I’ve seen my brother cry only a few times in my life.

Showing emotion is not welcomed the older you get into high school as a boy.

And so, I watched him shut off emotion except for anger, irritation, and the arrogant “I’m above everyone else,” he is with his friends.

I watched my brother become an alien.

But today, today was different. I saw the sensitive boy he was taught to hide.

The one who sobs at a funeral for a grandmother he has always loved.

I watched his walls crumble, and his resolve flake off.

I saw him become my brother again.


My words are glass and steel.


They shoot from my lips with an evil intent, and every time hit their target.




They float out delicate like swirled blown glass shapes, or cut my lips as they fall helpless to the floor.


There are so many things I don’t say.

We hugged yesterday.


It wasn’t a movie-worthy hug, but an awkward half-hug with a couple hurried words that fell out of my mouth.

I wanted to say I was proud, and that I never had a doubt that you could ever not do it. I wanted to say I loved you as if you didn’t already know. I wanted to say that I missed you, and I would always be there. I wanted to say you didn’t have to drown out your troubles with country music and bitter jokes. I wanted to say that your eyes seemed happy, ever gold bit like a spark that was alighting a blaze. I wanted to say I hoped you were happy. I wanted you to promise that we would talk still, even after you were gone. And most importantly, I wanted you to know that I remember when we started drifting apart………….and I’m sorry.



But instead, I hugged you and hoped you knew all that already.

And the hug was perfect to me.


I’m trying to be the person I needed six months ago.


I have been asked why I’ve changed, and I scoff. I haven’t changed, not really.


I have changed from being in the shadows, watching people like me walk with a smile painted on their features.

And I am tired of it.


I try to be bubbly, sweet, and kind. Because six months ago, that is who I wanted. I wanted someone who noticed my sad little smiles but didn’t really say anything. I wanted someone who made me laugh more than I thought humanly possible. I wanted someone who could handle ups, as well as my downs.


Overall, I have just become the person I needed to.

I feel like I have been asleep for a while. And today, I finally woke up.


It’s not a sentence you can pick apart and analyze, it’s my life. And it is also the truth:

Whatever dream I was in, whatever happiness I thought I had, is gone.


I have finally woken up to realize that while in my haze, thinking of myself and floating happily from one place to another, I have left behind the people who matter most.


I have let some go, to fade away as I cut my life into a perfect square, determined to live like other girls………………….


Until I realized today, I am not like other girls.


My life is more complex, and I have people who depend on me for a smile, a kind word, a friendly greeting.


I have friends fighting more battles then I could ever keep track of, and a family who needs a thread to tie us all together again.


I have people who I sit beside, in church and school, who are missing the deep comments I made, the funny faces, and a never-ending supply of gum.


I have selfishly gone into a haze, where I was so determined to be happy, I lost sight of everything.


Because the truth is, no one is ever happy for their entire life. It is simply a battle that cannot be won.


The truth is, you are going to cry. You are going to sob as you feel your world fall apart, and your heart becomes a burning lump of cole. You are going to feel words burn your esophagus as they spew out like lava, leaving devastation in its wake. You are going to have days where you can’t get out of bed because you feel like your life is gone.


You are going to have days where your fingers are smeared with paint, and your eyes are empty…..but your head is full.

There is no guarantee in this life, that we are supposed to live in unexplainably happy.


There are reasons in every day to find joy, comfort, and even happiness, but when we feel hopeless, lost, tired and confused, we will not find them.


We will find our pillow, but while being our body shuts down, our mind doesn’t. It fills your head with a chemical overload, more toxic than tar and poison………and you are powerless to stop it.



So honey, accept, as I had to, that the haze was a shield from reality, and not true happiness at all. It was you making someone your entire life, making something your entire dream when you cut out the bigger picture.


Trust that waking up, was the best thing you could have done. Trust yourself, for knowing it was time to wake up and realize the people you left behind.

The dreams you wrinkled up like last weeks garbage.


And most of all, realize what put you in that haze, maybe it is not worth it. And maybe they never were.





I don’t chase after people anymore.

I don’t panic when I see them fading, barely an outline in life.

