Monday, March 30, 2009

I wonder ...

So here's a little poem I've been working on for a while. It's not complete and I'm not really satisfied with where it's at, but I figured I'd go ahead and post it up here. If you like it, great. If not, I really couldn't care less.
_ _ _ _ _

I don't know if I ever stopped thinking about her
Or if I just pushed her farther back into my mind
I can’t decide if I will ever forgive her
Or if I will ever be whole again
I feel like I haven’t been myself since she left
Like I’m a stranger
I look into the mirror
And I don’t know who stares back
The life I used to live
And the person I used to be
Seem more like a movie I was watching
Than a life I was living

She took part of me with her
A part I’m not sure I will get back
I do my best to forget
But you can only hide from yourself so long
Before you begin to lose yourself too
And you can only pretend so long
Before you must tell yourself the truth
And you can only run so far
Before you must face what you’re running from
And you can only avoid looking in the mirror so long
Before you forget what you look like

And so I think about her
I replay every second that became two years
I relive every moment in slow motion
And I wonder if I ever cross her mind
If she still loves me
If she ever misses me
If she ever talks about me
But mostly I wonder
If she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

Because I miss her
And not an hour goes by
That she doesn't cross my mind
Not a day passes that I don’t wish
At least for a second
That I can travel through time
And watch her fall asleep once more
Or have just another day in our apartment
Or have one last kiss
But now I spend my nights alone
Wondering if she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

And I wonder what’s she’s doing
How she’s feeling
I wonder about her mom
Her dad, her friends, her brother
I think about her aunts
And her grandmother
And her cats
But mostly I think about her
And I wonder if she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

I hope she does
I hope she remembers what we had
I hope she hasn’t forgotten everything we used to be
Or everything she meant to me
How I used to hold her
Or tickle her knees
How I was always there when she needed me
And even when she didn’t
I hope she’ll never forget
Our love
Because I won’t

Because I remember:
I never felt as alive
As when I looked into her eyes
As when she said “I love you”
Or when I fell asleep by her side
My heart never beat faster
Than when I saw her face
Or when she played our song
I was never happier
Than when I did nothing with her
Or when I saw my reflection in her eyes
Or when she said she loved me

Sometimes the loneliness is unbearable
I cry myself to sleep once a week
If I’m lucky
I don’t sleep because I don’t want to dream about her
So I stay up
And she fills my thoughts
I try to imagine what she’s doing
How she’s feeling
What she’s thinking
How she’s sleeping
If she’s missing
Any part of me
Any of what we used to have
Any of what we used to be
So I cry myself to sleep
Once a week
If I'm lucky

I wonder if anyone will see in me
What she saw
If anyone will feel for me
What she felt
If anyone will say to me
What she said
If anyone will hold me
The way she did
If anyone will love me
Like she did
I wonder if I will find in another
What I had with her
If I will ever be as happy
As I was in her arms
But mostly I wonder
If she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It was just time

If there's one thing I can count on in life, it's that I will always be surprised.

Yesterday I did the one thing I haven't done in almost three months. The last time I talked to her it was 2008.

I can't explain what changed in one day that made me do it. And honestly, I probably never will. The best I can come up with was that it was just time.

I never had a grand plan about how all of this would go down. Even when I called her I didn't know what to say. I've never had an idea how it would all play out. Sometimes I think people have this notion that I'm orchestrating some well-thought out scheme about this whole situation. They're fucking crazy.

I just take one day at a time. One step at a time. That's all I know to do.

For some reason there was something about Sunday night that just seemed right. I can't explain what it was. It was just time.

I've learned not to look at decisions I make as good or bad, simply decisions. It's impossible to have anything happen to you that is completely good or completely bad. Everything has pieces of both in it. The question is really just which side you concentrate on.

You just have to do what seems right in the moment. Later, after you've had the benefit of time, hindsight might prove you right or wrong. But regardless, at least you can go to bed each night knowing that you weren't afraid to do what you felt in your heart.

That's what I did. I took a risk. Calling her was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time. After so long without so much as a text, the easy option was just to keep ignoring her and pretending like she didn't exist. Not calling was the easy option.

Facing my past, not running from my demons, taking a risk that could have blown up in my face - that was the hard thing. I would be lying if I said seeing her again was easy. It brought back a lot of memories and emotions I didn't really want to relive. Still, I'm glad I went.

The road of forgiveness and friendship is long. But like any journey, it depends upon thousands of small steps. Here's to making the steps, even the difficult ones.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bucking tradition

I ate meat last night for the first time in 5 years.

I don't know why I did it. I just did. I really can't explain what came over me and made me want to eat it.

All I know is that for about as long as I can remember and all of my adult life I haven't eaten meat. It's as much a part of who I am as anything else I know. One-quarter of my life I have been a vegetarian.

But when people ask me why I don't eat meat I hesitate. I hate explaining it. Lately I've realized that I don't eat meat because I never have. It's just something I've always done. It's as ingrained in me as anything else I know. It's like breathing.

