Love Letters

One of my favourite things about my father was his poetry. He had such a beautiful way with words, and he used to write my Ma love letters and poems and paint her pictures. He was so raw and open and honest with his love for her, and he swept her off her feet and kept her there. I still have some of the poems and notes he wrote to her. Every time I read them it makes me smile. It makes me so happy to know that she had a love that was so pure and rare, and even though he’s not here, that love will never die. That kind of love lasts a lifetime and further. Now that I have found my own soulmate, I understand the depth of their love and devotion. I understand why after all this time, Mama still hasn’t fallen in love again. They say once you have the best, you can’t do better. That’s what your person is. The best for you. Your match out of billions of people across the globe. Until you find your other half, it sounds cliche. But I promise it’s true. I could never really understand Daddy’s inspiration for these acts of love, or how he never ran out of words to describe how he felt. Then Geoff came along and stole my heart and I get it. I write him love letters. Before I moved I would mail him cards. When he goes to work and I’m home I sneak a little letter into his bag. I’m leaving for work tomorrow and he comes home next week so I wrote him a letter to read when he gets in.

Love Letters

Technically I wrote him two letters. The first one I just finished shredding. I wrote it two days ago and it was 7 pages (ridiculous I know, but we all know I don’t shut up to begin with and once I get going I can really talk). It went from my usual “Hey babe, you rock my socks and I’m so lucky to have you blah blah blah” to me justifying why I’m broken for like 4 pages. THAT’S NOT A LOVE LETTER, THAT’S A DIARY ENTRY. It actually made me cry, and not happy tears. It dredged up all my insecurities and magnified flaws I’ve found in myself. It was basically me trying to explain again why I’m hard to love, why I pull away, why I am basically a mess of a human being at times, and how I’m never trying to run from him, but from myself. I have spent a few sleepless nights since meeting Geoff wondering how on earth someone so pure and innocent like him could want to make it work with someone so scarred and hardened by life like me. We’re from two different worlds.

Example: My nightmares consist of my dead father breaking through a bathroom window to strangle me while I wash my face with water that turns to blood. Geoff’s nightmare consists of being at a rock concert and having his wallet in his lap and then getting up and leaving and losing his wallet. Both are terrifying to us, but mine holds a little bit more “what the actual fuck” whereas his is a normal person’s fear. I’m not saying he hasn’t been through some shit himself, everything is relative and we all feel the blows we suffer equally, regardless of where they rate on an overall scale. But seriously he is angelic compared to me, and sometimes it leaves me in a cold sweat. I have those moments of insecurity where I’m like, “Man he is such a good guy with such a good heart, and I only just found my mummified excuse of a heart when I met him. How on earth is it going to work when he sees into all my dark spaces? Will he run screaming like others have? Or will he deem me unworthy of his full love and abuse/cheat/hit/use me like others have? Is he going to be able to handle me in all my broken glory like he says or will he get sick of it and throw in the towel?”. All mind games I play with myself, and yessss I’m aware it doesn’t do me any good. If he’s going to do those things, he’s going to do them whether I psychoanalyze all the reasons why he could or not. But it’s been almost two years since we first started talking and he hasn’t done any of the things I worried about. I am a very upfront person so as soon as things started to get a vibe of legitimacy I let him know exactly what kind of battle he was in for. He was well aware of the myriad of shitty exes I have because I’m one of those “get em before they get you” types. Meaning, let him see exactly why you’re fucked up right off the hop and then it’s his decision to run. I wanted him to have an easy out because I’ve been battling my many demons for several decades and still can’t always keep them at bay, so I can’t assure anyone new coming in that they’ll last too long. Or that they’ll even want to. No one has before. I didn’t want the possibility of disappointment when he decided he’d had enough of my shit and realized he doesn’t have to pick up the pieces other people left behind.

