Wood Tipi, a poem.

I feel pretty dang independent, especially compared to the first 20-something years of my life. But, I’ve hit a snag. What I really really want to do is go camping.

The real kind of camping. You know the kind. Where you rough it on a blow up matress in the woods.

The kind where the dirt somehow made it inside the tent and your shower is the natural spring down the way.

The kind of camping that gives you weird tan lines and the kind that gives your dirty hair a perfect voluminous wave that a styling tool just can’t compete with.

I love camping. It’s hands down, my favorite summetime activity.

But.

I just can’t talk myself into going alone, like the act of camping, that is.

I’ve been camping more times than I have fingers and toes.

But.

I’ve never put my tent up or started a fire alone. Is that what’s stopping me? I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it.

But.

What is it really? What is stopping me from going at it alone?

And why does no one in my life enjoy a campfire full of stories and an open air tent to count the stars?

Maybe that’s part of it?

Part of the enjoyment of camping is bonding with others whilst roasting s’mores.

Part of the excitement of camping is catching dinner on the boat miles from shore without a care in the world.

Part of the camping I love is chowing down on burnt hot dogs and laughing with the people I adore.

Part of camping.. is turning the music up so loud that you forget you’re singing in the woods, among the wildflowers.

Part of camping is getting sunkissed shoulders on Minnesotan ponds, telling all the stories, and watching the fireflies dance in the midnight sky.

I don’t ask for a lot, I really don’t.

I’m just looking for someone who can tipi a stack of wood with me and enjoy every single second of that kind of camping.

The Ghost of Christmas Present.

I put my Christmas stuff up today.

I didn’t put anything up last year because my heart hurt so much. My heart hurts right now too though. I love every single thing that takes place the last two months of the calendar year. The magic the holidays bring makes my soul light up with warmth that lies dormant throughout the year.

I love the lights and the spirit and the snow. I love buying gifts for those I’m close to, decorating the tree, holiday parties. I love the food and the feeling of memories being made.

I thought this year would be easier than last and honestly, I know it will be. I thought that everything was going to be okay, that everything is okay because I’m okay.

But why do I find myself laying on my couch, eyes full of the biggest tears, feeling the need to write this sappy post with 3% battery at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night? I’m cozied up here next to Bodhi, my fake fireplace is crackling with seasonal spirit, and I’m watching the ninth Christmas movie this week.

I am okay but I’m really not.

The holidays haven’t even begun yet and I’m already getting pre-emo over the beautiful families in the Christmas cards I haven’t seen and the oh so romantic engagements or weddings.. or babies being born. It’s like I’m giving myself fair warning of what is to come.

I know it’ll be fine and I’ll find the happiness for those around me; fill my heart with glee for the genuine joy others are experiencing because that’s what you have to do. Fake it ’til you make it. Or some shit like that. But I haven’t found a cure for a heart forever broken from something it never truly had.

I can do this being alone thing for however long the universe thinks I need it. It just really really sucks sometimes.

But how does she get there?

How do you keep your guard up when all you want to do is let it down? How do you keep your heart safe when its sole purpose in beating is to love and be loved?


On one hand, she’s never known what it’s like to be loved. After all, her only experience probably wouldn’t be deemed a “love” by those in an expert field. Sure, she has loved. She has loved and lived and sacrificed and compromised to the point even of it significantly impacting her view of how false the definition of “to be loved” would be described.

And on the other hand, she has been loved but not the kind of love she deserves. Not a love that can withstand the turbulence of a lifetime. Not a love that can resolve disagreements peacefully and challenge her in the best ways.. instead of the worst.

Now, that the old love.. or love not is in the rear view, she can see what love is supposed to look like. She notices the simple kindness people provide to one another, how easy it is returned. How compliments are given so effortlessly and how dissimilar views can turn into a healthy discussion rather than a predator vs prey situation.

But how does she get there?

How does she keep her guard up when all she wants to do is let it down? How does she keep her heart safe when its sole purpose in beating is to love and be loved?

7-11-2008

Today used to be a day I looked forward to. Thinking back, I’m not quite sure why because it was always more important and meaningful to me than to anyone else in this world. I’ve always made holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries a big deal. He never did. No one ever does. I’d come to believe that I don’t deserve whatever it was I’d hoped for. But year after year, I’d still think it’d be different.

