Found Words

Love is worth the risk of being hurt. – m4w

Love is not only worth the risk of being hurt, but it is even worth the certainty of it.

If you love somebody they will eventually hurt you more than anyone else can. It does no good to run from it since it only prolongs the hurt until you finally feel numb. The pain of seperation [sic] also tends to emphasize the negative while embracing love despite pain and vulnerability tends to bring back the positive joyful aspects.

If you really love something then it is worth suffering for.

Stranger, you just gave me a mirror. Sure, it’s pessimistic, but you have a point. I’ve been separating the two, putting the broken ones in one pile, and putting the elusive perfect mate into his own category.

Anything worth loving deeply comes with risk, with uncertainty, and with sacrifice.

I’m so impatient that I run. I run because staying means would mean I embrace it all: the love, the joy, the hurt, the pain, the vulnerability. I have gotten so good at dealing with only the hurt and the pain that, in some ways, I have only sought it out.

It has become standard. It has become predictable. It has become reality.

Stranger, if only you knew the feelings I feel, the ache in my heart when I wish only for happiness for those who have hurt me, the longing to be no longer alone… If only you knew I wish only for the best for both of us.

As You Are

The one who wants to be with you never lets you forget how special you are. They tell you via text message (in full sentences that don’t even need emoticons), flowers, candy, skywriter and actual in-person words — because they know how important it is to be in the presence of love, to be wrapped up in it, to feel it next to you holding you and never letting go.”

The One Who Wants to Be With You

I am being very patient. I am exhausted from trying and failing and picking myself up. I am only tough because I have been broken so many times before, and what you see externally is a lot of scar tissue. Deep down is a girl with so many feelings, so much to offer, so much possibility.

He’s out there, I think. The one with whom all of these things and more ring true for me. It’s a two-way street I’m looking for; I keep ending up on one-ways and dead ends.

Open your eyes and look for me; I’ve lost my way. I need you to take me by the hand and basically… run.


Love Medicine (Not the Book I Once Read)

“In love as in medicine: first, do no harm.” (Source: Thought Catalog)

I have not stopped thinking about the above quote since reading it earlier. If I could have this tattooed down the back of my arm, I would. Talk about wearing my heart on my sleeve.

I got called a tough girl at my gym tonight as I reset for a third attempt on a 95lb. hang squat clean & jerk. I finally got under the bar properly, with “no fear” as my coach said. I got the bar overhead, and then brought it back down, tired, spent, but accomplished. I could have given up, walked away, went home for the night without hitting that lift, but something caused me to think, “No, just one more shot.” And my tired, slightly defeated self wrapped her hands around the bar and gave it her all.

I’m waiting for a time when other parts of my life come together like that. I’m waiting for the time when all those lonesome moments, all those hours spent wondering if I’m being deceived, all those disappointments and broken dreams don’t matter anymore because someone thought, “This woman is like no other I’ve ever met,” and he is man enough to do right by me. Passing up meaningless dates with unremarkable women–no matter how good their hair is or the way they put on their lip gloss–will be so simple, even he’ll wonder what’s wrong with him.

How many times have I picked myself up from the ashes of a train-wreck relationship and said, “Just one more try.” Something keeps me going. Something tells me that I’ll eventually get it right, that he’ll* eventually get it right, and that the universe will eventually let us both get it right.

But it’s hard. No one said it would be easy. And I guess I never asked for a fast pass through all of this.

In the meantime, can we all agree on no more harm done to me? Can we make sure that men with whom I am involved don’t have the capacity to manipulate or to deceive or to break my trust the way too many have in the past? Can we aim for no more train wrecks? Because that all sounds nice.

Let’s shake on that, universe.


Bleeding Hearts* Whoever he is.

Dear Universe,

That’s enough. You jerk. Even I have a breaking point.

Let me break this down for you, Universe. I’m a tough girl, and I don’t let too many things get to me. Yes, I realize life isn’t perfect, but I’m incredibly ticked right now. Here, have a look.

Just over a year ago, a boy I was convinced I would marry told me, “You’re not the one.” That’s the most devastating thing a young lady can hear, especially delivered by her first true love.

But you’re lucky I’m so resilient, Universe, because after that, I declared to the world I was going to work on myself. So I sucked it up, bought some books like How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days and it helped. It made everything so much better, and I came out just fine. At that point, I did not even want to seek out a meaningless rebound; I wanted to find a partner that complemented my amazing, whole self.

I went on a few blind dates, and I started talking to several guys I thought were cute. I began hanging out with one I hadn’t seen in years, and all the old feelings I had for him resurfaced. He was amazingly gentle and quirky, with a nerdy-intellect I rarely see. When we kissed, the connection was incredible. I had found something I did not even realize could exist. We both moved abroad to separate countries, kept in touch, and even visited each other. He had an incredible way with words, and I felt so peaceful with him.

Until late July, when he came back to the States and told me, “I’m not digging the romance.”

Uh, excuse me, what?

I wrote him letters by hand while he was away (granted, they’re all lost in the international mail system). We exchanged messages nearly every day. I picked him up from the airport when he came home, and we kissed in that happily-reunited way that one only sees in movies.

But it wasn’t enough because suddenly, I was “too masculine.” And then the months of emotional uncertainty began. On-and-off, alternating between absolutely terrible and blissfully happy. On an upswing, he told me I should visit more. When I arrived in Seattle in late November, I wasn’t prepared for the worst weekend ever. Instead of light-hearted fun, I was delivered with an emotionally-crushing weekend culminating in a tearful goodbye at the train station, telling him to contact me if he ever figured out his life.

