Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Giving Up: The Best Choice I Could Have Made

“Don’t give up!” “Keep going!” “It’s all worth it!”

These are just a few of my own personal mantras. I preach these not only to myself in order to get out of bed in the morning, but also to others, when they come to me with their worries and woes, expressing how bad of a life they have. Do not give up. This will forever be my one solid grain of advice when all my other pearls of wisdom fall to the wayside. When you feel like giving up, give it one more try.

However, that’s not what today’s post is about. Today’s post is actually about exactly the opposite. Today, I plan to tell you about the one time I gave up, and why to do this day, I don’t regret that decision.

Picture this. Years of friendship. The kind of friendship people look at and say “I wish I had a friend like that”. The no boundaries kind of friend. The my house is your house and your house is my house kind of friend. Her family was my family and my family hers. Summers were always spent together. Sleepovers were plentiful, laughing until we had stitches in our sides was an almost nightly event.

And now picture this. A falling out. Not a big fight, a sudden episode, a burst of anger. No, a slow and steady drift that started before either of us even noticed the crack. Days drifted into weeks, weeks into months, until one day we looked back and hadn’t spoken in nearly a year. Life gets busy. People have their own lives. So I’d reach out. She’d reach out. We’d both send a couple messages here and there. We would hang out when we could. The drift continued.

It was only a few months ago when I thought about the big question: Should I give up? It seemed like such a huge thing, such an important friendship to just wash down the drain. But still, each ignored message, each hasty reply, each awkward forced conversation, the question popped back into my mind. Would giving up really be the worst thing?

Some days I wish we had fought. Some days I wish one of us had broken the others heart, because then at least there would be someone to blame. Here, there is just pointing fingers when we both have dirty hands.

I finally made the decision early one morning over my cup of coffee. It was an exceptionally beautiful day. The morning was crisp, the birds were chirping. I never sit on my porch early in the morning, but this particular morning, I decided to. Wrapped in a throw blanket, my hair piled high on top of my head, my limbs still waking up, it came to me at first as a whisper. The thoughts weren’t concrete yet, and so I pushed them aside. But as the sun got higher in the sky, so did the thoughts grow louder in my head until I couldn’t shut them out anymore.

And so the messages stopped. I stopped scrolling up to reread old messages. I stopped digging through my search history to find something relevant to just “bring up” to start conversation. I stopped forcing myself to make something of the past a part of my future. I gave up trying to force something to work that just didn’t seem to want to work.

Giving up is such an ugly phrase. We tend to pair it with dark thoughts, with failure and death. Maybe sometimes giving up means new beginnings. Maybe sometimes giving up doesn’t mean you failed at all, but that you succeeded. Maybe sometimes parts of your past aren’t meant to exist in this moment.

Our friendship was beautiful. We existed for one another when neither of us had someone else to turn to. But people change. Life moves forward. Life also has a tricky way of bringing things back to us that we thought we’d let go.

Giving up meant I no longer had to worry about being the one to message first. Giving up meant I could focus on relationships that were flourishing, rather than watering those that maybe needed a break. Giving up meant resting at a time when I had been doing everything but, trying to keep an old flame flickering.

I write all of this only to let you know that it is okay to give up every now and again. Not on the bigger things. Never on yourself or your dreams or your own life. Never on those things. But sometimes giving up is the only way to see the bigger picture. Sometimes giving up allows you to take a step back and evaluate the situation from the outside.

Now to wrap up my story, because I am sure some of you are wondering. Some of you are probably even shaking your head. “Such a shame,” you’re probably thinking. “Years of friendship just gone.” I don’t see it that way.

I have outstretched arms for this woman and I always will. My home with always be her home. If she fell on her butt and needed some cash to get by, my money would be her money. My ear will always be ready to listen. I still want to be a part of her daughter’s life. I still want to grow old with her. I still want her to be my maid of honor whenever I do get married. Just because she is not part of my now does not mean she can’t be a part of my future. I will always love her in a way I’m not sure I’ll ever love anyone else. Because in a way, she was my first true love. Before either of us knew what romantic love was, when we only really knew we loved our parents and siblings, we grew to rely on each other and we grew together. That’s not something I will ever forget or take for granted, nor would I ever want to. The blunt truth though is that we are on different paths now. We are living different stories and that’s a good thing.

I gave up only to allow room for growth. I gave up only to allow the universe to do her thing. Because she really does have a way of knowing what is best for you.

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Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

When You’re at the Bottom, Look Around

Last week my car broke down and the whole contents of my savings account later I felt at the bottom of a really big mountain with no way back to the top. I had spent months climbing and climbing, only to fall back down with scraped knees and bruised elbows in one big push. In that moment, standing in a foreign driveway, watching my beat up but trusty old car being towed away, I felt incredibly lost for the first time in months.

