I Am Both – Embracing My Unique

Me 2018

Embracing My Unique

I have been both the quiet girl with too much to say and no voice to say it and the girl too loud, who every person stares at even though she is only speaking her mind. I have been the girl smiling shyly and also the girl jumping for joy around the room because her happiness can’t be held in any longer. I just want you to know that I see you. Whichever girl who are, I see you. And I still struggle with deciding which I want to be; because society likes to put us in boxes. You’re either shy or outgoing. You can’t be both. You’re either sad or happy. You can’t be both.

So let me tell you this. Both girl’s are perfect the way they are. And on my best days, I AM BOTH. And while society judges that as wrong, labels it as abnormal and tucks it away out of sight, I say we should wear it proud. Because I am the quiet girl who chooses to hold back, and the next second or minute or day or year, maybe I will be the girl who you can’t get to shut up even if you wanted to. And that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me. It merely means I can’t choose between the two. And I wouldn’t want to.

I am both. And they both have their perks. For the first fifteen years of my life, I was under the impression that I had to choose. So, I chose to be quiet all of the time. I sat in the background and I listened. And I learned a lot. I learned about people and situations, I learned how to empathize on such a deep level, I learned how to feel everything because I was doing it every second of every day. When you aren’t speaking, you aren’t exhaling your emotions, you feel every single one of them individually. This has been something I’ve kept with me, and I love it about myself. Being quiet and withdrawn, I also learned how to make real friends. People came to me who needed me, who wanted to be heard and knew I would listen – this is a complete feeling of wholeness you can’t understand until you’ve felt it. I loved being the quiet girl. But society didn’t. People would always ask me “why are you so quiet”? They would turn to the people I was with, as if I was incapable of talking at all and ask “Does she ever say anything?” – And then I found my people. I found the people who accepted my quiet, who loved sitting with me and talking about life and love and being – that or not talking at all.

I also love being the loud girl. After graduating from High School and moving away from my hometown, I have had to find a different voice within myself. This one is louder, but she’s thoughtful and still speaks with intent most of the time. But sometimes she doesn’t. Sometimes things come out of my mouth that I don’t mean to say, and I love that about me now. I love that I can say anything without fear of looking stupid because I no longer care. I love that I can laugh as loudly as I want now and know that most of the time, people are going to be laughing with me, not at me. It feels amazing to be outwardly happy, loudly happy, and watch what that does to the people in the room. Spreading the emotions I have kept inward for so long is lovely, and seeing people feel them with me is even better. Being able to express to anyone when I am mad or sad or happy, telling people what I want when I want it has opened so many doors for me, and is something the quiet girl in me would have taken much longer to do.

I am both. I invite you to be both. Boxing yourself into one way of living, one way of being, closes so many doors that could be open for you if you just allow them to be. Invite them in. Open your arms. You might find that you love the side of yourself you’ve been shutting out just as much as you love the one you’ve been.

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When You Died I Read

When my world fell apart I went to the bookstore.

I went to the bookstore because there I am a stranger.

The aisles are just hallways and each person is just a traveler.

I went to the bookstore because the pages on the shelves

hold more stories than I ever will so within those pieces of paper

They must know greater heartbreak than what I am feeling

and there is a comfort in that

knowing that in this bookstore as I pass each title

I am not alone.

When my world crashed around me

I didn’t buy anything at the bookstore.

I wasn’t there to exchange paper for paper –

I ran my fingers down the spines of each bound cover I could never have

and I thought of your face.

What a beautiful thing you are – they are –

so far gone from me yet within finger tip distance.

I could flip through your pages but I will never get the chance

to read your novel.

 

-CM

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

If you are human, please read

If you are a human and you are struggling with day to day life, keep reading.

If you are still reading and you are scared of the future, picture this: It is ten years from now. You are sitting on your sofa, a book in your lap, the person you love sitting beside you with their feet in your lap. They are smiling down at their phone about something they just saw, and you don’t feel the need to know what it was, because if it gives them that smile, it makes you happy too. It’s cold outside but it’s warm in your living room, and your space smells like chocolate chip cookies. You are whole and you are happy.

If that made your heart relax and you are stillĀ reading but you don’t know how to slow down enough to enjoy moments like this, picture this: It is next week. You have been working for two weeks straight already with no day off and your feet feel as if they are going to fall off. Your brain is running on empty, you keep forgetting the smallest of things, you are sure just a few hours of rest would restore you but you refuse to take them because you have goals. It’s early morning and you get a call. That promotion is yours. You are going to have to work another week before you get Saturday off, but it was all worth it. You finally feel enough.

