This Is Where You Were

Lost for a while

too long

in your grief, remembering nights where waking up left you breathless and his absence descended on you in the darkness and you were gasping for air, for forgiveness,

for the power to forget.

You wore the loss of him like a funeral shroud, and the space between reality and where you were became larger, filled with all the things you weren’t ready to talk about,

unanswered phone calls, cries for help and the like.

And you imagined inside of you growing a mass of all the ways you had experienced loss, like the baby he convinced you to give up,

weighing you down with how you didn’t speak up,

and now it’s too late.

This is where you were.

Remember now the ways he left even still after you had given up everything for him,

and that you found strength in staying,

even if it was after weeks waking up on the bathroom floor, detangling yourself from within the sheets of men who smelled like him but didn’t fuck like him,

men who asked to stay,

but still you made them leave.

It took months that felt like years, nights that felt like a millenium of missing him,

and this is where you are, maybe moving on or just moving aside from the path that you were on because no one expected you to survive him,

not even you.

This is where you were, who knows where you’ll be tomorrow.

The Single Girl’s Guide To 2017

If you find yourself on December 31st facing the extremely harsh reality that you’ll be smooching a bottle of Fireball at the stroke of midnight, it’s cool to know that besides actually being alone, you’re not really alone. Well, okay,  you are. I definitely am. But in the grand scheme of things, alone doesn’t feel so terrible (or does it?) when you know there are literally millions of women around the world going through the exact same thing.

2016 was a year of up’s and down’s, much like its predecessors. For some reason though, it get’s a worse rap. We’re just gonna roll with it, and assume that every bad thing we did, every crap decision we made, and every stupid man-child we wasted time isn’t coming with us into the New Year. In fact, let’s make that promise.

In the past year, I found myself as a woman who let a guy walk all over her, and alternately learned the value of inner strength and the ways that firmly saying, “No” implies a sense of empowerment that I had previously believed to have disappeared with aforementioned guy, after three months of bad fights and even worse attempts at make-up sex. So, this brings me to my first rule of 2017: create and implement a contingency plan. 

In 2016 I was guilty of putting my eggs in one basket, and don’t even try to deny it, you are too. Maybe you put everything you had into a dead-end job that has you living paycheck-to-paycheck or maybe you became emotionally invested in a stupid goddamn man-child with amazing baby blue’s and an astonishing superiority complex. Whatever the case, stop doing these things. Stop putting on blinders and forgetting that there’s a whole world outside of a job you hate or a man who makes you feel good for a little bit. You should know by now that nothing lasts forever, except for that zit you’re gonna get right before New Year’s Eve, taxes and regret.

Rule Number Two: stop going to bed with your fucking makeup on.  I mean come on. There’s no excuse for not washing that makeup off, and with every product on the market like micellar water, oil-free creams and my personal favorite, the Target brand wipes, why not commit an extra four minutes? If you’re gonna set standards for men, set them for yourself, and know which ones are more important. While you’re at it, buy some friggin night cream and quit texting your ex. He’s not coming back, and we all get wrinkles.

While we’re on the subject of standards, let’s discuss rule number three: raise your standards and lower your expectations. I’m not suggesting anything crazy here, you can still expect Prince Charming to open doors and pay for the first date. Hell, make that a requirement. Align your standards with your expectations, but recognize which is more important; that you want him to pay for dinner or that he has a genuine desire to treat you like the goddamn goddess that you are. We all want to be happy. Spoiler alert: you’re going to end up happy. Trust me. But get out of your own head, stop creating fantasies where that guy who drunk texted you at two in the morning asking for nudes discovers that you two have so much in common and end up falling madly in love.

So we’re at the last rule I want to impliment for 2017, and I think it might be the hardest for me to follow. Rule number four: get off of Tinder if you’re looking for love and it hasn’t happened yet. Let’s be honest with ourselves right from the get-go: Tinder is an addiction. If you’re looking down at random times during the day and see your fingers making the swiping motion, you’re not alone. It’s fun at first, and at times it’s a much needed confidence boost. But we all know that the basis of Tinder, and part of the reason it’s so widely popular, is that it puts at your finger tips options for men and women that are interested in fast, free and temporary. Don’t be part of someone else’s Friday night contingency plan. Getting off of Tinder isn’t just about freeing up some space on your smart phone, it sets a precedent for the New Year: to leave behind things and people that are not directly related to your happiness. Make this affirmation to yourself and mean it: “We are women who deserve to be with men who believe they deserve us, and work hard to deserve us.” Believe that you will not find him on Tinder, unlock your iphone and delete the app.

Believe that starting with a clean slate is essential to your happiness. It’s the proverbial door closing and another opening. Maybe 2017 is that door. Maybe it’s a window, and you better be prepared to climb through it. We don’t get many legitimate fresh starts in life, and I plan to make the most of this one.

