Lost Letters

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He used to write to me every day while he was in prison. Prison the first time, not prison this time. This time he is writing letters from his cell to someone else. Or maybe he writes letters in the rec room. Most likely he writes them from solitary confinement. He locks himself away in there by choice to save himself from the unspeakable horrors he endures because of the crimes he committed. He doesn’t have to tell me this. I already know it’s true.

In another lifetime he used to write me poems and draw me beautiful pictures with colored pencils. I saved every piece he sent me. I tucked the art away carefully inside sheet protectors inside a large, black, three-ring binder. I never read back over the letters, although sometimes I would sit and flip through his artwork and tell myself it was such a shame that he was wasting his life away in prison when he could be making a profit from his art, not to mention a name for himself. He never did like what was good for him.

He used to call me collect two, three, four, five times a day. When he was in county the calls were cheap, only sixty cents but once he got to prison the calls were $5.60 for fifteen minutes. Twice my phone was turned off because I owed over a thousand dollars from collect calls alone. I went out of town twice to visit him. It was depressing to have to take my shoes off at the check point and to be patted down. I brought along a ziplock bag full of twenty dollars worth of quarters so we could eat food from the little vending machines. He used to complain that he was always so hungry, that not only did they not feed the inmates enough in prison but the food they served wasn’t fit for stray dogs. These visits were different than in county. In county we were separated by plexiglass and spoke to each other on phones that made the other’s voice sound a million lightyears away when in reality we were maybe five feet away. Maybe less. At the prison, we were allowed one hug when we first saw each other and one before we parted ways.

Some days I would sit on my bed and stare anxiously at my answering machine and listen as he left ten, fifteen, sometimes twenty messages in a row. Most times all I heard was the recording that always preceeded his calls- “You have a collect call from, Q, an inmate at <insert correctional facility name here.> (Because it changed a few times, he moved around a bit.) To accept the call, press one. To decline, press two or simply hang up.”

Sometimes I would sit with my hands over my ears because even the sound of his voice sent me into a state of terror. Sometimes I would lie down and press my pillow tightly over my head. I never simply left the room. This was before anything violent had happened in our relationship, yet his voice sent fear vibrating straight through every last one of my nerve endings.

Sometimes weeks would go by before I received a letter from him. When I finally did receive one, it would be angry and full of insults, truly hurtful words about what he assumed I was doing when I wasn’t answering his calls. I used to write to him five days a week and I sent three letters on Thursdays so he would have one to read on Saturdays and Sundays. I told myself my letters helped him. It was so hard to write those letters. I struggled with what to say. I knew he expected me to tell him how much I loved him and missed him, how excited I was for plans for the future.

I never wrote anything during those three years other than letters to him. In a way, it was still practice at writing fiction. I told him what he wanted to hear because I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. He used to tell me that he had people watching me, keeping tabs on me and his retellings of my whereabouts and activities were usually pretty accurate. It frightened me. He frightened me.

When I moved on, two years into his prison sentence, I threw out every last one of his letters. Over a hundred and twenty total. I’m guessing. I don’t really remember. When I moved to Texas to be with him, I saw that he had kept all of mine. He had them neatly banded together and tucked safely away in a shoebox. Throughout all of the horrifying years I spent with him, all of the times he broke my heart, he never threw out those letters and now that he’s found himself in the same predicament as he was in when we started those letters all those years ago, I wonder if he misses my handwriting, my words. I wonder if he wishes he had never taken them for granted. I wish I would’ve kept them and had them printed into a book so I could remind myself more often that I was a good person, even back then.

The Long Road

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I told myself I would become better at writing those thoughts down. I told myself I would start today. I sat in my car while waiting to pick up the Girls and I tried, I really tried. I wrote out a few lines and was immediately repulsed by them, I can’t even say disappointed, it was more a type of disgust. I’m not being too hard on myself, maybe my brain is too full.

I thought of the kind words said to me in my last post and I wondered if I was ever really meant to write. I’ve always told myself that people are instilled with passions for a reason but as usual, I found myself doubting my own.

I thought about my third grade teacher, as silly as that sounds, and how she was the one who sparked my passion for words- all with an assignment for our class to make our own books. We used cardboard for the covers and hot glued our choice of fabric to it. Then we sewed our choice of pages inside. Maybe we did this before we glued our covers on. We must have but that was a long time ago and my memory is already pretty crummy at times.

