Apartment 96

Apartment 96

Paper thin walls are both a novelty and a curse. I hear the way he begs for her attention with the opening of his patio door to the semi mediocre sunset views. And I wish a stranger good luck as he runs the bases of a game I quit playing a while ago.

She’s cute, you’ve got this 94.

The music. It’s terrible. And not because of the bass. Or the constant blatant disregard for the permeation of sound from his bedroom to my diary.

Alexa volume: 0, please god ZERO

Two people I’ve never met giggle at each other over dance breaks of a song most likely on the radio I’ve lost touch with, engulfed in a feeling I haven’t felt in a while.

I’m her. The single woman in Apt 96 who judges the noise because she forgot how to make her own.

I pick up a book.

A glass breaks.

A roar of laughter ensues.

I lay my head on my pillow.

A hum of pleasure they make.

Likely a product of booze.

A decade ago, I kept the dial turned. The music loud. The sunsets on my radar. And I swore to myself I’d never stop making memories even if the crotchety old lady in apartment 96 called the cops on me for the third time.

When did we become what we fought so hard to dodge? Unruly neighbors becoming reminders of an unfinished past.

I want to play.

I blinked and I’m here. Checking my clock for quiet hours. Trying to google common courtesy codes of conduct in an apartment 100% attached to a stranger. Ten years ago I was attached to strangers… without courtesy codes; without quiet hours.

The paper thin walls are a veil to my jealousy. Nobody would ever know unless I told them, and I have to tell you…

Kids these days don’t know what they have until it’s gone.

Sincerely,

Gone

Give It A Sexond

Give It A Sexond

What happens to the person who welcomes both happiness and pain without judgement? Do they fail themselves in not forming a preference for either or are they capable of bigger things for both knowing and accepting these extremes?

I know what it’s like to not give a single fuck and I also know what it’s like to give all the fucks you’ve ever gathered and hand them out like an unsupervised child. Being both is terrifying when someone expects you to pick a road and flip-on cruise control until you’ve reached their desired destination. [More specifically on paths you are ill-prepared to take.]

I can’t decide if I’m unlucky, misunderstood or just plain stupid. I’ll eliminate the latter because I know damn well that Mama didn’t raise no fool. Luck is a phenomenon that science can’t prove which means being misunderstood sticks out like the sorest of thumbs. A lot of things are easily misunderstood but I have to ask…when did no start meaning never? #giveitafuckingsexond

To the men who tell us to lower our expectations, we say the same to you:

Stop expecting us to give it up on your timeline. My body is not a suggestion. It doesn’t equal automatic opportunities and it will never be up for literal or non-literal grabs due to mere existence. It’s the shell of who I am; who I’ve worked so hard to be and it deserves the same respect across all circumstances.

They can say I’m broken. That I’m shut off. That I’m not laid back enough. They can, and they do. I hear it with every date I, with high hopes, show up for. I’m done being a victim of hypocrisy though. I’m just a tired empath longing for a real connection, knowing it doesn’t take being naked to achieve.

I hate that I even have to have these conversations. Or ask these questions. Or feel so worthless. Why is date number four always an awkward juggle of egos?

“If you liked me you’d sleep with me”. “Well, if you liked me you wouldn’t push it”.

The constant battle between what our hearts want, what our bodies need, and trying to play Switzerland with an irrational Germany. Blindly grabbing at what’s left of a connection when you realize they are only sticking around for one thing. Plot twist: it’s not your sense of security.

What happened to the men who’d wait a lifetime for your comfort? Who were willing to make sure there were no qualms before they undressed you. You can take pretty much anything from me without a blink of an eye, but do not take my worth. I refuse to allow for a moment anyone to believe that I am not capable of having all of it; that the only pieces of me that are sought after are the ones that fuel someone else’s ego.

