All I did was care,
And all you did was not.
All I did was care,
And all you did was not.
My feelings stir inside my soul,
Like the infinite waters of the ocean,
A thought, a place, a memory,
Can arise my heart to motion.
Anger pulses through my veins,
A dark storm of rage,
Deep inside it is unleashed,
From its boned cage.
Floods of heartache submerge me,
Sadness sweeps across my skin,
A longing of missing you,
Drowns me from within.
I can’t contain these feelings,
These moods they ebb and flow,
Of things left unsettled,
Of answers I’ll never know.
Two years of laughter and smiles,
Of exploring new places,
Of talking about our days,
Of fighting and making up,
Of holding hands and cuddling,
Of picking each other up,
Of watching each other grow,
Of struggles and of successes,
Of being there for each other,
Two years of growing to know you….gone.
Now you are no more than a stranger to me.
I’m amazed how you can love and care about someone so deeply,
Only to have them vanish from your life.
It makes you wonder if you ever were really that important….
How much hate I feel.
How much hurt I feel.
How sad I feel.
How uncared for I feel.
How unloved I feel.
How used I feel.
How wronged I feel.
How forgettable I feel.
How angry I feel.
How betrayed I feel.
How bitter I feel.
To the guy that I never thought would make me feel these ways.
I feel them all.
I wish I could say you loved me.
I know you did.
At some point.
You did all the nice things you were programed to do.
Open the door.
Buy me things.
Asked me about my day.
Things any boyfriend would do.
You loved me.
You’d drive 14 hours to see me just for a weekend.
You’d drive over to my house
Just to make me a smoothie
Because I was sick.
You’d send me funny things
While I was bored at work.
And pick me up from the train station
After a long day.
We’d do crosswords together.
And go on river walks.
You’d read and edit my writing.
Because I suck at grammar.
You’d talk about the future,
And I never had to question a thing.
You loved me.
For a while.
But something changed.
When was that?
Was it when you said you wanted to be in an open relationship?
When you said you questioned if I was the girl for you?
When you stopped texting me sweet nothings?
When you hung out with your friends more than me?
When you put more of an effort into your friendships that your relationship,
going on walks with them, trying new things with them,
Doing all the things I was trying to do with you?
When I told you how this made me feel,
And you did it anyway.
When I asked you to talk to a therapist about us?
You never did.
Or if you did,
You certainly didn’t try.
Or was it when you kept making excuses?
Of not wanting to tour my office?
Or meet my friends?
Or go camping with me?
Or do anything with me?
And I waited.
I fucking waited for you.
I waited a year.
Of long distances.
I waited a summer of internships.
I waited nine months of working opposite schedules.
I waited another summer of school.
I waited for those vacations we used to have.
I waited for those camping trips you said we’d do.
I waited for those restaurants we’d try.
I waited and waited.
Until I couldn’t wait no more.
I couldn’t wait for you to be that guy who I saw in the beginning.
Who loved me.
And now that I’m out of your life,
Now I see you doing the things,
I kept wanting to do with you.
Now that I’m out of your life,
You finally have the time to do those things.
Now that I’m out of your life,
Now I realize that you didn’t love me.
Because if you loved me,
We would still be together.
Every time I hold my breath,
Waiting for your text,
I turn blue.
You convince yourself you’re moving on,
Posting photos to that dusty profile page,
Going to familiar places,
Trying to patch over old memories,
It isn’t gratitude you’re hashtagging,
It is your damaged ego,
Convincing yourself you’re moving on,
Who are you trying to convince?
Me or you?
So it all started when I went to have my coffee…
I love coffee. I love the taste. I love the smell. I love the smooth liquid sliding down my throat and warming me from the inside out. I love coffee so much, that I moved to Seattle. Okay, I’m kidding about that last part, but living in the Coffee City of America is a definite plus.
I started my addiction to the java bean at a young age. Every Labor day weekend when I was young, back when elementary school started Mid-September, my family would go camping. My birthday also happens to usually fall on Labor day weekend, and every year for my birthday, my dad would make me a special cup of coffee. It was my favorite present. This tradition continued until I got old enough to make my own coffee, and then, coffee sort of became this unspoken bond between my father and I. I think for us, it was an ode to those years camping, and the memories we had.
