Self confidence? 

It’s a weird thing, losing self esteem. I’m not really sure when it started.

When I was young, I remember bouts of happiness and inspiration…I remember thinking I could fly if I wanted to. Normally, I think youth generally encourages the opposite. I remember hearing stories of my middle school friends’ unhappiness and cries for help.  But I could hardly understand what on earth there was to be unhappy about; the sun was more or less ever shining on my days.

Recently, or to be honest, at some vague point over the past three years, I have found myself lost …or at least without a piece of my soul. Staring at the blank faces of people around me throws me into a sort of blankness of my own.

I’ve tried to diagnose it, as any good Hypochondriac…too much technology? Too much time with my boyfriend? Not enough time in the gym? I’ve also tried to treat all of these things.

But nothing works.

I walk around blankly with an ever-present judgemental eye. ‘Oh why does this person care about buying shoes so much?’ ‘What does it matter what color nail polish you want to wear?’ And I don’t know why my soul needs to ask these questions. It takes away from human connections…when I can’t empathize. Where has my empathy gone? Further, where has my self-confidence gone?

I feel anxious, angsty, and blank. I feel unable to enjoy and understand. World, what do I do?

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Wallflowering on a close friend…

If there is a day that I don’t walk into our room and see you crying…that will be the day. You have so much pain to hide. How do you do it?

Sometimes I wish my words were more for you than an outsider’s gaze. I wish I could say, ” I understand,” and mean it.

You have been my learning experience and my support system. Not only have you been there all this time to guide me through…at the same time as guiding yourself…but you have managed to teach me everything about life without even drawing up one lesson plan.

I’ve never met a family more broken. Every day…I walk in…and you…as the responsible one…are taking care of your mother…or your brother…or your step dad…or your sister. You’re here…hours away…taking care of children who pose as adults.

They cry out against one another…and you always mediate. It’s almost like your mother’s lack of maturity…every ounce of it…was held back from her…and God decided to give it all to you from the day you graced the world with your presence.

It almost tried to keep you there with them…to be what they “need”.

You got out though. You had the strength to give them what they actually needed…and to give yourself a chance. You are here. And you will change the world.

The girl from the small city…the city that locks everyone in…you left. And here you are…in our nation’s capital. And you are winning.

You are gold…you are a God loving, country critiquing, beautifully strong-willed soul. I have more than faith in you and your future.

This is what the world needs more of…humans who come out of their heartbreak…and make life into meaning…and build themselves into the beautiful someone they are supposed to be. You have beat the odds. You are amazing.

And the world, in all its agony, needs your strength more than any medicinal cure. One day…you will be its revival.

Peeta and Katniss…The Remaking

A short story I’ve been writing to try and explain the unwritten years between the end of the Hunger Games and the epilogue…Let me know what you think! I do not own the Hunger Games at all! I just like the idea of providing literature on what pieces are not there. I suppose this counts as me wallflowering on Katniss!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It would never be the same. Peeta’s memories were warmed now, but he would never be my devoted lover again. I’d never feel that same undying affection for only me because of all we’d been through. Now, it was more like a mutual respect…it felt like a normal relationship should, but I didn’t want a normal relationship…I wanted our relationship.

It has been years since the revolution’s end, and Prim’s death still weighs terribly on my heart. I still could not look at Gale for too long. All of these little tiny shards of glass seemed to forever fly about my mind. No matter what memories my brain chose to focus on, sharp edges seemed to outline them and pain enveloped every thought.

I told them that I was better. I just couldn’t stand talking to that damned therapist anymore. Every meeting unsettled me because I would rather go through the Games again than try to pick out each memory shard and force my brain to take a closer look. I would rather just put my memories behind; it seems less painful that way. Happy ones brought the pain of missing them, while upsetting ones hurt for obvious reasons.

As the world had been struggling through rebirth, Peeta and I had been trying to rebuild our relationship. In the beginning, I wanted to stay as far away from him as possible. I didn’t want to witness Peeta’s mood swings of hatred for me leading into a patched up apology. Not having my rock killed me, but either out of cowardice or some form of brave lover’s feeling for his betterment, I managed. Eventually, things seemed to get better for him; hardly any mood swings, and some sign of possible remembrance. For a few weeks now, we have been going on daily walks and occasionally out on “dates.” They seemed to me too small and simple for where our relationship should be after everything, but Haymitch seems to think there is hope in regaining at least some of his feelings by starting fresh. Acting like we just met, but never forgetting.

The thoughts of my lost love lead me far into self-pity (feelings I used to have the dignity to stamp out). I travel deep into that more recently developed hole of longing, until I am snapped back. Peeta appears across the field and begins to walk toward me…and my instincts tell me it’s time for our daily walk considering he wouldn’t come looking for me otherwise.