I have what we call “push away days”. They’re my days when shit gets real, I start to panic, and I push away. I get distant and lost in my own head, basically try to rebuild my wall around my heart, and save myself from another heartbreak by running away from love. People can only withstand so much heartbreak, self inflicted or otherwise, before it just becomes impossible to have normal functioning relationships. I was pushed to that point a couple years ago, and cannot have a normal relationship. I am quite capable of love, it just doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come cheap. The price to pay for my love is having to wait through the push away days. To remain constant and understanding, while trying not to take offence. You have to be pretty self assured to suffer through someone doing their damnedest to push you out when you’ve already fought hard enough to get in. And it’s a 2 steps forward, 3 steps back deal because people who have been hurt have guards in place. Humans are coded to survive, and this is just another coping mechanism to ensure survival mentally. I know I’m not the only crazy person who has found their soulmate, been absolutely terrified because of it, and tried to find reasons why it won’t work. It’s scary finding someone who is willing to fight for you when no one else was, who loves you with all your scars and war wounds and the deep, dark crevices of your mind. Someone who knows exactly what they’re in for because you’re trying to heal, and is happy to suffer the storms because they believe you’re worth it and they know they can help you on the path to whole again. When you feel unworthy, it’s hard to think anyone else sees you as otherwise.

Love Letters Rose

Normal people can meet someone they like, fall in love, be happy and not question it or themselves or worry that the person they love is going to leave them. I think that I am beyond being normal because for the first time in my life I have an amazing guy with no ulterior motive, no malicious intent, no games to play, who has never cheated a day in his life and never would, has a job and pays his own bills, makes me feel beautiful and safe and secure, and for months I tried to prevent things from getting serious. I was so scared of getting close and giving up my heart, because if he chose to leave me it would break into pieces too small to put back together. I don’t think you can recover fully from the loss of a soulmate. And I have spent my life being self reliant, knowing that I have to have my own back because other people can’t be depended upon, and have also spent majority of my life feeling unlovable. Irrational to the nth, but lots of unfortunate events in life can lead you to that train of thinking. With my father’s suicide aside, being a child is hard and confusing and you can get stuck believing no one loves you when you’re lonely and don’t understand why things are the way they are. As for relationships, I think most of us have wondered after a break up what we did wrong. Why we weren’t quite good enough to stick with, or what we could have done differently to change the outcome. If you’ve been cheated on, you know the multitude of questions and self doubt that follow. If you’ve been cheated on in several relationships, it stops being something wrong with the person who cheated and starts bringing up suspicions about what’s wrong with you. It’s easier for us to rationalize things into personal flaws or wrong doings because then it’s still something within our control. If it’s something wrong with us, we can fix it and prevent it from happening again. If it’s just someone else being a shitty human being, how the fuck do we make sure that doesn’t crop up again? It’s much easier to justify things when we can control them. It’s also detrimental to our mental health.

My grandfather told me this summer that I apologize too much and should stop. He said when people do that, it makes them look like they have an inferiority complex. He is 93, still works 3 days a week at the company he’s run for decades, lives unassisted in his home, and is one of the spunkiest and funniest people I’ve ever met. I love him to bits. I also respect the hell out of him so when he told me that, it stuck. I find myself apologizing less for everything, and stopping myself more often than not. I think that when we get our hearts broken for whatever reason, we kind of start apologizing for everything we think is wrong with us. And that’s what the first letter I wrote to Geoff for this set of days off was. It was pretty much a massive letter of me saying I’m sorry for the jerks who helped create the monster I’ve become. I’m sorry for being hurt. I’m sorry for making you deal with the residual heartbreak from people who came before you. I basically apologized for being me. The point is, he knows all these things. He loves me regardless of the fact that I’m guarded. Regardless of the fact that I don’t trust easily, he has managed to become the only person I depend on. He is my best friend. He is my love, my shoulder to cry on, my biggest supporter, and he loves me as I am. And who I am and what I’ve been through all led me to where I am today. Which is with him. So I shredded that letter which made me sad, and wrote him a new one. It was much shorter, much sweeter, and didn’t include me defending my bouts of push away days for fear of him getting tired of me and leaving. I’m worth the fight to him, just like he’s worth the fight to me. We both have things we’re working on, and we’ll both get to where we need to be for ourselves and in turn for each other. I listed some of the sweetest things he’s said to me or done for me, and some of the things I love most about him. I send him texts all the time telling him how much he means to me and how proud he makes me (he brings out the Daddy man, I can’t help it) but I don’t tell him of the things that stand out most. He is helping me heal from the past, and for that he deserves to know why and how he’s doing so. I like showing people I love why I love them from time to time. Sometimes it’s a short card, sometimes it’s a long text, and sometimes it’s a letter. Life is short, so when you find the people who make you a better person and add greatness to your life in ways you didn’t imagine, just tell em. I can’t wait to see him in a few weeks, I’m sure he’ll skim through the letter and be like “awww Cassanova” and then promptly fall asleep and forget all about it, but writing is cathartic for me and I just want him to know all the good he does. I don’t need to defend myself to him because he doesn’t attack me. I attack myself, and someday soon I hope that stops. Maybe I’ll write myself a love letter on one my happier days so I can pull myself together on my bad ones. Who doesn’t love a love letter right?

