A Collection of Angsty Poetry: Part 1 (my love life)- Incomplete

Just a collection of poetry I’ve written from years back that I’m now curating together. This collection is specifically related to heartbreak and romance and will slowly develop. I’ll be adding a new poem to the top of this post every so often so continue to check in.

Petals on Pencils

I was walking with that friend of ours the other day
When she turns to me & says “What if you guys end up getting married?”
What a thing to say to someone in love
What a thing to say to someone in love with her bestfriend
What a thing to say to someone who’s in love with her bestfriend and he is not
W h y
Why would you entertain this possibilty
No, this fantasy
This begging hunger
This breaking heart
Do not tempt the girl with cherries she cannot reach
Remember, I am still just the bestfriend
And h e
He’s a one-way mirror
And I can see right through him
I see petals on pencils and butterflies on his fingertips
His texts are pleas for my presence
And his notes are leaks of his longing
I fool myself into thinking that this is not just my reflection
That these petals and butterflies exist outside of my head
Like the dirt and worms they truly are
My mind is a hardworking machine that creates something out of nothing
And I love somethings
I love everything that reminds me of him
Though I hate the memories that exists like ghost
The weeks when his eyes would avoid mine
So cautiously, as if my gaze would turn him into stone
The way he bit his tongue when he passed
Holding back the words we got so comfortable saying
Like breaking a bad habit
Like I was something to be ashamed of
I’m sorry, I’m sorry
I don’t mean to trivialize us
But, darling, do not trivialize me
I always thought I was something more
And you were always something more
And I always wanted something more
Everyone else is a paper doll
And I’m tired of playing with paper
Love that becomes cold from moisture
And wrinkles from grasping too tightly
Quickly ripped from my hands and shredded far too easily
But y o u
You have warmth coming from your hands
And theres warmth in your words
And I can only imagine that theres warmth to your lips
You are real
You’re not fantasy
Or a dream
Meant to quench my hopelessly romantic heart
You’re not infatuation
You’re not a stupid love poem
You don’t exist in my mind
You exist amongst everyone else who loves you and
I am not special
I’m just a girl who thinks too much
Who dreams too much
Who writes too much
Who cares too much
Who loves too much
I always love too much
You would think my heart would be used to the feeling of breaking
That I would be used to the sting and the burn
That I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between beating heart and a throbbing one
But nothing has ached like this

a.t.

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What You Realize from Wearing A Dress that’s Too Short

There are three things I realized from wearing a dress that was too short. One. I should really learn how to do laundry properly. Two. The majority of people are too embarrassed about seeing your underwear that they probably won’t tell you that they can see your underwear– an interesting, yet easily observable self-hindering phenomenon deserving of more investigation. And three. Even worse than victim-blaming is the unfortunate tendency reinforced by decades of societal conditioning for victims to feel the need to blame themselves. But let me explain.

A few weeks ago, I wore a dress that was too short. This poor dress had shrunk in the wash and I am admittedly too much of a hoarder to let it go. Prior to washing the dress, the skirt landed just above my knee, however due to my incompetence and lack of knowledge of proper laundry protocol, the hem of the skirt was now dangerously just an inch from crotch.

Now this wouldn’t be that bad. I’m certain that I own a couple night-out dresses that hit that length, and I could feel perfectly fine wearing them out with only the slightest feeling of self-conscious inadequacy.  However this dress was not a night-out dress. It wasn’t form fitting. It didn’t hug my hips tightly. No, this dress was the kind of dress that flowed outward from your waist. The material was a lightweight thin rayon– the kind of material that drifts through the wind beautifully and effortlessly. It’s the kind of skirt that you want to spin in so you can watch it float upward and fan out like a flower.

Nope, this dress was not safe for public. One gust of wind and I would be a much more awkward, flustered version of Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.

I considered changing… for a second. But I was lazy, it was hot outside, and to be honest I don’t think I had much more clean laundry to change into. I continued wearing the dress.

You see, I will admit that wearing a dress that’s too short is not one of my biggest concerns. Having wind blow up my skirt isn’t that big of a deal. Accidentally flashing my Uber driver has happened too much for me to care. And I honestly couldn’t care less if you knew that I sometimes wear underwear that I’m fairly certain was bought in the kid’s aisle of Target.

Nothing really different that day. I wore that risky dress that morning, Ubering to brunch, picking up my mail, stopping at the drugstore.

But everything went to shit that afternoon.

