Day 178 — Pride and Wrath

I wrote this almost a year ago, in June, 2015:

I’m updat­ing my web­site and will be mov­ing every­thing here.

I’m angry again! What the heck. I keep visu­al­iz­ing that inner wolf. The wolf is not in attack mode, but it’s growl­ing and some­times pacing.

I’m frus­trated. I’m frus­trated that I still strug­gle with a lot of things. I’m frus­trated that I get angry and bristling. I’m frus­trated that when some­one hurts me, whether or not it was inten­tional, or they don’t like me, I even­tu­ally turn cold–after I’m done ques­tion­ing myself–and think the per­son is just a jerk or self­ish or whatever.

I feel like my heart’s reg­u­la­tory mech­a­nism is faulty, like when the temperature-adjusting mech­a­nism in the fridge goes a lit­tle nuts and freezes every­thing on your top shelf. I get hurt, and then my heart freezes over towards that per­son. I become ice. The wolf snarls and is unfor­giv­ing. I’m snarling and unforgiving.

I’m mad. I’m mad at Mr. S. I’m mad at the posse of women that liked Mr. S and didn’t like me (I know, I know: move on already). I’m freak­ing dis­gusted by Mr. C. And, I’m mad at Prat­ty­cakes. He never tried to talk to me again. Like, what the heck? I’m mad! I’m mad. I’m mad at all of them for hurt­ing me. I’m mad that my ex messed me up so bad that I even get cold. My heart turns icy now.

I feel like I want my soul to be this flow­er­ing gar­den, but some­times, all I can see are the des­o­late waste­lands that some peo­ple left behind. They burned it all. And they did it in front of me. As they went through with their freak­ing flamethrow­ers, I stood by either smil­ing as if it was per­fectly okay or wail­ing to myself ask­ing what I had done wrong that had pro­voked this response from them. Not once did I spin-kick any of them to their faces. I let them hurt me so much. I just let them.

Obvi­ously, not every guy from my past has hurt me the same. I think it was more like an immune response. My emo­tional immune sys­tem was already pretty defi­cient, but then my ex came along and com­pletely destroyed it. It started attack­ing itself, like some sort of hos­tile can­cer. Every­thing my ex said, I learned to say, so even after he was gone, I was still being belit­tled. When you’re that messed up, and that sick, you just don’t have the abil­ity to fight any­thing new. I couldn’t strongly fight the self­ish­ness of Mr. C or the awk­ward­ness that Mr. S placed me in. It didn’t mat­ter that those peo­ple and the things they did shouldn’t have mat­tered so much to me. It was like a cold to some­one with leukemia. I couldn’t han­dle it. I had noth­ing left to fight exter­nal onslaught. But I learned. I learned after Mr. S. When Prat­ty­cakes came around and behaved like a schmuck, I was sad but not destroyed. Sud­denly, the actions of another per­son couldn’t harm me as they did before. My emo­tional immune sys­tem has become much more robust.

As far as I have to go yet, I am proud of myself for being as dili­gent as I have about grow­ing every­thing back into some­thing beau­ti­ful after watch­ing every­thing get destroyed and burned. I’ve per­se­vered at some­thing that is very hard.

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Day 176 — Tut Tut, It Looks Like Rain

This week sucks. It hurts, and I don’t like it. I have so many emo­tions going on, that I feel like if each emo­tion were to have a cor­re­spond­ing col­ored Play Doh, and then you were to take all those bits of col­ored Play Doh and mash it together into a ball, that would be my soul right now. I need some­one to lis­ten to me and com­fort me for a good five or six hours, but I don’t have that because peo­ple, quite rea­son­ably, have their own lives and prob­lems. So, I am stuck pro­cess­ing this largely on my own. I know that’s life, but it sucks!

My heart is hurt­ing and afraid. My ex wants to attend UCLA. He spent a lot of time hurt­ing me and being ter­ri­ble. He wants to be here. He emails me a lot. It scares me. He still doesn’t under­stand just how bad he was. I don’t need that around me. It poi­sons me. I ques­tion myself. I feel guilt. I feel oblig­a­tion. I feel fear.

