Poetry On Odyssey: Becoming Someone New

Poetry On Odyssey: Becoming Someone New

"Beochaoineadh"

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there is a word in gaelic - beochaoineadh

an elegy for the living

for someone that is gone, but not quite dead, a phantom limb of the self

maybe just wandering, maybe lost, and maybe not wanting to be found at all

i think i left her somewhere in the atlantic, and i don't think she wants me to find her again; we said our goodbyes several thousand feet in the air

but she was the one to finally let go of my hand

and fall

i know she'll be okay down there

we have always loved the water

we have always said drowning would be the best way to go

and even though we both can swim, sometimes it is the thing you love most that has to lay you to rest

she told me she was not fearful of what was to come next, because as long as i stayed here she would never be truly gone

merely shed like a second skin

molted and outgrown

making room for new flesh to feel the sun that she could never really appreciate

there was simply not enough room in that plane for both of us to breathe

this is an elegy for her

a remembrance of all the things we lost and didn't know how to forgive for leaving

she asked me to forgive her for leaving - and i have

in her place she left the first seed, planted in the farthest corner of my heart

she said it would grow with me

and i would know spring, at the end of the longest winter

she took the coldness with her when she went, and with it the bitter sting of loneliness i have slept next to for so long

she was a shelter from the rest of the world, but as she jumped from that metal cabin, she smiled

and i knew she wanted me to find something far less temporary

home

and without her walking in front of me, casting shadows behind her, i know what home feels like

like tiny village streets

and making tea at midnight

and falling asleep next to someone who always says what they mean

and the couple across the street pruning their rose bushes

and a thousand other things i couldn't see before she pulled the night behind the horizon with her

she threw her luggage from the plane before herself

she said that where i was going, i would need more space carved into my heart

i don't know how she knew

maybe i have known this whole time

i am going to miss her, i think

she was no malicious being

all her twisted truths only tried to protect my hollow frame

and for that i cannot fault her

fear is a powerful god

but neither of us much cared for the gospel, and she left the bible in her suitcase when she left anyway

so i am writing my own commandments,

erasing my excuses not to run out of fear

in the end, no one had to run anywhere

who knew forgiving yourself could be so gentle

i hope she finds peace down there, seeing the sky from sun-dappled depths

she has left the sky in her stead

what a gift that is

to place the heavens in the palm of my hand

before taking the ocean as her own

between the two of us, we cover the whole earth, and i am grateful

i hope wherever she is

she's still smiling.

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An Open Letter to the Guy I'm Finally Getting Over

I think I'm ready to listen to the happy Taylor Swift songs again.
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I remember when all of this started. I couldn't have predicted you if I'd tried. I was so focused on myself that it took me a while to even admit I was interested in you. You were the one I didn't see coming, and then before long, you were the one I couldn't imagine leaving.

I'll be honest. I lied to myself and to everyone else for a long time. “We aren't anything serious," I'd say. “I'm just having fun." How stupid was I to think that I could resist getting caught up in you? Those months that we spent together were some of the best of my life. I didn't think it was possible for a someone to make me laugh like you did, to make me feel the way you did. You brought out a side of me I had never seen before, and even though that scared me, I didn't want it stop.

You had me so fooled.

One day, just like that, you were gone, and before I knew it I couldn't even recognize myself anymore. I couldn't imagine how someone I had given so much to could just leave like that and not even look back. The months after that was a string of waking up and losing you all over again, telling my friends I was fine one second and crying to them the next. And the second I started thinking I was okay, I saw you again. We talked, I cried, I yelled, you cried, you yelled, and for a couple weeks I pretended that everything would be okay, and you really meant it this time and we would make it. But just like before, it wasn't real.

Realizing that took me longer than I'd like to admit, but this is what I need you to know: I'm moving on. Finally, after months of dialing your number just to talk myself out of it, I can say that I'm moving on. I won't listen to sad songs anymore. I won't look at our pictures and re-live the days we spent together. I'm erasing every trace of you. I'm smiling brighter, I'm laughing louder, and if it's the last thing I do, I swear I'll find something that's better than what we had.

That's not to say that your memory won't knock the breath out of me on a Tuesday afternoon when our song comes through my headphones. That's not to say that I won't remember the promises you made me and want to scream at myself for ever believing you. But the difference is that I'll recognize the pain in those memories, and then I'll set them down and walk away. Because I'm done carrying them with me and I'm done giving you that power over me.

So don't call me up someday when I've finally forgotten your laugh; don't think about me at all if you can help it. You lost that right when you made the choices you did. This isn't some stupid love story we'll tell later down the road about how we beat the odds and came through stronger on the other side. This is done, do you understand? I'm finally done.

Years from now I'll look back on the adventures we had and laugh at how crazy we were. I'll remember the fierce happiness I felt while we were running wild together and I'll be grateful for this because it has molded me in ways I can't begin to explain. Someday I'll tell my daughter about you and pray that she learns from my mistakes, and when that day comes I'll wonder where you are and genuinely wish you the kind of happiness that I will have found.

