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.

A Siren Song For The Sluts

You’re eight years old, hiding in your sisters closet trying not to breathe too loudly or else she’ll know you’re in there, trying to steal that one sweater again.

“I just don’t get why he hasn’t called,” she’s saying on the phone to her friend. “We hooked up on Saturday and that was four days ago.”

You don’t know it yet, but this will be the year your sister tries and fails to kill herself, after a note scrawled on the bathroom wall suggests there’s nothing else for her to do,

no one likes a disgraced, deflowered and dethroned virgin, and she’s too young to know that Eve didn’t just decide to eat the apple, and it’s okay to blame Adam when things go wrong.

You’re fifteen sitting on your best friends’ bed trying to piece together the events of last night, because the space between that first drink handed to her by a friendly upper classman and waking up with her pants around her ankles and her shirt on backwards is a gaping expanse of what will later become regret, a blackhole that will threaten to devour her whole, because that is what secrets do,

and who would believe the daughter of the town whore when she cries a four letter word that makes the Mayor’s wife hold her son a little tighter and demand she take back these accusations,

and you’re both too young to know the difference between the freedom to choose and being given a choice, too young to know that consent is not in your murmured acceptance of a strangers hands pulling you down the hallway and into places darker than the nightmares you had as a child.

You’re nineteen and lying on the backseat of this week’s friendly fuck, and he whispers sweet nothings as he fumbles his way around your body, pretending to know the difference between your sighs of pleasure and

impatience.

And you’re too young to know the difference between fucking for fun and fucking to fill a void, because your dad hasn’t been home in three weeks and no one but your sister can navigate the minefield of empty wine bottles next to your parents bed, somewhere in the middle of it is your mother, too tipsy to teach her daughters that they are not women at the whim of the men around them.

So you’re twenty three and leaning on the edges of the bathroom sink for support, willing the mirror in front of you to open into a new world where the hand that fits so perfectly in your own doesn’t match the mark on your face,

breathless once reality has caught up,

damagd men will seek out damaged women and try to conquer the ruins left behind by those before him,

and some men plant flowers, others just pick them.

And you’re wishing you were younger, before the blood you taste from biting your tongue doesn’t remind you of all the times he told you this was all your fault,

before you started referring to each day as how many it had been since that last visit to the clinic and were handed those two little pills from a lady who just wanted to make sure this was your choice and not his,

and even after all this said and done, you’re still not sure

whether it was.

 

For The Women Who Can Never Get Enough. 

For The Women Who Can Never Get Enough. 

I wanted to be perfect for you, to be kind and soft and strong and pliable, 

But somewhere along the way I became too much of all those things. Too kind, and my weakness irritated you, too soft and every way you could hurt me seemed that much worse when you actually did, too strong when neither of us would back down, too pliable when you needed a change, 

When you needed me to change. 
I traced please don’t go into your skin last night as you slept, 

Whispered into the dark all the secrets I had kept, confessed all the ways I had begun to hate you, in a last ditch effort to pretend like admitting the reasons had become a reality was the same thing as pretending they hadn’t. 

But when you’re leaving dishes in the sink, I’m memorizing the names of all the men I’ve loved before you, wondering if any of them will take me back. 

I took the steady rise and fall of your body in its sleep cycle as forgiveness, the silence as you slept on unaware of what was happening as my penance. This was supposed to be how I showed that I cared, 

To be able to tell you these things was to be able to not need to, ever again, 

But the spot where you were sleeping just hours ago is empty, I let my guard down and closed my eyes and you snuck out, and I wish you had taken the sun with you and I can’t hide that

I’m sorry, but I have to is becoming more visible between the spots my tears made as they dropped onto the sheets.