Submarines.

I’m just tired; I’ve got some work to do; I’m fine; I don’t know what you’re talking about.

He went with, “I’m just a little tired,” because it was the most convenient half-truth to tell at the time.  It felt like he could do nothing right that day.  And he knew – he had been told, really – that it was all just an overreaction to a single negative situation, and his programed response to it was to catastrophize.  Nevertheless, he didn’t care to fight back tonight.  He joked about physical exams earlier, realizing too late that she was anxious from her latest checkup.  The doctors were taking an uncommonly long time to return the results to her; in fact, self-diagnosing led her down a dark corridor with the walls closing in on all sides, stopping with just enough room for her to tuck her knees into her chin and hope beyond grace that it was all just catastrophizing.  He hadn’t meant to lead her by the hand back to the corridor.

How selfish he was, letting his regret show on his face, putting her in a place of regretting her openness about her very real issue while fighting to steady the darkness from encroaching upon the rest of her night.  And the way he left, making a big show of just how much he regretted making the joke, all the while leaving her ashamed and thinking – wrongly – that maybe she was being a burden on other people.  Maybe he was putting prison bars where freedom walked, giving in to the whispers of doubt about just how good of a friend he actually was, and none of this was happening at all.  He wanted to feel guilty about what had happened – he deserved to bear the responsibility for his mistake because he was supposed to be a good friend.  It was the most convenient half-truth to accept at that time.

The retreat inwards began, but he didn’t notice.  He just needed to get through to the end, and he would be home free – free from ruining anymore of his relationships, free to be silent, free to not live underneath the expectations that others had come to own.  He would just run from it all because after all, he was just a coward who couldn’t face his reflection when it surrounded him.  All he did was lie, sell himself as better than he really was, believe in his own lies, and continue manufacturing selves.  Positivity was his most polished mask, and his heart had accumulated enough of his half-truths to believe it owned a single, reliable shard of honesty.  At the end of the day, he was weak.  He wanted to be strong; he wanted to be reliable; he wanted to be honest; he wanted to be kind; he wanted to be free to know who he was and where he stood without the ground collapsing at the slightest nervous shift in weight from right to left, plunging him into the frigid and lonesome below.  He was catastrophizing.

Another mistimed joke, and he found himself lost.  Why was he? Had he not realized that he could have tried not belittling people around him for once, just so that his own crudeness could find a measure of stability?  Was it impossible for him to understand that who he was just didn’t fit who he thought he was?  He was pitiful.  He’d go home and paint something – painting would do the trick, what with the silence and the focus on making something really intricate so that he would just forget seeing his own face stapled onto his friend’s disappointment.  He knew that it had been a rough week for him, but he let his own charm poison the vial even more.  What a wreck.  He really didn’t know who he was at all.  All this time, he had the ridiculous idea that he had been doing him a favor when he himself was the burden.  Is it only now occurring?  He probably thought he was an idiot for even trying to show him in the most explicit way that he wasn’t the friend he thought he was, and here he was, thinking that he was saving him from the shadows.  There wasn’t a thing right about him.

He dove into the dark of the ocean, colliding with the side of the boat on the way down.  Abrasions didn’t matter anymore at this point; he wasn’t even sure he felt the slick, dull, trauma anymore.  I can’t do anything right. I’ve heard that one already.  Why are you wasting your time? Be honest about your mistakes.  You’re the reason we’re here.  Are you still here? Haven’t you grown up yet? Jeez. Get a grip. Move on. Stop worrying so much.  Time will tell.  Why didn’t you say anything? You disappoint me.  Where is the surface?  Don’t be a baby.  Where are you going?  You don’t understand.  Why am I here? You’ll be fine.  I can’t feel anything anymore.  Who’s fault is that?  You made this mess, you fix it.

His heart pounded and every beat felt heavier and heavier and slower and slower he felt it in his head and in his eyes until he was realizing that he was trying to breathe in deeply he was trying to breathe in but his lungs weren’t enough for him and he saw that it was dark except for a single moon far away though far from him and who he was and where he needed to be so he breathed less hoping to reflect on things more and realize that it was just catastrophizing it was just in his head it wasn’t going to be that bad it couldn’t be that bad what was going on he hadn’t felt this way in a long time but he couldn’t find his way out except to talk to no one about it because that’s who understood him best.

I can’t breathe.  Just let me wake up.

Please.

I Need a Reset.

