i am my greatest when i can share my existence.

there is a certain current in our lives, a certain flow, that defines everything. i tell myself that i can pick and choose the details of my life, but i can only decide so much. but i repeat this so much to myself that i think i can block out certain aspects while keeping others flowing through me. but everything is as great as its weakest link. one of the things i’ve had to learn, to really learn, is to let love in. it’s so easy to love others, because it means they don’t have to love me. i create a jaded experience when i live like that. it’s so easy to give, so easy to reject love. so easy to take care of others, so easy to neglect myself. i’ve had to learn to recognize myself as important. as incredibly special. as infinitely meaningful. it takes courage to accept love from others, because it’s a representation of how i feel about myself. i had to stop seeing life and people and experiences and things as the only things beautiful, because it was ultimately diverting myself away from the most crucial top of all…

me.

i can’t recognize all the beauty in the world without recognizing my own, because it would always lead me back to a dark place. all these notions i’m defined by: fear of rejection, fear of not being loved, fear of not being good enough, etc., it isn’t that fear defines me, but love is like a short-lived high when it coexists with fear. love is driven by fear, and loves loses to fear, no matter how much i tried.

here is to undoing fear.
here is to embracing love.

to love, and to be loved - that is my highest potential.

one cannot exist without the other.

the miracle behind this all is that i could have been anyone’s, but i wanted to be yours. i still do. in every world, i’d pick you. but in times like these, i want myself back. i am not trying to take myself away from you, i am not trying to make myself distant from you. i am trying to protect myself. there are many things i want to say, like “things are always easier when i’m buzzed because the voice in my head sounds peaceful.” there are other things i want to say, like “i’m a girl who’s always lived in her head, who is smart enough to portray an image to the outer world, but she really finds nothing more simplistic than her own solitude.” i want to finish things with, “I am sorry that i don’t know how to talk, i want to, but i am better with smiles and hugs. i am not good with words, i can’t speak them. but i can write you a novel. writing is how i express intimacy. but when i talk, i don’t know how to say anything important except for i am sorry for who i am. like this. i am a hypocrite because i always tell people to boldly be who they are, and here i am hiding behind apologies and shadows. i hope you accept me for this, anyway.” but i don’t. i don’t, because inside is a girl who deeply treasures herself, but all of that can be ripped away when i share it with someone else. warsan shire says, “i belong deeply to myself.” and in this moment, i feel like that phrase. i am selfish about sharing myself.

i want a friend who i can get drunk with in the middle of the day and then lay on the grass and laugh about stupid things, incomprehensible things, things only that we can understand. i want to read poetry alongside some wine, and i want to know that i’m not too old to call into work simply because i want to, because i don’t want to take anything too seriously. i want to live without consequences. i want to be detached. i think that’s the thing about me – i never want things to be serious, i am always on some getaway, i am somehow clocked out for the day. i am always somewhere else, somewhere in my head, or somewhere outside by myself. i like bookstores and thrift stores and parks because there’s this sense of solitude and connection. there are no consequences with beautiful places because they aren’t people. they can’t get to know you, they can’t see the ugly side of you. but it’s against human nature to keep yourself withdrawn. because it is deeply innate to connect. we connect by revealing ourselves, we connect by asking for help, by giving it. this is how the social exchange theory works. this is how we form community. amanda palmer says in a ted talk that artists don’t want to ask for things, because in doing so, that makes them vulnerable. i think she’s right. i think that’s why artists create the life they do. one escape to the next. one rush to the next. creating beauty but finishing the day with loneliness. i don’t know how to stop. this is all i know.

“you don’t have as many issues as other people”

he could instead say something like, “you don’t have as many issues as other people but i understand you’re extremely sensitive to people and your environment, and what means nothing to the average person means everything to you.”

he could say something like that, something that doesn’t make me feel like i’m not special. but he doesn’t. this is why i have my guard up.

i love smells. don’t get me wrong, the eyes and the ears and everything else is oh so crucial. but smells do so much on the brain and the heart in such a different way. they bring back memories that the racing mind forgot to remember. they remind us of crisp moments, and they creep back into the present and tell us, “this was important. this is why i have come back. to remind you of this detailed feeling. please cherish me.” and we do.

i haven’t been in the presence of my mother’s cooking for so long, and i missthe way that scent travels to my room on the second floor, because i know it’s dinner time. it’s different now, scents show us what’s changed in our lives. i now live among the smells of cinnamon and coffee and laundry detergent and my boyfriend’s deodorant. how beautiful it is to purchase a different shampoo wash every time and let the scent wash over me like it’s the first time i’ve ever smelled mint, but it’s really because i’ve never applied mint shampoo to my hair before. how beautiful it is for it to be avocado shampoo the next time, and acai berry after that.

i want to become so acquainted with my senses that they will take me everywhere. to coffee shops but it’s really the earl gray tea brewing in the kitchen. to the forest but it’s the grass that’s been mowed. to the ocean but it’s the sea minerals in my body wash. that’s the point. smells show us what lingers, what we miss, what we crave. smells have an uncanny way of creating illusions. i think that’s what i love most – that smells mimic other realities, they try to bring us somewhere familiar, try to show us somewhere new. smells are an indication of connection. each smell itself is a small reality, because something so simple can have such a powerful effect. this is what people mean when they talk about getting lost. this is what people mean when they describe bliss. and if you’re lucky enough, you let it take you for the ride.

the sound of the garbage disposal/ conversations that even time cannot chase/ a child’s laughter/ skies as clear as oceans and oceans as clear as skies/ patience/ having a glass of wine during midday/ monthly subscriptions to home decor magazines/ people who still say “thank you” and “please”/ color schemes/ orchids/ people patterns/ mugs/ identifying poetry in everyday life/ tea and soup that are at just the right temperatures for sipping/ my boyfriend’s eyes/ my boyfriend’s kisses/ illustrations/ blankets that retain their softness/ people who have not lost their softness/ believing in your own softness

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