it’s not the same for me. i am a little jealous of others at times.
in my world, one stays in a bottle. one stays in a buffer zone. three others i wouldn’t know, and don’t care either way. seven more i’ve never known more than in passing, decades ago. so i look longingly at those who have it. i have been a third wheel my whole life. when he tells me they walk in gardens, i’m wistful.
once upon i time i had little pieces of that. once upon a time i had a substitute. most of my life i’ve relied on others to give me what i wish i had in her. aunties, i call them. the other day i was in a room full of strength, wanting to lean on them all. please, look after me.
i don’t know how to accept ten percent of what i really need. not anymore.
on this day, i look back at you, i am thankful for you, i am part of you. but i am not you. i take what you’ve given me and use it differently.
there was a girl once with bright orange hair who had what some would call naivete. she saw the world in a different way and in our adventures, i became looser, open, more generous in spirit. through a dark night in the city as a girl, i met a friend who was a moment of impact realized years later. it’s been years but i still consider that relationship one of the great gifts of my life. she helped me see how i could be more, be different from where i originated.
ironically, you adored her.
and i realize in my mind that i cannot change you, that you may just not be capable of it. but since i’ve lost the man who showed me generosity, i cannot find the tolerance to accept those who live with such high walls and closed hearts. you chose the path of hurt rather than the path of resolution, and i had to walk away.
but i take the gifts of then and i keep them close. the garden. the travel. the written word. the food. the laugh. the passion.
and i let the others fall away. the anger. the closemindedness. the way you said you didn’t like me and the way you ignored my deepest pain. the way when i tried to talk about it that you shut me down, threw it back at me like hot oil, scalding my insides until there were only scars. i wanted to walk through the pain, to find a new path with you, but this was…impossible.
there was a man once with dark brown hair. he spent seventeen years in my heart and mind and taught me about who i was. and who i wasn’t. he showed me that tradition is what you make of it, and helped release me from preconceived notions. he was my best friend. i saw my lowest lows and i saw how a need for love can overtake the understanding of what love is. i know he loved me very much. but not in the way i needed, and with rules i could not follow, a life in a bottle, and a level of dependency that i could not comprehend.
but i moved on, i evolved, i learned. my choices have improved, my dreams have gotten bigger, my life is not representative of my past, but rather a collection of the lessons learned and a new path forged.
there is something new now. there is less fear. there is someone who sees these layers and sees even more (whole) (sweet) (strong) (good). he gives. he receives. i’m beautiful in my imperfection. i’m alive in my present. i’m more powerful than i ever dreamt i could be. i’m softened yet i’m more resolved. i’m independent of then.
(i am beloved.)
I know I am restless and make others so, I know my words are weapons full of danger, full of death, For I confront peace, security, and all the settled laws, to unsettle them, I am more resolute because all have denied me than I could ever have been had all accepted me (excerpt, Whitman)