I haven’t written anything in a terribly long time. I am afraid I’ve lost my words. And it scares me to stare at a blank document, fingers poised over the keys, only for nothing to come out of it. I hunger for how I was once able to spill my heart out over my sleeve without a second thought, and be fearlessly vulnerable in self reflection. What has changed? And who am I anymore?
I am currently working on my application for residency and am terribly stuck on writing on my personal statement. It’s been so long since I’ve articulated anything and I feel inept to write anything, let alone a statement to highlight my best characteristics. I feel the pressure though to get this moving, from my peers and internally as well. I never thought it would be difficult to write 500-1000 words – it doesn’t seem like very much – but I guess when you’re stuck, you’re stuck. There’s no way around it…I’ve got to find a way through.
I think I want to start here though. Where writing is less intimating. Where I can wade around into shallow water before I remember how to swim again – without the risk of drowning. Because I think it would be easy to drown right now. To become so overwhelmed with the stress that I become crippled under the pressure, unable to make any progress at all. The hole is right there, ready for me to jump into. Tantalizing me. The sweet temptation of procrastination urging me to leave it all for later. I mean, how important is the rest of your life anyway?
I am going to start writing again. To remember who I am and how I got here, and where I want to be. That’s really all they want to know about me anyway. And I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try and sell myself a bit. I don’t know if I can really do that right now though. I don’t feel worthy nor capable of achieving great things. I don’t feel accomplished. I feel inadequate in the face of my peer. I’m going to do my best.
busy streets and the sweet smell of rain the harrowing roar of the incoming train we stare blankly, confused but so aware we are lost, but we don’t seem to care
everyday, we searched for something more and hoped that when we turned past each concrete corner that we’d see something we’d never seen before something to justify how long we’ve suffered within our lonely selves something to bring back the light into the hollows of our eyes something to answer the darkness drowning in our cries
there’s a bridge ahead it creaks and moans and we know that when we cross it will fall apart beneath our feet but we don’t need to hesitate we know just where we need to be
our fingers lock you hold me steady we take each step in perfect synchrony and we feel the warmth coursing through us as the sun rises banishing the demons of our past we have found a new horizon at long last.
This poem is an apology to someone who I didn’t deserve.
I chose the friends who taunted me over your loyal company and I regret it just a little bit now but back then I just didn’t know how how to fight the feelings of wanting to fit in how to be myself and not feel so stretched thin how to sing proudly and not fear my voice’s sound how to look within myself and once again be found.
We used to go on adventures and fight battles in our make-believe wars the playground was our castle and the fields, the great outdoors we believed we were untouchable, better than the rest we cast spells against our enemies who got too close to our nest we would close our eyes, as our imaginations intensified and every day was different and delightful with you by my side those days I will cherish, a memoir of better years days that were filled in fascination, in courage, and in cheers.
So I’m sorry I was fragile, I was stupid, I was meek I swore we would be friends forever, but I was gone within a week I didn’t deserve you the me who was so easily swayed from one side to the next but I just can’t help but hope we’ll meet again in some pretext.
I hope you are doing well I hope you have found your way I hope there are people who are there for you who love and care for you who brighten up your day
and I hope they aren’t as foolish as the me from those years past I hope those friendships flourish I hope those friendships last.
I closed my eyes for peace of mind but in my heart, still I find fragments of your silhouette begging me desperately, don’t you forget how the adrenaline coursed through our veins how symphonic our interchange between refrains how our battles were conquered, one by one divergent to convergent, infinity to none.
I take a deep breath and let this song fall out of tune find myself some solace beneath the stars and the moon it’s time I found some distance from these thoughts drenched in the essence of you and learned to live for myself in spite of all that we’ve been through I brace myself for the chilling numbness of another solitary night but a surprisingly warmth overtakes me and suddenly everything feels light, there’s a life yet ahead of me and it’s going to be alright.
There are so many things I want to tell you, but I no longer have the right to say anything but thank you. Thank you so much. For being there during the darkest year of my life. For listening when I didn’t think anyone else would. For being so darn easy to talk to that I no longer felt the need to write out my thoughts. You were my blank canvas. And you let me paint you over and over. And not a single complaint. No matter how hard my brush strokes scratched against your surface. You took every Newton of that force in perfect stride. Thank you.
And now that you’re gone, I’m going to have to learn how to live again. How to make myself whole when I feel like rubble collapsing deep into this Earth. I want to disappear. To pretend I don’t care if the whole world forgets about me. But darn, I still care too much. So I put on those fake smiles and that false sense of confidence, hoping that it’s just enough to get me over the finish line. But it’s still far from here. I’ve a long way to go. And I can’t make it there if I’m sinking so easily in the shallowest waters.
I cried for days. And at first, I blamed you. It was your fault I was hurting like this. It was your fault I couldn’t move on. It was your fault for rejecting me when I needed someone the most. But I was wrong. I was heartbroken, but that didn’t make me miserable. I had just forgotten how depressed I was before I met you. I had forgotten what depression even felt like. And I so mistook it for a broken heart. I thought that if I got over you, I would be happy again. That all the weight upon my shoulders would be lifted with time. Because they told me that time will heal a broken heart. But it doesn’t necessarily heal abroken person. A broken person like me before I met you. Like me after losing you.
I can try to chalk it up to some stupid miswiring of the neurotransmitters in my brain. But I can’t help but think that it was me. I wired those neurons to be this way. I set myself up for failure with years of self-isolation, angst, and reluctance to acknowledge the people that cared me about me. I did this. It’s all my fault.
And don’t tell me I’m wrong. Not yet, anyway. Because for now, maybe it’s not so bad to be thinking like this. To believe that if I made some mistakes somewhere along the way to get to where I am now, then maybe I can make some right decisions to get to where I want to be. To believe that I’m not powerless.
Maybe I’ll take a page out of twelve-year old me’s book and go back to my age-old motto of “Believe in yourself”.