“Hey Katniss,” he greets me with a lackluster voice, one without the gloss of his pre-torture tone of admiration. I feel an uncomfortable pull at my heart, and I can’t help but force my mind to take this note on a tangent thought: Listen to clichés because there is a reason they’re so widely accepted; they are true. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Even something as small as a tone of voice can be precious and life changing. I learned that from losing Peeta, but I could never tell him. He could not have anything to say but sorry, and it wouldn’t be a sincere one either.

I nodded, realizing I had seemingly ignored Peeta’s greeting, and we went on our way. Silence ensued as it always did while we walked through the dark, dust-ridden street to get to a happier part of town, and I started to wonder why we put ourselves through this with no hope of a result.

“So, how is your day?” he asked, not seeming to genuinely want an answer.

“Normal,” I replied, “I was hunting most of the morning, and then I was just in the field relaxing. What did your day consist of?”

“Sleeping,” was all he responded with. This never would have been Peeta’s morning routine before. He thought sleeping late wasted the most beautiful part of the day, but now beauty didn’t seem to mean as much to Peeta. Nothing did.

“Peeta, can I ask you something?” I found myself boldly proposing. Maybe a bit of our natural comfort had subconsciously slid back into our conversation…usually I wasn’t able to keep words flowing between us…let alone to ask a question.

“What’s up?” Peeta turned his head toward me, and made a moment of eye contact before pursuing forward. I swore I just saw a flicker of interest in those usually dull, worn eyes.

“Well…” there was so much I needed to say, and because of the pressure, usually at this point I would shut down and silently move on. When did this become me? Afraid of a boy…of my Peeta none the less? Instead…I mustered up all the courage I could gather and blurted out, “do you ever actually remember?”

He looked a bit frazzled at the enormity of the question I just seemed to throw up, which showed with the furrow of his brow. Peeta always made the most adorable face when he was thinking. The slight wrinkles on his forehead have an honesty to them, giving way to whether or not he truly is in a deep thought process. His eyes also seem to twinkle with the depth of a whole galaxy when they fade into thinking mode. I took all this in, sighing at the beauty of a simple, familiar situation.

Peeta looked quizzically at me until answering with, “Well, I think you are asking if I ever sort of phase back into old me. Whether or not the bits of memory that I regain seem just like pictures to me, or I feel like I actually lived them. Am I right in taking that from your question?”

I nodded eagerly.

“Yeah,” Peeta answered, “I suppose I do experience that. It’s kinda like deja vu…but more personal. I remember things for a little while, and I know they are really my experiences; it’s just a matter of placing them.”

Peeta looked back at me and smiled with triumph. A small victory. This could get us somewhere.

Think …

So…I’m listening to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (cliche and corny…I KNOW!). I’m just sitting here in my office…looking out the window…and using this beautiful song to invite old memories back home. Join me. Take a moment. Pick a nostalgic song and think about all the places you’ve seen and all the things you have done. Chances are…it will amaze you. I know thinking about how many moments I’ve experienced is enough to set my nostalgia buzzers off…let alone thinking about the content of those moments. Appreciate time. For what it has been…and for what it will continue to be until you have no more of it. Live in accordance with this indefinite continuance of life. You’ll never get that last second back. Care to share your moment or nostalgic song? Comment! I love you all. 🙂

Fluff

Sometimes I

like to wonder

about the things

that fly around

my head.

They exist to flitter

and flutter

and to float around our

headspace…until

we have the gumption,

clear-sightedness,

and wisdom

to capture them in thought.

Wallflowering on a “beautiful” guy…

The first time I met you…I wanted to know you. That’s the kind of person you are. You could fool any girl with that charming smile, but what’s underneath…is a little less than charming…or is it the other way around? Are you fooling yourself? What do you think beautiful is? What kind of beautiful do you desire to be? 

To me…as I stand here watching you dance your drunkenness away with girl after girl…I’m not sure you like the kind of beautiful your body is telling you to be. I’m not sure your skin fits your soul…I sort of envision it like a sweater that is too tight. At least…that’s what the desperation in your eyes seems to be saying. I see you doing what a guy “should”…but when you looked at me…and we spoke for those 3 seconds…I saw something else. Are you caged?

Your motive is clear…I can tell which girl you’ve chosen for your one night stand based on the way you ignore nearly everything anyone else here says. You twist and turn her about the dance floor with the utmost suavity. You pull her close to let her know how much you need her, and then let her feel just independent enough as she twirls away. As your hands are about to break apart, you pull her back…signaling with your body that you “missed her” and never want to lose her again. Dancing is one of the most manipulative art forms. The only part of you that does not seem to be fully in the move is your eyes (of which she cannot notice having limited experience in the field of American men). I know what you will be doing within the next few hours. And it upsets me. 

