Valen-time and time again

Valen-time and time again
I’ve dated myself ever since I became cognitive enough to experience the feeling of self-inflicted satisfaction. For some, it was banging their privates into anything that would involuntarily push back. For me, it was sending myself love notes before anybody else could.

Dear me,

There’s a whole lot of romance in my absolute devotion to you. Let me be frank, your love is all I need. 

I remember our first date like it was yesterday, because it was. It was yesterday, and the day before; and the day before that day before. It’s been every day. Firsts, lasts, almost’s and in-between’s. You’ve been my saving grace. My easy escape. My god, with you…I am safe. 

I love the way you break up with anything that doesn’t serve your existence. And the way you look at me in the mirror before work, rooting us on for a day of excellence. There’s nobody else in this world that I’d rather spend every minute with. Minutes aren’t even minutes when we’re alone. They’re hours of days that we’ve carved our dreams into; together.

I am enchanted by your stubbornness, for it’s the only reason we’ve made it here today. I hope you don’t chase a single minute blinded by other’s manipulation. Your intuition is the only truth you cannot see. Truth should always come before acceptance. See that through and our love will be eternal.

Not a day passes when I don’t think of you. About your intricacies and your flaws. And the way you’re not afraid to share any of them with the world. Each one of them makes me love you more, not less. They are your poetic and humble handbook to creating the most love-able version of yourself.

Keep learning. Keep progressing. Keep unfolding. You’re beautiful, even in the darkness.

                                                                                            Yours Truly,

                                                                                                           Taryn

Don’t Tell Me How To Love You

Don’t Tell Me How To Love You

A broken woman is like a dirty diaper, nobody wants to touch it. One quick change though and everything’s fresh again. I’ve learned a lot on my journey to thirty. Absolutely nothing about baby-changing protocol; mostly about which diners serve the best sweet potato fries across the country, but you all knew how bad I was at analogies from the beginning, so…you’re welcome.

Real men change diapers. They just do. Now, I’m not a parent but I can imagine it’s probably incredibly endearing to see your partner (who has no innate child bearing tendencies) fasten your baby to a brand new under garment with joy. Wanna know why? Because, those same men are the only ones who will offer a shoulder to cry on when it’s the 8th day of your period from hell and life is just too hard to life. So, maybe this has nothing to even do with diaper changing and everything to do with being a good human, more importantly a good partner

Nobody likes to do the shitty stuff. (Pun fully intended) you know, like console an upset girlfriend. Frankly, I wouldn’t ever expect a man to blatantly offer himself up to be the punching bag to my insecurity jabs, but if he chooses to love me; he chooses all of me. And sometimes me, is shitty. Thats why I would hope he would change my proverbial “dirty diaper” without hesitation. My broken pieces most likely just need to be coddled with care, not stared at like a disorder. 

All too often I notice the silence. When it would mean the most; that’s when men are the least. Defense mechanisms tend to prevent them from offering themselves up to the fire that is an argument, but sometimes you just gotta go through it, to get to it. Most of us women just want to be heard. Forget that it’s half truths and jargon, just lend an ear and accept me for my mistakes; they’re the only stepping stones to any true happiness…

Round 3. *Ding*

Round 3. *Ding*

“So, what you’re saying is, this relationship you’re working on is the definition of insanity?” 

By definition, my relationship with him is a lot of things. Its intense. It’s insecure. It’s perilous. But what it’s grown into; from before, is far more important than what defines the path we took to get here. 

Ok, fine. By definition, maybe I’m a little crazy. But by definition, I’m also unapologetically in love. In terms of chemistry, for me love isn’t all of the feels that can be mistaken for lust. Love is risky. And those who take the most risks are often thought to be farthest from sane. Call me the Evel Knievel of relationships and move along…

Upon arrival home, I sat at a bar with my best friend, appetizer in cue. The air was cold, but my heart was warm. I was curious about how others viewed my triple attempt at dating the same man within five years and three states. Surprisingly, she didn’t have the same sour response as the stranger who pegged me as insane prior. She reminded me of her rocky on-again-off-again relationship of five years and how it didn’t matter how many times she felt hate in her heart, it was never enough to give up. That this was what defined love; the risk of being hurt and being able to overcome those challenges. We’re all reckless. Doesn’t matter if it’s round one, two or twenty four

I, like most, often fall victim to believing that relationships portrayed on social media are “perfect”. That nobody has bad days, or bad years, certainly never bad lives. [Holy definition of insanity batman] Everybody’s pretty bad at love, if even for a moment. If being bad at something stopped me from trying it ever again, Id be a pretty sorry excuse for a human being. 

I’m sure you’re wondering why not leave my ex in the past, you know, where Ive left him before, and where he’s also left me. Frankly, I don’t need to explain why I’m going back for more, but I do know that a substantial amount of time has passed to lead me to believe that resolutions have transpired and life has handed me an opportunity far more pertinent to his and I’s happiness than ever before. Timing can be a real bitch (see blog 1-75) 

If you don’t think it’s possible to fall in love with something more than once, travel more. I went to the Grand Canyon when I was young. I sat in the car and complained about how tired my feet were. And then I drudgingly walked to the edge and felt my stomach turn. I knew then that I wanted to be on the edge of things that were completely out of my control on grand scales, with good people. And when I went back ten years later as an adult, it strummed my heart strings with the same frequency as its premier. I wanted a thousand encores. 

With him, I always want more. Encores on encores. And when it ends, if it ends; hell EVERY TIME it ended….I never stopped searching for us; for our sequel; our trilogy, praying we won’t need a saga. With every fear I have of failure, comes hope for something bigger and better than anything I was ever offered in the past. So, call me crazy. Call me whatever you want. Just don’t call me on a Friday after six cause, well,  I’m dating my ex, for the third time…and I’m not afraid to say it. 

I Need An Adult 

I Need An Adult 

First rule of 2017? Don’t talk about 2016. I guess I can’t consider it the worst year of my life. (Shout out to 2014 for being 365 days of horseshit) BUT it definitely didn’t hold out on all of its promises. With that said, I got to live in a whole new state and what I learned far exceeds any reasons I’m not staying. 

Below are 7 of the most wonderful lessons Colorado has left me, as I leave it. 