He had emotional and personal issues he needed to get over without me. I get it. But how could a connection like that be so turbulent?

Oh, it was because he was also courting three other women.

The message I got merely days before my 25th birthday was from one of the other women. And the whole time I thought I was with someone amazing, he was promising another person he would return for her in the summer.

So, thanks for that. Thanks for providing me with a relationship in which I felt completely secure and peaceful, and then tearing the rug out from under me, leaving me to stare at the ceiling where the word “gullible” was actually painted on the ceiling.

To which I declared, “I give up. Really, this time I’m done.” I didn’t need the books this time– it is truly incredible how quickly I can get over someone who has duped me so terribly.

But then, Universe, do you know what you did?

You made me catch someone’s careless gaze. Someone classically tall, dark, and handsome. Unlike the others, he carried himself confidently. And you, Universe, nudged me forward– told me to take a chance, just one more time. Oh, he was funny, and possessed an incredible charm.

But you saved one surprise for last, Universe: the Cascadia Subduction Zone of dating– locked up feelings suddenly giving way, shaking a foundation that I had hoped was safe.

So dear Universe, do you see what you’re doing? Do you see how each time I try and recover in a meaningful way, you throw a wrench in the plan?

I’m done. I’m too amazing to have this keep happening. I’m fine with bringing new friends into my life, do not get me wrong. And I’m not against mending the aforementioned relationships into friendships– because I forgive, and I understand we’re all human, and we’re allowed to work on ourselves without interference.

But you, Universe, don’t seem to quite understand that. Please, give me a break. I don’t want to be the person that makes other people realize they have to fix themselves. If that’s what you have in mind for me, I want no part in it.

I wash my hands of this.


PS – Having both my e-mail and the FAFSA site malfunction tonight isn’t helping my mood. Seriously. Stop it.


Dec. 16th

Prompt: Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Editor at Harper Collins

My friends, near and far, old and new, are very dear to me. They are the ones that listen to me when I’m sick of the world and need some reassurance that I’m not crazy. They are people that challenge me to keep moving forward, and they are the ones that are proud when I do keep moving forward, in spite of all that stands in my way.

Brandi was my life-changer friend this year. She swooped in while I was new and lost in Madrid, took me under her wing, and made my trip that much more positive. She helped me realize that I can do this, my dream of seeing the world. Her presence in my life was very sudden, and the change in my perspective was not very gradual– I wouldn’t call several weeks in which I realized my new confidence gradual, at least. So, thank you, B. Thanks for being there with your “queen bee” umbrella in the middle of the city and all that you’ve done. 🙂

Dec. 17th

Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (The Butcher and the Vegetarian @tea_austen)

I realized something about myself the other night. I realized that despite all my chatter over bitterness at the way my lost loves treated me, I never let it stop me from falling again. I do not blame a new flame for the misgivings of the past– I simply hope he will prove history wrong. As of yet, that has not happened. But I never give up. Just because something good ended, it does not mean I worry solely about the way something new may end. That’s not in my nature. Sure, it means I’ll probably have to keep enduring heartbreak, but I could let it jade me, or I can pick myself up, make myself even better, and love like I’ve never been hurt before. That can be scary, and it would be a lie to say I’m not worried about getting burned again.

And you know what?

It’s not going to stop me.


Happy Birthday to Me

Dec. 3rd

Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

It was an early March night on Alki Beach in Seattle. The scent of impending rain and seawater lingered, and I remember my nose being unusually cold. I remember walking through the sand in my fall boots and black hoodie,  next to the boy I had wanted to be with for many years.

Although it was dark out, the lights from the beachside businesses let out enough yellow light to illuminate our path. Eventually, we found a beach fire still burning, and I remember the sudden, soothing warmth. There was a pile of dead trees and driftwood near by, and the boy and I climbed it, finding a part that made a makeshift teeter-totter. I remember sitting down because I was too afraid to stand. The boy stood on the other end of the lever.

A girl’s voice called out, “People have been doing that all day!” I looked over, and a group of people– they seemed to be in their teens– sat nearby at another fire pit. The girl asked, “Do you mind if I take your picture?”

I wish I could find her and see that photo. Find the photo of that boy and me. Before the heartbreak. Before the glass shattered. Before all the tears and choked-back I-love-you’s.

I am 25-years-old today, and I am starting this chapter of my life with a broken heart. Twenty-five years of laughter, and hard work, and adventure, but all I can think about is the uncertainty of the future and how awful it feels to know that instead of a bouquet of flowers or a thoughtful gift, I was presented with another round of heartache.

I am lovable, brilliant, beautiful, and worthwhile. I am the most awesome young lady I know.

But it still hurts.

Happy birthday, Ardith. Chin up.


Hasta Luego

'Dith Face.This is the face of a young woman  who stands on the edge of twenty-five years, lessons learned filed away nearby.

Old lesson: You can’t love someone else until you love [or fix] yourself.

New lesson: It hurts when you know someone you love hasn’t fulfilled the latter part of the old lesson. And it hurts when you know you need to let them figure it out on their own without you.

I knew what needed to happen. Nearly six years ago, I met this boy, and about four years ago, I made the choice to fix myself. I hate that it’s not on my account this time, but I respect him. Among a plethora of other feelings of which he’s already well-aware.

So that’s where I am right now. And I guess it’s time to try and fix me again. For now, it’s grad school, attempting to secure an internship abroad during the summer, more writing, more dancing, more baking, and feeling beautiful, brilliant, and worthy of my own respect and love.