We were *this close* to hitting that 10 year mark. Can you believe it? After all we’d been through? Is that even a thing to say? After all we’d been through? Should you have to “go through” a lot to deem something worth staying in? Either way, I couldn’t do it anymore. I’d given up far earlier than I had even admitted to myself but was determined to make it work. What else was there out there for me? Who else? How many people would I be disappointing by breaking off an engagement? How painful was it going to be to see the dreams of becoming a mother and owning a home slip out of my fingers because I gave up? How deeply was my heart going to hurt accepting the fact that I’d be so alone for an undetermined amount of time? I’m glad I didn’t know the answers to those questions at the time because if I did, I never ever would have left.

Over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been all over the place. Was there more good than bad? Was this a mistake? Questioning everything. Depending on the energies in my mind on any given day, the answer differs. Overall, I know it was the right move. If anything, it should have been sooner so I could be over and done with this desolate time in my life. Wasting a half year away already swinging between the abiliity to function through a long-lasting situational depression and anxiety-ridden days of “when will this end?”

What I do know for certain is that I wasn’t happy. I try to remind myself of that daily or when I get down. I can’t explain it any other way than that and I know relationships aren’t designed to be rainbows and butterflies, believe me.. I know. But they do require an equal amount of committment and comprimise from both parties of which always teetered one way and not the other.

The last few months, I’ve been trying to rack my brain on how to move past whatever this lull is that’s happening to me but I’m struggling on figuring out how. Nearly 10 years is a long time especially when it started at age 18. I don’t know how to be or how to function properly as I should. I’m too attached, still, to everything. Every moment and memory, every day and night.. nearly every single one has him in it. It’s impossible to erase them all.

I’m not hung up anymore. Afterall, I’m the one that left. He’s moved on and I’m happy for him. Well, I say I’m happy for him. Sort of like a fake it ’til you make it kind of thing. But I am happy for him. I’m happy that he isn’t stuck inside a dome of lonliness like I am, at least I hope he’s not. Throughout my decision of leaving, that was my biggest priority. To make sure he was going to be okay, to make sure he had a place to go and live and to make sure he had the support system he needed. I needed to make sure it was all going to be okay for him before I could leave. But I forgot to make sure I was going to be okay.

So over it, self. So. Over. It.

I am somehow put together by million little pieces. They often stick together perfectly and than out of no where, they don’t. There is this mix of crippling anxiety paired with a ripple of depression.. both full of denial rolling in without warning, interrupting my spirit.

A negative stigma around mental health that I’m so painfully guilty of not understanding is hitting far too close to home. It’s happening to me.

I push it out of the way but eventually the impenetrable wall won’t move anymore and I just feel so broken. I am so broken.

I want to be okay like I used to be. I want to regain control. But just as I think I’ve gotten there again, another wave hits and I’m drowning all over again.

It’s always hurting, my heart. I’m just always hurting.

When you’re alone, no one ever asks if you’re okay or how your day went. And if they do, do they care about making it better if it’s not all sunshine and happy thoughts?

In the beginning, I needed to remind myself to breathe in and to breathe out. I needed to remind myself to put on a smile because it’s too hard to explain how I feel. And in the off chance I forgot to smile, it hurts just as much knowing whoever you’re talking to is ready to change the subject.

Some days, my entire drive to and from work is full of tears and flooded with good memories making me question everything. Or bathroom visits for the sole purpose of pulling myself together.

Everyone else is moving and I’m sitting still to the point that I wonder if my psyche is in retrograde. This constant hurt and loneliness is crippling me. It was almost easier when it all this happened because everyone was checking in, making sure I’m okay. Listening; offering advice and glimmers of hope. I can’t even seem to become the person I know I am because my decision to walk away is still effecting me every single moment of every single day.

I don’t want to talk anymore than you want to listen. But I need someone to hear me and to genuinely tell me it’s going to be okay. To believe it. And I need a hug. A real, full of so much love, hug.

I’m stronger than this. But, how long does it last?

Sometimes.

Some days go by so fast that I’m not ready for them to be over. Some weeks I have more things to do, more plans, more people than I know what to do with. Sometimes I wonder when the last time I had a night or two of nothing to give myself a minute to breathe. Some nights I don’t even remember what it was like to be with someone because my days and nights and mornings are filled with pleasant distractions.

And then some nights.. I feel like I’m the only one in this world that is alone. The only one that doesn’t have a person. No one to turn to, no one to have lunch or dinner with, no one to go to an event with or to seek advice from. No one to share my successes or shortcomings with; or selflessly love me regardless of the comment that comes out of my mouth next. No one is there to send stupid memes to or literally chill while watching Netflix. No one is around to be on my side always, to love me forever, to know me better than I know myself, to get me the way I get them. I feel so much for so many people all of the time but I’m afraid no one in this world will ever feel ‘so much’ for me.