I spoke to one of my best friends. It scared me. She was dif­fer­ent. It felt like I wasn’t talk­ing to her. The stuff she was say­ing, it wasn’t her. I’m afraid she is gone. I’m afraid her per­son­al­ity and all her glo­ri­ous, unique behav­iorisms are gone. Imag­ine talk­ing to some­one, some­one you know so well, like a brother or a sis­ter, and when they speak, it is as if that per­son were erased and replaced. I’m heart­bro­ken. I’m scared. She has always been one of my anchors. She was so dif­fer­ent when we spoke last–she was a dif­fer­ent per­son. It was like some­one was just wear­ing her body. She wouldn’t con­nect. My per­spec­tive didn’t matter–she acted like she had all the answers. It wasn’t her. It made me ter­ri­bly sad. It feels like she is dead.

I’m scared by how much I don’t fit in. Maybe it is like a puz­zle, and maybe I am needed, but I feel like I’m hardly mak­ing any sort of dent. It scares me because I don’t know if I’ll be able to change things like I want. If peo­ple don’t care that I am nice or car­ing now, why should they care later? How will I ever moti­vate peo­ple to step up and do the right thing? What if I can’t?

I have no con­trol over peo­ple. I can’t make them good. I can’t make them see who I am or that I care, or value that I care. If I could, I would have done that with Prat­ty­cakes. Maybe. I mean, I don’t like the idea of con­trol, but to have zero con­trol and watch peo­ple not care, watch your best friend trans­form into a dif­fer­ent per­son, and have your abu­sive ex cross the world to go to your school, I have no con­trol. I feel pow­er­less. And then to watch peo­ple just walk by, not stop, not smile. To lis­ten to friends and encour­age them, and so many don’t do it back when you need it. It’s all over­whelm­ing me. I feel like I am watch­ing a tidal wave approach me and that there is no way to escape it. I’ve tried reach­ing out, but I feel obnox­ious or repet­i­tive. I need to be told it is going to be okay. I’m try­ing to tell myself, but it is hard. I am scared right now and hav­ing a dif­fi­cult time qui­et­ing all these fears on my own.

This is the depression.

Am I truly pow­er­less? In some ways, yes; in other ways, no. I can con­trol my actions. I seem to be a very inef­fec­tual war­rior against my emo­tions, but by damn I can con­trol my actions. I’m afraid; so what? I can still do fear­less things. What else is there? I could stop try­ing to be good or lov­ing; I could stop dream­ing; I could stop try­ing and tak­ing risks to do accom­plish goals. I don’t want to stop. I am feel­ing this way. If I wasn’t afraid about my ex com­ing, it would be stu­pid. If I wasn’t afraid and sad about my best friend act­ing so dif­fer­ently and emo­tion­ally reservedly, it would be obliv­i­ous, self-absorbed, or cal­lous. If I wasn’t sad about my lack of deep, mean­ing­ful inter­ac­tions, I wouldn’t be who I am. These feel­ings, as unpleas­ant as they are, are byprod­ucts of valu­ing cer­tain things, I think: safety, love, con­nec­tion, depth, mean­ing, courage, hon­esty, compassion.

I think feel­ings can be impor­tant. I don’t think they are the end-all and be-all of every­thing. I don’t think our feel­ings have to be a cer­tain way in order to do the right thing. How­ever, it hasn’t ever been healthy for me to pre­tend like I wasn’t feel­ing a cer­tain way or to try to force the feel­ings to leave.

I care, and because I care, some­times I hurt. And because I’m human, I’m going to feel for­ever. I’m going to get scared, sad, anx­ious, happy, excited, and overwhelmed.

Life will go on. I have a new project I am excited about. I just would like some­one to lis­ten and be my voice of rea­son while my head is whirling with all these wor­ries and feel­ings. I am wor­ried that might be too much to ask, so am afraid to ask for what I think I need.

I love myself for try­ing to hold on, and for try­ing not to lose sight of what mat­ters to me and what is impor­tant to me.

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Day 175 — A Puzzle? Pt. II

I wanted two sep­a­rate posts. Don’t ask me why.

