Trying to write a paper I really don't want to write About a dumb idea. Can't find the motivation And hoping to wake up With a finished paper on my screen. Now that would be nice. Guess I just have to start typing instead.
I am a runner, by nature. Never running towards, Just always running away. It's like my preemptive strike, My way of saving face, Before everything goes wrong Or just gets too boring. Because that's inevitably what happens If I don't get away. I've always been sure of it.
My friends like to say I'm brave For leaving everything behind And starting all over Every time I go somewhere new. I don't get too close to anyone, I don't find my rut, And I get to experience the world: Where's the bravery in that? They talk about courage and taking risks, But that's no risk.
The risk is sticking around To see the next chapter or two. It's taking a chance on the hope That what's good now Will still be good tomorrow. Now that's courage. Because running away Is easier than dealing with pain. And always running away, Well there's no bravery there.
In all the running I've done, I've left a lot behind. And looking back I mostly think That's been a good thing. But maybe now I've found An okay place in my life. And maybe I should stop and rest, At least for awhile. I'll probably still get antsy and scared, But it's worth it to stay.
So I'm putting away the runner in me And pushing out the urges to close up. It's scary and risky and exposes me To vulnerability and pain. But then that's true courage, isn't it? It's not a lack of fear and worry, But fear in the face of danger. It's knowing you're afraid of doing something, And doing it anyway, Because you know it has to be done.
Where will running get me anyway? I can only go so far Until I hit the end of the line Or run out of fumes. And when I look back I don't want to see what I missed. I want to see what I enjoyed, What I loved and learned and experienced. So I'm going to stop missing things And stay put.
I loved Shane the way you love an old sweatshirt or your 16-year-old family dog. Not that that’s a bad thing at all. In fact, I’d say that’s probably the best kind of love to have. It’s the kind of love you know will always be there. It’s comfortable and loyal and makes you smile when you’re tired.
He told me once that if we hit that “magical age” and still found ourselves single, we’d just have to marry each other. That’s the kind of friend he was.
I still remember the day I met him. He looked up at me with his shy, friendly eyes and grinned as he shook my hand. I knew that was a grin I wanted to get to know.
I don’t think he ever understood why we were friends, why I stuck around. He didn’t know what he was to me, and didn’t believe me when I told him. But he was the world to me, really. Whenever I needed someone to talk to so I could make sense of whatever was happening at the time, he was there. When I needed a shoulder to cry on or a good laugh at a lame joke or a Snickers® and a Pepsi, he was there. He was even there when I wanted company on a two hour drive to visit my sister for the afternoon. He was always there.
I’m pretty sure his four favorite things in the world were spaghetti, Snickers®, Pepsi and Fazoli’s®. Sure, he loved baseball and Duck Hunt, but buy him a spaghetti dinner with unlimited breadsticks and he was the happiest guy in the world. I loved seeing him like that.
I think the hardest part about living, for him, was how much he genuinely cared about other people. He tried so hard to carry the weight of everyone else’s grief so that they wouldn’t have to do it themselves. He ached for people he didn’t even know. I miss that about him. It’s a rare thing to find someone with that kind of compassion. He wanted to fix the world but felt completely helpless as to how. And I think he hated that about himself, his utter inability to eliminate suffering.
He used to call me “cowboy” and tell me that he loved me. He never failed to let me know that: “If I were a dog, I’d probably bark at you.” He always wanted me to call him “my sexy friend” and would pat me on the head whenever I complied. He was funny without even trying. He tried to let me win when we played basketball, but even then I couldn’t beat him. He had countless stories of all the pretty girls he saw on the bus that he almost had the courage to talk to that day. He called me on Christmas to tell me he missed me. And, of course, to tell me about his cool new digital camera. He listened to jazz with me. His car always smelled like peaches. I still can’t smell a peach scented car freshener without thinking of him.
When he died, my world came crashing in. I just couldn’t believe that one of my best friends, the man who had always been there for me, was gone. I ached to share my grief with him. It’s been a year now, but I still think about him a lot. There’s so much I miss about him, so much that won’t ever be the same. But I know I won’t ever forget him or his friendship. He left a part of himself with me, and that’s what makes me okay.
I said I never thought I was The kind of girl who Liked that sort of thing, But maybe that’s because I never tried. Or maybe it’s because Of how I feel, And that just makes it better.
I’ve always worked so hard to play It safe and stay protected and So far it’s been just fine. And yet I see I’m stepping out And taking risks To let you in. Why you, why now?
I think it started out the same as Any other time I mean, why should I expect Anything different, since They’ve always been the same. But you weren’t like them And I noticed.
You treated me as though What I felt actually mattered And you looked at me When you talked to me, Like you really cared what I thought. And that was different so I opened up, just a bit.
And now you wonder why I’d change The way it’s always been But I just wonder why I ever Thought I had it right. And yet I know that I was scared Of finding out That’s all there was.
So while it’s true I find you very Smart and hot and sexy And all those other ideal traits like Funny and honest and kind That’s not what changed my mind. That’s not what weakened my walls and Helped me trust you.
Really I’d say it’s the way I feel with you, and yes, I feel happy, but more than that I feel safe and adored and protected and That’s really what makes me smile Because with you I’ve had to be real and I like that.
I'm having troubling believing that I Can do what I set out To do. Am I delusional in wanting To change the world? Will anything I try to do Work? Or matter? Do I have Unreachable goals and expectations? Am I setting myself up To fail?
As a child I spent a lot of time expressing myself through art. I used to love to draw and paint, write stories, poems and songs -- anything where I could just create. I remember a wall hanging I made for my room once out of old wire hangers. I was so creative as a child. I guess with growing up and getting involved in life and everything I just kind of forgot about that part of me. I feel a bit like I've lost the fire, that passion, for anything, really. When I was young, I wanted to change the world. I started a new club every week -- from poetry clubs to service clubs to "Save the Manatees" clubs. I wanted to be the first woman president. I wanted to work with handicapped children. I wanted to write novels and design houses. I wanted to dance, to sing, to paint. I've just gotten so caught up in everything else in life... but what does the "everything else" even mean? I've forgotten who I am.
So I'm going to make an effort to rediscover myself. To find that person in me who CARES, who knows what really matters. And I'm going to try writing again. That's scary to me. It exposes me and makes me feel vulnerable. But I have to expose myself... to remove the layers of the cocoon to find that part of me.