when all else fails.
I’m the girl who presses flowers for fun.
While growing up, I always had the crazy friends who would say impractical and impulsive things like LET’S GET DRUNK AND GO TO THE ROOF OF A TALL BUILDING AND DANCE ALONG THE EDGES OF IT or LET’S CLIMB OUT OF THIS SUNROOF WHILE WE’RE DRIVING AND MAKE OUT - all of this while screaming, YOLO! And I’d look at them and be like, “I mean, that’s dangerous.” So? That was always what their eyes said: so what? We’re young, Melinda, come on. Let’s be young.
Oh, my bad! I forgot being young is now synonymous with life-threatening stupidity.
I’m worried that I’m taking life too seriously again. Have I misplaced how to laugh? Have I missed something when all my friends were out dancing and I was sitting at home trying to figure out what to do with my life? Has trying so hard to figure it out actually crushed doing it with love and passion and soul?
Even when I sing, I feel like it has no soul. These words feel plain, like they have no soul. Am I being overdramatic? I’ve wanted to be honest in my writing for so long, so is this just writing honestly?
Hey, is this honest enough for you? I’m stumbling right back into the middle of finding myself again. Everything’s hitting the fan, but, oh God, its beautiful somehow. I’ll find it - that beauty in the center of it all, I am desperate for it.
My father has cancer, and the other day before I visited him in the hospital, I sat in the car by myself and wept - loudly. I screamed at God and I asked him to just give me something tangible, give me something physical to witness, to hold on to, to bring close to me so I can learn how to believe the best again. And while I was screaming, a woman pulled up next to me and saw me crying - she kept mouthing, “Are you okay? Are you okay?” She got out of the car and I told her, “I’m okay.” She asked me another question, ”Are you laughing or are you crying?”
“I don’t know.” Because I didn’t. “I just need to let it all out.”
She nodded. “Honey, I get it. Sometimes I sit in traffic in my car and I just cry, because that’s the only place I can be alone.” She looks at me kindly, smiling in a sad way. She probably thought somebody I loved died. “Take care of yourself, okay?”
What does that even mean anymore? “Okay, I will, thanks.”
When I walked into my father’s hospital room, he could see that I was crying, but he couldn’t know I was crying about him, about everything. He said, “Something’s wrong with your eyes.” I just miss my friends, Dad, I told him, I’m just crying because I miss my friends, I told the whole room.
Everybody knew I was lying, but everyone was silent.
I saw proof that the man I gave over five years of my life to was telling other women he loved them while telling me the same.
Its a possessive thing, betrayal. It takes away my sleep, my dignity, my joy, my peace. I was just trying to get you out of my life. I admit, I unearthed the lie. He didn’t tell me, no one told me. I could’ve lived the rest of my life never knowing, and maybe that would’ve been for the best.
So I emailed him and I asked him if there were other women. It’s one of the worst decisions I’ve made, to email him or speak to him at all. But if only I could describe the driving, compelling force in me that needs him to admit to this, that absolutely desires nothing else than for him to validate it.
I saw the words I thought only he told me. I saw them imprinted on the world, for everyone, and I am still hurt over the way he sold the words he wrote for me, like there was no intimacy. I have kept all of his words a secret, only for me, only for him, even after our final break up, and now his are for everyone. My heart is still shattered over the loss of friendship and now this - the loss of our intimacy.
At first, I hated you. Now I am just a tired woman seeking the truth.
Let’s be honest.
I was so attracted to a guy that I literally had to flee temptation and head over to the bathroom to give myself a pep talk. All serious, prolific moments of my life have happened in a bathroom stall. It’s not a joke. From accepting Jesus into my heart to deciding to end long relationships to figuring out new directions for life, a bathroom stall is always the setting. It’s the only place we allow ourselves to be the most human.
So, anyway, I was literally almost losing it by just looking at this guy. That’s when I knew it reached intervention. So I went to this bathroom stall and I told myself, “Melinda, you’re a twenty year old woman. Pull yourself together. It’s okay to be attracted to anybody, just don’t get crazy.” And my entire being is screaming I LOVE MEN!!! like it has even the option of this being an option. Pull it together.
No matter what my age is, sometimes I am still just a sixteen year old girl again, especially when it comes to hot men.
I was taking a walk and Corinne Bailey Rae’s song “I’d Do It All Again” was playing in my iPod and my heart started to run and shout, “I would! I’d do everything again, all of it!” And I realized I would - how much I have loved and hated the life I’ve lived, only to be greeted at the other side by a beautiful God. I’d do it all again.
My heart caught in my throat at the end of an iPhone commercial because I felt a glimpse of how beautiful life is again. Once again, it is mine.
I have flashes of people I used to love loving in all the wrong ways. They are a very brief flicker against the stretched canvas of my life, but it is aggressive and angry. It is not love.
When I was crying in front of my mom, she said, “You have to let yourself be human. You can’t act like you have stuff together all the time because you don’t. Be human, let yourself be human.” She said it a hundred times more, and I just kept crying because it hit me in waves - my sick father and my college tuition and one man’s betrayal and I’m only twenty years old. When I am sick of being human is when I am in need of it the most.