My good friend, Princess Doc­tor, told me that I do fit here because I am needed. It was so sweet and so won­der­ful and so thought-provoking all at the same time. Princess Doc­tor told me that the fact that I think and feel deeply makes me spe­cial and impor­tant to the peo­ple around me. She told me that I change lives and have been chang­ing hers. She said that if peo­ple each have a role to play, my role is to change lives, and encour­age deeper thoughts and feel­ings in those around me. That is exactly what I want, and her words brought me so much peace. The fact that I am dif­fer­ent and that I don’t match the pieces around me, gives me a pur­pose. I help cre­ate some­thing beau­ti­ful with my own unique con­tri­bu­tion. If you have pieces to a puz­zle or a watch or even a bio­log­i­cal organ­ism, and they all look and func­tion the same, none of the pieces would seem to serve pur­pose. Maybe I fit pre­cisely because I am dif­fer­ent. If I was sur­rounded by peo­ple just like me, would any of us grow and change and would we make a dif­fer­ence in anyone’s life? We would be inter­change­able. As it stands, with me in all my unique glory, I am not inter­change­able. I can­not sim­ply be traded in or out for another piece because I bring some­thing unique and spe­cial and impor­tant that many oth­ers don’t bring but need or want.

I do get sad and lonely and won­der if I am crazy for how deeply I think. I worry about peo­ple think­ing I am ter­ri­bly strange. I remem­ber the venom from my ex, and I remem­ber how Mr. S and Mr. C both made me feel like a crazy, hys­ter­i­cal woman for being upset at their betray­als of trust. Just like if I had been in some type of hor­rific acci­dent, I find myself hav­ing days where I have pangs of pain and aches.

Some­thing won­der­ful hap­pened last night though. It was very late, and I was about to go to sleep. I sud­denly was bom­barded with this very strong feel­ing that I needed to send some­thing to two spe­cial peo­ple right away. About six months ago, my ex sent me a doc­u­ment he found on his com­puter. It was a let­ter I had writ­ten to my best friend after she died and a brief account of our friend­ship. I had been mean­ing to send it to her par­ents for months, but I kept putting it off. I would think that per­haps I should do it later, or that I didn’t have their emails read­ily avail­able. Last night, at approx­i­mately one a.m., I was strongly pushed to send it to them imme­di­ately, with no delay. Before my mind could even fully form the thought that I could just send it the fol­low­ing morn­ing, the thought was promptly rejected by my moti­va­tion to send this let­ter to her par­ents. I found the doc­u­ment. I found the par­ents’ email addresses. I sent the let­ter, and I told them I loved them. My best friend’s father responded with an email telling me how spe­cial I was to them, and to thank me for send­ing it to them, and send­ing it to them today, on Moth­ers’ Day, because of how bit­ter­sweet it is to cel­e­brate the day with­out your daugh­ter. I hadn’t been think­ing of Moth­ers’ Day. I hadn’t been strate­gi­cally hold­ing off the email to send it at the right time. I sim­ply kept putting it off, and then sud­denly, with­out think­ing about any­thing related to it, I felt so strongly that I com­pletely had to send that email right away. It couldn’t even wait for the morn­ing. And I did it. And, it just so hap­pened, that I did send it on the per­fect day, at the per­fect time, with­out even mean­ing to.

I’m glad that I play a part in people’s lives. I’m glad that happened.

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Day 174 — A Puzzle?

I’ve been com­pletely ter­ri­fied by my lat­est idea, and in the wake of Pratt’s momen­tary debauch­ery and ensu­ing silence, I have been doubt­ing myself even more than I’ve become accus­tomed to.

I dream of lov­ing oth­ers bravely and boldly regard­less of their reac­tion or any fear. I want to live beyond fear, out­side of its grasp. I’ve had this idea that I will write let­ters to peo­ple that I have noticed. Even as I write it, I fear that I am crazy for want­ing to do it. Sur­pris­ingly, I keep think­ing of the dis­ap­proval I would get from my par­ents for it. So far, I’ve got­ten mixed reac­tions. It would obvi­ously hurt to give a let­ter to some­one and the result be that they think I am weird, creepy, or crazy, but what I really want to hear from friends is if it weird in a bad way or crazy. I am wor­ried about over­step­ping some bound­ary where I go too far in try­ing to be nice and actu­ally appear creepy or insane.

I keep think­ing that I would love to get a let­ter like the ones I am plan­ning on mak­ing. I don’t care if it is from a guy, a woman, a child, a stranger, a loved one. I love get­ting hon­est let­ters and notes.

