Today someone said to me that the light in my eyes has returned. It struck me (in a good way) to hear that. I know the moment that it came back. It was the moment I decided to stop dating.
For three years I’ve bounced from date to date from guy to guy, crashing and burning over and over and over again, convinced in the end that I was incapable of sustaining a romantic relationship, that I was somehow less than, unworthy. The more I dated the more I lost myself.
About a month ago I called it quits, not from exasperation, but from a deep desire to explore my own heart, discover what I love and feed my passions with as much attention as they deserve. For the first time in three years all the pressure is gone and I’m rediscovering the girl I once was, a girl unafraid to sing her spirit, that dances in the car like no one is watching.
I never thought I’d say that the best decision I ever made for myself was to stop dating, after all, we all want to find true love and everyone says the only way to find it is to put yourself out there. But if there’s one lesson I can take away from this last month of soul searching it’s that there’s no hurry.
There’s something about the close of the weekend that requires epic introspection. Now is the time, when everyone is winding down and setting their Monday morning alarm clocks, to take a few moments and reflect on what’s running most prominently through your brain.
Sometimes I struggle with these hours of solitude, feeling lost in their isolation, afraid of the silence. Other times I welcome the freedom. Tonight I feel both with equal weight.
I used to write all the time, even when I didn’t have a poem in mind. I was a regular at a couple cafes and coffee shops and would set aside blocks of time to make myself at home in their booths, put my feet up, and figure out something to say that day. I can’t write like that anymore, can’t draw inspiration from nothing, concoct a story or rework a random memory into anything with any meaning. These days I only write when I have no choice, when something is going through my mind that I need to get out, and that itch to write is so consuming that I won’t be able to sleep until it’s out.
Today was about obsession. I listened to the same song on repeat all day long. I’m not kidding. This isn’t an exaggeration. I’m not so secretly crushing on the band’s frontman and I can’t get enough of it. The song, “In the End” by Black Veil Brides, is a metal anthem that begs for attention. There’s a reason the video has 49 MILLION views on YouTube. Today I added a couple more hundred to that count. After a day like that, trapped in the grips of passion, the outpouring of emotion, the crying of an entire generation summed up in about 4 minutes, I needed to write a poem. I NEEDED to write a poem. I needed my voice heard too.
Our hearts are our own to hold and our own to love. One of my good friends made the point a few days ago that 99% of all our romantic relationships will fail until one day it doesn’t. Through it all, we must always remember to love ourselves no matter how hopeless we may become at times, no matter how much we feel like the ugly duckling that no one wants.
I put my iTunes on shuffle this morning and the first 3 songs that came up all had the word “daydream” in the title. I wonder how much time in the day I spend lost in my own head, making up stories and pretending like I did as a kid. We never really grow out of that. We just learn to act out the scenes inside our brains instead of with toys.
I’ve started writing in a diary. I’ve found I like the senseless entries, writing whatever comes to my mind, confessing secrets, knowing no one is ever going to read these words (hopefully). One of my favorite teachers back in college used to tell us to write for 15 minutes a day, no matter what it was. The whole point was to develop the discipline to write. I used to write lists of what I did that day or complain about my homework. But then I finished that class and the journal entries stopped.
About two months ago I started them again, maybe not every single day, but whenever I feel like it. This poem is inspired by what I wrote in my journal today during my lunch break, scribbles about it being February and how it’s the month of love. It provoked a particular memory, something profound that happened to me in a February past, and before I knew it, I’d written this poem.
The weather’s bringing me down today. Side note: I’m also obsessed with this FOB song.
This is usually the moment I tell you to make the most of the rest of your weekend, but that would be hypocritical as I’m currently sitting on a couch in the dark basement of my parents’ house. At least I’m listening to pop punk.
Today is one of the rare afternoons on a weekday that I have nothing to do. It’s in those times that I tend to think too much, thinking about every aspect of my life, and not in a healthy way. I have a habit of looking too closely at the minutes of a day, wondering too much about why I’m doing what I’m doing and making a list of all the things that are missing. I envy the people that live so carefree, loving the moment and embracing alone time with love. I wonder if they’re acting.
Who knows what makes two people compatible. What is it about someone that ignites the spark and electrifies our desires? It’s breathtaking when that happens, but equally as profound is the absence of that spark, when just getting through dinner feels like crawling on hands and knees through the mud.