Monday.

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Sometimes I wake up and it’s Monday, and all the words I wish I could have said sit in my chest and pin me to the mattress.

Monday, a day where it snows. The day after Valentine’s.

A day where the only thing that I can see is the coffee stain on my white sheets, and red blotches of love on the wall.

A day where the frigid air bites at my knees through my jeans.

A day when my new apartment feels more familiar than my skin. A day when I walk around it touching the walls as if to make sure they won’t crumble.

A day where my bones feel as heavy as my winter boots.

Sometimes I wonder if the cold is all I’ll ever know, but the week goes on, and it gets better.

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“If you’re going through hell, keep going” -Winston Churchill

This is what happens when my heart is broken

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Maybe if I write everything will be okay again. Maybe if I stop talking, things will make sense. I’m sure that maybe one day, if I keep a record, I will be able to trace my steps back to yesterday. Or tomorrow. And then, it will all be clear to me. This is a good way to live, I think. A life of using words like band aids has taught me that if I care enough to write about it, it was probably worth it.

So here I go. Words.

I think if my skin were a person it would put up a “For Rent” sign. I think it would look for a new tenant, someone more honest and responsible. I think if my heart were not a complex organ with tons of shit to do, it would bleed.

I am convinced that I was born to long for something off in the distance. No matter where I was currently standing.

I miss my family. I miss my mother, and I will never see her again because I am gay. I am so angry because she broke my heart, and I’m still so sorry because I know that I broke hers too.

I don’t feel smart anymore, I feel like I fall short of the lowest expectations and I am insecure again, like, even my hands shake before I’ve written a word.

I want to change the world, but I am too tired. I sleep. And when I wake up, with the sunlight cutting through my grief. I am so aware of how lucky I am and how beautiful the world is,

You can’t have it all but there is

coffee with hazelnut creamer willing to kiss your lips even if they tremble.

a full plate of vegetarian Tacos  to catch your tears during dinner.

You can’t bring back the dead but you can have the memory of your grandmother challenge the slump

of your shoulders

and you can have laundry detergent sticking to your fingers

the way the way words seem to stick to

your throat

and you can’t go back,

but you can stand in place, and look around.

You can wake again, to sunlight resting on the porcelain skin of her every morning

and interrupted dreams where you could almost feel your brother’s laughter

in your lungs

And you can have the promise that if my sorrow could be forgotten for a thing,

she’d bring me the mountains, and a rock from the bottom of the

Connecticut River.

And you can’t press, but you can send,

signs that you are still a person

to the man that was walking his dog back home.

You get to have a mother

who fucked up but raised you

with a voice,

that is heard,

even when it shakes,

and that’s why you’re out

out on your ass and out

of the closet,

and you can’t go back but you can dream about it at 11:53 AM on Wednesday,

when the pages and screens blur.

And you can’t have your mother but you can have a mind that she loved

that is so yours

and so not theirs.

And you can have sunsets over used book stores and

a chance to unplug, unravel, and undo.

You can have wine and The Trapeze Swinger echoing in your head

and you can live on the brink of tears, while laughing anyway

 

You can have the shelter of your skin

and the promise that it wont abandon you.

You have clothing sold for gas money and bills

Love letters that break your mother’s heart

and  opened yours.

 

With smooth wrists, and slim fingers resting in your hair while you sleep

You can have love still, though you’ve considered all the facts

You can write, and you can feel, and you can build a home in your chest and you can call it the truth.

Line by line you  have fingers less numb, typing:

you can’t have it all…

but there is this.

***

 

From tumblr

***I wrote this poem to practicce gratitude, it inspired by Barbara Ras’ (“You Cant Have it All”)

Dear July,

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July 10, 2015

I had lunch with a friend today, and it felt really really good.

And as I approached my home I realized that I didn’t want the day to end, because it was all just so uplifting and so genuine and I was afraid of what waited for me.

I think my last letter to you really shows how dark I’m allowing myself to become. It’s hard because it seems inevitable. How sad is that? That being sad is inevitable for me.