At 2pm I was to take the lightrail to the airport with my friend to help her with her luggage. The station was a short five minute walk from our apartment and the ride was no more than 20 minutes. Not an incredibly arduous journey. And yet I could feel doubt and fear takeover my body the second I stepped out of the building.

It was windy.

Let me be clear when I say that I am a dumbass, and being the dumbass that I am, I decided to ignore my instincts once again. My sociopathic, self-inflating mind was just too much of a cocky motherfucker to let the wind scare me so I pushed the doubt out of my head and decided to brave the storm. This, I, of course, regretted only moments after.

The five minute walk was one of continuous struggle. It was a tug-o-war game between me and my skirt. A fight consisting of constant pulling and handling. A real battle. I will admit that I had lost a couple times, with my skirt flying upwards to reveal my underwear to the passing cars of incoming traffic. Now, I still stand by my earlier statement about my indifference with the casual unintentional flashing, and I think I will stand by this position for the rest of my “inappropriately-short-dress-wearing” and “laundry-incompetent” days. You see, my frustration came more so from my dislike for the inconvenience of having to hold my skirt, not my shame for flashing. However sometime within those five minutes, I recall a fleeting moment– a split second– in which I felt differently.

We were at the intersection. The light rail station was just across the street, seconds away, and I was now feeling a wave of relief, tired of fighting with my dress. We stood there waiting for the crosswalk to turn. The wind had mercifully taken a break, and I was praying to be inside the train before it decided to start up again. Staring at the crosswalk sign. Begging it to turn. Of course, there’s a reason I don’t believe in God. Because if I did, I would think him to be the cruelest, most cynical, most douchey asshole of all time. Because instead of being greeted with a green light and walking signal, I was met with one final gust of wind.

I feel like I could picture this moment in a weird out-of-body way. I could picture the wind pickup, my eyes get wide, the skirt lift, my hands frantically trying to catch the skirt. All of which in slow motion, of course.

The incident was quick. My skirt was probably up for a couple seconds, and my feeling of fear was just as fleeting. However, despite its finitude, this brief moment had more impact to my thought than the day’s worth of frustration had. Because immediately after this frenzy of distress, a car making a right turn in front of me honked his horn twice and proceeded to catcall me through the passenger window before driving away.

Now I know that there are people that go through infinitely worse things than this, so I don’t mean to offend or discredit the experiences of anyone else.  I also know that this probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.  Because when I think of it objectively, it really isn’t. I’ve been catcalled before. I’ve been hollered at before. I’ve been whistled at before. So this really wasn’t any different from past experiences. However, different from these other incidences, this was the first time I’ve ever felt guilty for being harassed.

After the car had passed, I guess my friend had noticed my concern. She turned to me and said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s not your fault.” And yet, I felt like it was my fault.

For every other incidence, I didn’t feel this way.  Though I hate to say this, I think I could attribute this to my clothing choices.

Any other time this has happened, I remember wearing skinny jeans, a crop top, a pair of heels, or something of the sort, but I don’t think I ever felt like I put myself more “at risk” than that short sundress. Even those short clubbing dresses I mentioned earlier did not feel as risky as this dress, and I couldn’t help but feel guilty for taking this risk.

This is victim-blaming.

I don’t feel the need to go through the odds and ends of victim-blaming. I’d imagine most of you have heard of the term and know to some extent what it means. We fortunately live in a time where the discussion and opposition of victim-blaming is much more commonplace. Victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and rape are getting more support and encouragement than they had a decade ago, and much more people are questioning and talking against the condescending “But what were you wearing?” and “How much did you have to drink?” questions. Although, there are still many who are silenced from speaking about their harassment due to victim-blaming, the increased discussion of victim-blaming is promising.

However, what many don’t know or talk about is the much more internal part of victim-blaming which can be just as or even more damaging: victim-guilt.

This feeling of guilt can come from a person’s regret of dressing a specific way or drinking too much. They may feel that their harassment was their fault and, because of this, not think the perpetrator is in need of punishment. Or the feeling could be that of feeling that one deserves punishment for dressing promiscuously or getting intoxicated. They may refuse to confess to their harassment due to the shame they feel about their decisions in dress or intoxication.

While a victim may have support from friends, family, and even society, curbing this internal feeling of guilt is a lot more difficult, and this guilt alone can prevent a victim from reporting the harassment, getting counseling, healing, and being able respect or forgive themself. This internal struggle with victim guilt is one that needs patience, understanding, support, and time. It’s one that can’t be fixed by a pep talk, confrontational yelling, argument, or a “You really shouldn’t feel that way”.

