Saturday, November 28, 2015

10 Reasons I Still Believe In Love

I've found myself, within writing the posts on this blog. I've grown here. This is a space that has seen me from the start of my college career to the height of my actual career. I've written about so many things. However, there's one topic that I've managed to stay true to throughout the entire time. Love.

During my book release, this past weekend, someone asked why I still believed in love, after all I'd been through. My response was, "Because living and actively loving has taught me what I want and don't want. It's shaping the person that I want to love eventually." That was a partial answer. The exact response to that question lies deep in the depths of this site.

I still believe in love, because...

I buy myself flowers.
I take long, warm baths.
I have a sign above my mirror that says “You are beautiful, Erica.”
I kiss my arms before I fall asleep.
I tell the moon goodnight.
I write poems about the beauty that happens in my day.

Although I am mighty, I’ve learned that I’m fragile too. I learned that I no longer want to live and love as if I’m not. I will demand it of anyone who comes calling and all those who want my attention.

No one will ever love me the way you did. 

But there are several different ways to love.
& I'm learning a new style, so I can enact it with a man who's style of loving surpasses your own. 

You're right. 

You're my first lesson on what it resembles.
But you my dear...are the prototype. 

Remember those silent spaces we discussed earlier? Use them to your advantage. Fill the cracks.

Tell them about stories you’ve only told to those closest to you. Open your heart a little. Spread your vulnerability, while asking them to let go a little too.

It was the first time I was truly sad about rejection. The letter came in the mail and I waited three hours to open it. I finally did and they told me that they didn’t want to take me on. I never wanted to write again.

If he skips over the story to tell you his own story of rejection, walk away. If he listens, offers a shoulder, and tells you that one day you’ll write across the sky…keep him.

I was complaining, to my best friend, about the fact that we still weren’t together. We both understood why he and I couldn’t be together, but I was pissed that we were still playing the game.

“Stop,” she said. “You’ve been through so much this year with love.”
I know.
“Can we just celebrate the fact that you’re loved?”
Can we?
“You’ve been cheated on and lied to; you’ve been hurt so many times. Yes, you can’t be together. You know that he loves you. You guys are crazy about each other. Can you just…cherish that…for right now?”
I can. I think.

We’re so caught up in how it ends that we forget to live in the moment. When you look back, you don’t want to wonder why the arguments trump the lovemaking.

Cherish yourself.

It’s the most prevailing thing in this world, and it shadows anything that will try to crumble you. I am no disintegrating thing. I am rock, I am solid ground, and I’m everything you pretend to be. I am a canvass, but I no longer wait for an easel or a painter. I am my spine and burst of color. I am worthy of wall space and a gallery with no other painting alongside. I am worthy of a viewer who sees that I am sculpture refined.

That viewer must first be me. My Picasso is a mirror and upon reflection, she is a masterpiece. She is priceless, even standing alone. Especially standing alone.

Party of one.

Sometimes you’re cultivating a significant other for someone else, but the process is also cultivating you. You’re becoming resilient, magnificent, and cognizant of your worth. You become aware of what you spend your time putting your all into. You become a bullshit detector and deflector of manipulation. You become all the potential he could’ve been, would’ve been, and will probably be.

Most importantly…you become a woman with experience: You are a human quilt of scars and memories that’ll be evident in motherhood and spousal support. You are a voice box filled with stories for your daughter and younger kin. You are heartstrings that will be pulled when you’re spotted walking in your happiness or sharing it digitally. You are forward movement.

Don’t regret one moment of it.

Embrace that shit. Cultivate it. 
Remember the moment that she walked around your office inquiring the usage of everything. She sat on a small file cabinet, kicking her feet against it. She pointed to an old and filled manila folder, with colorful pages sticking out from it. “Daddy, what’s this?” Tell her that they’re poems and stories, ones you’d written for her mother and moments that only the pen could revive.

She will come downstairs, wanting to snuggle next to her mommy and cry her first love from existence. Kneel next to her, in the same way, the man who’ll ask for her hand will, one day, and present her with a letter. The letter will briefly mention beating her ex to a pulp, in jest (or not), and conclude with a reminder of love and a metaphorical poem about a tree and a bird. You’ll hope that it’s conveyed that although she will leave the nest, home is always rooted.

I looked at, my current boo, as if he was from another world, an anomaly in my idyllic existence. There he stood, unflinching and sure, understanding that what I did was not a reflection on our livelihood, but what I needed to breathe.

“This is what you do babe. It’s a part of why I love you.”

I have had several conversations with writers who struggle with releasing fantastic stories; for fear that their family members, friends, loves, and/or roommates might recognize themselves. I tell them that I’m an advocate for protecting those we care about, but I also remind them that those are their stories too. “They belong to you. You have no clue who’s listening, no idea who’ll blossom, petal by petal, because of your words. Don’t negate that.”

But you are beyond building. In fact, your castle is so high that I haven’t been able to reach you. This is the reason for this post.

Revivals do not come in the form of open mouths and flowers. They are already within you. You are everything you need.

Once I realized this, I was alive. I rose with the sun and set out for a purpose, my intentions bereaved of the opposite sex. I was more than a journal filled with words for men who didn’t deserve them.

& in the midst…
of finding,
and trusting…

My oasis arrived, as will yours.

and then I realized I could write you
pen you into existence,
like James and his testament

have worlds of women, bow down to your perfection
because even if this doesn’t work,
I will leave you a man
something will turn on inside of you
and fight its way out in the form of grit,
leave memories of my touch,
running down your spine

I am embedded,
and embroidered,
never forgotten


our princes are flawed,
our kings are bereft of thrones,
but they are not above building them

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