Since I’ve been a coffee junkie for a while, I definitely have my specific tastes when it comes to how I prepare my coffee. First, I use whole coffee beans and grind them each morning. This way, the coffee’s oil is at its most flavorful. Second, I use Arabica coffee beans that are dark roasted. In my opinion, this is a bold flavor for those who enjoy the true essence of coffee. I then use the drip brewing method to preserve and enhance the taste of my coffee. Lastly, as I am still sort of a wuss, I sweeten it up a bit with some almond milk and honey.
Honey. My second addiction. I love honey. I love the taste. I love the different types. I love the golden color. I love that it’s natural. Problem is, beside the fact that the bee population is dwindling, is that honey isn’t cheap. Nor should it be I suppose, if you think about all the hard work the bees to do produce that honey. Anyways, to cut down on costs, I’ve been using less honey, which means my coffee is becoming less sweet.
As it so happens, today, I did not put any honey in it. I figured I’d try and go with just the almond milk. It’s the closest thing I could get to straight black coffee….the coffee lover’s goal. Quite proud of myself for taking a step toward this accomplishment, I went to “the Facebook” to brag.
At first, I wanted to come up with something witty about how Seattle is turning me into a coffee pro. But…pro wasn’t the right word. I was practically already a pro. I had my preferences, my methods. No…to drink black coffee, you have to be brave. No, brave wasn’t right either. Brave sounds like you’re afraid to drink black coffee. But that’s the whole goal! Yeah it’s hard to drink black coffee starting off and like the taste. To drink black coffee, is to drink like a man. That is essentially what I wanted to say. Drinking coffee like a man, tough, bold, strong.
But I couldn’t. I couldn’t write that. Drinking coffee ‘like a man’ isn’t a proper way to describe an action. So I went to the thesaurus, being sure there was a proper word to describe this feeling. There wasn’t. In the end, I typed masculine, to find the synonyms I was looking for, bold, strong, brave, honorable. Under synonyms were the antonyms, weak, shy, timid, cowardly, feminine.
At this point I didn’t even care about the coffee post on Facebook. I was appalled. I was appalled that we associated these characteristics with these genders, which often get confused with our physical sex. To be a woman is to be feminine, and to be feminine is apparently weak, shy, timid, and cowardly.
Our society accepts this. I mean, it’s in a thesaurus for crying out loud. Is this what we want to teach our children….our girls? That being a female is associated with these qualities? These qualities that confine us and limit our power and potential as humans? We need to start redefining what being a female is. It is not weak. It is not cowardly. Being a woman is what we make it.
Feminism is growing, and women are standing up more and more for their rights. Seeing a bit of sexism written in a book on the English language shows me that we need to culturally redefine our interpretations and beliefs on women and what we are capable of…
like drinking a cup of black coffee.
So I am not sure if you are aware or not, but I no longer live in the state of Illinois. In fact, I have moved out of the Midwest to live life in the Pacific Northwest with my boyfriend, Tom. Just two weeks ago, we packed up our cars and drove about 2,000 miles to Seattle, Washington. We are both starting new chapters in our lives. He is attending Bastyr School of Naturopathic Medicine, while I plan to develop my career in Interior Design.
Even though I am an efficient planner, organizer, and manager, moving to a new city can frazzle the best of us. It is stepping into the unknown with the hope and inner wisdom that it will all be worth it in the end. These past two weeks have weighed heavily on my stress and emotions. I’ve even broken down in a Wholefoods, which seems to be a theme in my Seattle Wholefood experiences. I wish I could blame it all on the full moon, but I had a realization that I am just someone who likes ‘knowing’. This whole ‘stepping out into the unknown’ has put my desire for peace, order, and control into full-drive and my sanity can only take so much…
We are at the stage now of organizing our apartment. Usually, I like organizing, but it’s quite a challenge when you’re trying to fit three cars worth of stuff into 325 square feet of space (I guess my dream of ‘tiny living’ is coming true). Anywho, I’ve gotten to unpacking my crystals. Maybe it’s the energy, I don’t know, but unwrapping my earthy beauties from their newspaper packaging filled me with the feeling of Christmas day as a child. All the excitement and joy I got when I got to touch and see them made me relax, and for the first time in a while, I was calm. I wasn’t thinking about the millions of things we still need to do. I was living in the moment. I was having fun.
