Enough

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I finally let my guard down, and everything falls apart.

I think I’m where I’m meant to be, but then doubt rips through my heart.

Balancing the weight feels like a bomb or a grenade.

One tiny misstep and I ruin everything I’ve made.

Sometimes I feel lucky to do what’s in my heart.

But other days I wonder if this is just the start.

Will I always feel so insecure, like I am two feet small?

Does it get easy as time goes by, am I made for this at all?

I felt so sure right from the start, but doubt’s been creeping in.

And I’ve never been one for giving up,

I don’t want them to win.

They win if I quit without giving my all,

but that means finally tearing down the walls.

What if, without them, I can’t handle the fight?

What if it makes me not sleep at night?

If I’m not meant to be here, if I don’t make the cut,

I’m not sure I’ll find a place that ever makes me feel like I’m enough.

My Next Move

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I don’t have some sort of magical next step planned. No big move up the career ladder, no major moves hidden up my sleeve. And why isn’t that enough? I’m right where I want to be right now. I’m comfortable. I’m content. And after the last few years I’ve had dealing with the loss of someone so close to me, some comfort is much needed. I want to do things that make me feel alive again. I want to write. I want to create music. I want to read books. I want to enjoy nature. I want to spend time with those closest to me because I know firsthand how quickly they can be taken away. I’m not in a rush to figure out my next move because then I’ll be missing the one I’m in right now. That is my biggest goal. To live each day as if it is my last, to soak in as many beautiful moments as possible, and to make people feel good along the way. And however God feels the need to use me to make that possible, I will do. Right now He’s telling me to pause, to soak it in, and to be still. Because that’s the tricky part; I’m not very good at being still. I’m always looking for the next big thing, and not as good at appreciating what’s right in front of me. So no, I don’t have any sort of big next move planned even though many around me do. And instead of stressing over comparisons, I choose to follow my own path. I choose to live my life in a way that energizes instead of exhausts. A life I’m not always trying to find ways to escape from. A life I’m actually excited to live, instead of one driven by the fear of being different.

How Death Changed My Life

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May 16, 2017, was a day that changed my life forever. It was the day that cancer took away my best friend at the tender age of only 22 years old. Melissa was not just a regular friend; she was amazing. She was truly like a sister to me. She was so loyal, so kind, and always by my side no matter what crazy thing was happening. I knew we could get through anything together.

She was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16. Over the course of the next 7 years, I watched her suffer through 3 different types of cancer, 4 different times. I was by her side through all the surgeries, the chemo and radiation, and all the at-home movie nights when she was just too exhausted to get out of bed. I listened to her vent her frustrations, cry through her worries, and celebrate her steps forward. Every step along the way, whether it was her journey or mine, we had each other to lean on.

This may help you understand why I was so devastated when her husband called me at 7:30 AM on the morning of May 16, 2017, to tell me that she had passed away a few hours previous. It seemed so unreal to me, in that moment. How can this person I’ve spent the last decade of my life with just be gone? How is that even possible? I knew this day was coming, though. I know it for a few months, but that didn’t take away from the fact that it seemed so completely wrong for such a sweet soul to have to suffer so much and be taken away so soon. I could spend hours telling you about the 10 years I had with this amazing human being, but that’s not my purpose. I want to share with you what this experience has taught me because it has completely changed my life.

Melissa was the type of person who always seemed to know exactly who she was. She was always so fearless about it, too. I know she had some insecurities, but she lived her life as if she didn’t. She did what she wanted to do and forged her own path, no matter what anyone else thought about it. She lived her life so fearlessly despite all the things she had to fear and now that she’s gone, I’m hoping that I am able to carry on that legacy for her. She showed me how truly short and precious life is, and how important it is to live your life the way you want to, and not the way others expect you to. After all, no one gets out of this life alive, so why not live it? It’s important to be smart about the decisions you make, but life is so satisfying when you do things your way. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. I’ve always felt like I’m different from most people; I used to fear that, but Melissa showed me how to embrace it. She has given me the strength to be myself, and to have the courage to listen to my heart instead of other people’s misguided opinions. Now, every time I get upset, I think of her and it helps me to stay in the moment. It reminds me to share this message with the world and hope that others can take some inspiration from how I live my life and carry it with them in theirs.

Advantage

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It’s been 10 years now and you’d think I would have learned that this is what you always do.

I thought maybe with time it would change, but I’m learning the problem isn’t me.

It’s you.

You are the one who pulls close, and then pushes away.

I was hoping I would be important enough to you to stay.

I understand that you have your struggles.

I’ve been with you through a lot of the pain.

But I’m sick of being the person that’s easy to throw away.

Sometimes I’m the first one you run to when things start to fall apart.

I’ve helped you pick up the pieces of multiple broken hearts.

But when life gets too heavy, and you think we’ve grown too close,

I’m always the first one to go.

I wish you saw how cruel it is to ghost someone whose lost so much.

But I don’t even think you realize what you’re doing,

you’re just used to using this as a crutch.

One day you’ll learn that I won’t be around forever,

and I’m definitely not naive.

So I hope you treat yourself better than you’re treating me.

Breaking the Cycle

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I can feel the weight of the day sitting right behind my eyelids.

As if this wasn’t enough, it brings me right back to when we were kids.

I look at her face, and I can see the hatred in your eyes.

I bet you still don’t know that you were my demise.

I bet you go about your days and you don’t think of me for a second.

But I’m still learning to let go of the messes.

I’m still learning how to catch the rope so I don’t fall.

But you probably don’t think of me at all.

I see her pain, and I wonder if that was you.

I wonder if you hurt me because someone hurt you, too.

Now I have to work at stopping the cycle you created.

Even though you deny that you made it.

Now I carry responsibilities around with me like a gun in my back pocket.

I need them to feel safe, but the weight makes me fear that I might drop it.

And if I drop it, I’m not the only one who gets hurt anymore.

If I fall, I carry a dozen with me out the door.

So at night when I pray, it’s not just for me and you.

I pray for the strength to get them through this, too.

Discovery

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A tiny little speck against all of mankind

And all of the things that we left behind

All of the meaning and all of the peace

I seek it out just as it seeks out me

Peace among men and peace in our souls

How do we find it when we are not whole

So big and so vast is this world where we stand

The disconnect leads us to not understand

We don’t understand, or listen, or see

But we just expect to have and receive

Taking up space in our minds and our hearts

Constantly bringing us further apart

We look to the past and the future ahead

But we miss the right now, and the path that we tread

We search out the love, and the joy, and content

But we miss the connection, our energy spent

We look to the stars and dream out sweet dreams

And find out that things are not quite what they seem

Be Careful What You Wish For

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Sometimes it’s easier to pretend everything is perfect, than to admit things didn’t turn out how you’d wished.

At the time, you didn’t understand the phrase “be careful what you wish for”, but now you do.

You know it all too well.

You understand that something you wanted so badly got poisoned so quickly.

But you couldn’t stop it from happening.

You couldn’t stop them from poisoning the well, from throwing words carelessly like daggers, from making it so personal that it took your breath away.

You couldn’t help feeling like a dream was being stolen from you, all your hard work suddenly for nothing.

But there’s a secret spot, buried deep in your heart, that no one can touch.

And it saves you.

A spot that’s guarded,

chained,

fortified.

A spot they can’t touch anymore, and it saves you.

It saves the dream you worked so hard for.

It saves you from going back to that place, because they can’t see the light that shines in you.

They can’t see how hard you worked for this.

They can’t see the difference you make because it’s hard to choose to see things from a different perspective.

But that’s okay because even when a star dies, it’s light is still seen for a long time to come.