2019, allison ryder, cancer, change, darkness, dreams, experience, growth, heartbreak, identity, inspiration, life, light, looking back, loss, love, moments, motherhood, new mom, pain, personal, perspective, poetry, publishing, travel, truth, word, work, writing
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.
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.
allison ryder, change, courage, efforts, emotion, experience, family, fight, friendship, future, gratitude, growth, happiness, hard work, home, life, love, maternal instinct, mom, moments, morals, motherhood, perspective, poet, poetry, purpose, quotes, relationships, strength, thoughts, truth, under-appreciated. overlooked, value, words, work, world, writer, writing
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.
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.
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.
allison ryder, allison ryder quotes, beautiful, broken, change, emotion, fear, feelings, growth, heart, heartache, heartbreak, hurt, identity, insecurity, life, love, mind, pain, perception, perspective, poetry, quotes, relationship, relationships, thoughts, truth, words, writer, writing
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, cancer, death, difficuly, doubt, fear, fight, friendship, fuck cancer, hurt, identity, judgment, life, loss, love, pain, people, poetry, questions, relationships, remorse, silence, time, truth, wordporn, writing
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.
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.