I was so proud of my efforts at making my very own book but staying true to myself, i had no idea what words I would write on those blank pages. I think this is when my fear of blank pages was born. There were only six, maybe it was eight, but that little cardboard, fabric-covered book terrified me. I couldn’t even tell you what I wrote in it. I doubt I even wrote anything at all.

I always have the greatest desire to create something, to write my own words and see them in front of me, but those damned blank lines- there’s not much else in the world that grips my heart in terror quite as much as those blank lines do.

I’m sure I started writing because the books I loved so much as a child allowed me to travel so far away from the disappointing life I lived. The older I got I wrote because I felt that no one understood me, I had no one to talk to. These days the same is still true, I am alone so often, even if it is not physically alone. It’s not as bad as it used to be, I think those magical pills the doctor prescribed me four months ago have helped, but from time to time those blank lines are all that I have. I stare at them and imagine the possibilities and terrify myself into believing that this is all that they’ll ever be- blank lines.

And even with those thoughts, I don’t give up. Not quite yet anyways. So long as even one person reads my words I can convince myself that they mean something to someone other than me, that even only one other person in the world understands what I’m trying to say, and that’s why I started writing in the first place. That’s why I’ll continue on. Maybe I expected the journey to be an easy one, and even though I have more days than not when I feel like laying down my pen for good, I’ll stay on the path I fell in love with so many years ago.

At the End

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I’m staring at this first blank page of my journal and I am so afraid of ruining it. They’re just words. Just words, yet the anxiety is slowly building. This isn’t exactly the first blank page of this book. There have been maybe five or ten first blank pages of this one, pages I’ve torn out. But I like this journal. It’s pink with gold polka dots on it and it says “Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You” on the front. It’s hardcover, rather thick in size and has college ruled pages, which is something I adore. I love this book and yet I am afraid to write in it.

I’ve started reading a new book, one that I received through the mail as part of a giveaway. I’m only four chapters in and I’ve already convinced myself that I could write something better than this, except, really can I? If I can, it hasn’t produced itself yet. All I have are hundreds of blog posts to show for my writing, half-finished story ideas that make me cringe. Ramblings about loneliness and wishes of love and frustration at not being able to write- all words that also make me cringe. This blog post is making me cringe, I’ve said the same things so many times before.

I want to share something personal, I want to tell you something real, yet who am I to be able to differentiate between what is real and what is not? I am a dreamer. I could tell you about my dreams, but I hardly remember them and the ones that I do remember are frightening. By this I don’t mean horror movie frightening, not even horrors-from-my-past-frightening. I can’t remember the last time I dreamt about those days. My dreams are painfully embarrassing, they expose my uncomfortably vulnerable side- the side of me that I try so desparately to keep hidden and that leave me in a perpetual state of exhaustion. I believe my subconscious wipes them clean every morning to save myself the discomfort when I look in the mirror to apply my makeup.

Eventually I’ll run out of room on this site and I’ll be faced with a decision. I have three options I think- dump some of my older posts, upgrade my site, or stop blogging altogether. I’m so afraid I’ll choose to stop blogging. I’ll convince myself that my words aren’t enough and I’ll start again with the journal page ripping sessions. Not that this would be a complete tragedy. Writing is writing, I suppose. It’s not the destination that matters the most, it’s the journey, right?

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share March 19,2017

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Ah another Sunday gone before I knew what was happening. 😄 The weather was nice today. My iPhone’s weather app says it’s currently 78 degrees outside. I had the heat on earlier though because I get cold so easily.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this weekend was really long for some reason. I feel like it was a week ago that I was last at work. I’m still not quite ready to go back to work though. I was fairly productive with my writing this weekend. That’s what I’m telling myself anyways.

I cleaned my bedroom again today. Our tiny puppy has made it a habit of tearing apart her pillow and I’ve grown quite tired of coming home to fluff scattered all over my room. I thought about sewing up her pillow, but ended up just throwing it out instead. She has an enormous blanket that she uses and honestly she sleeps at the end of our bed anyhow.