Ugh, I hate this hes­i­ta­tion. I hate that a man hurt­ing me is mak­ing me ques­tion myself so much! This is noth­ing com­pared to how it was before, but I hate this fog of self-doubt that lives around me. I ques­tion my word­ing of things. I ques­tion my thoughts. I ques­tion my ideas. I ques­tion myself. It is ter­ri­ble, and I want it to stop now.

What can I do about it?

I sup­pose I can try to see what is true.

I have been doubt­ing how I look again. Again, not to the degree it was before, but the nag­ging worry has been turn­ing up in vol­ume lately. I think I am pretty. I think I am pretty. I can’t con­trol what oth­ers think, but I think I am really pretty. I like my eyes a lot; they are a pretty color. I like the shape of my face, and that I have defined cheek­bones and jaw. I like my skin, even though I have acne. It has a nice glow. I think I am pretty. I have also been won­der­ing if I am crazy. These seem to be the top two soul-sucking thoughts. I ques­tion my looks because men rarely try to speak with me or seem to look at me very often. It seems that firmly entrenched in my mind is the Hol­ly­wood nar­ra­tive that when a man thinks a woman is pretty, he can’t remove his gaze from her vicin­ity. When I don’t see clear evi­dence of that, I ques­tion whether my con­clu­sion of “I am pretty” is accu­rate. It shouldn’t mat­ter. I felt a lot stronger when I was see­ing the good things in myself rather than liv­ing solely on the com­pli­ments and sup­port of oth­ers. I want that strength again, and I hope that this is sim­ply a time where my strength is pushed to a bet­ter level. I sup­pose, in that way, maybe it is good that I am not being chased down. I am forced to build up this strength with­out overly rely­ing on others.

I sup­pose I am like an ocean in this way. I could sit on the shore and say loudly that this is all there is, or I can swim far and dive deep and dis­cover crea­tures and worlds I never knew existed. I can find a beau­ti­ful strength, and a strong love, and a heart for chang­ing lives that I never would have known if I sim­ply rested on the shore, con­tent with what I could see from it. Right now, I seem to be a lit­tle dis­ori­ented and swim­ming around in odd pat­terns though.

I think if my goal is self­less love and courage, the best way to ori­ent myself is to swim towards my goal. But what if I’m crazy? What if I creep all these peo­ple out? What if they tell me I am creepy and weird? I am afraid to open my heart up and show myself to be dif­fer­ent. I am scared.

The one I am most afraid of is Gypsy. The thought of creep­ing him out or push­ing him to this uncom­fort­able place makes me feel sil­lier than I nor­mally do when I think of him. I don’t want to be ridicu­lous to any­one. Espe­cially not Gypsy.

I’m scared to write again. What the heck! I will write any­ways! Fear be damned.

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Day 173

Lately, and I think under­stand­ably, I have been quite upset about men and have been inter­nal­iz­ing it to the point where some­thing has shifted uncom­fort­ably in me. It seems like a lid that only has one side prop­erly fas­tened while the other sticks up refus­ing to line up. Before Pratt behaved mys­te­ri­ously, I felt quite con­fi­dent. I had my moments, but they weren’t very stub­born. Post-mystery, I have been focus­ing so much on the behav­ior of those around me–especially men. It makes me feel off bal­ance. I have so many aspi­ra­tions and ideas to pur­sue, and yet my mind is con­vo­luted and blocked up with sad­ness and irri­ta­tion at not being pur­sued or noticed ‘enough’. I seem to have shifted slightly closer to a mind­set of need­ing oth­ers to notice my worth and value in order to see it in myself. That isn’t who I want to be. I want to be bold, beau­ti­ful, kind, and brave enough to do and be all those things with­out requir­ing cer­tain reac­tions. I want to rec­og­nize my strength and see that it is enough. Sup­port, encour­age­ment, com­pli­ments, kind­ness and sweet­ness from oth­ers is incred­i­bly valu­able, and nec­es­sary, I think, but I don’t want that to be the foun­da­tion for all my confidence.

My friend told me about this exer­cise where you write down an affir­ma­tion and write down any resis­tance to it. I think I will do that.

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Day 172 — An Ugly Duckling

I’d like to pref­ace this by say­ing that I don’t think I am ugly, stu­pid, annoy­ing, or bad.

