Three questions have rose to the forefront of my attention in the past few weeks:
1) Why do we care so much about people who don’t seem to care about us?
2) Why do we bother missing people who don’t even think about us?
3) Why do we give our love away even when we know it will not be returned?
A trio of deeply rooted, multi-layered, questions of a bleeding heart, a waxing poet, a bellowing musician and just about every human who has been brave enough to love someone at some time. We arrive at these questions through different paths and at different times but no matter whom the wonderer is it all comes from the same place, the heart. Each person has one, no matter race, color, gender or creed. It is the same pulsating, circulating, size-of-your-fist organ inside each and every chest. Wild creatures caged by the fragile bars of our ribs. Over this past summer I found myself wondering quite a bit about love. More specifically, were people getting enough of it? Did they feel respected? Safe? Cared for? Cherished? It may have been the fact that I had been feeling deprived of life’s greatest gift which had me speculating the love intake of each passerby I came across . Of course, true love is more than just getting. When love is sincere and stable, it’s an equal give and take. An automatic, effortless response but you cannot give away what you do not have. Running on empty is hard on the body, torturous on the mind and brutal on the soul. Being the hollowed out human I was made it near impossible to fill other empty shells with a smile, a compliment, my attention or any other way to love another. I was concerned that too many people felt as deprived as I did. Writing this now for the wonderful followers of Mindless Peace and the Internet audience at large, I feel sad that I was so sad such a short time ago. I have found my hope again, in the same place it always is, Christ Jesus. Hope is not a feeling, hope is a person and His name is Jesus. Fear not, this article will not turn into some Christian sales pitch, I don’t live my faith like that but I do believe in being honest and speaking truth and for me, that rests in the one and only God. I have found my hope again but barely even a month ago I was not in a good place. My mind was dark and damp, the walls were rough and cold, the lighting was dim and suspicious like the yellowed lamps in the streets of Paris that hardly illuminate the path and almost invite ne’er-do-wells to take advantage. It makes me shiver inside to think that I may have been walking through the same place in my mind that Linkin Park’s recently deceased Chester Bennington referred to as a “bad neighborhood.” Depression, heartbreak and pain in general is why I wanted to address the above questions as I sit here in my neon green To Write Love On Her Arms tank top because those who are suffering, hurting or just missing something or someone are not stumbling through the bad neighborhood alone. The first negative lie we start to believe is that we are alone. It is not true, I promise. I do not take promises lightly. They are essentially commandments in my book. I promise, you are not alone, this will pass, you will make it through and in the end you will be stronger. I promise, you are loved. Do not take the word of twenty-something, tenacious, caffeinated, Chicago-land writer I’m just quoting scripture. God wrote that timeless promise right in John 3:16.
Now that we’ve addressed the black: life gets messy, Paris can be sketchy and people can get hurt. Then moved into the light: no one suffers alone, it does get better and you are loved. Let’s address the blue: the missing you, miss you, missed you, yearning of the heart. I have written about roses before. I actually am a Rose who writes, it’s a family name. Colors of roses denote the specific meaning of the flower. The blue rose is unique in its representation of mystery and desiring the unattainable. The feeling of ‘I miss you’ is like that. Where exactly it comes from is uncertain and it’s a feeling that’s hard to shake. Too many of us are carrying around bouquets of blue. Why do we do that? Why don’t we just go buy red roses and celebrate the love we do have like family, friends or the dog? Flowers are freaking expensive that’s why. Also, much more bliss comes from an Americano or what I like to think of as a hug in a mug. The reasons I caught the cold of ‘I miss you’ are as follows:
1) I get a thrill out of the challenge that is going after something that’s hard to get. Sometimes I get too fixated and forget to check it through my soul to know if it’s good or bad.
2) I was stuck on the concept of Don’t Say It to a fault.
3) I have a lot of love to give away and I can forget to recalibrate the balance that a successful life is made up of. Life should not be about one thing only. That is called obsession.
Dragging myself up out of the dark and twisty was a matter of balance. It was unhealthy for me to just type out my memoir all the time. I had to do more, be more, I had to build myself up and find a new challenge. I crept up from the basement and decided to complete by degree, the first step was enrolling in a summer course. It was horrible and stressful and I do not want to return, thankfully I don’t have to. I passed with a B- and now I am much closer to completing my degree. I also joined CrossFit, a giant step toward my fitness goals. Six days in training has benefitted me in all areas of my life. I have more energy and steadier drive. I’m more responsible and dare I say it, a morning person. Who knew I could write just as good during regular hours as I did on my nocturnal schedule? I also got hired in the Writing Center on campus. The answer to getting what you lack most, what I lacked the most, was not one thing. It was a compilation of several things, a few realistic, attainable goals. I wanted to complete my degree so I am. I wanted to work on campus and so I am. The big things start small. Success begins with making the bed. That longing feeling, the incompleteness is not going to be filled by another individual just as flawed as you. Nor will it be filled by a new purchase or an extravagant trip. Wine and binging on Netflix won’t solve the issue either. For the record, I have traveled each of these roads and there are potholes everywhere. No amount of happiness is the solution because happiness is not a solution. Happiness is a fleeting feeling just like ‘I miss you.’ There has to be a cure for the incredibly annoying, utterly inconvenient waves of unpredictable mental flashbacks. People we don’t literally talk to let alone see, for some reason it’s those I rarely see that I miss the most. Probably because I know how unlikely it is that we will ever do life together again and if that were to occur, the greatness of the past simply could not be recreated.
Balance is never fixed; it is constant recalibration.-Kristen Rose
Do we really miss the person, those people or that place? We might just miss the doors that were opened because of a connection we had with someone. Think about it, is it really the person we love or is the way loving them makes us feel? Perhaps it’s not the memories or the friends but ourselves we miss the most. It’s easy to miss who we used to be. We don’t miss the adventures we jumped in on or who we loved, as much as we miss the person we used to be. I’ll say it. I’ll be courageous. I absolutely miss the me I used to be. I don’t know how to deal with the new me. She’s someone I haven’t met before but it’s a pleasure getting to know her.