the high cost of psyching yourself out.

i think i became afraid of hard work once i decided it wasn't worth it anymore.

the only real tradition we have in our house is that every four years, when the summer olympics come on, we make queso and buy a bunch of sweets and clear our calendars because we're going to watch it. 

i know what i'm supposed to write about, i just don't want to say it. 

when i was a year-round swimmer, our coach would give us goal sheets to fill out. they were grey and our team logo was a yellowish-goldish colour. that might've been on the printer. anyway, we had to put our short-term goals and our long-term goals on it. i don't remember if we had to put our names on it or not, or if we had to keep a copy for ourselves and give one to our coach. mine said "i want to be the first black woman to win gold and break the world record in the 50 free." i don't know the integrity of that goal, if i would've been the first black woman, i never did my research. but i wanted to be an olympian. i wanted to have my water slap of victory, i wanted everyone to say my name, i wanted to represent the people who looked like me, i wanted to stand on the podium and cry and go pro and get interviewed and be spoken highly of then i quit. and to be honest, i saw the goal, i wanted to see the end result, but i didn't see myself getting there. and that's all i have to say about it. 

here an anecdote that may or may not be useful: state championships, short course. we drove four hours, stayed in a nice hotel. on the 200 free relay, my goggles came off in the water and i DQ'd my team. missed the flip turn. i was mortified, and i didn't do well at the rest of the meet. i didn't want to. state championships, long course. same relay, i was terrified. dove in, goggles stayed on, i did really really well. my coach was proud of me, and i wasn't scared anymore. it was the starting point of a whole new level of training and i knew i would have to start picking it up. but i didn't see it. i wasn't feeling it. i hit the threshold, and i stepped back and let the others go downhill. 

i have dreams about swimming often. about going back to practice, about getting in the pool. and i always get anxious. i wake up scared, then i relax because i know it's not real. but when i'm stressed, when i have some bad energy i want to get out, i turn to the pool. so i don't know what that's about. is it in my blood? is not drowning part of my DNA now? it's been happening more often lately. dreams about sitting on the edge, of diving in, of going hard, of going back. 

and now the olympics are on, and we're watching them all together. and we know someone who made it in swimming. and she's doing the races i would've done. if i stayed on track and crossed the thresholds, i would've been in rio right now, i think. and knowing that, and being at home instead, is disappointing. because it was on me. anyway, the olympics is on tape delay. we're about to watch michael and ryan do the 200 im. everyone else knows how she did. one friend i know posted about it on facebook, sans spoilers, and it looks like she's done well. and let's be real. i'm f-ing terrified. i'm scared she's going to do what i wanted to do. seeing someone else achieve your goals pisses you off, it makes you cry a fever, lock yourself in your room and sit on your pile of clothes on the floor. i'm afraid she's going to do it. maybe not all of it, but enough of it. i should've been there. i should be there. i want to go there. but i don't. 

and i don't know if i will. 


letter to a loved one from a burning building.

i have a system by which i determine how close i am to people. i don't even realize it, it just happens and i go "oh. yeah." because it makes sense and i see how they've impacted me. and you know these are people who have been there through the most significant parts of my life. like november, for my major bout of depression and so many others who haven't left yet. and i think about the friends i've had since starting college and how i've known you since the beginning but we never clicked until this semester. and so so very quickly you became someone i love seeing everyday and someone i don't want to do this without. and i think about what would've happened if i kept swimming and whether or not i'd be in a different place right now and i don't want that because the people i know now wouldn't be there and you are entirely irreplaceable. and i am so glad i didn't die before i met you. and i am and always shall be your friend. and even when i graduate and you continue to impress the crap out of me from afar, i hope that i am now and will come to be remembered as someone who was a tremendous blessing in your life. and even if we are on different sides of the world, or in different worlds altogether, if you want me, i will come back. i want to repay you for everything you've already done even if you've felt useless. this is the most significant part of my life and you have been so patient with me, and you've listened and offered up all your support even if the midst of your problems. and it's nothing if i don't give it all back. so congratulations. i was first your favourite, and now you are mine. 