For The Women Who Are Wishing For What Once Was.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about memories. In girl language, that’s to say I’ve been having flashbacks to specific times in my life that I regard as either the best or the worst times. If there’s one thing that millennial women do well across the board, it’s reminisce.

I’m wondering though, about the effectiveness of this sort of behavior. Maybe we’re remembering the good times; that vacation we took with our friends, that one time we actually won more than five dollars on a scratch ticket. That time he drove across the city to bring you to the grocery store right behind your house because you said you didn’t want to drive, but the house was devoid of popcorn.

Then there are the bad times. Your parent’s divorce. The first time you heard your father cry. Patting your closest friend on the back while she cowered over the toilet taking turns sobbing and puking because that one guy she wanted didn’t want her in return. That night you raged around your apartment, crying and throwing things around just to watch them break because you were sick of feeling powerless, and he was in the background telling you all the ways you weren’t right, you were always wrong or always failing.

I’ve been thinking about all the ways I compromised what I stood for as an independent woman, and how I allowed myself to be walked over all because I liked having someone else’s bed to crawl into at the end of the night, even if he was trying to get me to leave even before the sun came up. What I’ve come up with during these long and intense discussions with myself is that I think it’s okay.

It’s okay to spend a lot of time obsessing over the way’s we’ve failed ourselves, failed in love or failed to see that the guy you’re dating is actually a Grade A asshole, even though it’s what your friends have been telling you for months. Sometimes we get caught up in a memory, like the way it feels to walk past the one last picture of the two of you that you hadn’t managed to throw away in last month’s purge, and how even still you can feel the very earth tremble under the weight of your first great heartbreak. The pain in its entirety is the most vivid part, because your world exploded into different shades of blues and blacks,

three months later you’re still struggling to be alone when the sun goes down because how quickly the world goes dark seems to be the same way you did, and it makes it hard to forget him.

Maybe you try to forget him in different ways, through false pretenses and friendly fucks, but all you get is a false positive or a false stop, missed calls and missed connections, and no one around you seems to understand that the different ways that feeling unwanted carves deeply into your soul.

He tried to come back once, you never told anyone that, only it took too long and you got sick of waiting, so you slept with a guy named Steve who kept his socks on, and the worst part of it all besides his inability to get you off was the scratching feeling you couldn’t shake for days, because nowadays you’re always scratching at something or someone, scratching to get out or to get in, and everything you’ve ever let go of has claw marks.

So here we are, women who spend too long thinking they’re doomed to waste their potential to love on the wrong men, reminiscing on the ways he was yesterday’s worst mistake.

Maybe it’s a Thursday night and you’re home alone pretending that you’re exactly where you want to be,

or maybe it’s late Friday going into Saturday morning and you’re riding home on the D train, sitting down with your head between your knees because the world is spinning after one too many drinks trying to work up the courage to text that new guy, these high heels you forced yourself into are a nightmare of Alighieri proportions and besides, you can’t walk in them anyway.

The point is, we’re all somewhere at one point wishing we weren’t, we’re all with someone we wish was another. It’s okay. The trick is to not get sucked into these fantasies we’re replaying over and over. He’s not coming back, you shouldn’t consider taking him back if he ever did, and for fuck’s sake, stop wearing shoes that make your toes scream.

An Ode To The Women Who Are Trying

That millennial women have it hard when it comes to dating is an understatement. Millennial women are facing what will arguably be the most difficult years of their lives in respect to dating, and we’ve got our own generation to blame for this. With the widespread popularity of smartphone apps like Tinder and Okcupid, Clover and Bumble, we’ve quite literally been handed the most attractive picture for thousands of men, most of them accompanied by succinct biographies along the lines of “just here for casual fun” or “looking to find something serious”. We’re being given choices and the freedom to choose not only wisely, but on a whim.

What if, in it’s own twisted way, the way these dating websites so readily and easily present to us potential partners is what’s keeping us from finding the right one?

It’s definitely not a new argument that the hook-up culture that applications like Tinder encourage are hurting our ability to find meaningful and lasting relationships. When presented with so many choices, it’s seems only normal to constantly be searching for the next best thing, even when we have in front of us something potentially valuable. It turns us into the type of women who are constantly looking into a different yard and admiring how green the grass is, but never really slowing down enough to appreciate it.

I believe in love. I didn’t always. I’ve spent a large part of my life being the naysayer because I watched friends and family suffer through break-ups and emotional gauntlets in the name of love. I’ve spent too long believing in my heart that love, in whatever way it would eventually present itself to me, would be painful and difficult, that it would involve suffering for the sake of that love.