1. I learned that as cool as snowboarding sounds, it’s not for me. 

I’d only been once before. When I was 12 my parents took me boarding in big bear. At least I think it was big bear. I was kind of youth-drunk on pain killers cause my dad was avoiding taking me to the hospital after I broke my hand the weekend before our family trip. Turned out the hair line fracture became a bigger problem when I spent most of my time on the bunny slopes falling on the fucking thing. I wish I could have blamed the inability to get up at age 29 on an inoperative appendage, but the only thing broken at the base of Arapahoe basin was my soul. 

2. I learned that “natives” is just another term for pretentious assholes. 

 Every single time I told someone I was from California (who grew up in Colorado) they spent the next three to six minutes of my life that I will never get back griping about the legalization of marijuana and how it’s been the downfall of their local society. Yada-fuckin’-yada. Yea cause I didn’t come here for the job market that wasn’t devastatingly depleted or because the cost of housing (was) about 35% lower in suburban areas. I didn’t come here for the 14ers or the hiking trails. And god for bid I chose this state for its perfect seasons. That would be CRAZY. 

3. I learned that traffic is everywhere.

The world is just overpopulated, and the only way through your shit, is to sit in it. Like, you just gotta find yourself in those 30-60 additional minutes you’re not even sure are going to happen. Let the world brake check you. We’re all in this together. Except Connecticut– the only “C” state without bumper to bumper rush hours. 

4. I learned that, to some, beer is life. 

Breweries, brew pubs, pub crawls, beer bars. What do you want for your birthday in Colorado? Beer. What time are we going out? Beer:30 The microbrew community is unrivaled in this state and it’s awe-inspiring. Per capita, this state has more brewery options than I was even capable of or prepared to handle. Side note: I’m still going on record believing that they only legalized marijuana to provide relief for everyones coors-hangover. 

5. I learned that altitude tolerance is real. 

Going back down to sea level is gonna make me a flippin super hero. You guys have been getting so much more air than me down there! If I’m not a total beast in the gym…then I need to not let anybody know cause that means I’m really out of shape. It’s a real struggle up here at a mile high, but after living in Colorado a year and a half I notice nothing. That is, until my first breath back down by the beach. 

6. I learned that every amphitheater should be built inside of a rock. 

Red Rocks, I feel, is something everyone needs to experience. It’s like cupping your ear and listening to your tv on the most grand of scales. Frankly, all musicians should play here. Sound systems are so-49 other states. 

7. I learned what it’s like to be part of a community that wins.

The Broncos won the super bowl while I lived here and frankly being a niners fan, it may be a long time coming before I can be apart of such a sweet sweet victory again. Also, I’m going home to a state who created raiders and charger fans. All I can hope is that Rams fans are significantly less likely to stab me.

I’m on to a new adventure, one in a state I grew up in but never explored. I took my travel bug within and ventured to lands outside my comfort zone. Now I want to explore my original comfort; my birthplace. I know they say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, but I’m ready to take lessons learned from across this country and apply them to miles and miles of the golden state. Colorado you were fun, but it’s time to cure this home sick girl with a piece of her past. Later landlock ✌🏼️

15 things I want to do before I die. Which could be tomorrow, no pressure.

15 things I want to do before I die. Which could be tomorrow, no pressure.

1. Live in a different country. 

On the off chance that I don’t immediately get raped and murdered in a hostile because I refuse to learn the language of the people, I’m thinking about a green card marriage for those bonus life points every little girl dreams of. 


2. Invent something. 

I don’t care if it’s a better way to take a shit (shout out to squatty potty for their shamelessly flagrant lack of fucks entrepreneurship, cause yes their mascot is a unicorn with rainbow squirts) I want my name attached to some sort of product that make people go “why didn’t I think of that”. Plot twist: cause I did; you’re welcome. 


3. Bare child. 

I can imagine I’m gonna be one of the top ten worst mothers ever given life, but that didn’t stop me when I got dogs, and they’re still alive. So, let’s get this pregnancy party started. Eating for two: party of one. #lifegoals 


4. Hug a wild animal. 

I’m seeing koala. You’re probably imagining tiger. Preferably interested in an animal with less body mass than me so that if we get into a fist fight it isn’t able to scalp me with one swift swipe. Speaking of swiping, I realize my tinder profile isn’t complete without the latter, but if I’m gonna piss my pants it’s gonna be in death not pre- mortem. 

5. Watch all the movies that people think I’m a complete moron for not seeing. 

On average 600 new movies are released each year. At a norm of 90 minutes per viewing, that’s 54,000 minutes, 900 hours or 38 days straight of finding out that theres still nothing worse than Mariah Carey’s “Glitter”. I get that casting, directing and plots are all subjective to it’s viewers, but for the love of Christ stop telling me that I’m scum of the earth for not seeing The Green Mile. I’ve got better things to do, like watch Magic Mike one AND two. 


6. Pop a bag of popcorn to its fullest capacity. 

I used to think it was 2 minutes 10 seconds on the dot, no questions asked, no “popcorn” button pushed. Then I went from Orville Redenbacher to Pop Secret and I burnt the ever loving shit out of the last thing I had to eat in my pantry. I’m not a waster, it’s not in my blood to throw away unpopped kernels. So, it’s my snack-enthusiast duty to make this happen before I die. (Side note, one or two kernels would still suffice) 


7. Write a book. 

They say never wrong a writer, we get our revenge in print. And I look forward to the day where pure bliss meets the desire to give the middle finger to my finally forgiven past. I’m probably gonna start it and not finish in an ode to my less than worth it previous relationships, but how funny would that be to hook a reader in for 350 pages and just ghost the fuck out of them? The critics won’t know what to do with their hands.


8. Make a gym my second home. 

I guess I gotta stop leaving states if I want this to work, huh? Fitness is super important to me, but rears its most difficult head when it comes to timing. Nothing is ever close enough, friendly enough or comfortable enough for me to frequent happily. So, before I die I hope to find a swolemate to make sure my squat form is impeccable morning and night. And please don’t let it be that 18 year old trainer at 24 hour fitness who’s got cougars on his “25 things to do before I die” list. 


9. Keep up with the Kardashians. 

I have a couple guilty pleasures and one of them is this family. I can’t explain it any better than that I just get them. Having three siblings and parents who are questionably difficult to deal with, I see myself in all three girls. If I’m not sympathizing with fat-Khloe, I’m totally feeling the sexually deviant-Kim and every once in a while I yearn to be as put together as Kortney as she raises not one, not two but three children. Did I mention they are really quite amusing to listen to if you just take your robe off and stop judging? I’m keeping up with the dash-fam until one or all of them dies. 