So that's why I think I decided to have a hamburger for the first time in years.

I'm at a point in my life where I need to question everything I do or don't do. I need to decide who I am and what I believe. I need to push my comfort level to see who I really am.

So I think I am - occasionally - going to eat meat again. I don't know why but I feel like it's time for a change in my life. It's time for me to discover who I am and not be limited by who I've been in the past.

I feel like before I can be me I have to explore all my options. I have to push my boundaries and do things I've never done before.

Only then I can truly know who I am and where I fit into this world. Only after I've pushed myself into a new frontier and challenged my perception of who I am can I find myself.

I need to wipe the slate completely clean before I begin to redraw my self-portrait. It's only after I abandon everything I think I know about myself that I can determine what's real and what's simply tradition.

So for now I will eat dead animals. Yuck. It's disgusting to even think about.

But who knows, maybe one day I'll even go hunting.

But I wouldn't count on it.

On the road again

Road trips are good for the soul.

There's nothing like setting out with a good friend, an atlas and a world of ambition and possibilities.

There's something about driving for four hours with no music that just gives you time to yourself. With your phone off and the wind blowing your hair you all you can do is let your mind wander. It's like you're in your own little world.

Driving gives you time to think about things in a different way. This week I've been thinking about her and where I am in my life right now.

I can honestly say I'm happy, but it's bittersweet. I've changed so much as a person - mostly for the better - that she probably wouldn't recognize me today. It's scary to think about how much my life has changed in so short of a time.

It's safe to say that probably the 10 people I hung out with the most last semester I almost never see. This makes me wonder if I was ever really friends with any of them beyond just a superficial level. Now my best friends are people I barely knew a few months ago.

When I hit the road I think about these kinds of things. When I can't sleep I think about these kinds of things. When I smoke my last and first cigarette of the day I think about these kinds of things.

And I get scared.

I'm not sure why, but I do. I fear that everything in my life is a lie. I used to think I had everything I could ever want. Now I fear that having everything is impossible. I fear that maybe this is just a dream we persuade ourselves into believing so we can sleep better each night.

Maybe that's why I don't sleep. Rather I spend hours every day thinking about things that are out of my hands. And I ask questions that don't have any answers.

But on the road things just feel different. I feel like my soul is liberated. That nothing is holding me back. That nothing can stop me.

And when my mind wanders to these larger-than-life questions I seem more willing to shrug them off, because I don't know what lies ahead on the road.

This probably doesn't make any sense to anyone else but me. I'm not even sure if I understand what I'm trying to get at. All I know is that while I may not have the answers, at least I'm asking the questions.

And that's a start.

One piece at a time

I saw her mom last week.

It's the first time I've seen her in about four months and the first time I've said a word to her since we broke up.

I think she was as surprised to see me as I was that I actually went.

On the way there I was freaking out. I talked myself in and out of doing it the whole way. As I got close to her house I slowed down. I couldn't bring myself to drive down her street. Then I gunned it and sped past.

I turned around and just turned into her driveway, trying not to think about what I was doing.

I'm glad I went. It was good for me. After two years it's hard to just forget about everything, although I tried my best for a long time. It was good to see her and know that she's doing okay.

I think about them a lot. It's impossible not to. The hardest part of the holidays was not seeing her family but rather having to sit at my house with mine. One of the things I liked best about being with her was her family. They accepted me from the beginning and I always felt welcomed.

When you grow up in a house of four with all your relatives hundreds of miles away it's nice to feel that sense of family. It was something I'd never known before. And it's good to know that they're all doing fine.

My close friends know how much I love a good analogy and one I thought of lately seemed especially apt.

It's like I was doing a puzzle and I was nearly complete when someone came and took it away. Instead they handed me a completely new one that I didn't know what to do with.

They didn't even hand me a box, just a lot of random pieces. At first I didn't know what I was even supposed to be making. I just sifted through the pieces overwhelmed and lost.

Then I found an edge. Then another. Then I found the box. And now I have at least a general idea of what I'm supposed to be making.

And slowly I began to make the outline and get all the edges done. Now I'm working on the center, slowly working my way inside one piece at a time. It's not an easy process, but it's doable.

I feel like seeing her mom again was me putting one more piece down in the puzzle. Granted, there are a lot of pieces left, but it's nice to know I'm making progress.

Even if it is just one piece at a time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lean on me when you're not strong

So lately I've realized how blessed I am that certain people came into my life.

A few days ago I told someone that life tends to work out in your favor if you give it the chance. I'm starting to realize just how true those words are.

The people I'm closest with now I barely or didn't talk to a few months ago. It's funny how fast things can change.

Even though this has been the most difficult time in my life, I can see drastic and lasting changes for the better that have taken place. This most important of these is how I view my relationships with my friends.

It's easy to lose track of people and fall apart when you are thrown into an intense and close relationship. It's easy to lose track of how important having friends by your side is. I don't know where I'd be today without the people that showed me support when the world seemed to be falling down around me.