And if you’re asking, the answer is no, I don’t miss him anymore. Each month that passes, my eyes are more open to the red flags that lingered around far too long. But I do miss the companionship, the personal cheerleader, the presence of another human. I miss knowing that I could say and feel and act however I wanted and I wouldn’t be looked at the way a stranger would look at me. I wouldn’t be judged or questioned or ridiculed the way a friend or family member would judge or question or ridicule me. I miss knowing that I had a person. A non-perfect in nearly every way, but a person nonetheless.

The emptiness and void doesn’t seem to go away. Perhaps it’s masked by all the “stuff” I have going on in the spurts of too busy to think but when the slow times come; when nothing is happening and no one is around.. it hurts. All of it, everything.. hurts. The feeling of standing still while everyone else, everything else is moving on.. it’s so real and it feels as if there’s all this noise around but eerily silent at the same time.

Some days I say goodbye to everyone at work come 5:00 and don’t say another word until ‘good mornings’ 15 hours later. Some weeks I wish people would do what I wanted to do or say what I needed to hear instead of it always being the other way around. Sometimes my tears are too big and the room is too dark. Some nights I wonder if I’ll ever feel better.


About This Post: For so long I’ve been writing in a personal draft without publishing anything. It’s nearly 20 pages long. Full of ramblings and sadness; memories that are good, bouts of depression from both sides.. Moments I knew it should’ve been over, doubts I had never said aloud. From day one, I’ve had so much to say but didn’t dare say it thinking if I at least get it down and out, I’ll feel better. Similar to the concept of writing something down and burning it forever. It doesn’t work. I didn’t want to hurt anyone or damage anything by writing it out on a blog that I’m sure no one reads. But the more that time passes, the only person I’m damaging at this point by keeping all of it in, is myself. Thank you for reading. More to come, probably.

Is it because looking in the mirror is too painful?

The stories you tell are lies. All of them, lies. Lies about the money and the moments; the bad without the good. The struggles that are made up and the sorry’s that were never said. Lies about the pain and the angst and the mental verses might as well have been physical, abuse. Or lack thereof. All of it, lies.

To fulfill what? The denial that all the lies about me are in turn truths about you? I wouldn’t dare spit wicked falsities into the desperate ocean of rumor-hungry ears. I barely feel free enough to spill the actuality of it all.

How is healing supposed to begin when the damage never ended? What’s more agonizing than the lies you spread.. is that I should have recognized the scarlet colored flags so much sooner.

Null + Void

You looked up at me the same way you’ve done countless times before. Your eyes are black, your heart is cold and your voice full of unnecessary vex: I know, Ori.

I turned around and quietly walked away like I always have. Eyes full of tears, heart full of hurt and mind full of I told you so’s.

The difference between this time and the incalculable others is that I don’t have to worry about what happens next. How long does this last? When will you talk to me again? Will this get better? Are you going to act like this around our children one day?

I don’t need to worry about the answers to those questions anymore. They are null and void.

I’m learning to breathe through the tears instead of letting them fall, mend together the pieces of my heart that are still broken and fill my mind full to the brim with self-love and dreams being fulfilled.

The process is slow. I think about you every single day. The what-if’s still linger. But I can see clearer now than ever before and I have you to thank for that.

Loneliness is Paralyzing

Loneliness is the most paralyzing feeling I’ve ever experienced. It wouldn’t feel as such, I don’t think, if I knew an “us” in the future were ever a possibility but that bridge has been tattered and burned with no hope in sight. Of which, I’m no longer yearning for. Surround by family for 18 years and a partner for 9 after that. Whatever this is now.. is completely deafening.

Feeling alone in an environment where I’m surrounded with so much love is logically pitiful. Pull yourself out of it, I tell myself. You have so much. So incredibly much.

I can’t breathe sometimes and I can’t talk. I can’t sleep and I can’t wake up. I think to myself that I miss being held and taken care of but I never was held or taken care of so how can I miss it? How can being so alone make you miss things you never had?

Everything I see and touch and am surrounded by seems so bleak and vacant sometimes. My life is filled with so much, to the brim even. Yet so incredibly empty. Most times I can see the green grass on the other side. But then I’m reminded that loneliness is paralyzing.

CWA #2

Topic: The best advice for a teen just graduating from high school.
Purpose: I was flipping through my book today and came across this topic. I’m the oldest in my family on both sides. I received some sound advice when I graduated but a lot of it seemed to be cliché and was too little, too late. I have a cousin graduating this year and another cousin (or two) next year. This is for them.

