Without My Past

Without My Past

'without your past, you could never have arrived-so wondrously and brutally, by design or some violent, exquisite happenstance

...here' -Taylor Swift

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"When she fell, she fell apart.

Cracked her bones on the pavement she once decorated

as a child with sidewalk chalk

When she crashed, her clothes disintegrated and blew away

with winds that took all of her fair weather friends

When she looked around, her skin was spattered with ink

forming the words of a thousand voices

Echoes she even heard in her sleep:

'Whatever you say, is not right'

'Whatever you do, it is not enough'

'Your kindness is fake'

'Your pain is manipulative'

When she lay there on the ground

She dreamed of time machines and revenge

and a love that was really something

instead of the idea of something

When she finally rose she rose slowly

Avoiding old haunts and sidestepping shiny pennies

Wary of phone calls and promises,

Charmers, dandies, and get-love-quick schemes

When she stood, she stood with a desolate knowingness

Waded out into the dark, wild ocean up to her neck,

Bather in her brokenness

Said a prayer for each chink in the armor

she never knew she needed

Standing broad shouldered next to her

was a love that was really something,

and not just the idea of something.

When she turned to go home,

she heard the echoes of new words:

'May your heart remain breakable

But never by the same hand twice'

And even louder:

'without your past,

you could never have arrived-

so wondrously and brutally,

by design or some violent, exquisite happenstance

...here'

-Taylor Swift

This past month, I have been close to loosing, or even full on lost, almost everything that I have ever loved. A relationship, a friend, a job, a place to live, my trust towards others, my own sanity. It was one thing after another, similar to a snowball effect. I fell apart and I watched as my life crumbled into pieces. I laid there, sulking in my own brokenness. The sadness I felt for myself soon turned into anger towards others and sudden ideas of revenge.

After weeks of this I decided to search my soul, looking for the strength to pick myself back up. But I never saw myself as strong, I've always been weak. After all, this is how I got here into and this mess.

With everything in me, I held my own hand, and rose slowly. As I rose, I quickly realized who I truly was, how much I was capable of. I soon became thankful for the pain as well as the past. Because without the past, I could have never arrived here....full of strength and pride for who I am.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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We Need To Recognize That Happiness Is The Journey, Not The Destination

Stop waiting to reach the peak, and recognize the climb.

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I went for a run today and had an epiphany. This epiphany may just apply to myself alone, but I honestly feel that many people will be able to see themselves in it as much as I do.

My epiphany is that there are two forms of happiness. There is feeling happy, and then there is the recognization of happiness, and no, those aren't the same thing.

We spend so much time searching for happiness. Many of us dedicate our lives to finding happiness, and we believe that to be the best, or even only, way to live. Yet, somehow, we still feel like there's something missing in our lives. That's because we spend too much time looking for things to make us happy, and not enough time recognizing when we are experiencing happiness in the process.

See the thing is that feeling happy is an emotion. You are happy when you are surprised with concert tickets to your favorite band, when your parents tell you they're getting a dog, when you see that you got an A on an exam you were stressing about, and so on. These are fleeting moments of emotion. They don't last for long and don't contribute to your status of living a happy life.

Feeling happy is not a state of being. When someone asks you, “Are you happy?" you think of what you have in your life that is happy. Whether it be the college you attend, the friends you have, the dog you love, or the hobbies you really enjoy. When someone asks you that question, you respond with whether or not you believe yourself to be living a happy life. You don't respond with what current state of being you are in.

Then there is happiness. Happiness once again is not a state of being. Happiness, as I've recently realized, is a process. Happiness is taking a road trip with your friends when you stop at sketchy gas stations to pee and get snacks and then you all fight over who has aux. Happiness is seeing your mom after a month and telling her all about the frat dude who you met last weekend and the professor who you can't stand. Happiness is actually going on that run that you told yourself you would go on, even if it sucks.

Our problem in our search for happiness is that we expect it to show us a big flashy sign saying “Here it is!" when in reality a small sign has been there multiple times and you just haven't noticed.

In order to completely experience your processes of happiness, you need to acknowledge them.

If someone asked me right now, “Are you happy?" I would say yes, and not because I am happy at this moment, but because I am proud of myself for going on that run 10 minutes ago.

There was a point on my run when I thought to myself, “Wow, I said I was going to go for a run and I actually did. I'm running right now. This is happiness." Those are the exact words I thought: “This is happiness." And now is the moment where you, the reader, think to yourself: “Hold up, she was running and— happy???" No. I did not want to be on that run, I was out of shape from a weekend visiting friends and I was exhausted from a long bus ride home.

See I wasn't experiencing the emotion of happy, but I was able to acknowledge that what I was doing was a process of happiness. Acknowledging in the moment that I was experiencing that process was mindset-changing for me.

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