I am not what you expect and in knowing that I’ve had to fight the feeling of failure. Time and time again. Tear after tear, year after year. Sometimes I’m proud of the woman I am because I’ve spent a hell of a long time becoming her, and other times I fall short with my need to be liked…valued…wanted. Where I fall short I hope to god one day others will prevail. Instead of sticking a patch of disapproval upon my breasts every time I refuse to show them. Or reminding me that you feel teased when I breathe because simply being alive and attracted is YOUR recipe for intimacy.

I shouldn’t have to be modest to be respected. I shouldn’t have to say “maybe next time” to secure interest. And I refuse to believe that I owe another human being anything. Not a date, not a conversation, not a number, not my body, not even this blog post…

But you’re welcome.

For one, some…and now none.

5 Steps To Overcoming Heartbreak

It’s hard to write about heartbreak when you are actively heartbroken. You know, like watching the waiter march to your table with a bowl of piping hot oatmeal when you’re hung over.With that said it’s taken me almost all of 2018 to put together how to be more put together when all you want to do is pour some accelerator and light the match.

Aw yes, that balance between knowing you’re a human being with feelings and wishing you just fucking weren’t for five minutes (shout out to my dog who I constantly call a shit-head and she knows none the wiser)

It’s not easy, but it’s doable…

Below, I give you: the five steps I’ve personally taken to help me overcome that overwhelming feeling that someone has essentially rung you out to dry; but like…in the rain

1. First of all, why can’t I ever have a step one without thinking about who’s responsible for cutting the hole in the box?

1B. Know what hurts.

Ignorance isn’t bliss; it’s just ignorance.

It’s funny, cause when I was a kid and I’d try to express my feelings to my father in a snot-filled-traumatic-mumble-tantrum, he used to verbally face palm me with the same question every time: “uhhhhh, your what hurts?” Great question, I HAVE NO CLUE. It was such a vague and blanketed response to my belligerency that it actually made me stop and try to figure out who my real father was what was causing my pain so that I was more equipped to not only explain it, but ease it. Science has proven that both heartache and grief are both legitimate forms of measurable physical pain. Which means painkillers as simple as Aspirin are actually equally recommended for the heart as they are the head. For the record, I mentioned over the counter aspirin, so don’t go buck wild on prescription opioids cause Tommy from Tinder ghosted you after he asked you to be his arm candy at this years company Christmas party. Or do. Natural selection.

2. Be present.

I have a habit of extremes. The power of living (or not living) in the here and now is no exemption. I am either extremely engulfed in a moment to the point of full acceptance OR, I fly so far off the handle about future anxieties that it’s almost like you are all invited to the opening of my new theatric production of “I Am Nothing Without Him”. Solid soundtrack. The cast is a little iffy. I used to think that the first step was just admitting it, right?

Wrong, the first step is taking a deep breath and remembering that if the future seems like it’s already overwhelmingly hard, how’s right now going for you? I imagine if you aren’t starting by being really good at today, there’s no hope for tomorrow. You’re cheating on today’s happiness with tomorrow’s what if’s and frankly everyone loses. Except the guy who broke your heart and sent you into this uncomfortable spiral. He’s winning all the chips.

3. Distract.

If we’re all being honest with ourselves, there’s no easier way to get over heart ache than with a distraction. We have a scientifically studied part of the brain called the reward system that often is directly linked to the biological effects of rejection whilst being in love. When that reward system is unmanaged, it’s addictive patterns appreciate a diversion from pain and explore a more sought after feeling of pleasure.I imagine there will be backlash with how I achieve this step, and to that I say…get a hobby. Even if his name is Jared. As much as I’d like to suggest picking up a a new interest in a less taboo subject like hot yoga to “decompress and center yourself”, investing time into getting to know someone new has always effectively kept me from running back to the fire and placing my hand directly in it. Can’t say the same for the Child’s Pose.Maybe that’s a reflection of how much I see the good in people, even the bad ones. But if it takes me diving into a whole new batch of potential-bullshit just so I don’t skip back to confirmed-bullshit…let us all be stoked to be dealt another hand.