I think that is often the most common misconception about depression, that there are choices to be made in how it’ll affect you.

But there really is a helplessness I feel. July, even on my happiest days, burrowed deep inside of me, there is sorrow, that is insatiable and mysterious, and I don’t want this. The ache can be crippling.

So

I straightened my hair and put on make up today, I wore an outfit that I felt confident in, I am going out with my boy later and I saw my dear friend. I had a piece of cake, no calories counted, no shits given. I made those choices. I chose to live well today, to be happy, though I’ve considered all the facts. I choose to ceaselessly chase that which brings me joy, because I deserve to feel good even if for just a moment. I am trying to remember the love that is around me when I can’t find it within, and I can only hope that I can maintain this. I know that this is a temporary moment for me, as I will fall sad again, I’m trying to be okay with that.

And thank you, July, for your constancy, I’ve known you all my life,  you aren’t the reason for my pain, despite my passive accusations in the last letter. You have brought me beauty as well. I must remember that.

Aliya

“let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Dear July,

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July 9, 2015

It’s hard to write you because I’ve worked 8-hour-closing-shifts for more days than it seems possible, and in my haze of work and sleep I’ve grown melancholy again.

I’ve always been the strange kid who finds summer unbearable, you must know that by now July, as you and I always meet when I am in depression.

You, July, often see me at my worst, when my body begins to grow heavy.

Heavy with guilt, for not getting out of bed until evening. Heavy with all the food I hate moving sluggishly through my body. Heavy with the absence of beloved friends who I swore I’d see. Heavy with the sadness of few plans, and few people who I’m sure don’t even think of me.

These days I think about money and whether or not I am ever going to be truly happy. I think about love and whether I’ll ever deserve it.

I know I have these moments of profound introspection and reflection, and I know that I’ve grown a lot.

But July, you bring the quiet before the storm, you silence the noise of fake friends and faux happiness and leave me here to reflect on the seemingly emptiness that surrounds me.

How can I say this when I love so many people and often become overcome with inspiration and gratitude? I don’t know. That’s the scary part. I see beauty and inspiration all the time, but when the noise dies down and I’m left just myself, I feel nothing. I am nothing.

Aliya

Dear July,

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Kind of July 3, 2015 (but actually July 4)

The calendar says it’s Saturday July 4, but my Friday is just coming to an end.

I worked all day. The closing shift. I am tired, and to be honest July, writing you is already beginning to feel like a chore.

But I’ve got to tell you about something I’ve come to realize, after about a month of being a cashier,  and that is, how important kindness is in this busy fast moving world.

It’s a cliche of course, but one that was never super applicable to my callous self. I mean my moody unfriendliness is apart of my charm, so I’ve been told.

But there is nothing quite like being on your feet for six of the eight hours in your shift, after many keys being flung at you, eyes being rolled, heated muttering about rising grocery prices, spluttering sadly to a stressed looking mother that her card has been declined, being cussed out about a 32 cent coupon, and having someone prattle off their phone number before you can finish your introductory spiel; than having someone compliment your wild hair, or simply ask how my day’s going.

Those people who make little jokes, and ease the tension while standing in the long lines of shopping carts holding fourth of July goods. The older customers who marvel at my ability to lift cases of water, or squat down to grab something beneath a cart, that makes me happy. Or the old woman who tried to pronounce my name, and exclaiming that it was the most beautiful she’d ever heard.

Even the coworkers, who greet me with camaraderie, familiarity and sincerity. I appreciate that.

July, I guess I’m just trying to say, that amidst the desperate savings/money hoarding for the much needed college shopping trip, I haven’t the privilege  to not endure my often brutal position in the abyss of mass consumerism. Therefore, I have learned to smile over the little kind things that creep their way into the daily grind, and that because of this, I am going to try to be a bit more kind to people myself.

Time for bed, I work again tomorrow.

Aliya

afterlight

Dear July,

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July 2, 2015

The first thing I thought about, when I realized you’d come again, was how much I’ve changed, and how anti-climactic it all feels.