10. Face a fear. 

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. Ok, yes I am. Absolutely terrified actually. I don’t do haunted houses cause frankly it’s all fun and games until someone does bath salts in line and eats your face. I hate snakes, the ocean, can’t stand heights and publicly refuse to speak. So if I can just do a cliff dive holding a rattler while wearing a old-navy-like headset and speaking to a crowd below, I’m golden. 


11. Learn to dance. 

If there is something worse than two left feet, I have them. Two very badly broken and misfortunate feet maybe? At almost thirty I realize I’m never gonna win So You Think You Can Dance, so my life goal is just to be able to make movements that someone can identify as a genre. Something like The Cha Cha or The Samba not “drunk girl at a dive bar” or “grand mal seizure”. 


12. Protest something. 

I don’t let people eat burgers anywhere but Del Taco. So, I’ve made my claims here and there. But I want to picket or ticket on something I’m super passionate about. Mostly because I’ve got a really good yelling voice for long winded chants, but also cause I love making people listen when I know they don’t want to. Why else do you think I have a blog? 


13. Confuse a stranger. 

My whole life has been a series of what in the actual fuck moments and for once I just want to walk up to someone, hand them a tree branch and exclaim that “with great power comes great responsibility.” I’m sorry I’m not sorry, that’s what you get. You get to wonder who I was, what I was doing and why I gave you that gift. Because, I’ve got like sixty three unresolved mysteries that dateline NBC wouldn’t even want to touch. I have enough karma points to offset if this one moment ruins said strangers life, so we good. 


14. Successfully build something. 

A bookshelf. A bear. A loving relationship. My options are endless. If any of the above look like the IKEA bed frame I just put together with the wrong screw driver, I’m screwed. Pun intended. If I get reincarnated and come back as anything after death, it’s gonna be a stripped screw. The epitome euphemism for my previous life, and basically everything I’ve ever tried to build without a partner. It’s safe to say, to accomplish this, I’ll need an adult. 


15. Make a difference in someone’s life. 

Life’s purpose isn’t always as translucent as we’d like. Whatever mine is, I hope it makes a difference. I hope someone feels better about themselves cause my life wasn’t going as planned. Or they find my exhausting but hopeful desire for real love to be compelling and inspirational. The kindness challenge is an everyday struggle but if I can permanently change someone’s life for the better then I’m cool to go into the light…

Terminal. 

Terminal. 

You are a special kind of awful 
The kind that disguises itself as understanding; sucks me from vulnerable to empty, ground to air.

Cloud nine-hundred and forty two

That’s how many times our cabin pressure has dropped.                       Your eraser apologies are translucent like the window of the exit. 

The way a parent lies to their child as the plane goes down; thats how you coddle me. 

Everything’s gonna be ok.

The heat rises. 

You’re safe with me. 

Alarms sound. Flames and flames and flames…

I wish I could black you out like the impact of metal into the softness of unprepared soil. Release myself from the seatbelt of your consistent carnage.

Save yourself before you save another. Masks drop. Pressured bodies. 

                      The way I feel when we lift off. 

The way I feel when we’re going down. 

Always taking off, barely landing…

Nobody Wants To Be A Heartbreaker 

Nobody Wants To Be A Heartbreaker 

“But, doesn’t my opinion matter?”

It doesn’t. Not when your opinion is in regards to the conjunction of two separate entities. Wherever you go, and whoever you love nothing matters of your own desires until his or hers are parallel in comparison. And that’s the sad, sad truth. Mostly because it doesn’t really matter when you feel like it’s right, if it’s not right for both, it’s not possible for you. 

Finding yourself empowered and not deflated in these moments is and will forever be the hardest lesson to continuously learn. It feels redundant, and perpetual. Those moments when you’re blindsided by the slow motion movements of their lips as they escort you out of their life with confident, but also rash decisions. 

Don’t I have a say on us? Guess not. What I’d say to my almost ex-boyfriend in desperation is now rage; rage that I can’t carry forever because it melts me to my core. I speak of him in highly unsuggested expletives to my girlfriends as we vow to never let another man, good or bad, into our minds; near our bodies. 

Who’s the real bad guy here? Someone who let me go; to be with someone who wants to desperately partake in a love affair of epic proportions? Someone who knew he couldn’t find a way to quiet my own insecurities with how many he carried on his own? The man who knew I was meant for so much more? Certainly not him.

I’m the bad guy. I’m the one with the opinion. The one who feels even a hint of remorse for not seeing wrong from right. Because it was always right. So right; just not right now. Timing is the single most important factor in fastening a connection into a relationship. And I can’t blame time. It doesn’t know any better. It’s on nobody’s side. 

Love takes failure, even if it’s a thousand heart breaks within a moments time. Relationships take courage. Courage to say, she’s a wonderful woman, but she’s not my right now. Connections take faith. Faith in people being the best them while you explore the intricacies of their being. Romance takes honesty. Honesty about where you stand as a person and who you can be for more than just yourself. 

Too many people don’t realize this until it’s too late. So, get off your dating app, stop flirting with the waitress, and find a way to keep time from being a burden and allow it to mold you into a wholehearted human being. 

That’s the only place my opinion matters when you left. Not on our almost relationship, or a quickly snuffed out connection, but on who I know you have the capability to be. 

And nobody wants to be a heartbreaker

PTSDenied 

PTSDenied 

          “I’ve got a crush on you.” 

“Don’t worry, that will go away.” 



I talk to people like I’m a benign tumor. Like if they just repeatedly ice me, or take an Aleve, they’re totally golden. I don’t know where I lost my confidence, but I went back to find it the other day and I’m pretty sure it’s buried alongside my 2015 tax returns and under all of the bobby pins that used to keep my messy bun in check.  

I hate when people tell me to love myself. Ok, listen Biebs…that’s the easy part. It’s trusting that someone else won’t crush my soul after I’ve proven to them that I do in fact love myself and that they should feel the same that’s the hard part. 

What’s the best way to keep someone from hurting you? Don’t let them buy the opportunity; tell them you’re not worth the sale. I’m basically a backwards realtor. Showing off my real estate like it’s far from prime, you know, so it won’t get any use; escaping the abuse.