You see, it’s so easy to feel on top of the world when everything is going your way. But when the unplanned happens, the things that you can’t pencil into your calendar, it’s not so easy to know what the next step is.

When my boyfriend and I were waiting in his car for the tow truck to arrive, after I had called him at almost nine o’clock at night and he had arrived in his PJ’s without a question, his sister offered to bring me food because I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. When I called my parents, in tears and falling apart over a composition of parts and machinery, they helped in every single way they could from hundreds of miles away. When I crawled into bed that night, my car was waiting at a garage to be examined, I knew a bill was about to be placed in my hands that I couldn’t manage, but I had a ride to work the next three days, I had parents who would do anything to make sure I could make ends meet, and I had a boyfriend who would drop anything with just one call saying that I needed him.

You see, it’s easy when you’re on top of the world to feel put together. It’s not so easy when you’ve been knocked down, to feel like you’re going to be okay.

There is no arguing that I am incredibly blessed. With little money, and a car that for a while barely ran, I still have a car. I still have enough money to buy food. I still have friends and family that would do anything for me. When I look at that, it’s hard not to feel on top of the mountain again. It’s easy to feel like you’ve been pushed down. But maybe it was just time for you to look at your life again, and realize that while you’re striving for what you want, maybe what you have isn’t really all that bad.

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Falling In Love Early

I found my soulmate long before I even knew what romance was. Funny isn’t it? You’re just playing in the backyard with a person who laughs at the same things as you, comforting a person who cries when you cry, and all of a sudden you can’t imagine your life without them. I met my soulmate before I could even walk or talk. That’s the thing about a true soulmate. They often aren’t even romantic at all. They’ve seen you through it all. They were the one person who stayed when everyone else left. They believed in you when you didn’t even believe in yourself. They are much more than a best friend. Sure, we can simplify it and call it that, but this bond deserves a title much larger than that. You can’t really know it until you feel it, this connection that crosses boundaries. It’s almost as if you become mind readers. You know what they are going to say before they say it. You know they are in trouble before they call you. You know to message them before your phone even goes off. You can be thousands of miles apart, and you still know the exact moment that they need you. It’s almost supernatural, and that’s why it deserves a much bigger title. Sure, you’ll meet many people you love after them. You’ll fall in love and get married. You’ll have other friends. But your soulmate will always be your soulmate. No one can replace them.

-CM

Posted in Poetry

Social Interactions Reincarnated

Making friends is hard for people like us with brains in our stomachs

and mouths on our hands so let’s make it easy.

I don’t want to know how your day was –

it was good, mine was good, end of conversation –

start over.

I don’t want to talk about the weather –

it’s sunny, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, it’s getting chilly, end of conversation –

start over.

I want to talk about what gives you that feeling,

you know the one –

that feeling as if you have the whole world in your palm and

you could do anything or be anyone –

I want to know what gives you that feeling so maybe

one day I can give it to you.

I want to know at what point you were your saddest –

I want to know so maybe the next time I see the signs

I will already have the warm blanket and hot chocolate waiting.

Let’s talk about love, loss, fear, anger –

let’s talk about life.

Making friends is hard so let’s make it easy.

Nice to meet you, I’m damaged goods, I wear my heart on my sleeve,

I don’t talk when I should and talk too much when I shouldn’t,

I have a lot of opinions, I don’t know exactly what I want or how to get it

but I know one day I will get it

I would do anything for my friends and do very little for myself –

Nice to meet you.

I think we’ll get along just fine.

 

-CM

Posted in Poetry

Two Halves of Two Broken Hearts

Your body is in perfect working order in regards to your physical health still

your heart feels as if it may shatter into a million unrecognizable pieces without warning

so I have bought you some duct tape. I have called out of work and canceled my meetings. I have brought with me some wine and my collection of mixed CD’s that were collecting dust and I have brought with me my heart.

My heart isn’t working right either. With each breath I can feel the pain slowly inching closer to my chest, working it’s way into my emotions but I am still breathing.

You are still breathing. We are both broken. Maybe alone, broken beyond repair.

You get a little tipsy and start whispering to me about suicide. It’s not a mistake. The words that roll off your lips are intentional, your eyes well up with tears.

Your heart is splitting and it can’t take much more.

So I am going to reach into my chest and break my heart in half and gently, I am going to do the same to yours, and we can trade because maybe having a friend with you with every breath you take is really the only thing we need

and if I can save you maybe I can also save myself

if there is hope for you maybe there is also hope for me

so take this – the only thing I have to offer and

do with it the best you can

the best anyone can with two halves of two broken hearts.

