Open Topic

Dear Scars.

To the scars that litter my body,

You have been around for as long as I can remember; sometimes it takes a while for you to show up, other times it seems like your appearance is instantaneous. I can fill pages and pages of books with stories explaining your origin. Some of you are long and jagged; like puzzle pieces that will never find a match. Others are short and blunt; like a fingernail caught my skin.

But what about the scars people can’t see? What about the ones that make me remember a harder time in my life. The ones on my thighs that were caused by bullying and teasing. The ones on my sides that I did while hugging myself close, trying to drown out the noise and chaos of the world. The ones I hide under sweaters and long sleeves shirts, praying that someone will not ask too many questions about; ones that haunt me and make me regret the events leading up to their births.

Do you ever wish you weren’t on my body? Do you wish your origins weren’t so dramatic or painful? You mark my body like paint on a canvas; you paint a picture of my past for my present self to admire every time I look in a mirror. Do you wish you were in different spots? Do the scars on my stomach ever wish they were on my legs? Do the marks on my back wish they were on my shoulders? Maybe if your location was different, you could tell a different story. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I use to hate you, you know. I use to wish that I never had any scars at all. I wished I could be smooth and perfect; that those marks didn’t shape me into the person I am today. I wondered what it would be like to not be afraid to have people see that side of me. They wouldn’t understand, I would say to myself, they’d judge me, look at me differently. Would they whisper about me when I left the room? Would they consider me damaged? What would I say in response? Am I damaged?

No. I am not damaged. These scars on my body may be permanent but they do not shape my future. They are a reminder of what has come; they remind me how strong I am. I can survive face planting on the cement floor. I can survive falling down the stairs. I can survive the darkness in my own mind. I wear my scars like a badge of honor. I am a warrior; a survivor. I will carry on.

Open Topic

Go For it.

There are never right moments in life.

Honestly, all we have is right now. And you can try and spin it any way you want that you’re waiting for a sign to go for it, you’re waiting to be ready. But you’ll always be waiting. But what are you waiting for exactly?

While you’re waiting for some sign, someone is going to see that same thing or person and not need to wait. They simply go for the thing or person you didn’t want as bad as they did.

The reason you are so scared of saying something or doing something different is because there’s something to lose in all of this. But the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

So take a chance.

Whether it’s doing something that scares you or saying something, don’t think about what can go wrong.

Think about what can go right. Think about suddenly getting everything you ever wanted because you took a chance.

Hell, none of us know how much time we have. Don’t waste it.

None of us actually know what will happen.

But if you feel this strongly about someone or something, it’s a disservice to not go for it.

Risk it all. Hold nothing back.

I promise you there isn’t a person in the world who will be repulsed by the fact you care. There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t want to hear these things. They will respect the shit out of you for going for it.

And there isn’t a chance you can take that will be a wrong one if your heart is in it.

Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you can walk away saying you tried and you didn’t let fear hold you back.

To me, I define love and loss, not by the love that isn’t reciprocated but rather the love people don’t know you harbor in your heart, hiding away these emotions out of fear.

To me, I measure success and failure by the chances we did or didn’t take when we could have.

If you are afraid of what will happen, you don’t want whatever it is bad enough because the risks you take to get there, only lead to a greater reward at the end of all of this.

Open Topic

Toxic Love.

It seems so simple to let someone go who no longer serves a positive purpose in your life. How simply someone goes from that person you care about to someone who suddenly is toxic to you. But the hardest part about letting go of toxic people is, the love you still have for them. Because toxic doesn’t always mean bad, sometimes a relationship shifts where it’s suddenly bad for you and you aren’t gaining anything from it anymore.

“Just ignore him.” 

“Cut the cord.”

“He’s taking advantage of you and you’re letting him.”

These are all phrases I’ve heard and I couldn’t disagree with. But there was something in me that couldn’t just move on or let go.

I don’t know if love is the right word because love and toxic shouldn’t be closely related. But there was something about him that kept me around. Something that always lured me back in.

It was like every time I tried to pull away, he noticed. Every time I had the courage to call him out and stand up for myself, he’d come around with some apology like it was a reset button and all was forgotten.

His words sounded so nice if only they were countered by actions that followed. But everything he said contradicted what he did. And I didn’t know what to believe anymore. So I hung onto what I wanted to believe. That he was a good man. He might have been. But he showed me bits and pieces of that.

But he also showed me a side to him I didn’t like.

It was every promise where I suddenly expected to be disappointed because I couldn’t rely on him anymore. It was every event where I stood there alone because he told me he’d be there and I believed him.

It was every goodbye where I turned back around because no matter how mad he made me or how upset I got, I always forgave him. 

It was trying so hard thinking I had to earn his love and affection and he took what I had to give and I didn’t demand it to be reciprocated. I know that’s on me.

It was sacrificing pieces of myself to appease him, little did I know the self-destruction I was causing trying to maintain this relationship.

It was every blurry line where I couldn’t make sense of him and all he did. It was the games and confusion. It was liking me one minute then changing his tune the next. Because he knew exactly what he was doing and he knew exactly how to get to me. It was the text I knew he read but chose not to answer. It was the snap I saw him open but not caring to reply. It was the likes, the shares, the tag, just when I finally stopped thinking about him. It was like one step forward and ten back.

Just when I was about to move on, he always knew. And I didn’t know how. It was a night out where I was laughing and smiling and getting hit on, only to see his name appear and suddenly I was brought back to where my heart really hid.

It always came back to him.

It was the text I knew I shouldn’t have answered but I couldn’t seem to even treat him the way he did me. It was the conversations that lasted for hours. It was his ability to make me laugh staring at a screen but when I was going to bed alone, I’m crying because I was trying so hard to be what he needed when in reality, I knew I was being used and taken advantage of.

It was the gestures without thank you and the apologies without any real sincerity.

It was knowing I should’ve walked away a long time ago but thinking I had to explain why. But if I gave him that chance, he’d come back with charming words that made me stay.

He held me without any touch at all.

It was hearing every kind word he’d came up with and every flattering compliment, but I knew there’s another side to that coin.

You can’t like half of one person, but what happens when the good makes you want to forget the bad parts.

He was master of coming and going as he chose. He’d pick up where we left off when he wanted to. Everything was on his agenda and his schedule when I was the busy one changing around plans to make things work.

I had never been someone’s show puppet. I had never watched myself or looked at my reflection losing self-respect in moments as I did. I caved to him and everything he demanded and wanted of me.

And I foolishly called it love. I foolishly hung onto this thing.

I think what I feared most about letting go was realizing the moment I did, it was only me holding on.