Image Credit: Martinsky on Tumblr

Look at the stars fall down

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"So while turning in my sheets,
And once again I cannot sleep."

Monday morning started off on an awkward foot. I woke up at around 4:27 a.m. because someone crank called me. This hasn’t been the first time either. I have a funny feeling it’s the same crank caller who called me last year on my birthday, at the end of this past April and a few times this past May. But while I have an inkling of who it might be, I really don’t know who it is. Yet the thing is, I never get phone calls at this particular number, especially after midnight from an unknown caller and oddly enough these calls have been around the same time.

"There is no place I cannot go, 
 My mind is muddy but, 
 My heart is heavy does it show,
 I lose the track that loses me,
So here I go."

Could it be a coincidence? Probably not. I remember telling my best friend once there are no such things as coincidence. And hilariously enough, the same week I said that to him, two people he interviewed for one of his “passion projects” said the same thing. Is there no such thing as coincidence? That’s besides the point. Life and fate love screwing with us for shits and giggles, there’s no denying that.

That said, the part of me that trusts my intuition believes it might be him. But I can’t be too sure anymore. Doesn’t it suck when a (mutual) relationship you invest so much time and love in creates self-doubt? That’s not healthy, but at least I’m better off for knowing that.

"And here I go..."

I sat in my bed early this morning, pondering the possibility of him crank calling me. First a letter in March. Then phone calls? While I know in my heart he read my emails for months and months, and even kept a few of them as part of his hidden trove, it  might sound supernatural but there is a part of me that feels weak in such a lifeline now. I can’t explain it. I use to tell him that all my emails were a bookmark to our friendship and I know he acknowledged it. I put my heart into each message and because he and I were alike, I know he always read them. Sometimes even more than once, weeks later, a month later, sometimes even a year later. But suddenly, one day in early May, probably the first week or so—I felt it. I had another dream of him but this time, much more aberrant as he had carved a piece of my chest out and buried it with a box of letters as I watched on.

It’s no secret that I miss him, every damn aching day. (And I love you to the moon and back.) But let it be known that I never loved him because of who he was or who he wanted to become. I only ever loved him because of who he was determined to be. I got to see a beautiful, magical side to him through every conversation, every moment, every laugh and because he was my best friend first, I always made sure to remind him of his magic when he would forget it. And he forgets it often because he’s insecure despite me praying each night he gains strength to be a better, more emotionally adept individual. A friend once told me, the reason why he was so confused about our relationship (as he said so a few times) was because of my strength. Or as he would say, a love that “towers” over anyone he’s ever known. (more…)

What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you

I’ve never really been a huge listener of Beyoncé’s music, but her album “Lemonade” is seriously everything I never knew I wanted. It is so raw and in many ways, empowering to the hurt woman who only ever opened up her heart most innately to love someone, the unfound man, she felt was deserving because he was “her person.”

That said, I think there’s a lot to be said about the value and power of art in any form. Months ago, I was told by someone who I’ll call out as a nitwit bungle to stop writing about my heartache and broken heart and yada, yada, blah, blah. However, I never listened—obviously—because well, I’m a journalist and it’s my First Amendment right in this country. And secondly, I’m allowed as a woman to not only heal however I wish through my choices (the same way nitwit bungle decides to heal her own way, ie. rug sweeper), but feel empowered through them as I venture alone on this path of a broken heart. This life is a shared one, no matter how you look at it. We’re all in it together, through every choice, through every judgment, through every moment shared with one another, intimate, physical, fucking all of it—no one is a real loner when it comes to life. Three might be a crowd, but it took the initial two to make it so.

While I won’t dive in further to draw parallels to the heartache I’ve experienced at the hands of someone I loved deeply, this album is amazing and a very cathartic record for those left brokenhearted. No one knows what Beyoncé really went through to write and produce this record and how hard it must have been for her personally to dive into such emotions, but I can tell it was difficult and equally rewarding. It takes a big heart and a strong woman to be that vulnerable and open about something so many people sweep under the rug due to fear of societal norms and taboos. And trust me, a lot of people sweep such behavior like cheating that Beyoncé’s pointed out about her husband, Jay-Z under the rug in hopes of continuing their rose-colored glasses existence with pets named off of Alice and Wonderland characters (like, sweet Dinah). Why, even some choose to brush it over with more vacations or ooh, let’s have a baby to show everyone we’re fine! 

The lyrics are full of punch and just so gritty and reminiscent of clenched teeth and fists, but also maintain a quiet and clever honesty that is sharp-tongued. Yet, it’s sad too. Heartbreaking even. But that’s what life is, right? We meet people, we fall in love, head over heels, spend time with them, get to know them and really get to know them, you know? As someone told me once in a cold tone, “endings are tough.” Well at the end of the record, listening to all of it and digesting this cathartic form of art, it’s sad and kind of a preamble for grace and strength for any woman in Beyoncé’s shoes who ever felt betrayed no matter who they are.

Have you heard the album? What’s your favorite track?

{Image Credit: Cosmopolitan}

Mama, don’t you worry about me

Mom and Me

I don’t usually share stories about my family in-depth online in a public forum, unless it’s on my private Twitter or Instagram, but this week has given me great perspective about the true value of family. While the circumstances for being home at this time are unfortunate since my mother has been very ill and in the hospital this week, I have come to understand how blessed I am in this life with a mother as selfless and big-hearted as mine. (more…)

Letter from the Editor: Love with Reckless Abandon

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With the holidays approaching and another significant year ending, it’s hard to believe we will be starting afresh in just a few short days. From tragedies here at home and overseas, to a humanitarian crisis, to threats, disease, the rise of hate speech against minorities and of course, the insane politics of circus performers—the world has seen hard times in 2015.

This past year taught me so much about who I am to my friends, my family, and the world around me. While I haven’t discovered my life’s personal purpose and have plenty of path to tread, I have realized and recognized the profound effects of what it means to love without bounds.

In all fairness and honesty, I had my heart broken this year by someone I will always love despite their own shortcomings and cowardice. And as cliché as it sounds, being with this person for the past six years actually proved more about my strength than his.

Continue reading…

#HBD: 17 Reasons

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A few years ago, I conjured up a list of reasons to the one true love of my life with the intent of sending it off to him and vanishing from his existence. Of course, he was starting to act up like a toddler in a high-chair, crying and whining about the never-changing circumstances he was meeting in his life, and manipulated me into staying. As the friend I was, I pacified him for many days and nights, soothing his nerves the best way I could. But as I saw a pattern of duplicity and things weren’t adding up, I began distancing parts of myself from him.

After all, he was never one to make up his mind. And in all fairness, he was confused about his direction and bravely considered the healthy choice that his parents made all those years ago. (more…)