This experience made me realize that I need to have more moments like these. That I need to allow myself more moments like these. Yes, I am someone who likes order and having a plan. But I also need to have fun every now and then. Sometimes I think of fun as childish, but sometimes being childish is the key to a happier and healthier self. Note to self: Act more like a child.
It’s 5:42 am, central time, and I cannot sleep. In less than five hours I will be on the road heading to my new home in Seattle. Ever since the summer of 2014, when I took my first road trip out west and saw the magnificent Emerald City, I have wanted to live there. Manifesting my dream for the past two years, I snatched the opportunity and today, I am making this dream a reality.
As the excitement of a new city is on the horizon, I cannot help but feel bittersweet about this moment. There is an underlying sadness of the ending to a chapter of my life. I have grown up and lived in the same town all my life (St. Charles, Illinois), and my roots are deep in the midwest. There are so many memories engrained here, and as I laid in bed last night, I could not help but reflect on them…
West of the city of St. Charles, on the outskirts of town, is a subdivision that is home to a plethora of ranch-style homes. In this subdivision, nestled on 1 1/2 acres, there is a split-level ranch with a long driveway and a mushroom painted mailbox as a marker for all the new comers who have trouble finding the address. I have lived in this house all my life. That is my home. I know its bones, its history. I can tell you that on a summer eve, if you are swimming in the pool, you can see the fruit bats that come out to eat the bugs, and you better dive under water for shelter. I can tell you about the chorus frogs that sing in the late spring in the marsh behind our property. Or about the one room in the house, my bedroom, that is the coldest room in the winter and the hottest room in the summer. Or the apple trees in our backyard. I can go on and on, because to me, this place will always be my home.
My Friends & Family
I am someone who when it comes to friendships, chooses quality over quantity. I have always had a small group of fiends, and while these groups may have changed thought the years, there have always been one or two people who have remained close to, and I can call them lifelong friends. My first and longest friendship started when I was six, and my new neighbors moved in. They had a young daughter my age, and our first playdate turned into a 18+ year friendship. Our childhood was spend in our backyards playing make-believe, and our tween years were spent in our basements playing N64 and Playstation. I went to her wedding last May, and our friendship is irreplaceable. Then in high school, freshman year I was on the dive team. At my school, though we shared a pool with the swimmers, swimming and diving are two different worlds. However, there was a senior swimmer that took interest in me, and I became her “surrogate daughter”. Even after she graduated, we remained friends, and even bought me my first drink when I turned 21. When I started college, I remember not knowing anyone at the school, and for the first couple days, I was a ball of nerves and tears, but as fate would have it, I sat at a table with three other folks who I developed a connection with. They were my “dysfunctional family” and we would joke about our relationship. I of course was the grandma, as my responsible nature gave me that title. I kept in contact with one of the group-members, and we still call each other “grandson” and “grandma”. Lastly, there is my family at the Crystal Shop where I worked these past two years. I had only been working there for three months when we hired on a new staff member who was still in high school. When I first met him, I thought, “Oh, dear god.” as I didn’t quite appreciate his sense of humor at the time. But we slowly grew into a great duo, and even created our own podcast and music videos, which I am pretty sure are still up on Youtube. All of these people I have kept near and dear to my heart, and I cannot help but feel sadness in knowing that I won’t have those face-to-face moments as often as I had.
Like I said, it’s exciting starting a new chapter, but with starting something new means that something present will have to come to an end. All of the memories and moments I have from these past 24 years I will cherish. As I drive out today, I feel like I am leaving a part of me behind. I sort of wish I was. That I could be in two places at once. I guess that is a part of growing up. To make these tough choices, knowing that you need to leave something behind in order to move forward. I will miss you Illinois. Even though your corn fields are the worst to drive past, your temperatures fluctuate more than a PMSing woman, and you have a horrible bug problem, I will miss you.