Energy

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my new motto for everyone I know is you get what you give because my son deserves all of me so I cannot go around giving to people who do not deserve an ounce from me; not my attention, energy, or arguments. -AR

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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

Searching for Shelter

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No one ever told me there would be people who would scar me in ways that would make me want to feel pain because that’s what I believe I’m worth. No one told me that there were words that would provoke me to have lunch over the toilet bowl to make it more tolerable. No one ever told me how easy it was to hold it in and that the most dangerous addictions and methods were always easy. No one ever told me to love myself before loving someone else or else that toxic, cheating, manipulative partner would depict the definition of love with a mirrored self-reflection that was ugly and worthless. No one taught me about inner strength and self-righteousness in all their talk of Hamlet and the Pythagorean Theorem. They say those kinds of personal issues aren’t meant to be learned through textbooks but are meant to be instilled in the home. But I’m just a thirteen year old foster kid, bounced around in a broken system full of parents looking for a pay day while I’m looking for a parent. I take the beatings; the bloody nose and broken ribs because I’m too clumsy to make it a week without falling up or down the stairs, whichever excuse the hospital believes this time. Turning a blind eye is what makes the broken system turn. So what do I know about love and self-respect and what a family should teach you? I walk these halls obediently with my nose in textbooks to learn about how the United States came to be and the importance of language but no one wants to educate me on friendship and identity. Our bright minds are supposed to pave the future, not end up splattered on the train tracks because we didn’t know there was another option. Because we didn’t know there were other ways. Because we didn’t know anything more than how to grammatically write our suicide letters and mathematically compute the probability of our dangerous methods working out exactly how we imagined. I’m just a thirteen year old foster kid getting kicked around a broken system, how was I supposed to know anything outside of these walls?

-AR

“You’re too much.”

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To every woman who was ever told she was “too much…”

I hear this so often. She was just too much. ‘What was too much? In what ways?’ She was intense. She loved immensely. She asked too many questions. She cared too much. Past lovers told her she was too much so something is wrong with her.’

Ah. I understand. So you prefer mediocrity, someone who doesn’t care to check up on you, or build you up, or help you achieve your goals. You want someone who loves you less, who doesn’t ask questions to make sure you’re alright, to start a conversation, to take an interest in the things that interest you. Have I gotten that right? Oh, and then to top it off, you took something she told you in confidence, revealing weakness, insecurity, and vulnerability, and you used it against her to validate all the reasons she wasn’t good enough for you. The truth is, her “too much” is a rarity – it’s genuine, unconditional love and support. She’s someone who will go out of her way to ensure you’re taken care of and attempt to help you achieve every dream and goal. the truth is, she asks questions because she gives a damn, not because she wants to control you or the situation, but because she wants to be included. she wants to feel important. and you failed so terribly at that. you made her feel inadequate and not worthy of the one persons love, she was killing herself to have. you made her feel like she was trapped inside of herself, you made her hate herself. you made her question why she wasn’t worth it when you chose to pursue what she wanted with you, with other women. she’s not too much, you’re just too small minded. she wants a great, no regrets, beautifully imperfect love. that woman who’s “too much,” she is the top of the pedestal that you can only wish to climb one day. so to all you women, who have ever been told you’re “too much,” i know how much you wanted their love, how hard you worked, how much you tried but don’t ever feel undeserving or insignificant because you’re the reason great love exists.

and I can promise you, one day they’ll realize they lost everything because they were too weak to leave their comfort zones and have “too much.” instead they’ll be stuck with not enough.

one day they’re going to choose someone else and it’s gonna hurt a lot less because you’ll realize there’s nothing wrong with you. they were just too afraid to love and let themselves be loved by someone who was the real thing.

-Allison Ryder

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Love was hard with cancer. It was a poison you had to carry around as it weighed heavy on your heart. But you’d rather fight the battle in solace and silence than have someone look at you in that pitiful way. Life threatening ailments have the tendency to cause people to act out of character. They do things because they feel bad for you. They look at you in that “I pity you” type of way, mostly because no one would ever admit to pitying a cancer patient.

But back to love. Love is always hard, relationships are difficult because people are complex. It could all be so simple but as humans we tend to color every circumstance complicated. How can you trust someone is in something for the long-hall? You never can truly know that. You have to trust at face value and hope it works out forever. It’s scary, terrifying even. Now you want to add cancer to the mix. People run away at their own feelings, let alone the thought of caring about someone with a terminal illness.

And yet all some of us want is to live out our days to the fullest extent that we can, we want to love today and be hopeful of tomorrow. We want things to go smoothly with little stress but it rarely works out that way. Life happens. It messes up your perfect vision and challenges your desires. It breaks you and often times, it hurts. So we’re left adjusting to the turmoil and just rolling with the punches. But for us, ͏life is a timetable- how long will the good last, when will I relapse, can I trust remission. Again, there’s no definitive answer here. There’s zero trust. You just live and hope the people in your life could find comfort and security in the simplicity as well.

As for love, I have no idea. I can’t imagine lying about your body demolishing itself is the way to begin a healthy relationship but at the same point, why is it any of their business? I’m sure they didn’t push every secret and aspect of their life to the front at the start. But really it’s not about lying, it’s about wanting someone to look at you and truly see you, not look at you and see cancer. The worst thing in the world you can do is fall in love with someone and watch them change their i love you face to an i feel bad for you face. The second worst thing is when they stick with you because you’re a ticking time bomb instead of because they actually want to build with you. It’s difficult to separate the cancer from your own reflection, let alone your identity through someone else’s eyes.

-AR

wanderlust

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that’s the thing about her sense of wanderlust; it’s not simply the desire to see new things- it’s the desperation to embrace new cultures, to take risks of love and to explore wondrous places, it’s the adrenaline and excitement of unexpected adventures and doing things that scare her. it’s about leaving pieces of her in all the places she’s been and filling those voids with where she’s been. it’s the most beautiful aspect of living. she cultivated her curiosities, encouraging self growth. her wanderlust is a requirement for her to live and love so freely.

-Allison Ryder

late night thoughts

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we sat for awhile and pondered the wreckage of the soul. we dove into the broken hearted and what makes us make the tedious decisions leading into failure and pain. we reflected on how we got to the position we now stood, surrounded by lust and yet feeling alone, trying to block out the noise and running into abandonment to avoid commitment. it’s a slippery slope, the road of broken hearts, once you go down, it’s difficult to trust the hands trying to get you back up.

-Allison Ryder