4. Be reflective, not reactive.

For the longest time, whenever I got ghosted (I say ghosted because dumped would mean the man who stopped talking to me would have to tell me why he stopped talking to me, and frankly I’m 0/456) I IMMEDIATELY rack my brain for what I could have possibly done wrong. And then I need to know what exactly I did/said, how it made all parties feel, what I could have done differently, AND how I fix not only it but world hunger, the California water shortage, the war on drugs…EVERYTHING. I NEED TO FIX EVERYTHING, IMMEDIATELY. Basically, I react so hard I don’t even have the energy to reflect. And when I found this out about myself, I made it one of the steps in not only overcoming heartbreak, but honestly eliminating the length of time before you’re at peace with the situation.

Reactions are quick, take less thought, and are…come to think of it synonymous with defining most of my past relationships. However, reflections are how I further more chose to handle any future heartache. We don’t need to know why someone chooses not to like love tolerate us. All we need is to handle rejection with grace and selflessness which will in turn outline our character and keep us on a path to who and what we deserve.

5. Surround Yourself With Love

Endorphins are the gateway drug guys. You feel love one time and it’s hard to want to be in a state of anything less. Heartache is, in my opinion, the epitome of pain because it’s not just superficial. It’s mental AND it’s physical. Your legs are weak, your brain is foggy, and your eyes are swollen from hours of both of those things colliding, making it hard to want to do anything more than replay what you’ve lost and sulk about how hard it might be to regain.

This is a piggyback on distractions, but it deserves its own step. There are people who love and adore you who have been placed on life’s back burner while you danced to the beat of falling for another sucker. They rooted for you knowing this day might come. So keep them close enough to remember what it’s like to be unconditionally supported, and bring them closer when your heart isn’t sure what that feels like anymore. There are probably a plethora of additional steps that we as individuals practice on a heartbreak to heartbreak basis, but these five above really drill home the attempt at a quick turn around for me personally. This is coming from the girl who is just happy to be alive enough to feel, even the bad shit.

Youtoo

Youtoo

Bravery is contagious. And not contagious in a someone-sneezed-on-the-office-coffee-pot-again-cause-they-forget-that-some-of-us used all of our PTO in January catch-everything type way.

The thing is, the nature of the events of this week’s Ford-Kavanaugh hearing are a he-said-she-said ping pong match that ends in someone’s life ‘potentially being ruined’ and that other person being Christine Blasey Ford. She doesn’t get to fear the potential, because she’s already lived it. Maybe all of the revisited events were just moments he ‘cant remember’, but at the end of the day they are also memories she ‘can’t forget’.

Rape stories will be prevalent until rape is no longer minimalized to irrelevance. Sadly, we put people away longer for crimes of graffiti than we do sexual assault and people still wonder why it’s trending. Anything that bares little to no repercussion without a grand jury review is bound to be a trend in my book. Instilling the fear of potential consequences is barely a way to keep crimes off the street, but at least it’s not contrarily telling it’s offenders “we support your lack of moral compass”.

Even more sad are the statistics associated with said rising assaults. To a degree, some would say the rise of admission is to blame for the rise in percentage, but why is that even a rebuttal? Just because the story is new to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t haunted it’s victim for decades. With that said, I more recently googled just how many of my friends and neighbors might be holding on to an untold secret, and 1 in 5 women have or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. One finger on each of my hands is a symbol for the reality of the proximity of these casualties.

When I say it’s hard being female, I mean it. Sure, we have a laundry list of societal standards; a basic biological clock constantly ticking inside a highly emotionally charged hormone filled body, but we also have the immediate danger of becoming a statistic 15 times faster than if we had been born a male. And for that exact reason, I write this article.

If I had the choice, I wouldn’t choose to hold my keys between my fingers as I walk to my car at night. I didn’t wake up this specific gender to be told that I couldn’t wear a skirt on a summer day because of how it made other people feel about my body. And I most certainly never expected that I’d ever have my own story.