Lately, I have been feel­ing alone. It’s not that there aren’t peo­ple who love me around me. It’s that I think dif­fer­ently and feel dif­fer­ently from many, many of the peo­ple around me. I spend hours think­ing about some­thing that most peo­ple would dis­miss or try to dis­tract them­selves from. I think peo­ple are spe­cial. Whether they choose to do any­thing with that is up to them, but I still think they are special.

I feel like a for­eigner here. I talk dif­fer­ently. I think about dif­fer­ent things. I want dif­fer­ent things. The way I do things is dif­fer­ent. I don’t fit here. In fact, I fit very, very badly.

I’ve been think­ing about the Ugly Duck­ling fairy­tale. A lot of peo­ple have spent a lot of time telling me what I should do or not do, think or not think, feel or not feel.

I am loved. When peo­ple meet me, they gen­er­ally like me. But I still don’t fit. It isn’t that peo­ple mock me, like they did the Ugly Duck­ling. It’s that they stay away from me, or aren’t inter­ested in talk­ing about the things I want to talk about, or doing the things I want to do. I want to talk about chang­ing the world. I want to talk about people’s (includ­ing my) feel­ings, dreams, and goals.

The guy wanted a duck. He wanted some­one he could hook up with and it not mean any­thing. That’s not me. I’m not a duck, and I don’t fit here, and it’s very lonely sometimes.

I see Gypsy quite often which also reminds me of how much I don’t fit here. Maybe that is the wrong way for me to inter­pret it, but it is extremely hard to inter­pret our encoun­ters any other way. He walks past me, with­out look­ing, almost every time I see him. He knows my name. We have had con­ver­sa­tions, how­ever brief. It makes me feel bad every time he walks past with­out even glanc­ing. I’m shy, so often I just let him with­out say­ing any­thing. I do look at him and make myself avail­able for eye con­tact, which I feel stu­pid about because he usu­ally just walks past. I’ll see him with friends, and then I just remem­ber that I’m not a duck, and I don’t fit here. Not many peo­ple, it seems, want to know me. I’m prob­a­bly being dra­matic and exces­sively sad, but it’s hard to be opti­mistic and inter­pret people’s inten­tions cor­rectly or pos­i­tively espe­cially when peo­ple are so good at hid­ing their thoughts and feelings…

I did it. I just unfriended the guy on Face­book. It sounds triv­ial and likely stu­pid. I didn’t want to see him any­more. That’s not true–I don’t like the idea of cut­ting off that last tie with him–I didn’t want to let go. He looks like Chris Pratt, so I’m going to call him Chris Pratt from now on. I don’t know why, but the name “Prat­ty­cakes” just popped into my head. Mov­ing on. I didn’t want to hold on, even in this small way, when he had let go and walked away with­out a word.

I don’t fit. I feel like a for­eigner in my own coun­try, even in my own home.

I’m very lucky to be loved by so many peo­ple. I would also like the way I am to be enjoyed. I’m in a very post-rejection mood where I feel like most peo­ple have no desire to get to know me or to know my thoughts and feel­ings. I think I’ve prob­a­bly been ques­tion­ing my mean­ing in people’s lives after see­ing what a brief cameo I was mak­ing in Pratt’s life.

I am embar­rassed to be ques­tion­ing myself, how­ever minutely. I wish I was a bit stronger and that rejec­tion would just roll off me like water off a duck. Instead, it seems more like oil or peanut but­ter on a duck’s back, and it sticks to me until I man­u­ally remove it.

I hope one day I will be bet­ter. I do love myself for my type of for­eign­ness though. I don’t fit because I think and feel deeply. I don’t fit because I value my inter­ac­tions with peo­ple and try to make them pos­i­tive ones, gen­er­ally. I’m a for­eigner because of my level of care and atten­tive­ness in my own life. I am ques­tion­ing myself now, but I don’t think I will always.

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Day 171 — Love Stories

I stopped watch­ing love sto­ries and read­ing romance nov­els a long time ago. I think it was par­tially delib­er­ate because I felt they were giv­ing me unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions, but I think it was also sub­con­scious. I stopped watch­ing them after my abu­sive ex. I just stopped believ­ing in love sto­ries. I stopped believ­ing that men wanted to romance women, or that men could ever love women as much as women love men. I don’t believe in epic love sto­ries. I don’t believe that men want to sac­ri­fice for women, or make them smile, or make their hearts race.