The Seasons

I somehow stumbled across an article about “bullet journalling”, and anyone who knows me knows my obsession with/hoarding of journals. So instantly I was intrigued. I discovered so many AMAZING layouts and designs by people across the globe in their own versions of bujo’s. For anyone unfamiliar with it, it’s basically a journal typically done on dotted paper, used as a compilation of diary, to do list, daily log and doodles. But the beauty of it is you can do whatever your little heart desires with it and you won’t be doing it wrong. I was super inspired by all the gorgeous calligraphy and doodling I saw on so many talented pages, and then quickly lost interest because I don’t have the time or energy to consistently make my pages awe worthy. So I use mine in a super simplistic form, and so far I’ve actually written in it every day. The point I’m slowly getting to is that when I took out my bullet journal this evening to check off some of my “habit tracker”, I saw that I STILL hadn’t blogged. And I keep harping on about how I want to be more consistent with my writing, so I decided to sit down and try to finish one of the 2 unpublished blogs I have from December.

As I was going through it, (it’s only a measly 880 words, and I usually write 2500+ because I simply can’t shut up) I couldn’t really pick back up on the thread I’d begun. I realized there was no feature photo yet, so I decided to go through my FaceBook and see if I could find any pictures I’d taken that seemed suited to the post while I waited for inspiration to strike. As I was trolling through my uploads, I was reminded of so many good times and good people, as well as so many hard times and people I haven’t seen in ages and most likely won’t see again. I’m now in a super nostalgic mind frame and much more motivated to pour out my mental clutter on the topic of the past. The seasons of life as it were.

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It’s so crazy to think about how much changes in the run of a year, let alone two or three. I have very few close friends these days, and some I’ve known for 15 years and others for less than 2. Time doesn’t measure the quality of your relationships, I know we’ve all seen the meme and most likely it’s struck home with just about everyone who reads it. Just because you’ve known someone for all your life, doesn’t mean you’ve grown into adults who still harbour the same characteristics and attributes that can provide a meaningful friendship. Or a sustainable one. It’s not a bad thing by any means, we all grow up and grow apart from people we once thought we’d sit with in wheelchairs reminiscing on “the good old days”. People change quickly, people change slowly, but I promise they’re ever changing. If you’re lucky you can change and still be in a position to share a true friendship/relationship with those you want to have in your lives til the end. But you’re also lucky if you both wind up changing and your interests and hobbies don’t compliment your relationship any longer. You’re lucky because you learn something from every person you encounter. And just because that person may not spend a long period of time in your world, they still contributed to some fibre of your growth. You have good memories to cherish for a lifetime, and maybe you have hard lessons they forced you to learn. Regardless of which category it falls into, we need every experience to continue to push our growth and help us recognize who we are as we get older.

If you’ve ever lost a good amount of weight, you know you’re the last person to see it. Everyone else around you notices it before you do, and even more so with people who don’t see you often. They have more of a comparison to go on because they don’t see you daily to mark the progress. It’s like that with our personal growth as well. We don’t get to see ourselves blossoming into outgoing, determined, feisty creatures who can be a force to be reckoned with when we are in our zone. We don’t get to see our hard shells soften up and crack when we’ve met that special someone whose very being is a balm to our scarred, scabby hearts. We don’t get to witness firsthand the beauty of our evolution. But the people around us do. And through them we’re able to catch glimpses of how the world sees us, of the growth we’ve made over a period of time, of the characteristics we possess that make someone else’s day a little brighter. On the flip side, we also don’t get to see our destructive qualities, how our impulses and urges are self destructive or destructive to others, how hurtful we are when we’ve broken someone else without realizing it. We need the people around us to show us the good in us, as well as the bad. My little wave of memories from friends come and gone made me realize that I hold not one single grudge to anyone in my past.