If you’re still reading, and you’re not sure what you want in life, that’s okay. Picture yourself right now, in this moment. Are you happy? Good. Are you sad? That’s okay. Now picture yourself tomorrow. Are you happy? Good. Are you sad? Bake some cookies and remember that life won’t always be this way.

If you are human and you are struggling with day to day life and you are reading this, join the club. You are not alone. And that is a very good thing.

Seasonal Happiness

Sometimes I wish I lived in a tropical paradise so that

every year as the ground begins to freeze

maybe my heart and body would have a chance.

They tell me it’s seasonal depression as the snow begins to fall

and so does my stomach but I think I would prefer to call it

seasonal happiness for me who gets

maybe two good months of easy smiles

and forces them through heartbreak the other ten.

My heart loves the Holiday spirit but my body hates the cold

my body loves the hot chocolate and festive music but my heart hates

the forced nameless sadness that makes itself home in my chest.

They tell me it’s normal and that it will pass

but for twenty one years I have lived every day

waiting for it to pass.

Maybe next year this seasonal happiness will stay.

 

-CM

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

The End

When the ground began to shake, forming human size gaps in it’s core,

we knew this was the end.

When the trees began to fall and the sky began to rumble deep in it’s belly

we heard the cries.

Mothers reached for their children,

Fathers didn’t have arms big enough to hold everyone they wanted,

Doctors rushed to save any life they could,

Fire fighters tried in vain to stop the burning,

Police officers fought to regain control –

I held onto myself, watching as the world I complained about so often

fell in shambles around me and all I could think was

if only we could go back a few days

Maybe I could stop the burning before it began.

 

-CM

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)

Brave

You wake up to the sun high in the sky and you only wish to crawl back under the blankets because at least there it is dark

When you finally drag yourself out of bed and close the blinds to shut out the light you sit in the black morning and hang your head

Your mind has been screaming at you for months and you have finally given in to the echo telling you

that you are worthless, that this body is not enough for such a beautiful world, that everything you give will always be too little

but I think you are brave for waking up.

I think you are brave for closing the blinds. For huddling in the corner.

I think you are brave for living this day even when you don’t remember how.

I think you are brave because you could easily give up – but you haven’t – there is a strength in that.

I think you are brave for letting the voice in. You haven’t let it over power you as it so easily could.

I think you are brave for breathing. I think you are brave for choosing to wake up each day even if you never leave the house.

I think you are brave for trying – and that has to be enough.

 

-CM

Positively Negative

This morning as I lay in bed with sleep still just behind my eyelids, scrolling through Facebook on my phone (a habit I am trying to break), I was slammed with post after post on how bad ‘her’ day was and how horrible this thing went for ‘him’. Now, I am the biggest complainer this world has seen. Another habit I am trying to break for sure, but complaining is easy, and sometimes, it feels good to get it all off of your chest. So in no way am I trying to imply that complaining is bad – because while maybe it is, nobody is perfect and I don’t see a world where everyone doesn’t complain at least a little bit.

However, it seems more and more these days that is all my social media is filled with. People are complaining about everything, from how their day started, to the unfair decision at work, to even how bad they think they look today followed by a selfie. Whether these people are searching for some kind of validation or a pat on the back, I am not sure, but from me, they only receive a questioning look. I want to reach through their phone screen and ask them – if everything is going so terribly, why don’t you do something about it? I mean this in the nicest way possible – the best things in life have come to me when I got up and worked for it, not when I sat behind my phone and ranted about it on Facebook.

I do see the irony here, as I sit behind my computer screen and type these words. Today, social media is everywhere, and I love being able to connect with my friends and family instantly. At the core, this isn’t even about social media and where these people are posting their negativity – it is about the fact that negativity is all I am seeing.

Let’s lift each other up. Instead of commenting angry words the next time you see a post you disagree with, offer a friendly countering opinion and begin a discussion. Instead of just scrolling past the next time your Facebook friend posts that they are having a rough day, open up messenger and ask them if there is anything you can do. The next time you’re at the grocery store and someone can’t afford a carton of milk and some eggs, pay for them if you have the means. When you see a child smiling at you, smile back.

The energy we put out into the world is the energy we will receive back, so why not put out a little bit more positive energy today for those that just can’t seem to muster it. Let’s send out a little more light for those struggling today in the darkness. It’s okay to complain, it’s okay to not feel one hundred percent about ourselves all of the time, but then we have to stand up and carry on. So, the next time you see someone down, maybe carry them for a little while, and post about that on Facebook instead.

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