The hat and gown suits you well. It seems to be the single outfit in human history to look great on everyone. Not only does it hide any physical abnormalities or dislikes about yourself but it, in all its plainness and flowiness, forces people to believe that you’ve accomplished something great – which you have. You graduated high school; an achievement that was 12 years or more in the making. The hat and gown you’re wearing – it makes people look at you with pride and accomplishment. It makes you, the one wearing it, feel good and special.

That same hat and gown is awfully deceiving though. It doesn’t give you a sure-ride ticket to anywhere unless you continue working beyond the blip of an achievement that you made. And I don’t say blip because high school graduation isn’t important – it’s probably one of the most important moments in your life. But it’s a blip simply because there are so many more great things you’re capable of doing going forward now that you have that checked off your outline of life. There are so many more moments and times in your future that people will look at you with pride and accomplishment – if you allow it.

If you’re lucky, your dreams for your future are clear. You have a plan and you’re going to go and get it as soon as this graduation party is over. On the contrary; you might not have a plan. You might not know what you want to do with your life. The dreaded “What are you going to do now?” has been asked a hundred times over the past six hours if not six months. “I don’t know” doesn’t seem to be acceptable even though it’s the truth.

Don’t be afraid to not know. That’s the absolute best advice I can give you. Don’t be afraid of figuring it out. It’s scary as hell but I promise you, it’ll be worth it. Simple the process of a future down. Go to and graduate college, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids is still what people seem to want to hear. Even now in 2015, that’s what their ears are ready for. You’re 18, although thinking about your future is important and I wouldn’t abandon it all together, there is no use in thinking of the big picture right now. Consider each moment in your life a single picture creating a lifetime collage. All the milestone photos of your life will continuously accumulate, make them the absolute best. Be proud of what you’re going to do in your life. Follow your dreams, live your dreams.

Don’t be stupid and make detrimental mistakes. Don’t abandon those that love you; primarily your family. Appreciate the world and what it has to offer. Travel, make new friends, take photographs. Pay your bills on time and don’t be reckless. If you decide not to go to college – don’t waste those young years away. Understand the reality of real life and accept it instead of try to fight it. In doing that, you don’t need to give up your free roaming spirit or life. If you don’t see yourself in a typical 8-5 setting 10 years down the road, do something about it. You’re still going to need to make money to survive, accept it. Don’t rely on and abuse your parents financially. Save up some money and make wise decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Join the Peace Corps, backpack around Europe, fall in love, skydive. Do everything you possibly can because you want to not because society wants you to.

From personal experience, I do think college is important. However, I would only recommend college to those that know what they want to do. To those that do have a plan. I’m still paying off my 2 years of college debt 5 years later. I didn’t get a fancy job, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, I didn’t make lifelong friends, and it didn’t help me decide what to do in my life. But that’s me, don’t let anyone else’s experience deter you from living your dream. If I could do it all over again, I would have done more research in high school, visited colleges, and actually spent time to decide what I wanted to do. I would have moved away and attended a four-year college. I would have traveled abroad my junior year. But I never did because I felt that the resources weren’t available to me and I didn’t know where to look. That’s why you have me. What are your favorite things to do? Sports? Painting? Photography? Working on cars? Photoshop?

There’s something to do in the “real world” for everyone. You can become a sports reporter, journalist, newscaster. You can own your own art gallery or become an art professor. You can be a photographer on your own or with a media group. You can become an automotive or diesel mechanic, a shop teacher. You can become a graphic or website designer. The possibilities are endless, your future is wider than your arms are even capable of spreading. Don’t waste the days after high school graduation away. Find yourself but don’t lose yourself. Dream big and follow through.

So, even though this was important for you to read, take my advice; put this down and spend time with those that love you. Throw that square hat up into the air, smile until your cheeks hurt today and everyday. Be honest, take those milestone pictures, and show everyone what life is all about. Make your collage worth looking at.

CWA #1

Awhile ago, I announced that my mom had given me a book called “642 Things To Write About.” I had intended to start this earlier but nows a better time than never right? As mentioned in that post, you’ll know it’s a creative writing peace based on the title. I plan on just opening up the book and choosing the first topic I see. Some will be fiction some will be non, depending on the topic I suppose. Here we go…

Who people think you are, compared to who you know you are.

Wow. Jumping right in I guess. This is awfully tricky because it really depends on who the person in question is. People judge a book by its cover in all different forms. I could look at the cover of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and think it’s going to be a phenomenal book while my 70-something year old grandma could look at it and see a bad illustration of the greatest book series of her granddaughters generation.

