diary of a hypocrite

I’ve been telling my friends and my therapist that I stopped writing because my depression was what fueled the inspiration, but that’s only half the story. To tell you the truth, I’ve gotten depressed again and have plenty to write about, but I’m hesitant. I’m afraid to find out that I’ve lost “it”. That I’m not as good as I used to be. That I was never that good to begin with. That maybe people only read about my pathetic struggles because a problem is less of one when it’s someone else’s. Or maybe people just don’t want to read depressing bullshit anymore – especially when it’s the same angsty venting again and again. Maybe people just need something more positive to read and lift their spirits. But that’s something I can’t provide. As much as I mean every word of the encouraging captions I post on my instagram, it feels bogus to me. As much as I mean it when I tell people how important self love and acceptance is, I can’t seem to come to terms with it myself.

So where does that leave me? When my coworkers and colleagues think writing is my “thing”; when my parents brag about “what a great writer” I am; when my friends say I’m “the creative one.” Am I really? What innovative shit have I done? What have I created? What groundbreaking written piece have I produced? What about my thought process is any more fascinating or eye-opening than anyone else’s?

I feel like I’ve fallen short of my own expectations of myself. And maybe worse yet, everyone else’s. When you feel like you aren’t capable of much, you lose your ambition, sight of any goals, and all motivation to propel yourself forward. Because what are you working toward?

There I go again with that same angsty bullshit.

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23 years. 23 fears.

23 years old. 23 things I’m afraid of:

The dark. The shit in my head. That mess controlling me before I can control it. Losing my job because I lost that battle. Losing my creative vision. Losing my motivation. Losing my outlets. Losing my friends. Destroying all the good I have in my life with my bare hands. Realizing I have no talents or useful skills. Falling back into my old, bad habits. Being unable to create new, good ones. Being unable to sincerely accept myself for who and what I am. Never finding peace in my own body, my own mind. Letting my parents down. Forcing them to bury their own child. Becoming the person I said I wouldn’t. Looking into the mirror and not being able to recognize the face looking back. Drowning. Taking down everyone around me, both literally and figuratively. Myself. The parts of me I have yet to discover. Where I’ll end up.

the way I hurt

At the end of the day, not hurting someone else matters to me more than not hurting myself. It is what it is. I can’t change that about me. No matter how much I learn, no matter how far I’ve come, no matter how much I’ve grown. I apologize endlessly to try and patch up all that I’ve done wrong. I cry because I can’t handle hurting people. I justify other people’s actions because it’s just better if it’s my fault. It doesn’t make sense but it’s how I am. I don’t know how not to be this way.

not a poem

I moved aside to make room for two,
not knowing you’d say, “There’s no space for you.”
But I guess that’s life, and you live and you learn.
Or rather, I did — and just watched you burn.

I can’t say I’m sorry;
I did extend my hand, after all.
But you shoved it away and spat at me
like I was the last piece of trash on earth that you’d ever want to see.

So I’ll just take my place here, riding high above the waves,
and watch you continue to make those same mistakes.

You know what they say about words falling on deaf ears.
They make no impact because they aren’t what you want to hear.

all that I am

I am

the infinite unfinished projects that spill from the crevices of my brain onto my desk,
overflowing onto the floor,
growing tall like weeds around my knees.

I am

the insatiable thirst
to learn everything I know I don’t know,
and to discover everything that I don’t know I don’t know.

I am

the hunger for the wrong people, in the wrong places, in the wrong time,
with the worst ideas, but the best intentions,
as a means to patch up all the chips in my walls.

I am

the hope in my parents’ tired eyes,
the love and unconditional support that hold my friends up,
the unexpected smile in a crowd of weary people.

I am

the confusion, the problem,
the insight, the resolution,
the spark turned into a flame that refuses to burn out.

bittersweet nostalgia

There’s a sensation that passes over me every so often; something I felt more frequently as a child, but never knew how to put into words, other than “I suddenly hated the people I was with and wanted to be somewhere else.” It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was able to identify the feeling as homesickness. But that isn’t quite right. I’m just now realizing that it isn’t a longing for a house, or what we traditionally call a “home.” Rather, I long for a different place and time; somewhere I’ve visited only in the final, fleeting moments of my dreams. You know, the hazy bits of your unconscious that your semi-alert mind desperately tries to cling to as your alarm shakes you awake?

I long for the bittersweet nostalgia folded in between the fading rays of a sunset in the late summer; the way it feels to blindly walk into the golden glow of the city settling into that slow, after-work flow. I want to dive into these moments and let their warmth catch me, gently laying me down into my daydream. But these moments are as short as a gasp and as sweet as saccharine, and I wonder now whether they’re real memories or just glimpses into the reality I’ve created.

What I’ve Learned So Far In 2018

1) My problem is not being unaware of the problem. My problem is being fully aware of both the problem and potential solution, but being unable to commit to the latter. My problem is myself–my insecurities, my reluctance, and my toxic obsession with “I can’t”.