And that is something I will never forget. Never. To those out there who were there for me and for those that have my back now:

Thank you. I love you more than you will ever know. And I will never forget. Never.

Nor will I forget how important it is to have people who are there for you no matter what. Everyone needs a shoulder every now and then. Shit, sometimes we all need much more than a shoulder.

I'm blessed in so many ways, and I'm starting to count them more than I used to. I'm starting to count what I have and not what I've lost.

Life tends to work out for you if you give it the chance. And for the first time in weeks I think I'm starting to give it a a fair shot.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

At my high school there was this super-intelligent kid. He is hands down the smartest person I've ever met. He only went to school with us for a few years sporadically. He had some mental issues I never really understood that plagued him constantly. I haven't heard from him forever, but I hope wherever he is, he's doing okay.

Because he wasn't with our grade all the time and got held back he didn't really have any good friends at school. A lot of times at lunch I'd see him sitting by himself and I'd join him, because I've been that kid before. Plus I always loved our conversations. I considered myself a smart kid, even when I was younger, but he always had a different way of looking at things that I loved. His perspective was different from anyone else I'd ever met. We'd talk about everything, often times something spiritual or religious in nature.

During one of these such lunch talks, I remember saying something about looking forward to the weekend and how swamped I was with school. I said that I just couldn't wait for the weekend to relax.

As usual, his response surprised me. He said that he avoided trying to live his life by looking forward to tomorrow. He said he looked forward to today and not the future. He didn't want to always be looking forward to what tomorrow had in store. Like most highschoolers, I had been living my life for the weekend - a time when I could hang out with friends and forget about school.

For some reason his comments have been floating around in my head lately. Work and school seem to pile up into a mountain of to-dos each day. The beginning of each week turns into "if I can just make it to Friday" thought.

And I'm not alone.

Most of my fellow college students are the same way. We look forward to the parties, getting drunk, and not going to class. We look forward to tomorrow at the expense of today.

But tomorrow won't always be there. It's easy to think tomorrow will be better than today. But, honestly, it's usually not. Tomorrow will always bring more to-dos and more lists to accomplish.

When I was young I couldn't wait to be able to drive. When I could drive, it was being a senior. Then it was graduating and going to college. Now it's the weekends and not wanting to be in school. Then it'll be getting a good job. Then marriage and a family. Then when the kids move out. Then a middle life crisis. Then the first grandchild. And what then?

Retirement? Old age? Death?

This isn't how life is meant to be lived. In my sobriety following the arrest, this warped view of life hit me like a cold shower. For pretty much all of college I've been looking forward to the next party, the next bottle, the next binge-drinking night with friends.

You shouldn't have to wait for tomorrow to have a good time and love life. Happiness is not something that can only be found on the weekends. So much of what you make out of life is the mindset you have rather than the circumstances around you. Tomorrow will always bring more obstacles. And if you ever reach a point in life where you've caught up on everything, then your apathy has far surpassed your ambition.

So no matter how busy you are, give yourself something to look forward to. Even if it's just reading a good book or watching your favorite TV show. Have lunch with a friend. Go for a walk. Anything that makes you happy. Give yourself something to look forward to each day so you're not always waiting for the next day. Don't gamble your happiness and sanity on tomorrow.

Because tomorrow won't always be there. And what then?


This isn't how life is meant to be lived.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Today I got on Facebook for the first time this year. Ironically, the one thing I went there for was deleted when I deactivated my account in December. Just my luck. And of course I was sucked into the Facebook vacuum and started looking at things and people I shouldn't.

So I deactivated it again.

I remember why I got off of it in the first place. Maybe it's not the best way to deal with things, but much of the last few months I've spent trying to remove myself from certain people and things from my past. It's worked pretty well. I've been successful in pretending they don't exist for the most part.

But this comes at a cost, and I'm starting to realize what exactly I'm giving up.

I don't know if this is the best way to deal with my problems. But it's the best I know. I've made many decisions - both good and bad - through all of this. I can't say they were all the right ones, but I always did what felt right in the moment. It's easy to second-guess that decision afterward, but I sleep well knowing I did what felt right at the time.

Right now moving on like they don't exist feels right. But I'm starting to realize that it won't always. I can't ignore my past and the people from it. Everything in my life has gotten me to where I am right now. And if I like the person I am and the place I'm at, how can I hate what got me here?

I ask this question to myself a lot, usually with different answers. Regardless, I know that eventually I'll want to make amends with some of the demons from my past. That day isn't here yet. Right now I'm still doing what feels right in the moment.

But I'm realizing that this day will arrive, and I'm wondering if I'll be able to handle it when it does.

I can't - and won't - be the type of person who hides from his past, no matter how dark and painful it may be. To make myself completely whole again there are still many things - and people - I have to come to grips with. Before I can say that this is behind me, I must face these things that I've so far tried to pretend don't exist.

I can't say I'm over this whole situation until I can face all these demons that have so far haunted me. I'm not there yet, but every day I take one step closer to this point. I can't say if this is a journey that will last days, months or years.

But it's a journey that I continue to make every day, one step at a time.