I have always loved writing, it's been a way of expressing myself for as long as I can remember. When people failed me, my notebook never did. The security and insight it has given me throughout the years is a comfort I'll always crave. As I've gotten older, I've been given the blessing of being able to look back on my pieces and reflect on how they affected me. And as I do it today, there's one piece in particular that changed me as a person.
Around my last couple of years of high school, I found myself in a dark place. It wasn't a particularly "scary" place, but I was comfortable with being sad all the time. A couple of boys had broken my heart (including my father upon his Big Move out of my life), and I had let it affect me. I was truly happy with being sad. And that was how I lived for a very long time.
Finally, after a boy I had liked had decided he didn't feel the same, I had had enough. As silly as it sounds, my teen self couldn't handle any more goodbyes. Angrily, I pulled out my journal and began to scribble down a new piece. I wouldn't call it a poem, but a collection of words that happen to flow nicely together. The piece is short, but the meaning still flows deep to this day.
January 1, 2016
"I think that once I stepped back, I really saw the debris I had caused... That we had caused. I don't know what I was thinking. It was just a ride home and your eyes were so fluorescently blue... Who would've known I'd end up in an empty, beat-down gas station halfway to Salt Lake with you? I couldn't stop it. I didn't want to. The rush of your lifestyle resembled the beat of my heart every time we hopped on that bike. Who would've known I would end up on an old beaten couch in your "old friend's" girl's apartment? Who would've known my parents would kick me out when you ripped my jeans and I acquired a taste for tattoos? Turns out the ink was more permanent than you.. Than us. I'd traded my keds for combat boots and can't possibly go back. Who would've guessed that you'd leave for New Mexico, leaving nothing but shattered bathroom mirrors and a bruise on my jawline? I guess I should've realized your type when we met. But the way that my friends were echoing "It's just a five-minute ride" and yours were smirking down like the devil on Halloween, your intentions slipped past me. Turns out it wasn't a five-minute ride, and your friends couldn't possibly be the devil... That role's reserved for you. I didn't get you, but I got choppy lilac hair when you'd dared me to. You left, but I'd still managed to receive your nicotine addiction. None of this is me, this is traces of you that haunt my every trait. I thought I'd lost you, but I'd really lost myself. Thank God you broke the bathroom mirror, I'm tired of seeing you every time I find my reflection." -g.t.
I know it's dark, but as I mentioned I was in a dark place. I also was, and I still am, a lover of all metaphors and tried to weave them into this piece. I was never physically hurt by anyone, but mentally and emotionally I had been completely destroyed. No, I never hopped on a bike with a boy I'd never met, but I had told boys secrets just like any other seventeen-year-old girl. I was broken just like any other girl who'd been broken up with, except I'd had too many breakups at once.
Obviously, it didn't change my life because of how dark or melancholy it is. But rather, because of the ending statements. Every single person I had invested a large amount of time on has affected who I am in some way. And yes, some of them of transformed me for the worst. However, at the end of the day, this poem taught me that I am the person I am today because of not just the good memories, but the horrible situations I've been through. Our experiences aren't the only things that shape us, our people do. Whether they stay in our lives for a short summer or a year, they affect who we become. And I don't know about you, but I could never regret the past if it made me who I am today.