The Mister recently bought a Turbo Scrub carpet cleaner machine and today was the first day that I’ve used it. I deep cleaned our bedroom carpet and it quite horrified me at how dingy the water was once I was done. I’ve got my Scentsy going with some beach smell burning and I’ve got a fan on as well to help dry the carpet. I think it’s nearly finished. I’m hoping by cleaning it the puppy may discouraged from dragging in all of her dirty toys from outside. 😄

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this weekend was yet another weekend in which I told myself again that I would write some fiction. Instead, I wrote a few blog posts, did several loads of laundry, did my dishes, cleaned my bedroom and made dinner. I suppose I can forgive myself this one time for not writing any fiction. 😄

If we were having coffee I would thank you for stopping by! I hope that you had a productive weekend and that you have a lovely upcoming week! 💖

My Words

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While searching for a pen so I might write in one of my blank books that I decided was salvageable, I stumbled upon some words- words that were like a knife in my heart. They were not my words, nor were they intended for me, yet there they were and now here I am.

I thought about trying to reassure myself that it was the thought of the words, the context they were used in, the situation at the time, that bothered me. But it was the words that started my overactive brain working.

Did it bother me that these were words I have also said myself? Said almost exactly word for word? The person I said them to at the time had said no one had ever said anything like what I was saying to them before, yet here were my nearly identical words, right before my eyes, coming from another.

Not that I believe words are unique, we all use them, it’s the context in which we use them that makes all the difference. The spin we put on them, that piece of our soul that we bleed out into them. Uniqueness and all that nonsense. I haven’t said anything that hasn’t already been said before. It’s a realization that I struggle with sometimes, mostly when I am stuck on what exactly I should write. I usually get over it pretty quickly, but I’ve never felt my heart drop quite like I did tonight over knowing that my words have been said before, by someone else.

I’ll write something different. I’ll write without hesitation. I’ll write without that fear of sounding insane, repetitive, overdramatic, all the things I worry about sounding when I write. I’ll put my heart onto the paper and in the end, those words I read tonight will not matter because they were not meant for me. They were not my words.

Pages and Pages

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Sitting in bed looking at a fairly new journal and wondering how many more pages I’ll tear out before I decide I’m content with what I’ve written. Tattered spines and pages dangling is the inevitable fate of every blank book I touch. The words seem to flow quickly but sound like utter garbage if I happen onto them again.

Sometimes, I forget why I write. I started journaling a very long time ago and I’m assuming it was because I was lonely. As a young child I became so tired of constantly being told that the way I thought was wrong and so I turned to pens and blank pages to share my thoughts with instead.

These days I don’t too much care if I sound wrong on paper; if I am wrong. I cannot go for very long without jotting down a line or two. Lines that will be torn out in a week, a month maybe.

I worry a lot that my words sound crazy, that anyone who might read them won’t understand. But not here where I write on my blog. There’s much I don’t share even here though. Things that keep me awake at night. Things that tear my eyes away from a novel I’m reading while sitting in my car on lunch break. In these moments I am compelled to pull out one of my many blank books and jot it down. It doesn’t really mean much, it will all be destroyed in a week or so anyhow.

I’ve lived in this habit for so long that now I have a fear of desecrating that first blank page of my notebooks. Trashing it with words that I will later decide weren’t anywhere near acceptable enough to grace the blank lines. My journals are precious to me and my words never seem worthy enough.

And maybe I’m not meant to write, maybe I’m only meant to ache to write. I hang onto every word written by authors in the books and blogs that I frequent and tell myself that maybe that’s just not for me. I won’t deny that it makes my heart stop to think that writing isn’t what I’m supposed to do. But really, what else can I do other than continue to write on and then rip out those pages?

Meet and Greet: 3/17/17

Meet and Greet Weekend is finally here! Come and discover some wonderful blogs! 🎉🎈🎂

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!  Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!  

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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Lost

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Wearing a pair of earrings that were given to me today at work as a Saint Patrick’s Day gift and with the nails on my left hand done up pretty with glittery polish, I admire my makeup job in the mirror and tell myself this is the kind of woman I am. I’ve been angry for the past couple of days, feeing neglected even though it’s far from the truth. I need attention but I want to be left alone. This is how I get.

I blame it on all of the toxic relationships I’ve had in the past when pain was synonymous with love and I didn’t know how to function without it. Sometimes life feels a bit off kilter if I’m hurting, if I’m not anxious, if I’m afraid and it bothers me that none of this bothers me.

So many mornings and afternoons I’m more complacent sitting in my car reading or journaling instead of making connections with people whose attitudes and behaviors I perceive to be fake. At my age I would just as soon be left alone. I have no circle and I can’t say this upsets me. Sure there’s people whose company I enjoy more than others, people whom I would never tell to piss off should they sit down beside me and begin to ramble senselessly about their day, their life, as so often happens. But I want something more.