I want to believe, but I don’t. Men lie. They hurt. They don’t show remorse. They don’t seem to care. They hook up. They move on.

The last few weeks have been titled “Boys Are Stu­pid.” There are hats. I’m sick and tired of men look­ing and never speak­ing. I’m tired of men hid­ing their feel­ings and being cow­ards. I’m tired of all the men that never try. Why won’t they try, you may ask? Because they’re stu­pid. In all fair­ness, it’s because they’re scared. We’re all scared. We’re scared to be hon­est. You know why we are all so scared? Because we’re stu­pid. We set­tle. We don’t try. How many won­der­ful moments do we rob our­selves of by not try­ing? How many beau­ti­ful expe­ri­ences do we miss out on because we lack the courage to be hon­est, kind, self­less, bold, inno­v­a­tive. We set­tle for quiet mis­ery and lone­li­ness and heartache and mis­trust and des­per­a­tion that things will get bet­ter with­out actu­ally try­ing to make them bet­ter ourselves.

It is not any way to live, and I will not do it! I will not give in. I will not sur­ren­der. I will not remain silent. I will not hide and cower. I will be bold and brave. I will tell the truth. I will love. I will try new things even when I am afraid.

I met a new man that seems to like me, and he seems rather sweet. I’m scared. I don’t want to be used. I don’t want to be for­got­ten. I don’t want to be left. I thought maybe I shouldn’t try because of all the things that could go wrong. I thought maybe I shouldn’t try because I was just demol­ished by some­one else two weeks ago–it’s all so fresh. And maybe the wise thing is to not try. Maybe I will acci­den­tally hurt this new man by rebound­ing or throw­ing my fears on him. I don’t know. But I want to try. Because I want to believe. I want to believe there is good­ness out there. I want to believe that there are men that will be bold, and hon­est, and good, and have good inten­tions. And, how could I ever fault men for not try­ing and not being brave, if I won’t try or be brave? And the truth is, I am twice the man than any of these men that won’t try. I risked. I was vul­ner­a­ble and exposed. I trusted that guy, and I tried, and it failed. It failed epi­cally. We don’t talk. I don’t talk to him. But I tried. He may not have cared. He may have used me–who knows–but I tried. I tried, and I was good.

I never want to think of him again. I wish great things for him, and I do believe that my good feel­ing was right. I think he is a good guy, who did a bad thing, and has every­thing he needs to be a great man. Maybe my good feel­ing just…sensed that inner great­ness that wasn’t quite there yet. But I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve kisses accom­pa­nied by empty words and silence.

Every day, I try. I love to love. I write love notes for my room­mates. I love them so much, and I just want them to know all the time. I buy my best friend’s favorite snacks, just know­ing it will make her feel thought of and make her smile. I say hi to Gypsy, even though he always seems to act like I have a slight case of lep­rosy that can be trans­mit­ted even through eye con­tact (he won’t look at me), and it hurts my feel­ings. I was always will­ing to lis­ten and encour­age that guy because I wanted him to have faith in him­self. I offered to bring food to my friends and acquain­tances who are doing rota­tions at the hos­pi­tal nearby. I try to tell peo­ple how I feel and what I think about them, even strangers, because it makes peo­ple feel so good. I send video mes­sages (inspired by Ms. Glo­be­trot­ter) telling my friends how much I love them and why, just so they will always know. I care about being good, and I will always try. I prac­tice in every moment. Every moment is an oppor­tu­nity to be good and kind and strong and to love oth­ers. Every moment is an oppor­tu­nity for beauty and excel­lence and effort. There is beauty in effort too. It makes me beau­ti­ful to try.

The rea­son I walked away from that guy was because I gave all of this and had all of this to give today, right now, and all he had to give were empty kisses, and that’s not good enough. I want to know how peo­ple feel about me–everyone. I want to know when a moment belongs to me, when some­one is think­ing of me. I want to know when some­one thinks I am beautiful–every time. I want to know when some­one misses me or wants to talk with me. I want to know every­thing. I try to open my heart to the peo­ple around me. I want the same. I want peo­ple to try for the best thing, for the great­est thing, with me. Is it love? Is it hon­esty? What­ever it is, I wish peo­ple would try.