I bring attention to this because it’s something that needs to understood by anyone who knows someone struggling through an experience with harassment. It’s hard to support someone without understanding the situation as holistically as possible. And while I know that I can never understand what a person may feel after experiencing sexual harassment, I think this is something to be at least considered when trying to help and console a victim. Considering this can help in understanding the feelings felt by the victim and their reasoning used when making decisions related to the disclosure of their harassment which can help the supporter be more considerate with the word choice they use and the advice they may want to give.

I also bring attention to this because I think the awareness of this emotion in victims even more clearly shows how potent some societal ideas are and how they’ve managed to engrain themselves in the subconscious of our society. Our society has been taught for decades about the sinfulness of promiscuity, sexuality, and intoxication and the importance of modesty. And while I respect the people, cultures, and religions that promote this lifestyle, I chastise the use of these ideas to dehumanize others, which they way too commonly do. And while the dehumanizing use of these ideas are not nearly as prominent as they once were– though they still do exist– it’s very clear that the residual effects of decades of conditioning are still present in today’s society.

Because even I– an avid opponent of victim-blaming, a person who believes in nothing more than the idea that a victim is never at fault regardless of dress and intoxication level, a believer that revealing dress is never consent and should never be mistaken as such, and one who will always condemn the perpetrator– couldn’t help but feel guilt when I was catcalled while waiting at an intersection.

 

When He’s Not Your “Type”

Everyone has a type, right? That specific kind of person that they constantly date over and over again? My roommate had dated three different guys, all of whom were reserved and quiet and wore glasses. My friend seemed to only be interested in blondes. And my cousin had a weird fixation on dentists. And me? I always found myself being drawn to loud, obnoxious chatty types.

Now I’m all for self-awareness. I think there is a lot of importance in understanding yourself and understanding what you want. It gives you direction, drive, and ambition. But let’s be real here: I didn’t really know what I want. As a person who had never been in a relationship, I really shouldn’t have restricted myself to a specific genre of people. And yet, that’s what I did.

When I met him, I couldn’t help but be attracted. We were introduced by some mutual friends, and my initial impression was one of hope. He was sweet, silly, and very attractive. But he was reserved. Quiet and conservative. He wasn’t nearly as upfront as the other guys I’ve been interested in. Didn’t have the same swag or demeanor. Didn’t share that obnoxious level of confidence. He just wasn’t my “type”. Nope. Not at all. And yet, I found myself wanting to see him more, happy in his presence.

This happiness, however, just didn’t seem justifiable to me. How could I be happy with this guy who was so different from what I was used to? I admittedly spent way too much time thinking about our relationship. I compared him to other guys and obsessed over our “lack of compatibility”. He was way too quiet. He wasn’t flirty enough. His sense of humor just wasn’t right. It came to the point where I harassed my friends for advice that I never took anyway, where I demanded reassurance from them before every date, where I would second guess the legitimacy of my own happiness, where I was contemplating breaking things off with a guy who made me happy. All because he wasn’t my “type”.

I knew this was silly, but I couldn’t get past it. Because I hate to admit it, but my “type” had a stupid amount of importance for me. It was something that I created while spending my life watching rom-coms and obsessing over random guys. Every boy I had a crush on in middle school, every guy who made me feel special, every male hero I fell in love with in a book or movie, had become a part of my “type”. My “type” was every heart-fluttering experience I’ve ever had, every butterfly I’ve ever felt. It was memories of unrequited love and prepubescent heartbreak and cheesy romantic fantasies all tied up in string and tucked away into a box with the words “I DESERVE THIS!” written on it in red Sharpie. I knew exactly what I wanted. I could picture the guy that I would wake up next to. I knew how he would look, how he would kiss me, how he would tease me and pick me up from behind. I had illustrated my soulmate, and every guy I liked was just an attempt to get closer to this picture. That was my “type”

And this guy wasn’t it. I spent nights thinking about every guy he wasn’t. Every characteristic he didn’t have. Every fantasy he couldn’t fill…

Bullshit.

My friend called me out for this, and let me tell you: nothing puts things in perspective better than your best friend sitting you down and cussing at you for 15 minutes because you’re having a nervous breakdown about a date.