Is it maybe because I put so much energy into dreaming and idealizing this moment in my life? Promising myself during the darker times that all the light was right here, and that’s why I kept pushing forward. Graduation, College, and…Boys? Weight Loss?

It wouldn’t be fair to say that this is a lie. I am healthier than I’ve ever been, I have and continue to meet good friends, my young budding romance is still exciting, and I have plenty to look forward to in the coming months.

But July, I am still hungry for more. I am restless. I am home sick for a place I’ve never been. My skin is crawling with ideas and adventures that my pocket is unready for and though I have come to find love in this little village, I am uninspired and exhausted in its complacency. I am ready to run.

For now, I will take joy in the books that take me away from here, and the quiet breakfasts where I can reflect, coffee in one hand, pen and paper in the other.

Aliya

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Important Realizations

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I think the real problem is that I have no idea what I want, and rather than face this, I fabricate a ten year plan and disassociate myself from my dreams, longings and wandering mind.

I am afraid of failure, so rather than try to obtain what I’d like, I settle for what is stable, obtainable, and more likely to not leave me.

I haven’t had the courage yet to really accept that I am a dreaming creative soul, consumed in wanderlust and often melancholy introspection.

But this is who I am, and my new ten year plan is to not only accept the thirsty nature of my soul, but to satiate it with adventure, love, independence, and knowledge.

It is time to pick back up the pen, and face the inspiration in this big world rather than fear it. There has never been such an opportune moment for me to reach out in search for something better, and I must.

I must.

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Lists for the time being

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watching/ the Bay, the bridge, and the sky from the passenger seat of a blue Jetta

reading/ East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee

eating/ hummus & pita chips, pea soup, and everything bagels

listening/ The Chain by Ingrid Michaelson, Dog Days by Florence + the Machine, Cheers by Blake Mills, Kelly Clarkson oldies.

trying/ To be proud of my changing and reliable body

drinking/ lemon water & herbal teas

practicing/ needle work, writing words, and investing more time in books

wearing/ dresses with pantyhose, converses and knitted socks, handmade crocheted scarves

focusing/ on securing myself a position in college

loving/ long good talks

hating/ unyielding schedules

thinking/ about the summer

finished/ The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

learning/ how to drive

beginning/ to feel good again

Words to heal by:

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

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Older now

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18 years old. 18 years past. Spent. Gone. Lived.

The surprise is ceaseless when yet another year has passed. Age is unfathomable and unsettling and beautiful, a constant reminder that I am here, still, I am here. How beautiful is that?

No matter how many times I’ve come undone in year 17, I am whole, and I am older and I’ve learned, and things have changed.

Here I am,  with more books to read, places to see, ache to feel, and arms to sink into.

I am so scared and so ready for this.

I spent this birthday encompassed in the simple. Simple companionship. Cheap Mexican food with friends, than old and familiar Diner food with my family. My nails were painted blue, and little presents received. The sun shone in comradery. Strangers that I’ve known for years wished me well, and old lovers, family also, remained silent.

I suppose my 18th birthday was another opportunity to gain perspective, and also gratitude. Another reminder that, for yet another year, I continue to be; and people are glad.

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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I, I, and I again.

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I feel like my senior year has consisted of me constantly trying to say, “I am worthy” “I am good.” This is an exhausting way to live. I mean, when you say something enough, you start to believe it, right? Well that’s what they say, but in my case, I just shrink further and further into myself, and minimize any good that I do possess.

I don’t think the college application process is healthy for people like me. For people prone to self-deprecation/self-doubt. I used to know that I was, in some ways, worthy. I was sure, in most circumstances, that I was intelligent. But now I’m not so sure.

I am a dim, flickering bulb on the grand chandelier of ambition, hanging over the heads of the “haves” alongside those that would like to one day. I am a desk lamp, trying to illuminate a ballroom. I am light, but not bright enough to be seen among others. I am the dim, fading, flickering bulb beside those that shine. So flawed and easily replaced.