As I find myself approaching my next birthday, I’m realizing that I believe that less and less. I’m starting to see that, between the right two people, love will be easy and effortless, like taking one breath after another, and just as rewarding.

I believe in a lot of things. I believe in the power of that first cup of coffee in the morning and how smiling at strangers feels good even when that smile is not returned. I believe in good morning, good afternoon , good night and just-because-I-want-to kisses. I believe in walking away from people that hurt me without looking back.

I don’t believe in second chances for romantic transgressions or that bullshit about how we always hurt the ones we love. I don’t believe in “I’m just not sure what I want” because I believe we always know what we want, whether it’s another cup of coffee or a specific person.

I believe in a great love, in the power of finding the people who will help me conquer the world. I believe in soulmates and the different forms they take. I believe in sharing good food with greater company and the ways we are bonded in this way. I believe in true love.

You should, too.

The Cure For Chaos 

The Cure For Chaos 

I used to dream about myself as a whirlwind, moving millions of miles a minute and leaving a path of destruction behind that no one was prepared for, 

Mostly because all too often I felt less like someone with the power to destroy and more like the aftermath, 

What had been destroyed

Pining away for men who stepped on the grass despite the sidewalk right next to it, 

Because we’re all desperate to prove that there is a fearlessness inside, fighting the urge to ruin the things beneath us. 

Men who built empires inside of me, and walked away when they grew bored navigating familiar streets, 

Leaving me to crumble. 

So I’m dreaming of myself as the wind that pushed back on my face when I was flying down freeways with the windows open in the dead of winter, 

How the rain began to pour and still I drove on despite the backlash of drops on my face. 

Some men remind me of the way we’re taught to throw spilled salt over our shoulders as a precaution, 

That tilt of the face and the downward glance and I’m fighting an incurable need to find a few kosher grains to throw anywhere because deep down I know that 

You’re bad luck and I’ll only end up worse. 

So I’m dreaming of myself as chaos, as a goddess with fire at her fingertips, 

And now seems as good a time as ever to burn it all down. 

All that salt I threw over my shoulder in feeble attempts to avoid you left the land lonely like me, 

And we could all use a fresh start, even if it’s coming from ashes. 

Learning To Look Up When It Rains 

Learning To Look Up When It Rains 

You’re twenty-five, counting down the days till you’re allowed to feel again, measuring time in terms like, 

“He broke me, but I am rebuilding” 

Learning to get dressed every morning and not wonder whose bed he’s in, or if she’s getting dressed in front of him, if each piece of clothing comes off just as quickly as it went on, because you remember the way skin feels on skin, the way his fingers wrote ballads with the way they danced down your body.

You’re twenty-five, teaching yourself to turn down the radio when a song comes on that makes you remember the ways he left, the ways he wouldn’t stay gone till he had scooped out every last bit of you, had left only the shadow of you sitting in that favorite chair of his in the corner of the living room.

You’re twenty-five, learning to avoid dark corners and the way a piece of furniture can make you feel scared, because on your worst days he’s he sitting in it, and all you want to do is curl up next to his ghost, but there’s never enough room.

 So you’re getting older, and you’re learning to stop making room for the people who don’t move over for you on crowded sidewalks, who don’t blow on hot coffee before handing it to you as you rush out the door in the morning, people who don’t remember the ways you roll over in your sleep, or that “two sugars” really means three.

You’re getting older, learning to appreciate the way raindrops feel, even when you’re afraid of mascara running down your face, learning to get up in the morning without screaming into the pillow, learning to set the table for one and be okay with an empty place setting

learning that 

learning to love again is the same thing as 

learning to start again. 

I Before Us. 

Sidestepping shadows as I stumbled home from the last hours friendly fuck,

I thought I had it all under control,

this insatiable desire to take everything that someone was willing to give, and then decide it  wasn’t enough.

Walking home in clothes that belong to someone else because I’m always looking for an excuse to go back to people who aren’t right for me,

bumming smokes in dirty, dingy bars, turning my lungs black for the kinds of men that don’t want to call me back.

I used to find a rhythm in the ways a Friday night was predictable

find, fuck, flee,

leave before I could be left

And call my mother every Sunday and tell her everything was just fine

and it was, before you.

Because  all it took was one moments stare from a strangers baby blue eyes and I was willing to give up three months of my time

before reality catches up and you’re too cold

I’m too needy,

and I’m crying in locked bathrooms wondering how I let it get this bad.

So I’m sidestepping shadows again,

only this time it’s because I’m scared of disappearing into the darkness again,

into memories of the way your fingertips wrote apologies on my skin for all the ways you would hurt me,

The ways you would promise to stay but always left again and again.

I’m sidestepping shadows in an attempt to take myself back to well-lit areas, away from men who leave behind bad habits and old t-shirts,

I’m almost me, I’m almost free.