B.

Four years without you took roots like prickly flowers on arid earth; flowed through like hot liquid down our throats. While we miss you miserably, the muddy cracks make space for light; the burns radiate warmth. We are better people because of you. I hope you’re well 🖤✨

Cinderella.

The madness of youth burns a hole through the veins. One day, you walk through life as if you are immune to its ravages. The next, you cry over stale coffee, clothes not fitting like they used to, or a love unrequited. When you look into the eyes of a beloved and see the possibilities, smell the perfume, feel the warmth so passionately, you almost forget about the impending goodbye.

What stories do we tell ourselves to sleep through the night?

Mine is of a girl whose mind is never quite right. Her heart always too big, her voice always too loud, her body never warm enough to sleep next to. She is unlovable, forgettable. Why she even tries is beyond me. She is but a blip in the cosmos, always dreading the midnight hour. For when the clock hits 12, her fairy tale ends. It always ends, be it by her own machinations or of lovers’ past and present. The truth of the matter is, no one’s hands are clean. No one comes out unscathed — her most of all.

But a life half-lived is not a life. A life in shambles has its charms. What is happiness without suffering? Suffering flays the skin raw. What other way to know you’re alive if not to bleed? To feel?

After all stories are told, all songs are sung, all tears are wept, and all beginnings begun, you see the truth of all the bodies laid bare. To us, the universe is everything. To the universe, we are nothing but atoms that fall apart at the slightest touch. Insignificant. Replaceable.

Sometimes, the universe is a person. Most times, it is a mass of regurgitated truths and heirloom follies. We live our lives never for who we are but for who we will be, for who our beloveds think we should be. Who we are is gone with each passing second. Every heartbeat is a eulogy to our past selves. We only become free after we draw our last breaths.

Inside the people we leave behind is a mausoleum of who we once were in their eyes. It is a prison we are more than happy to inhabit. It is the heaven we so desperately covet. There, we waste away day after day. The end is always too close to see. Before you know it, it’s five minutes to midnight. The fairy tale draws to a close. It’s only a matter of time until we are pumpkins and paupers once more.

Don’t mind me.

Sometimes, my brain forgets to remind my lungs to breathe in my sleep. WebMD calls it sleep apnea. I call it, “my body’s way of fighting a part of it that wants to die.” I’m not suicidal… not all the time. Maybe not even at all. My soul kicks and screams at all my demons just to keep me sane… alive.
 
I actually want to stay alive. I want to live long enough to see the good I could become. I want to live long enough to see if it’s possible to change my mind about having kids. I want to live long enough to meet the one. I want to live long enough to get to a size 2 (Stop judging me. Hey, I want to live long enough to see that, too.)
 
To be honest, I’m not terribly suicidal. I’m not brave enough to kill myself. And since I’ve seen what suicide does to a family, I’m not about to let mine go through that a second time. Is it even brave to commit suicide? Or is it cowardice? Do I truly want to stay alive? Or, am I just overwhelmingly curious? Curious enough to want to find out what tomorrow looks like.
 
To be honest, I don’t really know. It’s just that sometimes it feels better not to exist… at least temporarily. “Is this medical or existential?”, I ask myself as I write this at 4am, a few hours after January 1st, 2018. I’m not even sure why I’m thinking about death at this hour. Maybe because I can’t go back to sleep after my brain forgot to let me breathe again. Maybe because I remember my brother. Maybe because I just feel small and helpless and alone.
 
Who knows? What I do know for sure is that I still want to see another day. My people shouldn’t really worry about me. I want to live long enough to see if I could be happy… finally.

Loss and Grief.

Life is finite. We all want to leave a mark in this world before our time ends. We all want to be remembered for selfish reasons, usually. But what we fail to fathom is how deep a wound we inflict on the ones we leave behind.

The thought of other people out there who are at the mercy of losing someone who mattered to them and the grief that that loss inflicts makes one think of how unfair life can be, and how beautiful a story it can tell.

As we celebrate the lives well-lived of all the loved ones that passed, we should do well to remember that losing them does not define our present, or our future.

The bitter-sweetness of loss is yet another flavor this life will offer – one we can sink our teeth into.