A man drove me home after a night of drinking and as he walked inside the gas station to get me a bottle of water, I quickly racked me brain for how it was I was sitting in a truck of a total stranger feeling completely taken advantage of. I immediately placed blame on myself for tequila shot number five. For not knowing how to get myself home safely. For trusting someone I had only just met (that’s how all great love stories start though, right? Wrong.) and as he got back in the car to a more silent version of my previous self he jokingly looked me directly in the eyes and said “You only said no twice.” To which I shrugged and said “Cool, that should hold up in court”. Its safe to say I think that I’m the wittiest, when I’m absolutely shattered inside.

And that was the last thing I said to someone I would never see again. Someone who would never know how uncomfortable I was because the lack of consent and humility turned him on and blinded him from the basic human concern of another person’s needs. He laughed at my expense as he handed me the water bottle- making sure I was hydrated while ironically dismantling me inside.

We don’t want to admit that abusers are our friends. That our friends are victims. That this world is filled with people who are selfish dishonest and cowardly. But, even if it doesn’t happen to you, it’s happening to people who you love and care about so by default it’s happening to all of us. I have to ask… if it’s happening to all of us, why are we still so afraid to believe the women of the metoo movement? Because of false reports?Because of political bullshit? Because publicly reliving criminal events in regards to sexual assault is sooooo uncomfortable….boo fucking hoo.

For the record falsely reported cases are so low in percentage that they aren’t even given a number.  Unlike the 20% of the people in whatever room you’re in right now suffering the pain of being an undeniable statistic of factual reports that will damage them for the rest of their lives. And politicians? They can go fuck themselves. Just don’t expect them to ask for consent when they do. 

Christine ford is the definition of bravery. I hold faith that her story was brought to the public eye not to haunt an already wounded supreme court justice nominee, but to remind the voiceless that although some may not believe you, enough people care and only in untold stories and silence, we may have never known. I believe these women because I have to believe that you would believe me too. And that is the entire basis behind the appropriately named movement that is bound to make history.

The Sane Part of Insanity

The Sane Part of Insanity

Am I a fully licensed and accredited therapist now? BECAUSE MY DATING RECORD WOULD SHOW THAT I’VE PUT IN THE HOURS. Totally google-able, totally diagnosable.

I know what I’m doing here. Send my certificate in the mail.

The irony is, Im always the one who winds up being called ‘crazy’. Or at least being made to feel that way. Which, arguably, is way worse. Like, just call me crazy so I can write you off as a prick. Don’t turn this around and send me screen shots of my own text messages. I KNOW THAT I SENT YOU BOTH A HEART AND A KNIFE EMOJI IN SUCCESSION, being confused doesn’t make me unloveable, Chad.

So, get this….turns out, doctors don’t actually officially diagnose people as sociopaths vs psychopaths, but like…they exist. I date them. What the fuck are doctors good for anymore anyway? Pushing the opioid epidemic? Falsely representing the male population with fake diagnosis’ like: “hormonal imbalances”? No. Homeboy has no conscience, I checked for myself.

Literally the only difference between a sociopath and a psychopath is the existence of said conscience and honestly, I think it’s safe to say that this generation is lacking hard in the realm of defining right from wrong.

Right: call her when you say you’ll call

Wrong: literally any other excuse your ass can think up to get his cake and eat it too.

I’ve had harder lessons in how to brush my hair as a kid. Side note: rat’s nest Taryn came out strong.

In my honest opinion there shouldn’t be such an existential variable when it comes to the ability to consider another human beings’ feelings and act appropriately and accordingly. Everyone deserves empathy and frankly those same people also deserve the tools they need to understand a shift in behavior by anybody they’ve invested any [lengthy] amount of time into. ***This is where I should be defining “lengthy” for the crowd. Frankly my “lengthy” is always different than his “lengthy”. Cause this is where men go hard on their genitalia perimeters and dial it back for “time spent telling her that I loved her”.

If you say you owe a stranger nothing, you’re wrong. Strangers are the people who we should be giving just a little more respect to….because it’s not expected and kindness that is least expected is probably the only way out of this generational defect we’ve built around our emotional avoidance in the last two decades; or however long I’ve been alive and trying to co-exist with males.