I realized today how absolutely terrified I am of the repercussions of interest. I have been so perpetually content in the confines of single hood that anything veering from the norm is a potential bomb threat to me. 

Everyone is a (love) terrorist in my eyes

Remember a world where we didn’t live in fear? 



                              Yea, me either

I Blame Sarah. 

I Blame Sarah. 

I imagine hell on earth is subjective for all of us. For some,it’s the 5 freeway during rush hour. For others it’s the DMV. I know a buddy of mine would say it’s the tampon isle no matter how pregnant his wife is. #ptsd We all know our own personal hell and anybody who says they don’t have one is just sitting in the proverbial lobby waiting for this seasons finale to come to a close. Welcome to the cast, assholes.

The entrance to hell, for me, is on the corner of online and dating. It’s a pretty big door these days, and I’ve opened it often. I spent a few months staring at its ever-inviting hinges, wondering what was on the other side and if I had been missing anything. I knew what was waiting for me beyond the boards of normalcy and I continued to sift through my options like it wouldn’t soon emerge as the firey pits of Satan’s lair. And then I knocked

Online dating answered. Like the scriptured geological demon it is. Hell is every message that brings me such distaste for mankind that I can barely tolerate not taking my own life. [You know, so I could avoid having to communicate with the mentally challenged.]

I’ve compiled a list of the top ten “nopes” that online dating has to offer someone like me just to outline the every-day reminders of living in a generational fail:

1. Your name is “Mars” “eyecandy8”, “notadouche85” or Dj fucking anything. Might as well call yourself “single4lyfe” and call a spade a spade.

2. You want to know if “you can ask me a personal question.” Sure, I hope you wanna know how I’m gonna kill myself after I minimize the screen with this first message on it.

3. You spell everything wrong. The only thing sixth grade and your dick have in common is that you complain entirely too much about them both “being hard”.

4. This.


Points for the “men” usage in “examine.” Although, I don’t think that was a pun, I think maybe your parents are siblings.

5. You have five photos of the same selfie, just different mouth situations.  

Red might be your color, but this screams “I don’t do laundry”.

6. Your profile picture is of a puppy. You’re cheating. I can’t swipe left on a 6 week American Eskimo. I’m NOT A MONSTER.

7. You’re an over sharer.

8. Penis shadows. That’s a Chiquita; you’re not fooling anybody.

9. Shits blank=shits weak. “I’ll fill this in later” is the same as “ill be ready in five minutes.”

10. You AND your gf think I’m cute. I have a three some every night. Two dogs; one owner.

Drops mic.

My hell probably isn’t your hell, but frankly my heaven involves a vat of hot fudge and a restored collection of choose your own adventure books. So, needless to say, people differ. Especially in their approach at connections. The only thing I connect with on the above is that it’s never just one. Someone is handing out a book on dating and sabotaging human kind from ever receiving the love they deserve. Probably Satan; which my phone keeps autocorrecting to Sarah. It’s that bitch, Sarah. Find her.

The Fizzle is Real 

The Fizzle is Real 

I’ve had enough mind blowing conversations in my life time to know quality over quantity. Exchanges about government cover ups of extraterrestrial life. Stories of military battle for a country I’m too chicken to fight for. Struggles of overcoming addiction and disorders. Gabfests about fates misfortune. Even discussions about the meaning of unconditional love. 

I don’t want to know How Harry Met Sally, or how Stella got her groove back, or which Full House character we both need to fan-girl over in order for us to become best friends. Your movie quotes are unoriginal; not punny. I don’t care about your breakfast. Your lunch. Or a photo of a steak-adorned-dinner-plate you took while on your third date this week. Your good morning and your good nights are like two pieces of 7 grain bread with a slice of still-wrapped Kraft singles in the middle. Nutritionally inept

You’re wasting your time with the fluff, kids. Monotonous, time-consuming, “hey” “hey” “how’s your day” “good, yours” “fine” *radio silence* is becoming painful. I almost wish some of these people got hit by a bus or had a dog die. You know, just to have something to connect to. Call me crazy. No wait, dont fucking call me crazy. #startingafightoutofboredom 

Naturally, I receive, on average, ten to twenty messages a day on my online profile. (Half of them can’t spell their names, don’t get too excited). Mixed with one to three vendors at work asking if I’m married…that makes for a multitude of conversation starters. You’d think 1 out of 23 would be response worthy; you’d think wrong. 

Even with that quantity firm, the fuq are my intellectual stimuli?! I’m so incredibly under stimulated that I find myself literally deleting, blocking or just blatantly walking away from some of these people. Did you just say “Do you want to go grab a beer sometime?”. No. No I don’t. Because beer is literally the most boring fucking thing “to do” on the planet. Do I want to go camping with you in the woods while we ferment Kombucha and write songs for each other? Yes. Man I sound like a god damn hippie.  

I’m not usually this effervescent about not showering on a first date, but some of my most memorable moments have been in nature, or amongst a less rigid crowd. I like beer, don’t get me wrong. But I can purchase, drink and love it any day of my adult life. What I can’t do is stand under some stars next to a fire built by someone less dainty than I and find a sense of wanderlust in a relationship as it unfolds. 

Textually I’d rather lose my phone to a body of water than have to manually discard some of this severely unenthusiastic correspondence. I don’t get the “enjoy life’s little and unexpected moments today, live it wisely and don’t forget to smile” texts. You know, smart shit. The stuff I GIVE TO PEOPLE. Because, I know that plain is boring and if I send you one more clock work good morning your gonna blow your brains out. Or maybe not, cause you’re all robots with erections brought on by the sound of a single text tone. 

The fizzle is real my friends. You had me at “my mind works in mysterious ways” and then you lost me at “so, wanna see a movie?”. Ugh. I dare each and every one of you to make a date jar. And then put that next to a quote jar. And then court the fuck out of some incredible women. If they don’t want to make babies with you in the end, at least you left little Pinterest footprints of encouragement along the way; something more than the guy who read like a real life interview every day of his existence. 

Moral of the story is: if you don’t have anything exciting to say, don’t say anything at all. Memorize a fact, learn a joke, master a metaphor. Nobody ever caught the good fish with a dull hook. Rod’s up! 

