goodbye.

I used to be a hopeless romantic and then I met you and you were the final nail in my coffin. I gave you every ounce of my love – you – who were such an undeserving soul, a twisted, controlling, manipulative source of evil. Sure, you had your moments of light and love but they didn’t last in sincerity for very long. And yet, I loved you with all of me and all that I had and you broke me down – not in a moment, not even in days or weeks but years. I let you destroy me for years and I called it love. I was such a hopeless romantic before you but now I don’t even know if I believe in the idea of love. So much of me was tainted and broken and blackened after I left you. And leaving you was one of the hardest things because I had given so much of myself to you – I didn’t even know who I was without you or if I could survive.
But then I became a mother and I learned of true necessity and of true love. I found my reason for being and my purpose, and with that my focus changed. Letting you go was difficult but for so many reasons, it was right. You were one lie and one block of betrayal after another. You didn’t care who you had to step on to get whatever you wanted in the moment. That was the thing about you – you were impulsive – a ticking time bomb. I don’t know why I thought I could make you lighter – make you love more and be bitter and angry less.


You were a narcotic for me and I never even dabbled in drugs. But you masqueraded as something much more addicting to me – love. You were the death of the romantic in me because I realized how powerful evil and deception were. I realized how blinding the concept of love was. And in you treating me as expendable, I realized how expendable a partner is. You are responsible for killing so many people in your lifetime. You have shed so much blood without remorse.


Only I didn’t die. I was reborn. And I am simply trying to – not forget you but wash away the harm you’ve done. I have become cold and closed off to the idea of love and to its possibilities. I have been stripped of my faith and hope. Except when I look in my child’s eyes. That world was one I removed you from before you could do your damage. My biggest mistake was knowing who you were and believing you could be someone different – someone better – someone nicer- someone with love and loyalty to a person who had loyally loved you. You showed me your cards and the romantic in me thought you were better. Now I sit with someone who cares and I just have a space between us. A wall I built to barricade you out. But it barricades everyone out.


Maybe one day I’ll be in heels over head love and contemplate marriage and truly opening up and spending my life with someone but when I do it will be for the person who surprises me, who buys me cards from my child because they’re too little to, and blue roses just because, who will not just say they love me but show it, who will treat me with respect and thought in front of my child and behind closed doors, and love my child like their own, who will accept and celebrate who I am and my individuality, who will not try to control me or the friends I keep, who will be kind and grateful, who will have a love for life, the way deep down I do.


And that is what keeps the parts you broke from ever truly surfacing. Because I love life whereas you took life for granted. I have all I ever wanted and all I could ever need, just in being a mother alone and I know one day that fairytale love will break down all the walls that the red flags can’t. I love life and I am so grateful for mine. You were a part of my story but you wrote us as a tragedy. I may be a hopeless romantic but I’m no martyr. You’ll have to find another to play your Juliet.


We never had a proper goodbye but that was probably for the best because you always tempted me with poison. You weren’t kind or deserving but it is not my wish to hurt you. Only to receive what you have given; to see like Scrooge, to feel like the unworthy, to hurt like victims. My only wish for you is karma. And that makes me go to bed happy. I am grateful for a second chance at life, without you. Because you were so unworthy. You don’t get to destroy love for me, only all the things love shouldn’t be. Because of you, I have the courage to do it alone and to walk away and to live without ever forgiving you or saying goodbye. I received my closure when I finally let you go. You can rot in hell and I will live in love.

-AR

when life throws us curveballs

everyone always complains that they don’t have enough time – they fear they’re missing things with their kids, not spending enough time with their kids, don’t have a chance to do small hobbies, don’t have a chance to relax, can’t get to cleaning the house, can’t get to exercising, need a vacation, don’t want to work for a few days .. there are so many complaints about not having time .. Now, under terrible circumstances, You Have Time.

Stop complaining and take this for what it is.

So appreciate it and make the best of it. Be grateful you’re alive and healthy. Be grateful time slowed down for you and now you can do all of the things you complained about. Take this opportunity to put your phone down and spend time with your children and your family. Teach your kids something new, experience things together. Be present. Spring clean. Scrapbook. Cook. Bake. Make a pillow fort. Find a new hobby. Binge watch that show you’ve been dying to see. Get your kid on a schedule. Hug your family. Take a walk. Pick some flowers. Fold that everlasting load of laundry. Laugh with them. Kiss. Love.

98% of people are afraid whether they admit it or not – of the unknown, of the contradictory stories, of not knowing the truth, of the virus, for those they love, of going outside, of people, of dying – all rational fears.

Be appreciative and be grateful. Heed to the warnings if you’re not in the front line; not just police, military, emt, firefighters, nurses, but workers in various medical offices and animal hospitals, gas attendants, grocery store workers, tellers, doctors, drivers .. anything that is still open where people need to go to work, like me or my mom, or any of my friends.

Be happy and grateful you get this break with the people you love. Be grateful you’re not fighting for your life or planning a funeral or on a ventilator, etc. and if you are doing any of those things, I’m sorry for what you have to go through. Time is slowing down and this is your shot. So make it count and don’t be an idiot.

