I don’t know how to be vulnerable, and I’m afraid to learn, afraid that I’ll find myself alone in this. What is love to someone who learned losing too early?
I am unaccomplished, unceremoniously flawed, basically, a dating hazard. I’m everything wrong you’ve been told about loving people. I say the wrong thing at the wrong time and I don’t know how to be anything else. I’m a tripping stuttering mess and the last person you wanna bet on. I will disappoint you, like I’ve disappointed everyone who’s ever believed in me, myself included.
I’m afraid I’ll break your heart unintentionally, that I won’t know how to apologize when I’m wrong, and I’ll dampen your excitement with my depression. If you were smart, you’d stay away from me. I’m a bad investment, I spend each moment thinking of ways to push people away, you will not be exempted.
I will love you in a way that’s inadequate, and blame you for not being enough. I will not be willing to stay, but will hate you for leaving.
Please don’t leave. Continue reading “The things I will say when I talk about love”
The first time I ever told someone I loved them, I didn’t mean it. It came out of my mouth before I could formulate a thought, and just like that, it was out there. Hanging in the air, adding yet another thing to the list of things we don’t speak about. It’s not that I didn’t love the boy I was saying it to, but it was not the kind of love punctuated by reckless I love yous filling the atmosphere of longing in the air. He was someone you hold while thinking of someone else, someone you are yet to meet. So he was one of the stops you make on the way to your soulmate, comfortable enough to stay, but for how long? Soon even the things you used to love won’t be enough. He’ll somehow always say the wrong thing, he doesn’t know better, nothing about him will feel right after some time.
The second time, I was convinced I meant it. I mean, there were feelings within me that seemed to not have names, so I called them love. Like the day he left in the middle of an argument and I spent the night curled up like a ball, chest heavy with everything that went unsaid between us. I remember waking up with him there and all I could feel was empty. Love will come out of you like a promise, a joke, and sometimes an apology. Never quite being the right thing. You never staying to find out exactly where it should be. You will call these I love yous goodbyes. Continue reading “The things I will say when I talk about love”
This sounds a lot like moving on:
You will talk to a man who will make the memories less brutal on your heart. Pretty soon you’ll be able to think about love without wanting to set yourself on fire.
The nights won’t be so violent anymore, and in time, the nightmares will be just another conversation at the dinner table. Speaking of, you will be brave enough to be around people without feeling your heart shake from violent thrusts of emotion.
You miss him, but you no longer write about him anymore. No longer think about him as much. Your tears have become strangers again, and you don’t know what’s worse: forgetting the bad times, or not remembering the good ones.
I have been so many things before I became what I am now. So many things have happened before I found myself here. So many things have brought me to this place. I’d love to promise that I’ll stay, but so many things have made me leave before.
I am a culmination of all the experiences I leave behind, each step towards growth, marked by everything I have been before change came along. I am all the loud and the quiet moments, every word I’ve spoken and every silence that has captivated me. I am a sum of all the decisions I didn’t take, out of fear or something else. Continue reading “So many things”
I have taught my heart many things in this life: to be still, to heal and to let go. What I have failed to do is teach it how to love. Here I am, standing on the verge of fear and uncertainty, looking at you and hearing echoes of a future, and it is my heart that finds itself at a loss. I learned pain and losing too young, love had not been familiar then, and so I clung to the pain because it was always there. When I met you, I wasn’t looking for anything other than a way to prolong the numbness my heart had become accustomed to. Even in our chats, I communicated detachment and told you with every word not to stay. Truth is, I was afraid you would refuse if I asked you to stay. I want you to stay. Continue reading “Dear you”
Just like Bell Hooks’ book on class, Assata Shakur’s autobiography was an eye opener, to the intricacies of racism, what it means to love ourselves, as individuals and as a collective. We are going to tell these black stories, disrupting the narrative and letting our children know that we were here, we felt, we loved and we died. And all of it is valid. Struggle sometimes blinds us to the moments of joy inbetween. Shakur’s pregnancy was that light in the dim circumstances thrust on her, how she fought to hold on to it, a resilience many of us are all too familiar with. We feel it in the spaces we find ourselves in, where they try to squeeze every bit of blackness out of us. Save for our skin, which holds on and serves as a reminder to us of our pact with the universe. How we are not easily conquered, how these stories will outlive us and echo affirmation to the generations that will come after us and refuse to bend. Her pain, her strength, her refusal to overlook the happy moments is my story. Of what it means to find yourself in a place so violent to your black body, constantly squeezing out metaphors as a way of raging against erasure.
“Only a fool lets somebody else tell him who his enemy is.” Continue reading “Assata Shakur – An Autobiography”