A Season of You 

A Season of You 

Every other summer we skipped each other like the rocks on the shore of the beach outside your door. 

One year on, two years off. Five years; round three. You are you, and I am unfathomably still me. 

You were a family vacation without the stress of the family; wanting to revisit the same spot over and over until it wore itself into tradition. 6th street is where I parked my car; where I parked my heart. Our tradition was in fact closed lips and tongue tied versions of what our hearts felt and our heads suppressed. We visited often. 

I told you I loved you thirty seven times. To the back of your sleeping skull. To your silhouette outside the patio door. To the inside of an airplane window as I flew away…

We had a thing for leaving each other; for loving each other as we left. And finding one another just as available as the moment we first met. Connected just the same. 

         Oh universe; you twisted bitch

She never let us say goodbye. And in the absence of answers, I found just that. The ability to move forward knowing that without closure; there was no end. That id see you again. Still intangible like the dreams that haunted me for seven hundred days of curiosities. But still, more alive than the five prior years we couldn’t seem to fuse our souls. 

I know I hate the way the past beats at my insecurities. And the way repeating the same mistake feels like insanity. But I love the way you love the way I do just about anything but leave you. 

I always thought I’d known what love was until I felt what it was like to have everything I’ve ever lost come back to me. And in that feeling I search for ways to frantically keep what had slipped from me blindly for half of a decade. 

Reason. Distance. Time. 

We’ve transcended all three. Like the amount of months in my favorite season; in the summers that I spent engulfed in your smile. Quickly turning into the next season, both me and the leaves falling for you. 

High[er] Life 

High[er] Life 

I’m the hit you feign for as you dig through your sock drawer, unsure of my existence. I’m the last bit of bottom shelf whiskey on your lips, too bitter to lick off, too harsh to wash down. Im the finely cut line of cocaine on your cd case, never too long to finish. I’m the late night binge. The overdose cringe. The give-me-more-of-that-lover. 
                I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.

 
My thirties are approaching and I can safely say I haven’t partaken in recreational drugs of an illegal caliber. Which is kind of a feat for an Orange County born native who grew up with a father who’s favorite stories were about the time he dropped acid and punched his mom in the face for looking like Medusa and an older sister who’s friends offered you cocaine at the door. 

When I speak of my drug-virginity out loud I usually feel the same way I do about counting my tattoos: one. maybe two. Ok fine, none. It’s not that it hasn’t presented itself to me as a girls-bathroom-stall option. Or an if-you-love-me-do-it-with-me relationship boost. I just, haven’t ever had the desire to step outside of a mind I’ve been so in touch with. I can’t imagine feeling my feelings anymore deeply than I already do. And that’s the absolute truth

I guess, just like anything else in life, you’ve got to have a desire for something before you follow through with it. Maybe as a one-through-twenty-something I’ve not yet had the desire for the experience. Or the need to step away from basic, and engulf myself in a broader spectrum of being. Like being more up, or being more down or pretending to be either just to fit in. I can imagine it would be identical to how I already feel when I drink or better yet, when I love. Pointless. I don’t need a vodka soda to fuel my inhibitions. It doesn’t take a flaming sambuca shot to rid me of my insecurities. And honestly, sober me has felt the most intense emotions by just falling for a man who couldn’t tell the truth to save his own life. Heroin withdrawals got nothing on heartbreak. 

I just wonder, that through all of the naivety, if my adulthood isn’t eagerly awaiting that psychedelic event of a lifetime. Or a whimsical stroll to the sandbox behind the school for an E-induced playground rendezvous. Every time I’m offered a bump, a hit, a sip or a piece, I say no. But, I always wonder, what if I said yes? 

My expectations of going through with succumbing to a moment of unprescribed pharmaceuticals involves a string of me repeating “I don’t feel anything” until I’ve overdosed and am either passed out, comatose, or even worse, dead. People don’t die from eating mushrooms. Or do they? And if someone’s going to, with my luck, it’ll be me. 

I already feel out of my god damn mind about 60% of my day. Like the oxygen I breathe is laced with hallucinogens far more potent than anything I could buy on the streets. If I told my friends I was high, half the time they’d believe me. So why risk my body for the sake of finding another level to be on? I like this level. But leveling up is in our blood. With that said I’ve found myself peeking at the syllabus to find out what else the world has to offer my ever-ready brain. 

Chapter 2: Taryn gets fucked up on MDMA and finally earns the intimacy she’s been looking for through ecstasy. 
 #The end. 

Guest Blog: Some Strings Attached 

Guest Blog: Some Strings Attached 

By: Julie Marlene 

“So, what should we do for our next date?”the sweet, sweet man sitting across the table from me repeats as I stare blankly into space, daydreaming about someone else.

He has everything you’re supposed to want…a great job, athletic, handsome, his own place blah blah blah..and, it’s boring. It bores me to the point that I break out into random fits of frustration with myself. What is wrong with me? I’ve been here before, I’ve been here a lot, too much. Pursued by men that other women pursue, that they would kill to be with. But, here I sit, across the table from yet another one and all I can think about is “him”.

“He” and I have known each other for over a decade. I met him when he was too young to take seriously. I was 5 years older and he was still technically a teenager. So, we became friends. Hanging out here and there. I didn’t see him as anything other than my cute, younger guy friend. It stayed this way for years. Then one night, we crossed a boundary. We were hanging out, watching a movie in his room and he kissed me. It caught me off guard, but not so much so that I didn’t protest when clothes started to come off and it escalated, fast.

It wasn’t weird after. We didn’t even talk about it. We carried on like 2 close friends that happened to get naked. And, occasionally did it again and again and again…

It was a nice set up actually. I got to spend time with my best guy friend (who, by the way, resembles some sort of demigod and makes me, at 5’10” feel feminine and petite…not an easy task), have the benefits of a relationship while maintaining my usual cold emotional detachment, and have sex without the risk of someone falling in love. Or, so I thought.

This carried on over the next few years. Pausing for any respective relationships we were in. “He” was always there for me and is a solid, brutally honest man with all of his shit together. And, he’s not safe. No office job, 2 tours on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, quiet and level-headed with a surprisingly explosive temper, strips on the weekends sometimes for extra money and so much confidence it puts me, with my usually dominating personality, in check.

