I currently go to school in Madison, Wisconsin, and I spent the majority of my first 18 years in Knoxville, Tennessee. I have been lucky enough to find myself in mid-sized cities, full of friendly people with a good sense of style, surrounded by money and a vibrant music and arts scene. I have been lucky enough to live in a bubble, where people walk slowly and never look like they’re headed anywhere, but are somehow successful. Cities that embrace clean eating, all natural cotton clothing, and juice everything are fun and frequently instagram worthy – but diversity is good, and traveling to or living in other places is important, too.
People always say that being in love is “like” other things. It’s “like drowning,” or “like falling.” Love is likely the biggest contributor to cheesy similes in history – and love poetry is forever seeking a fresh comparison. Like a flower? Been done. Like the ocean? Let’s see some originality, here.
Love isn’t like anything. That’s the problem with similes – they play off of common characteristics, middle-grounds. They capitalize on making the intangible tangible, turning love into the dual natured rose, both beautiful and thorny, and admire the poetic complexity. And we gather around the ankles of the writer, waiting to see what new blossom love might emerge as next.
On the other side of the fence lies in the angsty handwriting lines, reading “love sucks” and “love hurts.” Generally, the feelings described do not encompass love – they describe unfulfilled lust, or an unfaltering obsession. And yes. That does suck.
Growing up, I kept telling myself “you’re not in love. you’re too young.” And I was right. I wasn’t in love. I was a journal-filling angst kid. But now – I’m not anymore. I am in love for the first time, and it’s hard not to beat myself down with a running commentary about my inexperience, youth, uncertainty.
But that’s the truth: I am inexperienced, I’m young, I’m uncertain. But I do know that Love isn’t the ocean, it isn’t a flower, and it definitely doesn’t suck. Socrates suggested that the wisest thing that one can know is to know what isn’t known. Sometimes you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.
I hesitate in
Nail munching contemplation,
Ice to crack Limbs
from the stretching Magnolia
Sprawling across a ground of
Beach born, suburbia bound
Waves rounded out their bitter corners
Ice felled my great Magnolia,
Caffeine saturated dawns
Rounding out my bitter corners.
Don’t go tonight
Comes out of my mouth,
Stay with me always
Is what I see going in your ears.
Weakness in sleeping
I signed my declaration
A jumbled John Hancock, with all the same penmanship
I flagged myself an
50 stars for little lies,
13 stripes for a Pattern of
The fearless independent,
I am all states,
A City on a Hill.
Beneath my finely quilled cursive, the
Seeds of civil war.
Lofted and sheetless
unruly giggles ping ponging through
tumbling into the smallest cinder block cased space
two people could occupy.
I am fermenting
on thursday evening around
10:47 pm I
begin churning my sugars
brewing in the top bunk.
on a college campus infatuated
(grab a dictionary –
morning classes skipped,
sunglasses no where to be found)
reveling in the bitter
appeal of back throat burns,
brewing in the
i don’t receive help well. I have struggled with needing any sort of help for as long as I can remember- I hate asking for help, I hate receiving help, I hate looking back and knowing that without help I wouldn’t have made it to where I am. I have this warped idea of what it means to be an adult- that being 100% self sufficient is the only thing that matters. I adopted the mindset that no matter what the problem is, if I just work a little harder, things will come around.
But sometimes that doesn’t work. Sometimes I stress and work harder until I’m sitting in an advising office at noon on a Monday crying to a woman who gets paid to promise me it’s going to work out. College is making me into a cry-er. I internalize the stress, the frustrations, the feelings of failure until there isn’t any other option other than to release them on who ever is in closest proximity.
Through the guidance office, phone call, dorm room, tears- everyone has been immeasurably kind and supportive. I joke about family and partners and close friends being “required” to be there for me – but the truth is, they aren’t. Nobody has to be there for me, especially when I am a splotchy faced mess that can’t form a coherent sentence.
I don’t receive help well. But I am learning. It’s okay to need a hug, to get tears on other’s shoulders, to go through half a box of tissues during an advising meeting. It’s all okay. The world is big, scary and sometimes pretty damn shitty – and the people you love and love you are the best (and sometimes only) life vests out there. So, I’m grateful for being loved. I’m grateful for people who give their help even when I am too ashamed to ask, who hug me when I’m crying for the fifth time that day, who remind me that the world around me may be getting bigger but I am ready to grow with it.
Muddy sidewalk pools