I want to believe men care, but all I see is self­ish­ness. I want more. I want to believe there is more.

I want to be the best I can be. Always reach for the best–not just externally–the best job, the best part­ner, the best moment–but also reach for the best inside of you. Reach for the best you are capa­ble of being. I think that is when truly great things happen–when truly great rela­tion­ships, and friend­ships, and adven­tures hap­pen. I try to reach for the best in me, and I think that is one of the bravest things I can do. I hope I will be bet­ter. I hope I will love bet­ter and be braver. I will try to always fight.

Soon, I will start plan­ning for Hawaii and Brazil. Life goes on. I go on. I am strong, I think.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stum­bles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them bet­ter. The credit belongs to the man who is actu­ally in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort with­out error and short­com­ing; but who does actu­ally strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthu­si­asms, the great devo­tions; who spends him­self in a wor­thy cause; who at the best knows in the end the tri­umph of high achieve­ment, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while dar­ing greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who nei­ther know vic­tory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt.

Tomor­row, I must try again.

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Day 170 — Trying to Take A Step

Disclaimer: some infor­ma­tion that may make you feel uncomfortable

I’m scared. I’m scared that this is what men are: cow­ardly, self­ish, hurtful.

What do men see when they look at me and talk with me? Some­one beau­ti­ful and won­der­ful, or some­one they’d like to sleep with? I sud­denly feel so unsure. I had such a good, in-my-gut feel­ing about this guy, but this was so bad! He acknowl­edged his crap­pi­ness as a friend in not talk­ing to me, invited me over and kissed me (among other steamier things–sorry, it’s rel­e­vant) and told me he really liked me and missed me, and then pro­ceeded to not talk to me again! That is so bad. That is so, so bad. And he knew. We had a con­ver­sa­tion about how much things meant to me. Of course I feel so cheap to this per­son! What the heck!

Is that what men are like? I feel so heart­bro­ken again.

How­ever, as unsure about my intu­ition, per­cep­tion, and abil­ity to think clearly as I am, I still feel like the sun–I feel like some part of me is shin­ing out into the world. I’m so sad–it’s true–and I care so much about what it all means, but even in the midst of it all, I did some­thing great today. I have been hes­i­tat­ing on writ­ing in my Hero Move­ment blog out of fear. I haven’t wanted to fail or do it wrong. I wanted my thoughts to be per­fect and poignant and effec­tive. I wanted to be as bril­liant a politi­cian or world-changer or leader as Abra­ham Lin­coln in every thing I said. Today, I posted on it. The only way I will ever be great in this way is if I work at it. I have to work at it often, very often. I have to prac­tice think­ing and be ready for crit­i­cism. I’m sure in the begin­ning, I’ll be messy and inef­fec­tive, but it is a step. I’ve been wak­ing up every morn­ing, get­ting break­fast, and writ­ing while eating.

I can’t help but think this thought–that per­haps is wrong to think, but I thought of it just the same–that if I can take such a dreaded first step, a step I have been fright­ened to take for two years, when I am sad and heart­bro­ken and doubt­ful, imag­ine what I could be capa­ble of when I am feel­ing con­fi­dent, sure, and full of life.

I think that doesn’t just mean that life goes on, but that some­thing in me, some smaller life within this great, uni­ver­sal life, goes on as well. I keep going. I keep liv­ing, smil­ing, laugh­ing, and becom­ing some­one effec­tive and bril­liant and lov­ing. I dream of adven­tures and chang­ing the world and even falling in love, though I seri­ously doubt the cal­iber of men. I dream of learn­ing and think­ing and dis­cussing. I dream of lov­ing and being kind. I dream of being bet­ter and stronger.

Today, I love myself for being strong and doing some great thing for me even when I am sad. Today, I love myself for my abil­ity to lis­ten to and com­fort oth­ers even when I am hurt­ing too. I love myself for going to ther­apy and try­ing to grow and become a health­ier thinker. I love myself for car­ing about the world. I love myself for offer­ing mean­ing, or try­ing to, in my inter­ac­tions with others.

I don’t want to be sad, and I don’t want to doubt or be so afraid! My heart feels so timid now. I’m scared. I don’t want to be hurt again.

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Day 169 — I Gave a Fuck, Part I

I think I’m actu­ally quite dev­as­tated by what hap­pened with the guy. I’m heart­bro­ken, plain and simple.