And, then fuck…it happened. I fell in love with him, and I freaked out. I don’t do emotions. I’m closed off, distant and usually piss men off with my detachment and anti-sleepover rules. I didn’t know how to handle it. So, I didn’t. I seethed in it for months…MONTHS. Until, one night we were lying together, talking and I jumped out of bed…as in, actually physically jumped out of the bed and blurted out, “I can’t do this anymore”. He had no idea what I meant. His eyes were wide and he froze like I was some kind of wild animal that would attack with any sudden movement.

“I have feelings. Real feelings for you.”

Except, it wasn’t as eloquent as my punctuation would suggest. It sounded more like one giant, frantic word. He suggested we have dinner and talk about it soon. It was midnight after all. Then, hugged me, kissed me on the cheek and asked me to text him when I got home safely. All normal stuff, followed by a solid 2 weeks of dead air. 

Nothing. I finally broke the silence and we made a plan.He’d pick me up, he’d pay…all his suggestion. Seems good, right? I thought so. Then, came the grenade… “I feel the same way…” followed by what felt like a million tiny “buts”, “I may re-enlist”, “I don’t want to lose you if it doesn’t work”, “I don’t want to disrespect you with the stripping”. I wasn’t hungry anymore. This was the first time in my adult life that I had put myself out there and I got rejected.

So, here I am a few months later (we didn’t start speaking again until a month ago, mostly because of my pride), after trying to convince myself and almost successfully I might add, that I was over him, that all I needed was to hear “no”, still in the same place. Back to constantly thinking about him and aching over him. A completely new feeling for me. Finally, at 33 years old ready to be in love.
And, in a cruel twist of fate, feeling everything that I most likely put those unsuspecting, attentive, sweet men through again and again and again…

Dear Diary, I’ve Got Nothing to Hide

Dear Diary, I’ve Got Nothing to Hide

Transparency can be mysterious too. I know that there isn’t much to be wondered about everything sitting out on the table. But sometimes I look at objects right in front of my god damn face, and I still couldn’t tell you how they work or if they have a name. 

That’s how I hope you all see me. You know I exist. That I’m human. That I’m open and seemingly vulnerable. But how do I work? What’s my name? The mystery exists. 

What do you know about being who you are with a whole heart? I bet you think you know what love is. And for some, you’ll always be right because, well, it’s all you’ll ever know. But, I hold out because I know of a place between what I pretend I dream of and a far less greater reality that exists. It’s just banking on timing. It’s manifesting in my failure; growing through my pain. My tears water its roots and it’ll blossom when it’s ready. Would you sit and wait? Watch a flower grow? Then don’t wait for me, i’ll bloom in time. But you can cheer for my victories and console me when I fail. 

I hear I’m “ballsy” for every word I write here in a public form. Courage doesn’t make me write, you guys do. There’s nothing brave about exploring every corner of my existence and recounting it to an audience. The truth is…when you have nothing to hide, that’s when you have nothing to fear. 

Silence

Silence

I pushed send despite the guilt I’d feel by allowing you the ability to ignore me, again. I needed you to recount with me the emotions that were attached to memories that only you and I will ever carry. Even if you read it and reminisced without reaching out, reminders are my favorite gifts and it had been a while since I’d given you one. As a matter of fact,  I remember it, it was Easter. I knew the first holiday I’d spend with you I’d want to shower you with a basket of goodies; shower you with my love; shower with you. You laughed at the candy, the lottery scratchers, the flavored lube. You laughed at our minimal interaction that felt like lifetime feats. But we laughed together as the sun brushed the stars and the nights fell hard on days that only half of us knew would come to an end.

You know that feeling you get when you think you’ve forgotten something half way to your destination? That deep pitted punch in the gut that sends you over the edge with thoughts about if you should keep going or stop and turn around? 9:58 am hit me like a ton of bricks. I hadn’t seen that picture come up on my phone in over 60 days. Days that I literally pretended you were dead because it was easier to accept that you had no control over this pain than being the provider of such malice. I remember the night you took that photo. It was the first time it’d really felt like I’d be able to stare into someone’s eyes forever. You said you hated the way you looked, so I made it the photo I saw of you every day. A reminder to us both that it didn’t ever matter what you thought.

I had a hundred thousand things to ask you since the day you vanished. But all I could muster up the ability to verbalize were questions my heart screamed over my head. I wanted you to know that I was happy, that the fact that you were gone was a blow to my ego not a deferent to my well-being. I’ve told bigger lies, but they never gave me this much lack of contentment. What I should have said was that driving down I-70 and passing Hanging Lake brought me to tears. Because I held your hand at the bottom of that hike and you told me you didn’t think anybody else in this world would ever get you quite like me. I took a picture of the sky, because I wanted to capture exactly what I was looking at as I felt the most intense connection of my entire existence. It’s like that curve in the road is my forever home. 76 miles of Siri into the mountains. Spurts of service. A moment I’ll never be able to recreate. Fuck I hate memories. Nothing in life should ever feel this damn good and so terrible at the same time. Except maybe, a deep tissue massage.

It didn’t matter how many unfinished conversations we had. I was never getting closure, and that was my closure. And then two months later,I got it. And I didn’t know what to do with it. I felt like a twelve year old boy finding his boner for the first time. Just fumbling with excitement and finding out it would be a forever lingering gift of both pain and pleasure. Getting no message was all the message I needed, and then you called me to tell me everything I fucking expected. Down to the fact that they only reason you were with her was because she was more convenient and that moments with her were empty in comparison to what we experienced. I wanted to tell you Karma was a bigger bitch than I could ever be, but all I could think was “I wish you were here”.

For the record, you didn’t break my heart. Truth be told, you broke my soul. I won’t romanticize the way you made me feel too much, because it was more than that. It was like reaching into a bag of my wildest dreams and having them read to me by the wind.  When you left it felt like death. But the kind of death where you’re forced to keep living. And you’re forced to keep guessing. About what went wrong and if you’re ever going to find it again. You told me I’d find it in someone, that I was crazy to think that you were my last chance, but what do you know…you’re always running.

I know this feels like your last change at control, and you win. But you reopened wounds that were not yours to create in the first place. I handed you the greatest parts of me and asked for you to nurture them in time. Instead you brought them to the darkest places and left them there, abandoned and unattended. And when I found my light again, you reappeared to remind me that you were the best I may have ever had, and I still couldn’t have you. Nana nana fucking boo boo. I hope that in the silent parts of the Kingdom of “blockville” you find a way to justify the resurface. Because if I didn’t have the ability to ever keep you in the first place, it was certainly not me who made you reemerge.