A judgement that has stuck with me for a very long time is something my 10th grade best friend said to me. I enrolled in the Newfolden school district mid-9th grade year. I was quiet. I always am when I’m somewhere new, I know that for sure. It took me some time to warm up to the 25 or so people in my grade. Fast forward a good year or so, I became really close with a group in my class. Well, as close as you can be. See, being the new kid gives you some kind of exotic sense of “who is she?” But your face doesn’t pop up when childhood memories are reminisced or last years festivities discussed. They don’t know your deepest darkest secrets or who your first kiss was. They don’t always include you and when it comes down to basic instincts, they never fully trust you.

Regardless of all this, looking back they were some of the best people I had ever known. After a year or so of becoming friends and comfortable sharing my boring 16-year-old life with, my bestest friend at the time told me something I’ll never forget: “When you first came to this school, I thought you were a bitch.”

Nice, huh?

We went on to discuss her statement. It was nothing I said or did. I just looked like I’d probably be a bitch. It wasn’t a look I gave her (not knowing her) or the people I talked to the first day. It was just a “feeling” she had. I’ve always wondered what people thought about me, I think everyone does. But since that moment, I really think that I became more aware of that nagging wonder.

I’ve had about four best friends in my life. In chronological order: Kristi, Sam, Adam, and Chris. Kristi popped back in when we were in college. I moved from Roseau so we were disconnected and now, we’re disconnected because of well…life. But I still consider her one of my dearest friends. Even with our lives so different and going years without talking.

The other three still hold a huge piece of my heart too. Sam was my first and longest friend when I moved. We shared some of the literal best times of my life together. Nothing and no one could ever replace a friendship like we had. It was hard to “stay friends” when she left junior year and I decided to pursue college.

Then there was Adam. Adam pulled me out of my shell. He was wild and open. He would sing like no one was watching and not try to clean up because someone was coming over. He was confident and my confidant. We did everything together.

And same goes for Chris. Chris, my brother, and I were connected at the hip for some time but like every friendship, things change.

I wish I could have been one of those people who have had a best friend since kindergarten. Even as adults, be close. Meet up, go to each others bachelorette parties, travel together. All that jazz. But you know what? If that were the case, I might not have met the four that I did have.

Clearly, I’ve gotten off topic here. What I guess I’m trying to say is I have no idea who people think I am. And I have no idea how people decided they wanted to be my friends along the way. The only insight I’ve ever gotten was that I’m probably a bitch even though I don’t think I am.

I think that people think I’m reserved. That I’m quiet. I think that people think I’m a know it all or stuck up. I think people think that I think I’m better than them. I think people think I’m a fat slob. I think people don’t trust me or feel uneasy around me. I think people think I’m stupid for staying with Channing when I should have left.

I don’t think that anyone envy’s my life as I do theirs.

Who am I really? At 25 years old, I should know who I am, shouldn’t I? I should have lived and made more mistakes than I have. I should have traveled and gotten my bachelors and volunteered at a soup kitchen and partied harder and loved deeper. I should have experimented and dated more guys. I’m sure that’s what the “wondering me” would say. But it’s not about her. It’s about the “actual” me.

Who am I really? I’m a 25-year-old woman trying to figure my life out. I’m a bitch but I’m only a bitch to people who actually deserve bitchiness. I love hard and fall even harder. I’m a thinker. I’m an observer. I stumble over my words because I don’t know what I want to say but I know how to write it. If you mean the world to me, I’ll put your needs ahead of mine. Always. I’m a bad tipper because I expect excellent service. I lack empathy. I wish I had access to that deep socket in my brain to empathize with homeless people or women who regret last nights hook-ups but I don’t. I love children and want to be a mother. I love to write but feel that it’ll never get me anywhere. I’m quiet in settings I’m not comfortable in. I don’t trust very many people but I expect people to trust me. I strive to be someone who my brothers look up to but I don’t think I’ve done a very good job of that. I know I’m a good person and that I care too much. I know that I am smart but I know I’m not the smartest. I believe in third, fourth, and fifth chances. I know that my family and boyfriend are the most important things in my life. I know that I focus to much on wishing my life had been different instead of appreciating the life I have. I know I’m fat and it makes me hate myself. Like really, really hate myself. I know that my size and the way I look deter me from being the person I am inside. It prevents me from being the outgoing girl I once was. It puts a road block directly in front of me. I don’t go out and meet people because I’m bigger than a mini-cooper.

I know a lot about myself but I don’t always know who I am. I’m not who I think I am because of what I am. I don’t know if I’ll ever really know who I am. Who are you?