The difference between me and you is this; you threatened to take your life so that I would stay, while I didn’t care if you took mine as long as it was a way out.
I keep telling myself it’s been four long
years, when in reality, they flew by faster than I
could keep up with.
Catapulted into the reality of the future and
adulthood, a full-time job, no more classes, no summer
break and yet, I feel a sense of calm and tranquility. Along
with a sense of accomplishment and pride in all that I’ve achieved
throughout my years of schooling.
Keeping up grades, juggling a part-time job, friend groups, roommates, and
every other stepping stone leading me to the diploma I can finally say I
hold in my hand.
There I was, walking across the stage. Eight thousand audience members – family
members and friends, fellow graduates – all looking at my outstretched arm. Shaking
hands, raising fists in excitement and glee, taking hold of that piece of paper worth
much more than what it looks like.
And I smiled, to myself, for the rest of the day, because now I can say,
“I did it.”
Future? Adulthood? The real world?
I am ready for you – for all of it.
“No qualms about it.”
A phrase comes to my mind,
the one and only, when I see or
hear, the word, qualm.
But when I begin to really think about it,
there are many that I have – and less often than not,
I don’t have any about something.
doubt, worry or
These are common feelings of the everyday
me, and I think, the everyday you, and you, and
most human beings. Racked with guilt, and self-doubt
there’s punishment for every possible not-so-saintly
action. But I want to redefine the phrase:
Have qualms about it – they make you human.
“father” is a word, a relationship, that is earned,
not given. and just as it can be given at the moment
the sperm enters the egg, it can be taken away if that parent
begins to show signs of being temporary – not earning
the title of “father.”
There’s a massive difference between a parent who is there,
for all the heartbreaks and teenage problems, the
meeting of a new boyfriend or the start of a new job.
events that may seem small, but build into a life that not
every parent earns the right to be a part of.
If showing up to the graduation and the wedding, or
attending family holiday’s together is your definition of
parent – then you are in no way deserving of that title.
I’ve seen my fair share of amazing parents, my mother
being one of them, but unfortunately I’ve also experienced
the hurt and guilt that comes with the loss of a relationship
due to a necessary divorce.
In my lifetime, my father came and went – but most
memories are clouded by the times he left – and, while not once
did I have to question whether or not a step parent, a coach,
or other male figure in my life would be there for me, I constantly
questioned whether or not I could trust my biological father to
pick me up from CCD at age six or off the side of the road when I’d
broken down at age nineteen.
I look around, in a constant search for the relationship a
daughter should have with her father, but I’m always left
empty-handed. And at the end of the day, when asked who’s fault it is,
I firmly say it was his, because I’m smart enough to realize that he’s
content being a temporary father – and I have no interest in coddling
the ego of a man who thinks he deserves even that title in my life.
I greedily rummaged through
cupboards at age four –
searching for a cure to my
sweet-tooth in what seemed an
endless void of black, empty darkness.
Then I saw the light
reflected off a shiny corner of
aluminum candy wrapper,
tucked behind a bag of Dominos flour
and that orange box of… something.
Climbing on the paint peeling
pink stool living in the corner I
reached back, being forced onto tip-toes
before finally reaching the
half-eaten candy bar.
Anxiously pulling the bar
toward me, and quickly
unwrapping what was left –
feeling the anticipation in my
grumbling, empty stomach.
But then I took that first,
unsatisfying taste, only to
experience my first lesson in
And I’ll never forget the
taste on those four year old
taste buds – sharp, biting, and
nowhere as sweet as my naive
self thought it would be.
Rain pours down in sheets,
soaking blue jeans and a once warm,
comfortable sweater. Grudgingly, I
climb into my pickup truck and dread the
hour ride stretched out menacingly before me.
But I crank the new album I downloaded and watch
time and trees fly by until I reach the exit, and
pull off the highway – following back roads to a
familiar driveway where I’m greeted by the
aroma of many cheeses and freshly cooked
bacon. Sizzling together in the oven, waiting for me to
consume greedily. Soon I’m sitting on our
usual blue couch. Netflix loading, I pull you close, a
heaping bowl of your homemade Mac & Cheese in my lap.
Waiting impatiently for The Shining to cover the screen.
Wiggling into a comfortable position, in sweatpants and an
over sized flamingo T-shirt, I’m mesmerized by the
comfort and familiarity I’ve found of in this
lifestyle we’ve created – together.
Cool sweat trickles down the small of my
back. Hands trembling with both nerves and
anxious anticipation. Four years of stressful nights and
exams. Of papers and papers and papers. Of early
morning classes and late night study sessions. All
culminating, building, creeping to a breaking point and a
single piece of paper.
Standing in line, money in hand and a future being
prepared to be handed over on an almost weightless
degree. Excitement, eager anticipation, nerves – I’m
And then your name appears on my phones screen and
allows me to let out a long-held breathe. Everything will be
OK. Everything is a little less scary.
I type out a simple response: I miss you too,
with the realization flowing over me.
It’s funny how words can both inspire and stump you. They can challenge you or comfort you. It’s as if one word, holds the power of all words, and in that power the writer can choose whether they will find strength or weakness.
I was five years old when I began to write, it happened before I had uttered my first words. My parents worried, teachers asked questions. I had become an anomaly, creating doubt in the adults around me. Why wouldn’t I talk? Could I?
“What’s wrong with her?”
I never knew, never found out, hell, I never asked. I grew up hearing stories of the days I sat in my room scribbling the ink out of pen after pen, the floor scattered with crumbled mistakes and eraser shavings. I recall the feeling of utter freedom while locking myself in my room, on a blue and white checkered comforter, leaning against my pink pillows. Knees bent, eyes focused, I distinctly remember loosing myself and forgetting all the senses around me.
Engaged. In a new world entirely, not my own, but someone else’s. Someone I had created with the pen and paper held before me.
Entranced. Under the spell of words and phrases and pages. Pages. What was in my head had to be let out, unleashed onto the unsuspecting world.
Ecstasy. I felt it after each finished piece. To this day I chase the feeling of satisfaction after filling yet another journal, finishing yet another page, closing the book on yet another world I’d created all on my own.
At a certain age it became a choice – my desire to speak had dissolved – anything that needed to be said could be written and I knew:
I was none other than a writer.
maybe it depends on your worldview,
and your life up until the point where you look
at the word written on a black board in white
crumbling chalk and notice your view is
vastly different than that of your peers.
they raise their hands one by one and answer
the question of what is control, and what does it
mean and your mind wanders instantly to the relationship
between your mother and father.
the answers roll in:
certainty. stability, confidence. power. influence
and suddenly the teacher is pointing at you and you feel
your mouth dry up, your breathing quicken and your pulse
jumping out of your wrist because to you control is
force. hurt. no way out. submissive.
but when you gain your voice you realize his control isn’t
on her alone. it’s on you. because your memory jumps to him
and all the negativity surrounding him.
by white words crumbling on a black chalkboard, realizing
it is not as simple as black and white.
Waking to frigid summer
air licking toes
sticking out from my
worn, white comforter.
over, sleepy seeds crusting
freshly opened eyes,
searching for the source
of a surprisingly cool
Sheer curtains tickling
the thin layer of blonde
hair along my arm while
gentle sun kisses
Through freshly paint
the birds sing – my senses
I see shadows dapple
black pavement and grassy lawns
of a neighborhood
chasing the rising sun.