I know you'll never read this. But I'll read this, on those nights when it feels like everything is starting to fall apart. Again and again and again, I'll read this and remind myself of the promise I'm making at this very moment, to look forward and stop letting your memory dictate my happiness. Someone wise once said, “Suddenly you'll just know, that it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." Well I'm trusting that this was just one short chapter of my book, and this is me turning the page.

Onto the next.

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10 Totally Weird But Totally Relatable Dating Deal-Breakers That Make Me Want To Swipe Left

They may be odd, but they make some sort of sense.

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So . . . dating. The act of one person actively trying to find a mate. It's messy and awkward, but it can also be wonderful and lead to some snazzy wedding presents in the future.

Now, I'm no expert on the subject, but I like to think that, at 22-years-old, I know what I would like in a significant other. Even better than this, though, is knowing what I don't want. Process of elimination, you know, is a much easier way to go.

In making my list of "Don'ts," I realized that some of these, while strange, are pretty applicable when you think about it. Yeah, there are the obvious ones, like "doesn't like dogs" or "doesn't support my life goals" or "is a convicted serial killer," but I'm talking about the little things that you might not immediately think of but are irksome nevertheless.

1. They fold towels the wrong way

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A'ight, so I know it's a pretty "adult" point to start with, but there is a correct way to fold a towel. I know it, and if you don't know it, either ask me and never do it another way again or leave my presence forever.

It comes down to looking at the future. How are we supposed to have a home together if we don't share towel ideals? How will we raise the children?

2. They like kale

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Look, I'm all for being healthy, but I draw the line at kale. Kale is spinach's angry cousin who wasn't hugged enough as a child, and that's tons of emotional baggage that I don't want in my vegetables.

There's also a big difference with accepting kale and actually liking it. If you're like, "Yeah, I need some antioxidants in this smoothie, and it was on sale," feel free to hit me up. If you're making full-on salads with it, I'm afraid you cannot hit me up. Ever.

3. They won't duet "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

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Okay, so we don't have to be Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé level of duet. That's an ultra mega level of awesomeness that just has to stand alone.

However, I like to sing, and when I say, "like," I mean that 80 percent of my day is spent singing to some type of song. If you're not belting right along with me or at least giving me a standing ovation at the end of the song, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave the show, no refunds available.

4. They have no interaction with literature

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This might be a bit more personalized on my end, but I'm an English major. I legitimately want to teach the youth of America about the wonders of literature. It's one of my passions, and I'm definitely going to be talking about it quite often.

I get that reading isn't everyone's "thing." I'm not asking you to read the Odyssey, for Pete's sake. Choose something you're interested in. A medical journal, a comic book, an article about pants, whatever. Just prove to me that you're literate, and we'll get along swimmingly.

5. They hate board games

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Have you ever met a decent, good-hearted individual who has said, "I despise board games, they are the scum of the earth, and I rue the day they were invented," and meant it?

No. Because that person doesn't exist. Board games are pure and remind us of our childhoods.

Also, if iCarly taught me anything, I would never trust anyone who would use "rue" correctly anyway.

6. They criticize my driving skillz

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I'll admit that I drive like a crazy woman late for her parole meeting, I will. I have a tendency to swerve in and out of traffic and to speed more than my fair share.

However, just because my bad driving is an established fact doesn't mean that fact is up for commentary. Clench your jaw and grip your seatbelt like the rest of my passengers. I pinky promise we'll get to our destination quickly and with lots of adventure.

7. They don't laugh at dad jokes

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Dad jokes are funny, okay? They may be the "lowest form of humor," but I'm all about a stupid joke to get the giggles rolling.

If you can't laugh at a dad joke, either because it's legitimately funny or because it's legitimately the worst joke you've ever heard, what in the world can you laugh at?

8. They binge-watch The Home Shopping Network

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I'm a fan of watching TV. Whether it be a new, binge-worthy show or a movie I've seen seven billion times, it's a great bonding experience that I'm all for sharing with a significant other.

I absolutely draw the line at the Home Shopping Network. I cannot and will not binge-watch a slew of large gemstone rings and super-mega-ultra microwaves. I would watch a string of infomercials (go Flex Seal) before I would listen to Nora and Stacy tell me that I must have this wool sweater dress in navy blue and burnt umber.

9. They wear toe socks

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Picture this: You and your potential significant other have just returned to their place after dinner and are ready to relax. They walk in and kick off their shoes to reveal brightly colored toe socks.

Now, I'm not trying to dog someone's fashion choices, as I have some interesting quirks myself. But toe socks? TOE SOCKS!? I sincerely apologize, but I'd have to turn around and quickly exit before I started laughing in their face.

10. They don't support my late-night nugs runs

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As I may have mentioned once or twice, I'm a fan of McDonald's chicken nuggets. They're a supreme comfort food, and are good at any and all times of the day.

If you can't support my nugs runs, then I'm going to have to assume you don't approve of my self-care, and that's just not okay all around.

Which deal-breakers do you agree with?

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