-A Kinda Pretty Mess

Chantelle

Posted in Letters to..., Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Stop Worrying

Image may contain: Chantelle Mathewson, eyeglasses, selfie and closeup

Dear me (whenever you may find this),

You are going to want to give up. If there is one thing I know for certain right now, as I sit here in my chicken pj’s in a tiny one bedroom apartment, waiting for our boyfriend to come home with some Halloween candy is this – you are going to feel like running. Not from anything, not to anything, just leaving – because that’s easier than staying and fighting. Because running is the easiest thing in the world to do. Giving up takes no effort, you don’t have to face anything – giving up is the quitters way out, and there are going to be so many times that you desperately want to take this route.

Don’t.

You are going to want a do over. There are going to be times when you’re sitting on your bathroom floor, a towel draped over your body, your hair drenched and soaking your skin, and you are going to want a way to travel back in time. You will be sobbing, slamming your fists into the tub until your knuckles bleed, begging whatever higher power there might be to just rip you away from here, because this pain hurts too much.

They won’t.

You are going to make it. There are going to be moments, after the crying, after the spacing in front of a computer screen, after the missing and the waiting, after the pain – moments that will make every wrong turn, every seemingly horrible mistake – so incredibly worth it. Moments, when even the things you thought you regretted the most, you would do all over again if it meant you got this moment – this moment right here – to do over again.

Cherish this.

Cherish this life. It doesn’t matter where you are right now. It doesn’t matter what part of you is hurting. It doesn’t matter how badly you think you screwed up, how badly you want a chance to change something – cherish this life, each breath, each moment, each and every second means something.

Cherish it.

Love,

Me (twenty one years old about to eat a shit ton of candy with my boyfriend in our one bedroom apartment four hours away from home in a chicken costume – struggling – but happy)

Posted in Poetry

I Know

I know you unlike anyone

I know the gleam in your eyes when you are happy and

the tilt of your head just slightly when you are sad.

I know the way you like your coffee in the morning

way too much sugar and just the right amount of

wake up.

I know your laugh and how

it changes when you are with different people.

My heart knows your heart.

We are like old friends that only just met

years ago or maybe centuries

I know when you are hurting.

I know when you need a hug or

ten shots of something too strong

I know you feel like giving up.

The weight of the world feels too heavy on your shoulders

And you feel alone but

I know that you are not.

I do not know all of the answers.

I don’t know the future, I’m not even sure of the present

I have never been good at adding or subtracting

but I know that I would do anything

to keep you from drowning.

I know that if you were too jump

I would be at the bottom to catch you.

This is messy

We are messy

The world is messy

But I know my world isn’t my world without you in it.

 

-Chan Eliza

Posted in Letters to...

Dear …

When I was in High School, I remember this one assignment from my English teacher in which we were asked to write a letter to someone we loved and also to someone we were mad at. We were to write it with no intent of this person ever reading the letter – and while originally the assignment seemed ridiculous – it was actually extremely therapeutic. I encourage you to assign yourself this task. Take a minute to think of that one person who made you really angry or hurt you really badly, and write them a letter they will never see. Or think of the one person you love more than anyone else in this world, and write them a letter describing every little thing that draws you to them – they don’t ever have to read it.

For today’s post, my letter is to my middle school self.

Dear 13 year old me,

There is no denying that you are different from your classmates. Don’t even try to fit in, because I’m sorry, but you weren’t born to. You are never going to fit the mold and you are going to learn eventually that for you, that’s a very good thing.

Ignore the bullies. I know how hard this is when they won’t leave you alone and seem to come from every side, but just ignore them. What your parents keep telling you is true; they are just jealous of something you have. Either that, or something is wrong for them at home and for some reason, they have picked you as their target to release the anger that causes. None of this makes it right, but it’s not personal. You are better than them anyway, and one day soon you are going to see this for yourself.

Use the medicine the doctors prescribed to you for your acne. Just use it. It takes two minutes and you’ll thank me later. Just do it.

Stop worrying about the friend’s that back stab you or treat you like a second choice; don’t give them a second thought. Focus on the one girl who has never faltered and who has always been there. You know who I’m talking about. Trust me, in just a few short years it’s going to be very clear who your true friends are and all of this time spent trying to get old friends back is going to seem like a waste of time. You will go to many lengths to keep friends, and that’s what makes you so good, but not everyone will do the same for you. You don’t need those people.

Stop arguing with your sisters so much over the tiniest of problems. Yes, I know, it’s easy to argue, but they are your sisters and you’ll always have them around. When it seems like you have no one else, these girls are always going to have your back. Don’t take them for granted.