I always told myself I wouldn’t settle. Not for anything less than what I deserved. All I truly know is….we all deserve not-a-sociopath, AT THE VERY LEAST. Boy did my standards get low…

The Great Depression

The Great Depression

The other day I left work because I couldn’t breathe. I’m not asthmatic, I don’t suffer from anaphylactic allergies, but I do live with occasional debilitating depression, and that was enough to knock the wind completely out of my Wednesday.

I sat in the locker room and tried two separate exercises I had read about online. First, I’d put my head between my knees, breathe in for five seconds, hold for three, and breathe out for seven. Secondly, when those lamaze techniques failed me…I’d walk the fuck out and cry for the entirety of my drive home. Ok fine, that second one wasn’t a Facebook-found life hack, but turns out, watering my lap was crucial to ridding my mind of its toxins.

Side note: I just googled how many fatalities came at the hands of a panic attack and turns out nobody has actually died from one.Could have fooled me.

I beat myself up for hours about not being able to keep myself together enough to function as an adult at a job that hired me to literally just not leave when I’m having a bad day interact professionally. I realized at the end of my panic attack, between my depression and now-guilt for having either of the fore-mentioned mental health glitches that I didn’t need to feel this way about needing a moment. And if that moment turned into a couple hours, which ended up being a whole day…I deserved it, no questions asked.

Im totally aware that when I was a teenager I wasted very undeserved time off on nursing a hang over on a Monday, or bowing out early to Vegas on a Thursday night. And I wish I could go back and tell the drunk and irresponsible me that I’d need those Karma points for half days off work when life might be too overwhelming.

Who am I kidding, 23 year old me would have just handed 31 year old me a beer.Point is, mental health days should be a thing. And as much as them being a thing, they should be advised, not taboo, and if it were up to me…paid time and a half mandatory.

Half of my coworkers would throw a fit if I showed up to work with a cough, but I don’t see any of them cheering me on for staying home when I have the “sads”. I’m aware that you can’t catch my depression, but I’m certain you’d want all the H1N3’s over this prison sentence anyway.

I have to admit that my supervisor and office manager were both super supportive about my premature exit mid week, but I fear that maybe some people with the same prevailing symptoms might not be so lucky. And in that realization, I worry that people sometimes forget that we work to live, we don’t live to work. Unless you’re Britney fucking Spears. We’re killing ourselves pretending every single day we wake up is a day nothing hurts. Being “on” without fail is unrealistic. And covering up the need for a day without added distractions with a “stomach bug” is equivalent to pretending that guns kill people; not the mentally ill. When people asked where I went on Wednesday, I told them I needed a mental health day. And I told them they should take one too if they ever feel like they’re neglecting themselves to the point of tears. In a world of hashtags like #fitfam I can only hope mental health, in its continuum, shows more and more improvement. Having a proactive approach to self care starts with finding ways to avoid work place break downs and providing ourselves the ability to take the time we need to appropriately function. Or else…

Singled Out

Singled Out

Being romantically un-involved used to be an insecurity of mine. One that was carried around with me like a mole I refused to get checked. That was until, I went three plus years having the daunting misfortune of being single without any answers as to why it was so. At some point you just have to come to terms with your fate. Like being significantly tall with a love for heels or tone deaf amidst a family of singers. Most of the time I pretend it’s poor timing or bad luck, but I’m not so naive to believe i’m just not everyone’s cup of tea.

Right around year two I found myself noticing potential reasons, and verbally proclaiming “Yup, this is why I’m single” out loud. The list grew and frankly, if society can’t cope with my quirkiness, fuck it, I hope I never have to commit to being anybody other than me. Not even for frequent sex or someone to help paddle the boat back to shore.

My friends try to make me feel better by throwing Hail Mary’s like: “God’s just not done writing your love story yet”. That’s cute, but I just told potential suitor #1 that I’ve been known to make out with my dog longer than three seconds. Whoops. 