Some­times, I have moments where I feel really embar­rassed that I care. I care if he is think­ing about me, if he feels any­thing, and I some­times feel so fool­ish for car­ing even still after I have given up and walked away. I don’t talk to him, and he doesn’t talk to me, and that all really, really hurts.

And then, in that moment when I feel embar­rassed or stu­pid or vul­ner­a­ble, I remem­ber how much I hate this cul­ture. Peo­ple brag about how they “gave zero fucks.” They brag about bang­ing each other, about win­ning roman­tic or sex­ual con­quests, about being rude or heart­less or cruel because “I wasn’t going to let that per­son do it to me” or “I was just being hon­est.” It’s a badge of honor to put one­self first in this young adult cul­ture. I hate this culture.

FUCKS WERE GIVEN.

My heart is break­ing from being treated so mean­ing­lessly, but it is break­ing in the best pos­si­ble way that it could ever break. I gave, and every­thing I gave was sweet and pure. It was sin­cere and gen­uine and shy and beau­ti­ful. I could have been like almost every­one here and been cheap and given insin­cere words and played insin­cere games, as if it was ever about winning.

I care. I will never be like the peo­ple here. I will never pre­tend I don’t care, or play it cool, or treat a human being as insignif­i­cant. Peo­ple are so spe­cial. They have heart­breaks, hopes, fears, dreams, and abil­i­ties to accom­plish those dreams. I always want to add some­thing so beau­ti­ful and inspir­ing to peo­ple. I want peo­ple to feel bet­ter after know­ing me. Even the ones that seem shal­low and idi­otic still have the abil­ity to grow and become great people.

I want to be the most beau­ti­ful and kind addi­tion to people’s lives. This man didn’t care about what I added, or at least had a really pathet­i­cally painful way of show­ing it, but the impor­tant thing is that I added some­thing. I encour­aged him, and believed in him, and I hope one day he gets bet­ter. I was kind and understanding.

I’m so hurt and a lit­tle angry now. I hope the pain goes away fast. I am so scared that no one (no man that I like) will ever be capa­ble of see­ing how won­der­ful I am, and the thought makes me so lonely. He didn’t care. He didn’t care about what I offered or what things to meant to me. He doesn’t even try to talk to me. I never want to hurt like this, about this, again. How could some­one care so very lit­tle for some­one in their life? I don’t want to think about him anymore.

I love myself for giv­ing a fuck. I love myself for being anti-part-of-this-culture. I love myself for try­ing. I love myself for giv­ing even when it costs.

I care. Will any­one ever care that I care? I am start­ing to feel fool­ish and vul­ner­a­ble again. I’m scared to share my heart. I don’t want to it (me) to be ridiculed or walked away from. I’m scared.

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Day 168 — I Will Survive, Pt. II

I can’t con­trol if peo­ple will be nice to me. I can’t con­trol others.

I can con­trol how sweet I am to oth­ers. I can con­trol who I kiss and what it means. I can con­trol the care that I offer.

I’m sad now, but life will go on. I’m a very strong woman. I feel so much, but I know how to sur­vive and dom­i­nate. This is sad for me. It is sad to have some­one treat you mean­ing­lessly. It is sad to look at some­one with googly-eyes and them never look back at you. How­ever, I have hope for my future. I don’t want to feel for men any­more, at least right now, but there are so many addi­tional dreams in my head. I am plan­ning on spend­ing a month or two in Hawaii and then mov­ing on to Brazil for a month. I want to explore and see beau­ti­ful, dif­fer­ent things, and meet beau­ti­ful, dif­fer­ent peo­ple. I am read­ing the news and start­ing to gen­er­ate inklings of thought about how I want my other blog project to go. I got an unex­pected raise with one of my Eng­lish stu­dents who said that I had helped her so much, that she wanted to start pay­ing me more–isn’t that the sweetest?

Life will go on, even though my heart feels bruised and a lit­tle bro­ken. I’m proud of myself for the soft­ness of my heart and the care I offer. I know it’s rare, and I also have to have this sad, dread­ing acknowl­edg­ment that not every­one will appre­ci­ate it… I’m glad that my iden­tity is so strong that I didn’t change myself to fit my sur­round­ings. This is how I feel. I’m glad to feel.

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