I’ve had so many amazing people in my life in every kind of relationship. I’ve lost family members to death. Some of those losses I’m still recovering from and doubtfully will ever fully be okay with. But I still have lots of family members who I either talk to daily, like Mama and Quinn. Or every few weeks or months, like my grandparents and aunts and uncles, cousins. I have friends who I’ve lost over the years from death, from me being a shitty person, and from them being shitty people. And some I’ve lost just because we’ve grown up and grown apart. Or moved, or changed schools and just lost contact. Boyfriends as a general rule I’ve lost because they were bad news bears. I am in my longest proper relationship as of right now, and I haven’t been cheated on or abused so he’s already ahead of every other guy I’ve dated. I probably could have been a better girlfriend to some of the dudes who did cheat, but the past is the past and decisions are made that are irrevocable. I’ll never condone cheating so even if I was a mega cunt, have the decency to break up with me instead of sleeping with my friend. Insert eye roll. I still have a lot of love and respect for a few of my exes, and wish them nothing but the best. I have a few who I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire haha – not holding grudges, just don’t like em as human beings. And I’m sure the same goes for them. People make mistakes, and usually learn from them. From every failed relationship either with friends or boyfriends, I’ve learned more of my shitty qualities and things I can work on to be a better person for the people to come. I’ve also learned my limits, the things I’m okay to compromise on, and the things that I just can’t deal with and won’t ever be able to. And I’ve learned some of my strengths and high points. Because every person who gets to see you as you are, introduces you to yourself over and over. Each person’s view is completely unique and so you get different opinions with each interaction. Even hearing things from strangers can be so liberating and informative.

When I looked back on some pictures from events and trips, and even just run of the mill daily hang outs, I feel nothing but love. It’s taken a long time and maybe the distance (literally 6600 km in some instances) helps with my standpoint, but I am actually grateful for every person who I was lucky to have in my life at some point. If they hurt me, it taught me lessons I’ll treasure til I’m old and grey. If I hurt them, I’m reminded not to repeat past mistakes when it’s in my control. If they loved me the best way they knew how, I’ll be reminded that not everyone’s love looks the same, but damn does it always feel good to have. And if I loved them the best way I knew how, I hope that they can still feel it even though it’s disappeared to a dull ray. If we had nothing but good times and just faded out of each other’s lives, I learned that nothing lasts forever and sometimes you just grow apart for no reason other than your season has passed. Even for the ones who broke my heart unashamedly and held no remorse, I hope that somewhere down their line they learn to give to someone else what they couldn’t give to me. And to anyone whose heart I’ve broken, I’ve learned to love someone else the ways I could never love before. Everyone has good qualities, and something extraordinarily beautiful about them. I know that every person I’ve shared a piece of my life with is showing someone else their beauty, and no doubt teaching them lessons as well. I’m hoping they’re good lessons, but we all need the hard ones in life too.

I’ve got a few good friends these days, and I think I’m extra appreciative of their qualities and the love and support and guidance they grant me because of every other friendship I’ve had. From the inseparable friendships to the casual coffee dates, I can look at the friends I’ve got now and know that they’re irreplaceable. Drake was wrong when he said “no new friends”, you can’t possibly spend life with all the same exact people and never grow apart from any of them. And you need new friends because as your hobbies change, or your goals, you need to have people around you to support you and challenge you and to love you through it all. If those friendships fade out sooner than you expect, it’s okay because they taught you things about yourself you’d never see from looking in the mirror. And you’ll have taught them things too. It’s okay to walk away from situations you don’t agree with, or respect, or even just don’t have any interest in. There is no rule that says you have to stay exactly where you are, as you are, with whom is there. You’re allowed to hang on to people as long as you can, and you’re allowed to let them go too. And it’s okay for people to let you go, it’s not always a bad thing or due to something you’ve done. You can’t always change the way things pan out, and there isn’t always just one more thing you should/would/could have done to make it work. As for the times that it is a direct correlation to something you did, chalk it up to a tough lesson learned and don’t make the same mistakes again unless you want the same outcome.  Life is messy and sporadic and impossible to predict. Treasure everyone you have while you have them, and if that’s a lifetime make the most of it. If that’s a year or two, make the most of it.

Life is far shorter than we think, and it will take until we’re old to see just how short it is or how quickly time passes by. I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t meant to have every person I wanted to keep forever, and not everyone who wanted to keep me forever was meant to either. People drift and don’t necessarily find their way back to where they started, and no one can say where they’re headed. But there are a few who I do expect to hold close until my days are over, no guarantee it will happen. I’m hopeful they’ll continue to teach me about who I am, and I can keep teaching them who they are, and we can keep making memories and loving each other from this lifetime into the next. And I can keep stumbling upon pictures and memorabilia from the relationships long gone and have moments of clarity and closure, and send them all good vibes and wish them well silently from afar.

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