The Difference

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

overwhelmed. Panicked.

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.



Real life.

I type out a simple response: I miss you too,

with the realization flowing over me.

I’m ready.


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.


Chasing the Rising Sun

Waking to frigid summer

air licking toes

sticking out from my

worn, white comforter.

Absentmindedly rolling

over, sleepy seeds crusting

freshly opened eyes,

searching for the source

of a surprisingly cool

summer morning.

Sheer curtains tickling

the thin layer of blonde

hair along my arm while

gentle sun kisses

sunburnt cheeks.

Through freshly paint

speckled windows

the birds sing – my senses


I see shadows dapple

black pavement and grassy lawns

of a neighborhood

chasing the rising sun.