She berated me for my problematic behavior and my rather illogical thinking process, pointing out the incredibly toxic effects they were causing to my life. Because let’s be real for a second. You want to be self-detrimental? Sabotaging your relationship with someone that makes you smile and laugh and giggle and blush. That’s how you be self-detrimental. She reaffirmed me of my feelings for this guy. And finally she reality checked me by accusing me of making stupid excuses that would convince myself from facing my fear of commitment (which is a complete other story).

For the first time, I studied the relationship objectively. He was a great guy, and we had a lot of fun together. Being with him was comfortable and easy. It felt natural; I was happy. The existence of other guys couldn’t change that fact.  I stopped comparing him; I focused on what we had; I accepted the happiness that I had been rejecting due to its “invalidity”; and I CALMED THE FUCK DOWN.

Everything seemed to fit. Turns out, his calm demeanor was a good balance to my chatty, eccentric nature. He was a great listener. He listened to my annoying rants and crazy spiels, patiently and understandingly. His reserve, surprisingly, kept the relationship interesting. I took every moment trying to uncover every little quirk in his character, and each one kept me bewildered and wanting more. It was different from anything I’ve had with a guy. It was interesting. It was exciting…

 

 

 

*crickets chirp

 

I get it. You don’t really care about my sappy love story, my relationship, or my life for that matter. Hearing about some pretentious person’s love life isn’t fun, and it’s even worse they start trying to give you unsolicited advice. But you somehow made it this far so I’m definitely not letting you leave without understanding a few things.

Love is not your favorite rom-com. It’s not you’re favorite novel. It’s not that dream you have at night or that fantasy lingering in your heart. And it’s certainly not anything you can write into your future no matter how bad you want it. This a cruel yet ultimate truth: YOU ARE NOT GOD, AND RYAN GOSLING IS NOT GONNA SHOW UP AT YOUR LOCAL COFFEE SHOP AND OFFER TO BUY YOU A SCONE! Because I’m sorry to say this, but your fantasies are bullshit. I get it: we all have imaginations and it’s completely impossible to prevent your brain from pulling that shit. But the moment your fantasies near the realm of expectations and begin materializing as your “type” is the moment you start hurting your opportunities in finding a real person.

In no way am I telling you not to dream. I am, however, telling you to check yourself and your fantasies every now and then. Remind yourself to not to use your fantasies as a gage or requirement for your real life opportunites. Unfortunately fantasies are impossible standards to compare reality to. They’re like the pictures of that perfect hamburger in fast food advertisements. When you’re finally able to grasp the fact that your hamburger is not gonna look like the picture, only then will you be able to enjoy your significantly shittier-looking burger and all its deliciously greasy glory.

ALSO, yes, you are allowed to enjoy that burger even though the sesame seeds are weirdly spaced out on the bun and the lettuce is an uncomplementary color to the red of the tomato. While not all feelings and emotions are explainable, they are valid, and it’s best to accept them and trust them. In the end, love is an emotion, or at least an emotion-based concept. Because of this, your strive for love should be directed and led by your emotions. If you want to be happy, do what makes you happy. Even if that means going out with the guy thats not your “type”. Because, although this is a very flawed, overly simplistic, and inaccurate statement, being happy is really what love is about.

Now, I just want to make sure you know that I didn’t tell you all this to show you how bullshit-ty having a type is. Because having a type is kinda helpful, especially when trying to sort through that excessive pool of guys outside your window. But, in the end, I would say it’s bullshit enough that it shouldn’t be the final deciding factor, and it definitely shouldn’t be controlling your dating life. There is a ridiculous amount of different people in the world– like 7 billion of them– and in the end you would be making a more educated decision if you tried a good sampling beforehand. Kinda like when you sample every flavor at an ice cream store before ordering.  Because even though it might be scary and different, you really shouldn’t continue to order Rocky Road when you’ve never even tried Mint Chocolate Chip.

And let’s be real for a second. If you’re really on the hunt for the perfect ice cream flavor, why would you keep getting Rocky Road? I mean, yeah, you’ve loved Rocky Road since you were little, but the marshmallows always get caught in your teeth and you don’t even like almonds. If things aren’t working out with that ice cream then there’s probably something wrong with it. You might need something fruity instead. Or maybe one of those ice creams that has brownie pieces mixed through it. Or maybe something that’s just really wild and crazy. Like cotton candy-flavored ice cream. Don’t let that weird blue food coloring–filled ice cream freak you out. It might be really good, and, honestly, it deserves a fair chance. Like the worst thing that could happen is that you don’t like it.

And who knows? If you’re really lucky, you might find out that you like really like cotton candy ice cream. Like way more than Rocky Road.