-ar

2019

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I have intermittently blogged since an old friend opened me up to the world of WordPress back when I was working with Janson Media to publish my first book of poetry. This was a time where I did not care what anyone had to say; I was going to be a famous writer and I was going to work for a publishing company and publish great works and find even greater writers.

My life didn’t go exactly as planned. Maybe if I had more focus and I wasn’t so easily lost in unrequited loves and distracted by moments. Sure, there’s tons I would do differently. I definitely would’ve double majored; probably in Business, maybe in Teaching (though I never could picture myself in front of a classroom with all eyes on me).  I did get a recommendation from a professor who did not hand them out easily to enter the Masters Program but I didn’t want to stay in school, I wanted to begin my life and journey. I was already late in doing so, as I had taken two years off after losing myself in college sorority life and in need of a huge change and in need to re-develop my identity. I would’ve gone into every publishing company I could, seven days a week if necessary, to be noticed. I wouldn’t have ended up discouraged after countless publishing companies rejected me, even at an Administrative level. I had seven years of experience at that point, having started Admin work at 18 years old. I was qualified but invisible.

However, I also collected a worthy amount of moments, both while traveling and homebound. I may not have had gained any publishing experience but I gained life experience. I basked in different cultures, I challenged myself to do things I was afraid of, I pursued photography and poetry. Eventually I gave up working for a publishing company and I just spread my own words on social media platforms. I ended up publishing a second collection of poetry the Winter of 2015.

Come the Spring, my world was turned upside down with the death of my father, who had battled two years of a very aggressive and late stage of esophageal cancer. Writing no longer came as easy as it did. The writer’s block was massive. My light had gone out and I buried the pen the day I buried my father. Since then, the posts have been few and far between.

In the past, times of heartbreak and obstacle would fuel my brain and trigger poems that would astound myself at times but after writing his eulogy and learning what true pain, heartbreak, and regret felt like – I’ve been a corked bottle.

The Fall of 2018 reignited that light when I had my first son. The only thing I wanted more than writing was love and a family. I got the latter. One out of three is phenomenal when I look into my baby’s eyes – I see everything I could ever want.

Having him has inspired me to write again. To contemplate writing a novel and perhaps even getting personal with it. Generally I mask personal in a vivid display of metaphors and make believe.

So this is my “I’m back” piece. Because one day he is going to have dreams and I don’t want anything to stop him from going after them. Because one day he is going to ask me if I went after mine and I want to tell him I did relentlessly. Because I have a son to raise and I want to do it with money made from something I love. Because he is the light of my life and that light gives me something to hold onto, as I uncork years of anger, pain, regret, resentment. He is my saving grace and I know diving into these depths may get dark but now, I’ll always have light in my corner.

 

  • Allison Ryder

angel

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she placed the angel atop

the Christmas tree

like he had so many years before.

she flattened her dress

and looked at the glisten

in the porcelain dolls eyes.

she bent her knees and wept,

holding the angel like she was holding him.

“I know God needed you,

I know you were too tired to fight

but I’m jealous of the angels

who get your company each night.

you said I love you

but I never said I’m sorry

for so many things, for not saying

all I had to say.”

she touched the snow under

the tiny villages,

remembering a brighter Christmas Day.

-AR

They Call Me Mom

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The woman you accuse of not having an equally exhausting day because she didn’t go to work all day – the woman you just bypassed when you got home and made yourself a sandwich meanwhile she hadn’t had a meal all day. The woman you didn’t bother to ask how her day was because it all sounds redundant to you, yet she never fails to ask how yours was. The woman you dictate how to raise her kids because your experience and age trumps her knowledge and instincts. The woman who made a hot fresh meal she was so proud of – mostly because she was able to cook the entire thing before the baby woke up – she didn’t even get to taste it and perfect it before your loose tongue criticized it. The woman who spent all day cleaning and doing errands just to get through one small space and the laundry, as you walk in and throw your clothes around. The woman who had multiple nervous breakdowns trying to breastfeed her crying newborn with shaking, tired hands and reasonable doubt that she wasn’t doing it right, yet remained resilient in giving it a fair shot. The woman who feels too much of a burden to ever ask for help so she begins what will become incomplete tasks. She’s the kind hearted, generous woman who won’t say a word, who won’t reprimand you or start a fight. She’ll just clear the plates or pick up the misplaced shorts. She’s the woman who won’t question if you can help her just a little so she can get some things done in the house. She’ll live with the built up mail scattered on the coffee table and she’ll handle the unpaid bills out of clear forgetfulness, because pregnancy brain gets worse after labor. She’s the woman who won’t complain, she’ll just absorb your bad behavior and negative energy, and go on doing what needs to be done to provide for her family, to raise her children, to create the life she envisioned. She’s the woman who will look passed your lack of empathy and appreciation and still do something thoughtful for you in those five minutes she gets to herself. She’s the woman who teared up in her baby’s screams and loses her mind after the twentieth time the baby spits out the pacifier but cries for its return, but then that baby smiles and it completely washes away the silly stress that her wound up just five minutes ago. While the clothes are always clean, the food is always cooked, the floors are always mopped: the house is never tidy, the clutter is always existent, and the coffee is always brewing. God bless the mess this woman creates trying to get her child and herself out of the house. God bless the daily repetitive routine she’s clocked into her brain to remember it all. God bless the superpowers in her tiny hands and enormous heart to keep going, to keep growing. She may not be out there working for some large corporation or out there saving the world but in these four walls, she’s sure as hell changing it. She’s raising a child who will grow with strong morals and values, she’s teaching her children of love and respect, of hard work and kindness. She’s raising the next generation of imaginative thinkers, logical researchers, kind humanitarians, hard workers, strong athletes, brave soldiers. She’s molding a world of possibilities and opportunity, not with two hands and some clay but with two hands and her heart.