I accept the apology I never got. In the absence of your words, lies all of my answers. My mother always told me that to heal a wound, you’ve got to stop touching it. I can’t stop touching it. {That’s what he said} You were and still are the type of drug I’d sell my right arm for a hit on my left. I used to think I’d never hear from you again, and then I did. Which makes me think I’d be naïve to assume you’re gone forever…

 

Broken Girls Finish Last 

Broken Girls Finish Last 

I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face. My nose is running like it wants that summer body, and I can’t control the overwhelming amount of sadness that’s come over me. I let a good one go. Again

He will never know. Cause I sent him the kind of text that sums up all my fears into one giant excuse that I executed so eloquently his only option was to wish me the best. My exit strategies are meticulous, calculated, profound. They are quick; and they are painless. What isn’t painless is realizing I kicked another genuinely good guy to the curb and all I have left are men who would rather spend their entire life alone then entertain the thought of discussing a serious relationship. 

He was the kind of man that when I was laying in bed Wikipedia-ing my symptoms, you know, finding out my chest cold was predominantly the onset of a malignant lung cancer, was texting me to see when I’d stop being stubborn enough to let him come take care of me. Well the answer is never. Cause never in my life have I ever let someone love me more than I love them. And rarely will you find me being taken care of amidst a life I’m capable of fending for myself in, despite the level of interest. 

I’m going to beat myself up about this until someone gives me an answer. [feel free to text me and not rip me apart in a public forum] Because out of all the articles on love, life and the pursuit of happiness, I’m stumped. Why am I SO un-attracted to the men who are interested in me whole heartedly? And why is it that I seemingly yearn for the idiots who won’t give me the time of day? Most people would say, by nature we want what we can’t have. Well, I say, I’m a fucking adult and I’m not stupid enough to chase something so unattainable and put myself through that kind of bullshit. Is it fate? Is it a higher power leading me to what I’m supposed to have instead of what I think I need? And if that’s the case why can’t I find any physical attraction to the men who care about me on a deeper level? Wouldn’t that be what I “need” and not what I “want”? Tell me, why am I so awe struck by ignorance and neglect?

I’m broken. I’m a legit bag of fail, folks. It’s not even in my control anymore. I cannot, within reason, force myself to have feelings for someone if they aren’t there. And they are only not there for the guys who want me. The only people who deserve it, are the ones who treat me well, and those guys are, for some ungodly reason, ew. Who turns me on hotter than a street lamp at midnight? Assholes. And those are the guys that I give my all to. My all for like 2-4 months and then they disappear, cheat, lie or decide they like men. Ok so, nobody’s turned gay on me, yet…but the day is young. 

I’ve heard that deep down, for some, a part of us feels unworthy of love; and that may attribute to continued rejection of potential matches. The irony is that I’m not insecure about my value. Ask anyone I know and they will reiterate that I hold myself to an uncanny level. I’m smart, I’m witty, I’m loving, sensitive, blunt, I take care of my body, I am independent financially, I am introspective, I’m a giver. I’ve got an attitude that needs to be adjusted sometimes, but that’s a drop in the ocean. The point is, it’s not that.{ So what else? }

Is it my ego? Could it be that I think I can always do better? Nah. If I made a list of my ex’s, their job titles, personality traits and the reason we broke up you’d all agree I could do better. Bartender, hated going outside, lied about being a heroin addict. Boom. Clearly I’m capable of settling. So it’s not that…

Maybe I’m bored with nice? Nice doesn’t make me break a sweat. It’s the vanilla to my rocky road with extra whip. Nice guys finish last, that’s a real thing. So, with that said, fingers crossed there are bad boys with nice tendencies who I can chase for a hot second that will ultimately fall deeply in love with me. I’m dreaming aren’t I? 

You know what’s pure bliss? Being alone. I’m exhausted on dating, and this is when you’re supposed to stop. When it becomes a chore and nothing feels “right”. Even when he’s standing at your door with flowers, telling you you’re the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on, and you’re in the bathroom texting the guy who’s completely ignored you all week.

The truth is, I let fate throw me rando’s, and they just don’t do it for me, which is why I shop online for my build-a-babe. But these guys have other options and I just can’t keep up. The nice guys zero in on me and I completely forget how to, be. Then the player who has every intention of breaking my heart sweet talks me into a head-over-heels situation and I’m, smitten
Vicious cycle. Rinse, repeat. 

Come Home

Come Home

A dear friend of mine, who remains to be unnamed, wrote a letter to his ex-girlfriend in hopes that the raw pen-to-paper confession would heal a few wounds. He asked for my opinion, and I asked if I could post, because as a fellow advocate of untamed hearts, I fell into a similar passion for his desires on the outskirts of his plea and I needed to share.  Not a lot of people know what it’s like to bare their soul. We sure do. 

It’s Monday night, June 13th, 2016 – 10:03 PM. A little while ago, I sent my goodnight text, saying I’ll see you Wednesday night for dinner. As I’m lying here in bed, I’m trying to figure out what we are going to talk about and why we’re even meeting. What’s the point, right? More or less, I guess I just wanted to see you again.

I can’t tell you how many nights I’d wake up, check my phone, and pray that I had a message from you saying, “Come home.” No apology needed. No explanation. I was cool with just the two words. I was waiting for you to save me. I messaged you drunk last week because I miss you, I think that’s a given. Drunken minds are sober thoughts, right? I was out with friends, having a blast and I still enjoy doing that. I hit the level of drunk where all I wanted to do was come home to you. It didn’t matter how much fun I was having on my own or how much personal growth I was achieving. I wanted to do those things with you, together. I called you years ago on St. Patrick’s Day to save me, remember? That’s where I was the other night. Well, I am writing this one sober.

I’m not the dull, careless, boring, and sensitive person you made me out to be. I’m tough at work. Fearless, selfless, compassionate, and strong. Admired, honored, recognized, and a true mentor. (I know you’re saying, “Really?! You grandiose prick!”) Yeah, me. There are plenty of accolades and accommodations to show for it. I’m damn proud of my career and I should be. I thrive when supported by those around me. In writing this, however, I realize I just jumped to conclusions about the way you expressed yourself. I didn’t listen to you when you repeatedly said that was just your personality. Those who knew you understood it. I should have just been that warrior for you, instead of work- but with passion and love. It’s so much easier to decipher after the fact, isn’t it?