2) I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. I have talent, experience and an untamed imagination. What I lack is trust in myself and the boldness to speak up when it really matters. It always matters.

3) There are so many people who I gave whole pieces of my heart to when they didn’t deserve even a fragment. A part of me recognized it from the start. I refused to let that part out of the dark.

4) I’m okay with being alone. Once I saw this in myself, I realized the absence of the trait in someone else. And that has made me question my value as a person in their eyes. In turn, that wonder has made me question my value in my own eyes; why am I measuring my worth in terms of someone else’s idea of me? Why does their opinion matter more than my own? It shouldn’t. And maybe someday, it won’t.

5) I will be okay.

a disease I won’t control

The darkness of your nightmares spilled over into mine and spread through my body. It started in my brain and now it’s coming for my heart, my soul, everything until I’m just skin and bones. I’m not placing any blame. I saw it coming, I saw it developing, and I let it happen. I relinquished control to it. No one did this to me. Maybe I wanted this. Maybe it’s the only way I know how to be.

the silence

I am the words hanging off the tip of my tongue; that last desperate attempt to hold onto my fleeting thoughts as they curl up and away into the winds that dip in between my locks of hair.

I am the cold winter air come to life before my parted red lips, clouds of smoke not unlike the ones that you inhale into your lungs in an attempt to rediscover the same hazy state that I often find myself trying to escape.

I am the muted burn of regret; the reluctant decision to acknowledge its presence, that yes I was wrong: about it, about you, about us.

I am the hollow sensation of letting go; the icy cold that glazes my insides; the terror that accompanies freedom. Not only am I letting you go, I am letting myself go. And it is both the best and worst feeling I can imagine.

character development

I am finally understanding what it means to put yourself first. I always thought I was doing just that, but man was I wrong. I have always put other people’s happiness before my own. And whenever I thought I wasn’t doing that, what I was doing instead was making other people’s happiness my own.

Recently my life underwent some major changes and I faced a lot of emotional turmoil. Initially I didn’t handle it well. At all. And that’s putting it lightly. I had started to become non-functional without the things I was missing and my depression kicked into overdrive. I couldn’t find motivation to take part in any of the things that I normally enjoyed, and my job–something I feel very passionately about–seemed insignificant. That realization is what made me slam the breaks. I forced myself to snap out of it. I gave myself tough love like never before and pep talked the hell out of myself.

The internal dialogue went something like this:

-What the fuck are you doing?

-Nothing. I can’t do it. I don’t want to.

-What is wrong with you? Are you really about to throw everything that’s important to you out the window for something temporary?

-It doesn’t feel temporary this time though. I think a piece of my heart is missing. My life took a turn for the worse.

-Snap out of it. Shit happens. It sucks now. It might suck for a while. But you should know as well as anyone that you can hit rock bottom again and again and it always feels like the end, but it never is. It gets better and you get better. Better than you’ve ever been. So stop this. Stop playing the victim. You own up to your flaws, which is great, but you need to stop justifying other people’s flaws. You take them upon yourself to handle and they aren’t your problem. Other people are not your problem. Stop drowning under the weight of other people’s burdens.

And then it finally hit me. I’ve been doing that for years. Trying to help people to the extent where I cared more than they did. Blaming myself for other people’s shortcomings. Taking the fall for a failed friendship that took 2 to maintain. Picking myself apart for things that were out of my control. And fighting to keep people in my life even though the only person benefiting from it was them.

I feel like I’ve grown 4 years in the last 4 weeks, but I have finally reached a mindset where I don’t want new friends or partners unless they have something beneficial to contribute to my life. Now before you think I’m an opportunist or a selfish bitch, let me elaborate.

The only people I want to keep in my life are the ones who show me they care as much as they say they do. I want friends who will be the first to reach out to me the other half of the time, and who will call me out on my bullshit when I fall off the wagon. I want people who will make the effort to see what I’m saying and talk through an issue instead of ghosting me. I want people who give as much as they take. Because I don’t mind giving. I love it. I will help anyone and everyone in any way that I possibly can. But I can’t just give and never get. I don’t ask for anything but reciprocation and some consideration. Some real thought and action. The people who know me well know that I’m extremely flexible and will bend over backwards to see the other side. I’m understanding — almost to a fault — and I want nothing more than to make everyone around me happy. But I am finally, finally done making that my main purpose in life. I will not settle for making everyone happy without making myself happy as well. Doing things for other people without expecting anything in return does make me happy. But doing them and realizing that I’m being taken advantage of does not. It sounds so obvious, but I think if it really was common sense, more people would stop giving their loved ones the short end of the stick.

Lately I’ve had more time for myself (even if I spend most of my days at work or trying to catch up on sleep) and to spend with my family and friends. I caught up with people who I haven’t seen since before graduation, and I’m still working on seeing the people who I haven’t yet. This time has made me more mindful of the way I treat the ones I love and has pushed me to all of those realizations above. I am expecting better from the people in my life because I myself am learning to treat them better. I just want reciprocation. And with everyone, it starts with yourself.