There are handfuls of explanations as to why I’m not married; most of them being because I’m really good at being single, and why screw up a good thing? Do something long enough, and we’re all pro’s. But below are what I think are some of the main causes in no particular order:

  • I’m temperature sensitive- meaning, I can barely think about anything else but being comfortable when it’s too hot or too cold. Some guys find that the amount of times I get up and down to turn on and off the air conditioner is in direct correlation with how indecisive I can be about literally everything else that I have minimal control over. Climate change is only making me more single. Personally, I think I look really cute in your sweatshirt AND also, absolutely nothing. I’ll inevitably tire myself out complaining about the weather, so in my defense…you’re welcome.
  • I’m a grammar Nazi- in light of the recent Charlottesville attacks, I realize that this verbiage may be too soon. But, that leads me to another reason why I’m probably single and that is that I forget the importance of filters. Also, I refuse to date a moron so when your dating profile is riddled with illiteracy I’m privy to assume that you’d turn me off quicker than a clap on lamp. People fancy being dumb, look who we elected president. Men these days don’t want their love letters spell checked, and I get that. But I’d rather be alone than receiving ‘cumming home to ur fine ass 2nite’. #killme
  • I realize dating is a game, and I’m done playing it- three years ago I hosted a personal walk off. I came to terms with the fact that there was nothing in the relationship I was in that would keep me interested in the sport forever. I got back into it; a couple innings here and there. Struck out hard. Not because I was afraid to swing, but because there were hecklers in the stands distracting me from a good play. And also because nobody plays fair. We live in a world where the only way out is cheating. Remember when we were kids? If we caught anybody peeking during heads up seven up, they were dead to us. Frankly, that’s how I roll out my rules as an adult.
  • I’m transparent- for a very long time, I refused to acknowledge that society would view this as a negative. But, I write a blog about bullshit that infuriates me, about the kind of love that excites me, and about reflective moments that I feel everyone can relate to. It’s a blessing and a curse and I see it from more points of view than most people think, but for every man it frightens it allows me a tiny bit of relief, and for that reason alone, I’d rather be single than be quiet. I remember a time when men would complain about their women not telling them how they feel, and making them “guess”. Give me three to five business days and you will have a full article on why I didn’t appreciate you eating the last yogurt… #noteveryonescupofyoplait
  • I’m compulsive- Sounds thrilling, right? I am certain there’s a guy out there for me, but if we are talking majority…I see why most men would find my bucket list overwhelming. I just want to make it to every country before the end of the weekend. Is that too much to ask? Not to be confused with spontaneity, because I usually think these things through way in advance, it’s just that once I set my mind to something I let it control me almost immediately. LAY OFF ME I’M STARVING.
  • I can’t dance- no, like I can’t even do the choreographed songs that come on at the bar. At all. Sweet Caroline? Too many bum-bum-bums…every time. I have less swag than a box of cracker jacks. My generation speaks in movement and I can barely fake-reel-in my dance floor fish without tripping over both left feet. I presume guys are more attracted to the stripper in another life type women. You win this round, twerk-angel.
  • I’m too busy sleeping- last, but certainly not least. If I could date a nap, I would. There is literally nothing more exciting to me than being unconscious from the world for 6-10 hours a day. And unless we meet in my dreams, I doubt we could make this work. I work long hours, on my feet all day and there’s just not enough minutes in a work day to completely be engulfed in a relationship sometimes. Whoever finds themselves changing my relationship status is going to be a professional pajama wearer, thank you 30’s!

I always believe that there’s no reason to be in a relationship until you meet someone who makes your life better than it is when you’re not in one. When I put it that way, it sounds like quite the feat. But, I’m not at a total loss just yet. There’s always hope that someone is going to be a genius wordsmith with dashing good looks, minimal interest in dancing and zero fear. Did I mention ‘smells like bacon’? Hey, a girl can dream…

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. 

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.”

What’s His Role Again? 

What’s His Role Again? 

