At this point I’ve watched Miya Folick perform this song a hundred different times, and every single time I’m still blown away. The feelings she invokes with her voice, the way she writes sharp, intimate songs with soft words, and the way she lets the music take over with every performance, I’ve found that Miya Folick is everything I love about music. Just listen to this song and I promise, you’ll be hooked for life. I know I am.
Nobody just becomes an adult because they want to. Sure, people can try to be an adult, but honestly, it’s not something you can control. One day you’re a kid, and the next day that’s all over, and you are an adult from that point forward. It’s not sad or painful, at least not all the time, but it’s not something you can just will to happen, it just does.
So trying to judge yourself on the basis of whether or not you are a real adult is sort of silly, although I’m sure everybody has felt like a “bad” adult, or that they need to “grow up”. But people don’t grow up, do they? No, people don’t grow up, they just…grow.
But it’s not enough to say you just held on, because it was more.
It was everything.
You never loosened your grip. Even though I stopped trying and resigned myself to this bottomless pit that was my life, you didn’t falter. I don’t know how many times I fell down, but each time felt like I was falling further than the last. At some point I stopped looking up, because there was no point; I was in a hole so deep that the Sun couldn’t find me.
But you pulled me out.
I tried to push you away. I tried to pull myself away. I jumped off of bridges and buildings, airplanes and orbiting satellite arrays. I emptied my lungs and sank to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. I stripped away all of my clothing to feel the ice of Mount Everest on my bare chest. Time and again I broke my body in a sad attempt at symmetry; matching every mental breakdown with equal physical pain. I didn’t care about consequences, I just wanted to suffer.
But it wasn’t enough.
Cuts healed. Broken bones could be mended. The physical pain never lasted… but my head… all of the thoughts in my head… they never stopped. I just want some fucking peace…
When my light begins to fade,
And I cannot tell the difference
Between the edge of our Sea
And that rocky ledge
Where old things go
When they are called home.
In that half-light,
Where time splits open
And everything that once could fly
Embraces the finality
Of a perpetual slumber,
Know that when everything goes,
Nothing is diminished,
Nothing is extinguished,
Not a single part of my love
Will be dulled.
At the end, it remains.
It must remain, because it’s you.
I have no other reason,
And for no other reason,
Could my heart endure.
It’s you, it was always you,
And I promise, my sweetling,
We will always be,
You were everything I never knew could exist in a soul. You were a soft sunset, yet you never lost any of your radiance. You made the end of every day something to look forward to. I had no idea a person could actually look forward to tomorrow without even a hint of fear. You wove hope into your shine, and the sky itself responded with a brilliant display of the infinite possibilities contained within person’s light.
It took time, and then some more time, and it will assuredly take the rest of the time laid out in front of me, but I won’t give up, not anymore. I’ll spend every second I have in pursuit of the person you showed me, because that’s the type of person I want to be.
No matter how deep I go, I can’t cut it out. I was fighting against the red, but as it slowly faded into black, I caught a glimpse of the truth.
I’ve spent so many years living on a razors edge that I stopped fearing sharp objects altogether. No, maybe I was never afraid in the first place. A cut is just a cut.
It only hurts for a moment.
It only bleeds for a moment.
It will sting in the shower for a day or two.
It will form a scab overnight.
And, in a months time, only a faded red line will remain.
By the end of the year, that line will have started to turn pink. Another year, another shade lighter. 20 years later and you’d need a decently bright light to find those first few lines.
20 years, huh? I’ve been doing this for 20 years? Is that a long time? I have no idea if that’s a long time. That’s a crazy amount of time though, right? If I stop to think about it, it really is pure insanity.
I’ve never gone from one birthday to the next without making a new cut.
I’ve never opened presents under the Christmas tree without seeing the scars I carved into my body by choice.
I graduated from high school and college during the month of June, and on both occasions I was worried my robes wouldn’t be long enough to cover my arms past the elbow, so I wore a long-sleeved shirt to be safe.
I can’t remember anybody embracing my body before I ruined it… I know I was hugged before these scars though… pictures all over my parents home show a round, smiling kid being held and hugged and kissed by so many different people… and I can’t remember any of it…
I feel like I stole something from all those people. I did, didn’t I? I stole that child from them…
I wish I could give it all back to them. I wish I could reverse time and stop myself from making that first cut.
But I also can’t remember that first cut… so I guess I never could have escaped this fate, right? Am I right?
Can’t somebody, please… just tell me I’m right…
I wanted us to be happy, but I also had an unhealthy definition of happiness. I thought of everything we were, and made it into everything you were. I did things that might make you smile, wrote poems that would light up your eyes. I was content to make your happiness my happiness.
But that just showed how little I understood about life, love, and friendship . You loved me, I know you did, so what would happen to you if you continued to see me giving up my everything just for you? I know you wanted to shower me in love, but I didn’t give you a chance. That affection turned into addiction, and nothing I did was ever done with myself in mind. That’s unhealthy, and of course this made you unhappy. But I couldn’t stop. I should have stopped, and the rational part of my brain was probably screaming at me to stop.
But I was gone.
I turned my love into conditioning, and before I knew it the only thing I could offer to you were the things you already wanted. I couldn’t grow with you, which meant my love couldn’t grow, our love couldn’t grow. Loving somebody is complicated at times, but at its core love is about sharing. I didn’t want to share anything with you, I wanted to smother you in my twisted fantasy. I wanted you to ask me for more and more, until things came full circle and I was demanding that you demand more from me.
Today I found myself thinking about you, and about where you might be. Than I thought about myself and where I’m at right now. I have no idea how I got to this point. How many mistakes have I made in the past 5 years? And how many of those mistakes were done with the intention of sabotaging my chance at happiness? But more pressing than my trip down memory lane is the immediate question:
“Am I happy now?”
Well, I’m happier today than I was yesterday. I think my weekend was a tad bit happier than yesterday, and I know that 2 weeks ago I was so unhappy that I wound up in the mental health ward of my local hospital after my boss called 911, worried about the last text I sent. It included my resignation and reason for quitting, which was something along the lines of “I don’t deserve to be paid for the shit work I do. I’m not the right person for this role and I don’t want to hold you back. You don’t need to cut my last paycheck, just think of it as a fine for being that asshole who can’t even put in a proper 2 week notice.”
This November has been noticeably worse than last years, which was just a tad bit worse than the year before that. I don’t remember November from 4 years ago, but I also can’t imagine things ever being good. I know things must have been good…at some point I must have been happy…right?
“Am I happy now?”
I’m…alive? I am working again, and I am writing again. And that writing has lead to me making some submissions for publication. Alas, I was submitting poems, essays and short stories to various journals, magazines and contests, only to be rejected 99 times out of 100
I’m not sure if I’m happy right now. If I had to give it a score, I’d say my life reflects my recent submissions for publication; 99% of the time I know my life is garbage, because I’m a fucking landfill. But there’s still one, one tiny reason to hope. I wouldn’t call it happiness, but I’m out of options, and who knows? Maybe when you’re as empty as me, it’s better to make a bet on a slim hope rather than trying to stretch out that last, decaying piece of happiness to last me the rest of my life.