Nine years ago, while studying theology and ancient cultures, I learned about the dualities in nature. I became spiritual. I lost it when I had to grow up and be an adult. That man disappeared entirely. The curiosity was gone and life was full speed ahead. Relationships came and went, some good and some bad. Many hopes of a future and many three-word sentences exchanged. Plenty of confusion. There wasn’t anyone like you, kiss your ass, I know. I’ve been in healthier relationships and I know you have too. It doesn’t make any sense to me either. There’s just something different about you. 

Years later, and like the true dick that nature is, when timing couldn’t be worse, this perfect girl comes along. She has tattoos. A full sleeve, a back piece, she’s spiritual… Or something, I don’t even know. She might not either. She was mysterious, cryptic. Her smile could light a room and you could feel her love just by looking in her eyes- I mean really looking in her eyes. She was confident and stood affirm in her beliefs about the world. Adoring, and perhaps the hardest word to use, innocent. It’s a hard word to say because there’s some heavy guilt behind that exploitation of trust. That part is never going to go away. That’s the flower in my sleeve, I’ve told you that before. I fell damn hard for you. I’m convinced you will never truly understand that and I wish I could just sink into myself and let it out. That was a long time ago and that person is still inside me. I am truly sorry for the past. You must be tired of hearing it by now.

As soon as I had fallen for you, and it was quick, I peered through the peephole, opened the door, and let The Other in…

Life is crazy-beautiful, isn’t it? We spend decades trying to find ourselves. We build and shape some incredible memories. The kind you can only dream up in your head after watching a sappy love movie. Onesies and s’mores by the fire. Raw love. Remove the ambivalence from a stupid boy’s mind. Remember the feeling? Raw love, to the core. Innocence. Bliss, even. The kind that makes you post hearts around your photos. The kind that he’s not afraid to post, too. The kind that makes him cry when he’s alone every now and then, because he misses it. The kind he held onto for a long time. That makes him text you drunk at two in the morning. That despite failed attempts, still makes him believe it exists, because it did once even if it was short. The kind of love he knew he needed, but had to let go. The kind that is right, but he’s so fucked up he thinks there has to be something wrong with it. Like the perfect balance found in nature, a duality must also exist in love. We must go through hardships and we must succumb, even be enslaved by The Other. We don’t know why we bind the chains, but hey, life is crazy-beautiful. 

The Other arrives late at night, pounding on the grand door of your own happiness. The Other will always manifest itself and you cannot hide. It could be anything: love, a big decision, a career move, a fear, whatever. 

You’re frightened by the thunderous knock and peer through the peephole. It’s just a shadow, but still, curiosity haunts us all. We always want more, don’t we? More adventure, more danger, we’re never simply satisfied. Blame Eve, I guess. That bitch fucked it up. We will say, “Don’t answer the door!,” “Go away!,” “Leave me alone!.” But The Other already knows… We are going to let it in. The Other will stand outside and wait, like a predator stalking its prey in the night. The Other is patient will always accommodate your agenda. The Other is going to light your soul on fire, but just for a moment. The Other is a reaper, and your time will surely toll. 

You continue living your life, ignoring the ghost outside. The Other is there but you’re searching for answers. An insatiable need for love maybe, like a true hopeless romantic. You’re digging a well. Your well is different from mine, and mine yours. I’ll never understand yours and you will never understand mine. That’s okay.

Sometimes in searching for the thirst of life’s water, you dig the well dry. You become a desolate product of your own search and you stop digging. Each day you visit your well, peering over the edge, waiting for it to fill. It never does. When it rains, you dance, you celebrate, and you truly feel alive. Those sparks of life that promise spring and new love, they feel damn good! And just as soon as the rain fills the well, the earth strips it away. We continue to peer down the well and wait for the water to return. Oh how we forget nature’s duality. The Other, the Reaper. It’s time. 

You’re swept off the ground with one blow of his scythe. Heel over head you tumble into the well, slamming hard on the floor below. You’ll wake up some time later, make no mistake, but you won’t remember how you got there. 

After you endure the pain of the fall, you sit there at the bottom of the well, knees to your chest. You’re left with nothing but to find a quiet place in your own head. Down in the well, looking up you see a ring of light. Dim, and clouded by it’s own surrounding brilliance above. Unattainable. All sounds muffled against the damp earth. Sitting at the bottom, submerged in that last puddle, after the big breakdown, you discover something. You take that one breath, time stops. You find solace, you become grounded. You feel the air pierce your nostrils and slide deep into your soul. That first breath…

In…

out…

In…

out…

Your breath is deafening and your heart roars like a quiet storm in the distance. You feel your pulse in your veins and you realize you’re alone, but you are okay. You are alone and you are safe. The Other is gone, for now.

For the first time you appreciate the mud between your toes, the moisture in the air, in your breath. You appreciate the warmth from the light above and even the loneliness feels good now. You are doing just fine, but you can’t help but wonder about life outside of your well. 

You hear a sound from above, you look up, and your vision blurred from falling debris. A rope falls over the edge of the well and you call out, but no one answers. You’ve got a way out, but you pause. You reserve a few moments for yourself before grasping the rope to climb out. You know part of you will miss the well and the lessons learned while alone. You shout out again, “Hello!?” 

You hear a faint voice, a whisper, “Come home.” You climb out of the well and you remember life before The Other. A fresh start in a familiar place, another adventure. Life is crazy-beautiful, isn’t it?

You met me tonight, maybe because you got tired of sitting down there too, I don’t know… but we met. The rope was thrown down the well and here we are. I don’t know what happens next, I really don’t. I won’t make a move, I’m sure you won’t either. Somehow though, I know you understand what I’ve written here and I hope it resonates with you. 

The Other was outside and we were inside. We took our turns looking through the peephole on opposite work shifts, never wondering if maybe we were going through the same things separately. We knew The Other was there and we were curious. We focused on the pinhole of light outside, completely missing the light of our home inside. We both opened that door, we both fell in the well, and we’re both wondering why the fuck the rope came down and let us back up. And we’re both wondering, whose voice is calling for us… 

“Come home.”