i am the burning building. and i am also the match. and to think this would've been my goodbye. 
a few things to note:
it was difficult to find something that i could look at and say "this is it. i am glad i stayed alive to see this, i am thankful for this." until i found it. 
at this point, there are too many things i have to do to go anywhere. i would've missed my piano lesson. 
i am glad i saw his studio. 
i am glad i had this music so i could listen to this concerto. 
i am glad i got to see you on wednesday. 
there are always things in this world that will always make me happy to have stayed alive. 
sometimes it just takes all my effort in finding them. like running a 5k. there are thresholds, you said. 
and once you meet them and start talking it downhill, it's okay. 
a threshold: the weather. 
a threshold: the fact that my favourite sandals are broken.
downhill: waking up to the sun. 
downhill: turning pages. 
and to think this would've been my goodbye. 

hello, i'm here, still alive, until i am satisfied. 
i still don't want to go. 
-kiss kiss kiss, faith is not blind-



Beach, Stars, and Waves: Rhode Island

the air is a messenger. it is a transporter of goods. but my body stops the air from doing its job. there are some things the air can't pass through. my anger, my fear, my inability to communicate when i get stressed, my restlessness,

the outside can't penetrate my heaviness. the weightlessness cannot lift me, i'm just here, livid, standing in heels outside my grandma's door waiting to go in for dinner, and i don't know what to do. sometimes, when i'm in Bible study, i feel it in the pit of my stomach, the Lord saying "it's time." and i know it's true. but i can't lift it. and it's throwing me down. the air doesn't feel this way, right? does it feel anything? why can't it penetrate my soul and vacuum out the red? because unforgiveness is red, you know. it crawls in your blood sells and drinks until it runs your immune system, and you're dry, because you can't live with it.

i guess my big question is, and i'm sorry for probably confusing you, things are just really hard for me right now, and i think i came back to write again because it's super therapeutic for me, and what else am i supposed to do ???? my big question is, the air current flows around me but how can a human body hold all of this stale at once? how can it all sit inside my abdomen but no one else can feel it too? do you know what i'm feeling? do you know how much i thirst for it? how i want to be neutral again, ready, but able to enjoy the light, to feel the lightness, to feel nothing, to elevate. do you even elevate? have you left? i feel like you've left me behind.

pray for me. 


a small update.


i'm sorry. 

it was my birthday last saturday. the 12th. i turned 19. and i didn't have a party, rather, i went to one. like a white elephant with my Bible study. and my Christmas ornaments were stolen from me several times because i kept picking the cool ones. and they made me homemade cake and bought my favourite ice cream and sang. and we watched it's a wonderful life and the little girls wiped my tears when i cried. i don't know that you understand. i stopped having parties because i didn't think i did them right. i didn't feel like people were interested in the things i enjoyed. things never ended up going the way i planned and it hurt too much to continue, so i stopped. but this birthday, i realized how glad i am to be alive. there are certain people in life that you know, and some that you see all the time, and there are some that are simply your forevers. and i know that i have found them when i find myself saying "i'm glad i didn't die before i met you." most of the time, it doesn't come out at all verbally. even rarer it manifests in a hug. but it is one of the most tangible things, as if catching the air. and it's so uncommon, like being struck by lightning. you feel it in your marrow the same way you know Christmas is coming. there are a lot of reasons why i decided not to kill myself a little less than three years ago. there are a lot of reasons why i am thankful, and that saturday, the 12th, in my maroon turtleneck and tartan wrap skirt, sitting next to nate on the couch crying with donna reed and jimmy stewart, eating dulce de leche ice cream, is one of them. i can't forget that like i've forgotten so many other things. some things are too important not to forget. 

do yourself a favour and look back, and say "look how far along i am now."
and if you don't feel as though you've gone anywhere, you can talk to me about it. it will be alright, my love.
it will be alright. 

-kiss kiss kiss, no rules we can stay-
{pea ess: boy have i been emotional lately.}
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