Why? Because of that look you gave me. 

Well…I don’t think it is jealousy I’m feeling. I think it is sadness. I think I feel pain for the image of beauty that your head forces downward until it sticks like goo to your heart. I wonder if it still has the capability of detaching. Such a shame…because I think you may just have had a very beautiful heart. Do you think someone will come around one day with the capability to scrape that goo off?

I really wanted to know you, but it’s almost time to leave, and I don’t have a strong enough shovel.

What Rachel Taught Me

The other day I was standing on the corner of the street protesting Planned Parenthood. I was given exactly the response I expected…the occasional rude glance, some angry shouts…the encouraging grin or even some pro-life wisdom. I proceeded to stand there doing my thing and praying silently.

I had quite the regular day protesting on that street corner…until Rachel walked by. She passed once without a glance. I noticed her pass by a second time with a quizzical look starting to take shape on her brow. The third time she passed I was starting to worry (what if this girl starts to make a scene…?/Should I run away…?/etc…etc…)

Finally, she approached me and asked, “What’re you doing?” But…she asked it without malice or awe in her tone. She seemed to simply want to know. So…I told her outright, “I’m praying for the women in there and the potential life.” Her only response was an intrigued, “Why?” My hour was almost up, but I decided this conversation might be worth staying a couple extra minutes, and so I answered.

Our debate lasted for 2 hours…but when I say debate…here is what I mean:

Rachel: “I hope you don’t mind if I ask, but if you are pro-life why do you oppose birth control and things? Also…Planned Parenthood provides other important women’s healthcare.”

Me: “That is a very good point. I am not sure how I feel about birth control. I am personally not allowed to use it because my body can’t handle hormones. However, I do not know how I feel on the legality scale. All I know is that they perform abortions in there and I believe that every life has the same rights I do no matter where it is located.”

Rachel: “Fair enough.”…and so on and so forth. 

You see, Rachel goes to  American University and she (like me) studies Politics. She comes from a good Irish home, and she has seen about as much as the world as I have. She loves to travel and loves to eat at iHop (I am so obsessed with their red velvet pancakes). One of our only prominent differences: she is pro-choice and I am pro-life. It is that simple. 

I am still friends with Rachel. She is still someone I chat with from time to time. We used each other to truly learn and experience other viewpoints and to sharpen and tweak our own. We respected each other under the code of common human courtesy and love, and were able to part ways without shouting or hating one other. 

We learned as children that hitting and kicking our siblings is not the way we move past stolen toy trucks…but rather sighing past our wounding pride and talking it out was more efficient and less dirty. I was always taught to stand firm but to do so with the respect I would wish from my “opponent” (if that is even the right word). I assume that if vulgarity and ignorance impedes progress in such small matters…larger ones need even more precise care. This, I believe is the only way America will ever get anywhere. So…let’s start talking it out.

My first narrative…wallflowering on my co-worker

“I’m sorry, honey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry.”

That’s often all I hear coming from you on these Thursdays. You don’t have to be a servant to her anger. I’m telling you. You know…we are at work…you shouldn’t be on the phone anyway. Why doesn’t she get that?

Your species is familiar to me…that kind of overwhelmingly beautiful (and yet hard to reach) soul hopped up on some sort of depressant or stimulant (would you believe that both seem to be used as a cure for the same problem?) I’m sorry ADHD is something so difficult for you. I can see the blurry film it puts over that innermost part of you that pushes your head from side to side rather than allowing it to sit peacefully still. I can only see it because I remember it from my own childhood…my brother ended up being an extremely valuable empathy lesson. I know how easily he was taken advantage of. I saw it.

Every day you miss out on the million miracles that wave a friendly hello at your your windsweeping eyes because she is so far away, and she makes you feel like she is the only thing that understands you no matter the distance. Well…she isn’t…in fact…I don’t think she understands you at all if you don’t mind my saying so. She seems stuck in the world of the squirmy eye-browed norm. I know that is the only face you are used to when you get into your passionate obsessive speeches. I see the passion in them. I would love to hear them from you all day long.

Does she? Do you really have to sit there and take her yelling about not hearing from you for 10 minutes, or for the time she wasn’t expecting that surprise, or even just for talking with me? You’d be amazed at how loud your phone is when she calls (or is that just how angry she is?)

No matter. I just want you to feel how important you are. Feel it in your fast-paced, ever changing heart. Calm your mind and try not to see those stares or giggles as you pass. I want you to know that it is okay to talk for 3 hours straight about Muse and what they mean to you. Spend 14 hours trying to find the philosophy in your video game when it sparks your fancy. That’s okay. I know your brain is 200 times bigger than mine. Never any less…never any rest…but beautiful all the same. Make her appreciate that…if you believe her when she says she is truly yours.