A Love Letter To The Stars

A Love Letter To The Stars

And their influence on humanity.

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From the second we first look up in the night sky, we are fascinated with the stars, with the moon, with every visible celestial body. It has always been this way, and will likely be this way until humanity is wiped out by an apocalyptic catastrophe. The night sky will remain, neutral, unwavering, and beautiful long after we are no more.

The youngest stars visible to us are millions of years older than we and will live for billions once we're gone.

Stars may be born, they may change in appearance, they may waver as they age, they may die before I do, but there will always be so many more to observe, and such a distance between us, that I may never be lucky enough to perceive these phenomena firsthand.

As a result, I must assume that stars are flawlessly ageless, that they have always and will always be all around us, watching us. I must assume that each one will forever have an impact and a place in our lives.

That my love for the stars will always remain and that it will go untested because of their perceived immortality.

Yet, there are nights, when the clouds overtake the sky, or when the light pollution builds too great, or when the weather combats our ability to be outside, that the stars feel as if they've abandoned us.

Sometimes these nights feel like a disaster as if our childhood security blanket has just been ripped away from us by a middle school bully who knows exactly how to tear us apart.

There are times when this lasts for a week or more at a time.

Times when we feel absolutely lost because we haven't seen the stars, because maybe we've forgotten what they look like. It feels like we've been ghosted by the only consistent lover we've ever known. It feels like desolation in its most intense form.

We run through the stages of grief. We always get caught up on denial, because there's so much evidence to suggest that the stars will never be gone, will never abandon us, will never disappear, will not be around.

And we are right, of course, but our minds disagree, our instincts could never be as powerful as the anxieties of being deserted are. So despite our animal brains telling our emotional human ones that they're wrong, we stop denying.

We again get caught up, this time on anger. Anger is the easiest stage of the grieving process, anyway, so much can keep us enraged if we choose to let it that we never have to process the underlying root of our anger: loss.

So instead we get angry at the weather, at those around us, at anything we can latch onto and be angry about until it consumes us.

We are right to be angry at the weather, though. The weather is usually the cause of the obstructions, of the clouds and fog and storms keeping us away from our heavenly lovers.

But our anger is misplaced because the weather is not a thing that can be controlled. We must keep the faith that all will return to still, calm, and clear.

Whether that clarity comes in bone-chilling temperatures, or in brain-melting ones, whether it's possible to comfortably enjoy the revelation of our lovers' bodies again, we must remember that true love always finds a way and that this is only a temporary obstacle between us.

So we finally extinguish our raging flame, and we take another step towards processing our loss.

We bargain, we beg any deity, any social construct, anything we can place faith in, that we are reunited. We promise to change so much about our individual selves, we claim we will make a change to humanity as a whole, if only we can rid the night sky of this shroud that coats it, of the shadows that obstruct our view.

We don't mean these things, we don't have the power to, but in these desperate moments, we really are willing to try everything we can to make them come true if it allows us reunion even for just one night.

But no matter how we beg, no matter how desperate we get or how much we offer up, the atmosphere of our planet continues to betray us. Bargaining is a leap of faith, and it has never been one that got positive results. Why should we have expected differently this time?

We float aimlessly along, buried deep into the fourth step of the grieving process: Depression. Not clinical depression, but situational. Depression caused by a deep longing, a deep hurt, an overwhelming of our emotional processes, until all that remains within our lives is pointlessness and numbness.

Sometimes, we get lucky, and we feel again, as we jump back into the anger that filled our days before, though never as intense, with much less passion behind it. We manage to survive, only by doing the bare minimum to keep ourselves alive.

We lose hope, we stop going outside at night, we stop searching for a glimpse, we rely solely on forecasts to tell us if it's worth it if there's an ounce of hope in the world that we'll be able to see what we need again.

We remain this way for what feels like an eternity, until one day, we've processed it all. We've confronted ourselves. We've realized we'll never see the night sky again, and we accept that.

It still hurts, daily, but we start to finally work through it.

But then they return, and we fall back in love. We're reminded why we need the stars. Why being without them made us go through so much pain. Every breath under them fills us with butterflies, every new star that pops out as the night carries on makes our bodies electric.

We remember our passions. We remember our feelings. We can navigate once more, we can feel a sense of purpose in our lives.

We play this game, dancing in and out of a deep infatuation with these glorious, inanimate beings, over and over again. And it hurts just as fresh every time. It hurts worse, even.

But the payoff, when we are finally reunited, is more than any person could ever dream. We suffer for our love, but it's a marvelous ache.

Love, without the ache of desolation and the fears of being lost, unappreciated, and abandoned to contrast it, loses so much of its power.

But love, in all of its forms, is worth feeling, no matter the cost.

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...

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Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.

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Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.

Signed,

The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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