I’ve been in a phrase-phase lately with my opinions on relationships. Everyone just wants an answer. An answer to what they’re supposed to do to make tolerating another human being for the rest of their lives a hell of a lot easier. The truth is, the more I speak in motivational Pinterest quotes the more I feel like these theories came from our society as a whole and not just my bias opinion on partnership. 

“Nothing worth having comes easy” 

“Life is too short to hide your feelings” 

“Go where you are celebrated-not         tolerated” 

“Unless it’s mad, passionate, or extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. 

As far as advice goes “happy wife; happy life” is the most simple and accurate of an allegation as they come. I get that it’s inherently sexist, but frankly I’m done being censored for the millennial’s of my generation who clap for things like divorce. I’d say happy husband, happy… Well, nothing rhymes with husband. Happy spouse, happy house? There. Responsibility for all. The pitfall in said trope is the definition of what makes for both the first part and the latter to be true. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW it takes two to tango. But what’s a good man’s world without a woman by his side? I guess the same as a good woman’s world without a man by her side. 

For fear of sounding pretentious, I don’t want to say I know exactly what it is, I as a woman, am responsible for when entering a relationship. But, I’m so close to being the spokesperson for a model housewife–it’s scary. In essence, everything I do for my partner is exactly what my partner should do for me. Because, after all, we are a team and our love should be parallel.

So with that said, what exactly does a “happy-enough-wife-for-a-happy-enough-life” entail? What are the man’s roles in a relationship?  

Gentlemen, have you ever walked into a new job without knowing your job description? No. Cause that would be silly to be clocking in and wondering if you are the president of the company or if you are scrubbing toilets. In order to excel, you need to outline your duties and achieve your goals. Same goes for a relationship.

  1. Be a support system. The song wasn’t lying, we’re absolutely holding out for hero. Life is draining. It’s difficult. Frankly it’s down right unfair. If, in these moments of utter weakness, you are able to provide us with a glimpse of positivity even when the easiest route isn’t so, you’ve done your job. Encourage us without babying us. Be the backbone that bends, but refuses to break. Never let us be disrespected by others and certainly never let us disrespect ourselves. 
  2. Provide. Gender roles in previous generations have geared the nature of men to provide to be mostly of monetary value. Previous to that; shelter. These days, swapping stigmas in such a way that allows your partner a “day off” from their gender role is endearing. Men should take on chores just the same as woman should bring home income. If we feel the need to work and provide, then men should make a meal, take out the trash, clean the house just the same as a woman does. It’s not about “who should do what”, it’s about mutually contributing in your relationship.
  3. Stay a prize. Someone once told me that if a man stays his wife’s boyfriend, she won’t go looking for another. Makes sense. A good rule of thumb for life in general is to never let yourself go. Never is life so certain that you won’t need to be your best to gain continued desire from your partner. There are many reasons why people stop focusing on their appearance, none of which should be “we’ve been together long enough”. Always maintain control of your own life so that guilt or blame can not be placed on your spouse. Attraction is essential for healthy longevity. 
  4. Make decisions. The only reason people don’t make decisions is for fear of making a mistake. A man must stay confident in his jurisdiction throughout a relationship as options arise. We, as women, look to a man to provide resolution. I realize I have unlimited personal freedom, but as my partner having the manly decision making of a spouse is a role I feel needs to be filled. 
  5. Love unconditionally. This is the show, not tell segment of a man’s role. The most important thing a woman can do for your relationship is to love herself completely; and without hesitation. The most important thing a man can do for his relationship is behave in a manner that is indicative of his affection for her without conditions. The way he reacts, speaks and touches his partner should always be in a way that shows her his love no matter what she does or doesn’t do. Loving her for who she is, always; despite differences. 

It’s 2016, traditional roles are blurred, but the essentials are still intact. Sure, women aren’t just baby factories and laundry machines but then again men are no longer barbaric hunters who’s only job is to keep women and their offspring from perishing. No set of rules…err…roles will ever be suitable for every household or relationship. But guidelines help keep the idea of a woman’s needs less of a daunting task and, well…lets just say “manageable”. Good luck!