Stop. Yelling. At. Your. Parents. Trust me. When you’re out living on your own, it’s your mom and dad that are going to be answering the phone at nine o’clock at night to hear you ramble and answer your ridiculous questions, no matter how stupid. So just stop. They are doing their best, and they don’t deserve it. You are very lucky to have such amazing parents.

Stop focusing on the family that doesn’t spend time with you, and focus on the ones that do. You have amazing people in your life. The people that don’t want to be their don’t matter.

Don’t beat yourself up about math class. You’re not going to get any better throughout High School, and that’s okay. You excel in other classes, focus your energy there. You will pass math class, it will be okay. Don’t stress about it so much.

Have fun. Don’t worry about looking silly. These years are going to fly by so fast and you’re going to wish you had taken another minute to swing on the playground and play tag with your friends. Savor these moments before they are gone.

Love,

Me

Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

Lessons with Harry Potter

Harry Potter has saved me numerous times. My big sister read the series to me when I was little, and I have read it myself at least five times since. The messages to gather from the story are ever changing, the characters I relate to ever revolving, and no matter my age, I am convinced Harry Potter will continue to stay a part of me.

The first time I heard the story, Ron was hands down my favorite character. As a struggling preteen who didn’t seem to fit in anywhere, I related to his bright red hair and protruding ears; his awkwardness made me feel not quite as alone. He also had an amazing best friend that he would do anything for, which I connected to as well.

While Ron is still a favorite of mine, as I progressed through middle school, Hermione scooted into the number one spot with her brightness and bushy hair. Her loyalty to her classes and friends no matter what others thought of her helped me accept that maybe I wasn’t born to fit in, and that was perfectly okay.

Luna and Neville, also misfits seemingly cursed to always be on the outside, helped me realize that the outside is the place to be. This is where you make the best friends and learn the best lessons.

Of course, the main character and hero of the story, Harry Potter, deserves a shout out. While he wouldn’t of won without the help of his friends, Harry had an unwavering strength that is unquestionable. Without parents his whole life, believing no one loved him for the first eleven years of it, he never let the world harden him.

Snape, Sirius, and Dumbledore also make the list of my all time favorite Harry Potter characters. Each have their own redeeming qualities, strength and intelligence prevalent in each, and the undying will to keep Harry Potter safe at all costs. Each with their own agenda, there is no question that all three deserve applause, as each ultimately gave their life for Harry Potter.

There are so many other characters that deserve recognition, but too many to name in only one blog post. Others for another day would include Dobby, Ginny, Lupin, Mad Eye Moody, Hagrid, and many, many more. J.K Rowling carefully carved out each character, giving each a life and a personality unmatched to any other series I have read.

Which character was your favorite the first time you read the novels? Did that opinion change the next time you read it? What did you learn from each character?

I would love to hear what you have to say, please feel free to share!

Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

For the love of an Introvert

I am an introvert. The dictionary definition describes us as “a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things”, as opposed to the dictionary definition of an extrovert being – “a person predominantly concerned with external things or objective considerations”. These are the psychological definitions, while simplified labels are shy versus outgoing. While no one can be boxed completely into either category, we all lean more heavily into one state of being. For me, I have always enjoyed the quiet of being alone with my thoughts, rather than abundant conversations and other activities that require me to socialize.

There is always an exception to this rule. Of course, I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, and if you were to see me around my family, best friend or boyfriend, you would have no idea that I am normally very quiet and closed off.

While the dictionary would label me as “shy”, this isn’t a term I connect with. I choose to keep to myself not because I am nervous or timid, but simply because that is what feels right to me. Sure, I have a history with social anxiety, but this keeps me from leaving my house – not from speaking when I actually do. I have no problem expressing my opinion if I am angry or irritated, or overjoyed even. I just don’t feel the need to always speak on the mundane and simple topics that normally fill everyday conversation.

For the longest time, I was ashamed to be labeled as an introvert. I thought there must be something wrong with me, some wiring in my brain that kept me from wanting to talk. I would beat myself up over it, and admire the people that could strike up a conversation about the tiniest of things, making friends as easy as counting to three.

I embrace the label now. I am proudly an introvert – if you feel the need to label me this way – because of the qualities that come with it. I am a good listener, an abundant feeler, and when I do choose to speak, I know I am saying the right thing. My opinions and thoughts are well thought out, I care deeply about everything and everyone, and I enjoy my own company. I don’t fear being alone with my thoughts anymore, because I am one of my own best friends.

Which label do you fall under? I personally find that most of us fall somewhere in between, and that is perfectly okay.