Maybe we all need that reminder sometimes.

Thank you to all the moms out there. It’s not always easy and 9 out of 10 times we’re all just winging it- a part of this trial and error method to see what works for us and our kids. 9 out of 10 times moms are invisible in their struggle because “we’ve all done it,” is easier to say than to take a moment to step out of our own shoes and into someone else’s and just listen for a moment. 9 out of 10 times moms are overlooked and under appreciated, mostly unintentionally but still affected by this bringing us down. So from one mom to another, I see you. Thank you for being a superhero.

-Allison Ryder

Table for One

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table for one.

it’s not the loneliness that kills us.

it’s the lack of appreciation for a home cooked meal, the unmatched efforts, the unrequited love. it’s the ache in putting away that second dish after spending time and care to make room for two. it’s the putting yourself out there to end up at a table for one.

-AR

the effects of social media

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I think social media should be taken for exactly what it is; an outlet, a display of adventure and adoration, a tool of expression, to cultivate talents and passions and engage others into our work and ideas. they say everyone relationships, friendships, family did better before social media and certain technology advancements but that’s mostly a reflection on the downward spiral of people not the poison of social media. it’s only poison if you allow it to be; if you display every private nook of your life, if you take everything personal, if you make assumptions, if you disregard or disrespect the differences between us all, the differences in our beliefs and desires, if you use it as a tool to bully and hurt. it shouldn’t be a poisonous platform that disrupts amicable situations, breaks relationships, kills people, or defines friendships. what it becomes depends on people and how we allow it to define and disrupt our better judgment. we’re all guilty of taking something to heart and forgetting we’re all just people behind equipment claiming a voice, or writing our diary, or portraying how we see the world, or asking for help, or celebrating our struggles and happiness, or telling our story. like I write and I vent, generally mostly, and I photograph and I enjoy language and quotes, and it’s self reflecting and engaging during 3 Am feedings.

a lot of people took a slightly general status I made to heart and assumed and questioned when regardless of my Facebook rants, much like this one, I’m an entirely direct person with anyone I have an issue with, life’s far too short not to be, but nevertheless this prompted the writer in me and the way things like this make me ponder about life and people and all the mechanisms that make us work prompted me to think about this, to self reflect on my own assumptions, and to define my own use of these ever addicting apps. just because we have somewhere to share our opinions, and our religious and political views, and our admiration and distaste, and our adventures and love, and our feelings – we shouldn’t forget that the real feelings and adventures and disputes and conversations are happening off these pages. or at least they should be. these apps are just blank scrapbooks and diary pages to fill and monitor with life – away from disrespect or difference or opinion or personal attacks. life shouldn’t be happening on social media so don’t let it ruin yours, don’t allow its distinct differences and raw emotions make you forget human interaction and communication is always where you’ll find the truth. you knew your friends had different views before they posted that meme and you know sometimes people vent and it has nothing to do with a specific entity and you know you wouldn’t like it if women spoke to him the way men speak to you, and you knew who she was long before she posted those pics, and you knew they would be hurt that you went to that special place without them, without an invite and yet, I watch friendships crumble and relationships burn, and families cry because of these words and pictures. I’ve watched myself become undone, as someone who takes everything way too personally because of social media. but after being on the reciprocating side, I declare that it’s just an adult playground or junkyard of ideas and notions and emotions we have nowhere else to place. it’s a comfort zone for identities and for the unpopular beliefs or shy voices. but it could all disappear tomorrow and we’d be left with the most important parts; the people, the memories, the tangible photos and souvenirs of a life well lived.

-AR

Paralyzed

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I distinctly remember you putting on a show in the car and me gazing at you with a stupid smile on my face. you would notice my focus of attention and ask what I was staring at. But you knew and I knew, and yet, a million verses of poetry would spin through my mind but you paralyzed me. Falling for you was like bungee jumping and remaining suspended in air. You were only interested in the kind of bungee jumping you could run away from, not stay free falling with. You were interested in crumpling bedsheets under moonlight and being home by sunlight. You weren’t interested in my cups of coffee over warm conversation, much less my heart. And yet, falling for you was as easy as breathing, even though I knew all of these things. Because despite these things, you captured me in a way I didn’t intend to be caught.

-AR