And I relied on you to show me what I deserved. Even though I woke up every morning knowing it was much more than you were willing to give. It wasn’t as though I wanted to ignore the signs that stared me in the face. Just for some reason my ability to comprehend disappeared when I thought of you. Everything was simply a test meant to make us stronger. Me stronger for you.

Then for a moment, when I realized I could no longer trust you with me, the only thing I wanted was to see you hurt as much as I did. I wanted to have you questioning whether or not you had done enough. Better yet, if you were even enough. I found myself not trusting the kind words of my friends because they saw something in me that you didn’t. And if you didn’t see it, was it really in me?

But now, the only revenge I want is happiness. With happiness, I don’t worry about how you feel. I only care about what brings me joy, what gives me reasons to wake up in the morning. Reasons to smile without a care in the world. To continue being gentle with myself and those around me. Including you.

Allowing me to be happy and free. Focusing on me.

A Letter to my Sisters [Subway Series]

Baby girl, I love you.
You are so beautiful and intelligent. You are light so bright just seeing your name pop up on my screen brings a smile to my face. Seeing your face makes my heart skip a beat.

I know life is difficult. I know there are days it takes all your energy to undress and stand in the shower. To make yourself something to eat. To just exist. I see the hard nights leaving their mark in your eyes. Exhaustion. You barely sleep sometimes. I see the struggle to stay afloat. I been there. Days so long I can only wait for the calm of night, just to find myself restless as ever.

I see you’re hurting. I am too. Some days I just need to put on foot in front of the other to reach my destination. Counting endless steps. I never understood my reason to move forward. At times it seems pointless, why bother to stride toward happiness when I’ll only be pushed back into sadness? I suppose like the day I decided I didn’t want to live but fought on anyway she was the reason, you are as well. My sisters. Younger, older, the same age.

You are light so bright. Energy so precious. Love so necessary not everyone knows how to accept you. That’s okay. Keep lighting the world and keeping it spinning. Remember baby girl when you are unsure of everything even the color of the sky, just know that I love you. Keep on keepin’ on.

Let’s Eat Lunch

We stood in the kitchen as we talked about what we were and weren’t going to do. They were healthy choices we decided would be necessary to maintain sanity in the next year. I stared at her as she talked, analyzing every inch of her. She had really grown up. Although I’m only 16 months older, sometimes I can see a world of difference between us. But according to others, we’re simply the same present in different packaging.

She caught my attention, “it’s a violence against myself…” I looked at her, opened mouth as though she had called me every name but a child of God. She asked what was wrong. Her simple statement meant more than I had expected. As the days continue on I realize I commit many violences against myself.

We slept together almost every night and as apart of our routine, he left at midnight to ride the trains to work without problem. As usual he woke me up. Leaving to use the bathroom, I was left alone. A moment later I found myself holding the wall, dizziness took over my body and I felt it trying to reject everything I had eaten earlier. I knocked on the door, telling him I didn’t feel well. He watched as the sweat pour down my head. He left, grabbed me bread as I felt well enough to stand again. I picked at it. End pieces. My least favorite. I went back to my room after he left, made a PB&J and contemplated my life.

Fatigue had laced it’s hands with mine. We often danced during my shifts at work. Although I love food, I put off eating far more often than I’d like to admit. An unhealthy habit that’s plagued me for years. I put it off until my body is too weak to complain about it. The only warning I pay attention to is when I’m no longer able to hold myself together emotionally. I’ve exhausted myself trying to maintain the energy to stand. The dam that holds my feelings in behind to crack.

I commit violences against myself far more often than I’d be proud to admit. One no better than another. Lately it’s just been my diet. This week I’ve eaten a lot of cereal. Last week it was fast food. Whatever I could find in a quick moment would be in my stomach not too long after. Things I swore I’d stop eating but somehow picked up again. Bad habits. Penny pinching in the wrong spots and spending what I don’t have subsequently lead to this yet I never paused to change it. Sliced apples, pretzels, and cubed cheese fit for a child fill my stomach.

You know, it’s silly. I don’t know where this started. I just know I use working, being busy, as a reason not to do something I actually enjoy. I plan meals so far ahead of time, telling anyone who will listen what I have up my sleeve. This week pasta and red sauce. I selected ground turkey and turkey sausages for a different flavor. I can almost taste it on my tongue. I enjoy food. Trying new places. Different combinations. Yet I can’t muster the courage to be honest that I make our relationship unhealthy. I’ve been like this for years. Letting books, games, conversations bring pause to what should be a healthy life.

Every day I remind myself and others that this is the year of self love and care so why am I starving myself to meet goals that can wait 20 minutes while I eat? I feel the hypocrisy in my simple steps. I took a nutrition class one year and I left knowing how many carbs I needed and why. The amount of protein and fat that would help create a smooth running body. I know what happens to my body when I don’t take proper care. Yet I still have to remind myself to eat. I’m honest in my actions when I tell people their ideas about diets are wrong. That they need carbs for their body to function as smoothly. But I don’t eat every meal the way I should. I know to eat a rainbow diet and I try to when I finally sit down for my lunch, 2 hours after my body has already sent me messages to eat. I’m a hypocrite.

It’s the year of self love and care. The year I mend my relationship with food and give myself the chance to eat the way I should have been for years. No more violences against myself.

New Year, No New Hobbies [Subway Series]

You ruined my favorite hobby. I don’t think you actually understood what you did. You assumed apologies and $100 would calm my angry but in the end it will never be enough. You weren’t losing a friend like you said, you were losing a cute girl you could possibly, if the only guy left on earth and humanoid aliens hadn’t come to take it over yet, have sex with. You took my trust, stomped on it and acted as though I needed to get over it. I know I meant nothing to you so why did you play so many games.

He told me not to trust you. I was headstrong. He didn’t know you, he didn’t know me. I wasn’t a child so how could I be wrong? How could he warn me? But you’re a hustler so you got one over on me. You ruined my favorite hobby. I thought it would take me far, at least bring me happiness. Each attempt just a chance to learn more and get better. I took a class and proudly shared my photos with others. You told me you’d help me continue on my path of growth. After you broke my heart I put my camera down. I let it collect dust as I stared at it. I just couldn’t do it. Family members asked me why I had stopped. I just lost interest. Although not a lie, I couldn’t find the passion I once had. It no longer filled me with joy to capture moments in time.

Now I only pick it up for boyfriends who think they’re a photographer and school projects. I said I would try again next year but next year is only a few hours away and I no longer see myself trying again anytime soon. I’m not suppose to let a broken heart stop me from dreams and aspirations but sometimes it’s too heavy to shake. You ruined my favorite hobby.

Too Soft Spoken

So we sat on the couch and I listened to the power in his voice. The emotion flowed through his sentences like they were freshly written. Smooth. Secure. Aware of their power. I was captivated by everything he said. He finished, and asked me to find a particular …thing… I wrote then told me to read it to him.

I wasn’t ready. Flattered that he wanted to hear my stuff but nervous that he wanted to…ya know, hear my stuff. Reading aloud to someone else? I couldn’t stall long though. So I found it and began. My voice was weak as though I was reading an instruction manual. No bass, no boom, no emotion. He stopped me and read it himself.

How can I lack so much emotion when reading after try to put a soul and a half into what I write? I’m embarrassed. Writing leaves the emotion on the page but reading? It makes it real. Tangible. No longer a scramble of letters but actual ideas that the world can hear. Writing with emotion is easy but reading it back and reminding myself that these feelings are real can be too much of a shock.

One day I’ll find a spark to help me share these things but until then I’ll ask him to read with emotion while I listen, captivated by my own words.