A text replied a week later, a few words echoed when I am already gone.

I have slowly learned to let things go.

I have always hated running, but I have run after people my entire life.

“Hey, you forgot your coat!”

You forgot me………………………

It is sad to think I am used to people leaving, having one foot in, and the other always out.

But then I tell myself, I have run after people through the darkness that used to inhabit every day.

When I could barely get up every morning, I made sure to send a text, “Have a good day!” Or scribble a quick note with hearts, “You’ll do great!”

I am used to people leaving, but people are used to me chasing them.

I won’t anymore.

If people really cared, then maybe they wouldn’t run.

Maybe they would stay and say, “I’m here.”

I’m tired of seeing people just disappear around a bend, to be with girls who are nothing like me or to be friends with someone who is not a person I can be.

Because the truth is, when I saw your outline became just a shadow as you walked away, I realized something.

You were leaving because I refused to say goodbye.

I refused to believe the reality, and accept the truth.

I refused to believe that you were all grown up, and leaving.

And so you can to leave.

It was not a choice that either one of us could make: you had to go.

Your future was gleaming brightly, and I was a person who was both parts of your past, and future.

I just had to choose whether or not I wanted to be part of your future.

Whether or not I was willing to let go, with the confident knowledge you were still there.

I couldn’t see you, but when I needed you, you would come.

I had to infinite trust that you would come back, and this was not goodbye, but a parting with a promise.





I have learned to let people go, and I have also learned to let people in. To let them stay. My heart is an inn that can never be full, and accept that some people won’t visit my inn because they don’t want to. They have found a fancier one, a more normal one. But something I have to realize is this: Even though I can’t see you, and it feels like you are gone, you are not. You are just around the bend, experiencing a future that is both wonderful and bittersweet. It is my choice if I to want to go around that bend, with the trust you will be waiting. Another thing I have realized is that just because my heart is an inn, does not guarantee people will stay. But whoever they are, they will always have a room, because letting go is not always forgetting: It is remembering that the people who really love you, will go around that bend, and call to you. They will make you want to take that bold and beautiful step. And the ones that help you around the bend, are the ones who believe you can do anything, and love anyone.


“How much do you love her?” I demanded.


His face flashed with so much emotion, and he said, simply, “She guessed my favorite color first try.”

“I’ve never had a favorite color before. I haven’t cared about color. I don’t care what color t-shirt I wear, or if it is spirit week or not. Blue is blue. There is no emotion, no feeling, no memory. I could have happy if I was born colorblind, simply because in my life I have no need for color. When I met her she asked my favorite color. I didn’t have a chance to tell her I didn’t have one. Her face was all lit up like a little kid’s and she shouted ‘yellow!’ standing on her tip toes so we were eye to eye. I didn’t have the heart to tell her no…..and suddenly, I couldn’t look at yellow the same. It brought up the memory of her. How her hair smells like coconut and sandalwood. How her two front teeth are slightly crooked, and how her nose wrinkles when she is confused. She made me WANT to have a favorite color……and now I do. I can’t look at colors worthless, because she is an artist. Her bracelets are so many shades of color, and they help express what her paintings cannot. I have never cared about color until I met her. Blue was blue. The color of my eye. My father’s eyes. My cousin’s eyes. Nothing was entirely special about that color, and yellow was simply the color of the sun and rubber ducks. But now….now color is so much more. She gave me a favorite color.”

He paused.

“She hates saying bad things. She told me once, ‘I am made up of milk. One bad word and I am soured. For days I feel angry, lost, sad and confused. I feel guilty. I feel like the words I said were boomerangs and hit me with a force harder than two tons of steel.’ I have had no probably ever expressing myself. Words, stern, angry, sad or not, easily come out. With her, it is like she keeps them on the inside until they dissolve because she knows how hurtful they are. She knows the impact of words, and how they effect people. That is dangerous and wonderful. She can tear someone down with one sentence, and put them on cloud nine with one word. That is a gift. She has started teaching me the impact of words, how what say starts a chain reaction. Now, I watch my words, because I can. And I will. For her.”

He nervously mumbled, “She changed my life…………..isn’t that love?”