emotional nonsense

[ramble, GoTxHamilton] Wait For It

My back hurts.

I never feel the knives going in. Instead, I wake up and find a brand new wound, joining what I feel must be dozens–going in deep, twisting, bleeding out despite my best efforts to hold everything together.

By now, it’s old news: the knives, the sting, the unknown-but-known assailants. And me: the girl who refuses to die. Refuses to fall apart. By now, even I don’t know why I keep going. But I do, because hope is the last bit of defiance I have left.

Each knife is one less reason to stay, but somehow isn’t enough reason to leave.

I tell my friends I envy Jon Snow, the bravery it takes to whisper “Now my watch is ended.” I have died and returned and died and returned so many times, and each time I feel something must get lost. But if something does, the pain of living drowns out the pain of losing. I stumble through my days, plastering the mask of calm on my face, pretending not to recognize the fingerprints on the handles of the blades.

The mercenaries among those I hold dear tell me–unapologetically, with a blissful pride I can almost find it in myself to envy–that stab-wounds are badges of honor for those on their way upward, forgetting (of course) that not everyone aims to climb. I only ever envisioned a life of service, of devotion to a leader or leaders whose visions burned bright in my eyes. I am a girl built for adoration, a kingmaker instead of one who rules. I pledge my service. I take my oaths.

I shall wear no crowns and win no glory…

I never wanted to stand atop anything. I do not stand atop anything. Instead, I take a breath and continue to climb this neverending series of days, struggling through the pain and the blur of tears I have taught myself not to shed, because salt causes the wounds to burn, even as they close.

Each scar is one less reason to hang on, but somehow is not enough of a reason to let go.

I know I am not the only one. There are other knives, other backs, other bleeding wounds and half-knit scars on other endless uphill climbs. My mother was one, as was her mother, as are so many others who came before and will come after. We are a battered, broken brotherhood with no banners and barely any blood left…but we refuse to die, because hope is our last defiance. Is my last defiance. Life, with its weapons, does not discriminate: it takes and it takes and it takes. But we keep living anyway.

…I shall live and die at my post.

Through the blood, salt, cold, I whisper: If there’s a reason I’m still alive, when so many want me to die…

I’m willing to wait for it.



The Narrative

I wanted to write to get this out. Because I’ve tried to talk it out and all I get from these people are suspicious eyes and faint comfort that you know means they don’t mean it because they don’t believe me.

No one believes me.

Here’s the truth. People will call me many things and I will own to many of them, but people who know me know that I am not someone who tries to steal someone else’s glory. I’m too proud for that. If I want praise I want to have earned it, and there is no one harder on myself than I am. No one more aware of the fact that I am constantly ten steps behind anyone who matters. Challenged and grateful and yes, sure, insecure, but never, never so malicious as to try to steal spotlight.

What’s the point if you steal it?

And here’s some more truth: there are only a few spotlights in this world I would dare want to be in. Most of them are stages on West End. A few are music festivals. This? My job? It’s a job. I do it for money, not for glory. I do it to eat, so that I can sing. I do it so that I’m not afraid of how to pay for the album or the studio.

Here’s the truth: I remember the people who help me. I remember them like I remember every single person who hurt me. Sometimes the names intersect, but I never stop remembering the help. And I never stop acknowledging it. I will never stop acknowledging it. I have been in a place where my hard work has gone unappreciated and I know it feels like crud and I never want anyone to feel that way. Yes, I take some people for granted–my mother, for one–but if I “use” you (and I never wanted to use anyone), I will cite you. I will acknowledge your contribution. I will admit loudly and proudly that you are ten times smarter, work ten times harder, are ten times better than I will ever be.

I am a lot of horrible, no-good, very bad things. I am selfish and emotional and immature and unfocused and dramatic and paranoid and rude and unrefined. But I am not ungrateful. And I am not someone who connives to take a good name from someone who deserves it more. And I’ve tried my best to show that fact, but I guess all the other bad stuff drowned it out.

(And you wonder why I feel like I’m stagnating? I feel like the world won’t allow me to grow; it keeps holding my past against me. But it does that to everyone. I should just get over it. I should just grow a thicker skin.)

(I should. But will I ever?)

I’m tired of running to people who have for me only those skeptical eyes and dull voices and refrains of “Why didn’t you do [this]…?” “Why didn’t you do [that]…?” as if my innocence in this instance was suspect. But I will be the first to admit I am in the wrong, and this time…I don’t know what I did that was wrong?

I overlooked a citation. One email missed a beat. One out of dozens of emails, hundreds of statements, thousands of grand hand gestures: I have never been stingy with crediting other people for what might be perceived as “my” successes, because I know they’re never mine at all. I know I’m not good enough. You don’t have to tell me to pray to my God that I don’t screw up, because I do that every night. And I thank Him every night for the people who help me…

…even if (even when) they turn on me afterwards.

I don’t know what comes afterwards. I don’t know when I’ll stop crying at my desk. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop wanting to run away. I don’t know if I can even keep doing this. I don’t know if the jokes about the Zzzquil might one day become real. I don’t know if I’ll ever be okay.

I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to climb. I didn’t want to be a senior anything, a head of anything, a person in charge of anything. I have always been a follower. I have never wanted to brag, and I know it’s hard to believe because I keep making stupid moves that make it look like I am but this is not the spotlight I wanted.

I just want some semblance of control over the narrative. This is the narrative. Someone, please, believe me.  I’m a lot of bad things, but I’m not the enemy.

I’m not.

“…and you can pray to the God you believe in…”

(He let this happen. I’m not sure what to believe in right now.)

Pointless Pep Talk; Shameless Selfie

Pointless Pep Talk; Shameless Selfie

Here’s something they don’t tell you, the girls who are standing against the wall, waiting for the party to end. The ones who don’t get asked to dance, because all those who ask will ever get is a dance. The modest mice, who are called “nice” as if it were a consolation, not a compliment:

“It’s okay to be the girl they don’t want, because one day you will be the girl they can’t have.”

(Sorry for the bitterness. Just…sometimes boys can be a burn on a girl’s self-esteem.)