I want to meet someone whose passion for the ocean is as strong as mine, someone who loves to stand in the darkness and watch the stars. People who truly adore these things and not just say they do. I want to meet someone who always seems to gravitate to pen and paper when the spoken word just won’t do. Someone who, like me, stops what they’re doing frequently to jot down that thought they just had with the intentions of expanding on it later in private instead of rambling it off to whoever may be nearby. I want to meet someone who had the same passion for words as I do but whom also finds themselves at a loss often, just like me.

But there’s not many others like me. None that I have met in person at least. Would it be vain of me to say that I have one of those personalities that makes others want to imitate it? Because it’s true. I seem to attract people who suddenly take up journaling and reading and extended periods of silence once they’ve spent a bit of time with me. It never really lasts for very long, their true personality comes out eventually and I hate to say but it disappoints me. It’s nice to think there’s someone else in the world who is like me, someone who understands me, but it just never lasts.

Countdown

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Sometimes I sit and listen to the seconds tick by on my watch. I hold my pen in my hand and tell myself any second now I’ll write something. I’ll figure out how to write down what’s in my head without worrying about how it sounds. Tick, tick, tick. My watch mocks me and my heart clenches.

It makes me think of Captain Hook’s fear of clocks. This is who I’m becoming with every passing year. Most women my age associate clocks and ticking with their biological clocks, the time to have children slipping through their fingers. I associate mine with the amount of time that’s passing me by as well, but it’s time in which I should be writing something great and instead I’m writing this. It makes me wonder what will happen once the ticking stops.

I think about all the things I always said I would do: buy a rolltop desk and a typewriter. Sit at it with my lava lamp nearby and write my novels. Travel the world: Japan, Paris, Amsterdam, Australia. Maybe do some volunteer work, maybe learn how to sculpt pottery, maybe learn how to paint. Who knows, maybe I’m not destined to be the next award winning bestselling novelist, maybe I’m supposed to be the next Dali.

Whatever it is that I’m meant to do, I cannot see beyond these ticking second hands to figure it out. All I can hear, smell, taste, feel is the constant ticking. Tick, tick, tick, tick. 

 

Scrawled With Love: March 14, 2017

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Dear Friend,

I’ve thought about you for many days in a row now. I kept telling myself that I would sit down and write you out a quick note, just a small “Hey, hi, hello” to remind you that you are always in my thoughts, but I never quite got around to it. The timing just never seemed right. This is what I told myself anyways.

The more I thought about it, the more I told myself that the thought of sending you mail, a note from a stranger to another stranger, was absolutely absurd. I wondered if it would seem peculiar to you that I would think of you fondly enough to pick out a cute, humourous, touching card and scribble out a few lines. Would you find it awkward that I included some childish stickers inside? We hardly know each other, but your words have come to find such a special place in my life. But would this be enough to justify some Love Mail? I worried that it wouldn’t, so I refrained.

Sometimes things happen during my day and I want to share them with you, but not on a page of my blog where hundreds of other eyes skim over my words. I want to know about your day as well, what you’ve been up to, what made you smile, laugh, cry, worry, ache. I want to snuggle up in my bed, warm and safe underneath the covers and read your words. I want to have a special place and time where all I do is read your words. It would be my safe place.

That’s what your words do. They make me feel safe. They allow me to experience joy, sorrow, worry, anxiety, triumph, admiration, happiness- I experience so much through your words, in the privacy of my safe place, privately. I would much rather be there with you, as a friend, and hold your hand throughout your journey, but I know this isn’t possible. So I walk next to you, through your words. A million miles away, but near you nonetheless.

Sometimes I want to send you some things that I like, to remind you of me, remind you that I am thinking of you. Maybe a tin of my favorite tea, something that you collect that popped out to me the last time I ran to the store to pick up milk and eggs, a quilt you could wrap yourself in on the couch when the days just become to be too much. But my anxiety always stops me. How am I supposed to know what would be out of your comfort zone, and if I asked you, how could I trust that you weren’t just agreeing to appease me? And so I just don’t send anything at all.

But there always comes a time later on, when I realize that I should’ve trusted my big heart. I should’ve sent that card, that note, that care package. I should’ve reached out and reminded you that you are loved, even when in reality we hardly know each other. For now, I will turn to these pages to remind you.

You are loved. 💖