I need a reset in the worst possible way with regards my relationship with God.  It’s been marred so much by all of the lesser things my heart has taken hold of, predominantly overthinking all my relationships except for the one I have with Him.  In a sad way, it’s like I take all the pieces of my shattered heart to all the people who I think can fix it, knowing full well that He alone can renew me, but I choose instead to avoid Him.  But what this whole post really comes down to is girls, man.  The girls are killing me.  Something about college and the fact that it was a new beginning changed the shyness in me because, well, everyone was approachable.  And this change ended up really hurting me a lot.  The inexperience with emotional boundaries tore me a new hole in my heart, and it still lurks around the corner, waiting to put another dagger deep beyond my threshold of emotional pain.  And it’s like with every new person I meet, the dagger just gets sharper and sharper as I begin to forget the hurt sustained in the past.  Unintentional emotional masochism.  That’s the mental disorder I deal with.  It’s not just girls that suffer from the pressures of what they think guys think of them (I hope, because if it is just girls, then I’m just out of luck), but the same goes the other way, particularly for someone with suppressed self-esteem issues.  The lack of confidence doesn’t come from a lack of ability; it comes from a lack of peace within me.  And the underlying reason for that?  A lack of confidence in my relationship with God that gives me peace.  Somehow, because the message of “He will always love you, no matter how weak you are” has been said so many times, the dormant human ambition to attain ignites in unexpected directions, pushing me to try and be good enough for a girl that I’m interested in, throwing away any effort I put into my relationship with God.  I’ve got issues that can pretty much be summed up as shooting up a heroine that depresses you, and then it makes your mind justify it as a good source of poetry.  Again, what a stupid thing to think.  This complex with needing to achieve for the sake of others turns my life into a quest to become someone I’m not, and not in the good sense.

But beyond all that, the realization always comes back to remind me that God’s really taught me a lot through all this.  It’s not easy having to struggle with being who I am versus being who someone thinks I am so that they’ll like me more.  That whole masquerade was for high school because I felt like there was nothing redeeming in me to be liked.  Now that God is closer to being number one in my heart, there’s a subliminal, dogged pursuit of being who He wants me to be.  And if I get hurt along the way, I should pay even closer attention to what God has to say instead of plugging my ears and drowning in tears.  Besides, the fact that I’ve started opening up actually molds me closer to being a better instrument for God to spread His love.  I’m not the greatest at initiating conversation, but at least now, I can actively participate in it.  Coupled with constant prayer (in which I’ve also been faltering, for now), the opportunities to share God become closer and closer to limitless.  Now that I think about it, I don’t need a reset at all.  I just want one.  But the experiences that God has brought me through will get me way closer to His will than starting from page one.  And that’s why God is writing my story, He knows how it’ll all turn out; I’m just this guy,  living it out and giving voice-overs.  At the end of the day, God is good.  It’s hard to say that sometimes because so many prayers about girls went so…differently.  If I can remove my own bias, they turned out better than I thought, just not the way that I thought they would turn out.  I don’t know, I hope I’m not the only one with these problems, but if I am so be it.  I bare my heart only to let other believers (and non-believers) peer into it, and see the darkness, but hopefully see Christ in it as well, illuminating it piece by piece.

 

Wind Blows.

A lost, green leaf, fresh plucked amidst a peaceful gale

floated down, unassumingly, into the earth’s embrace.

It found itself, once scared and timid, gently greeted;

it found a warm and friendly, caring kind of safe place.

The earth surrounded the leaf with stories of before

as the leaf gazed in awe around the place on which it lay.

The cracks of pain, raindrop tears of sorrow painted

a picture that the leaf had never seen until that one day.

The leaf in turn spoke of travels it had once braved alone

of broken dreams, a shattered, foggy past that it once had.

The earth warmed with the sun’s rays the lost leaf that rested,

this noble green leaf, partner by the earth’s fine dust clad.

A second leaf came and spun a tale of autumn past from years ago;

its red and yellows flashing brilliantly before the leaf and earth.

Its tales were tall and character loud, a welcome change to the

melancholy from the somber green leaf, who was lacking in joy’s mirth.

And so the wind came, and took the green leaf far off, never again

to see the earth’s close face, for now it was known that the sight

of brilliant plumage stole the heart of one who had been kin

and punished the sorrow of previous friend with a dark blight.

The wind carried the leaf to places near and far, ne’er stopping

until the leaf fell fast, in hopes of reaching havened ground.

But water drowned the leaf’s tears before the roaring tide

the leaf disappeared, never again heard, and never to be found.

Insecurities.

I don’t know why I think the way I do.  Maybe it’s just fear of losing something that matters for once; maybe it’s the realization that the situation is more familiar than I’d like it to be.  When all’s said and done, it turns out that I was wrong about how I thought, wrong about how I analyzed things that were said, and wrong about the outcome that I thought was so close at hand.  Because of these fears and these worries and these anxieties, I’ve been led to believe that I have no other choice than to ruin that which is most precious to me.  It’s a self-destructive, yet repetitive behavior for me, and it makes me question if I should even invest anymore in personal relationships.  It’s tiresome for me to have to bat away those thoughts, and it’s surprising and often quite hurtful to the other person when I express them.  I don’t know what to do.  It seems like no matter what I try to prevent what I fear from happening, it comes at me like a train that’s due to arrive, and all I can do is wait, bound on the tracks by my own suffocating insecurities.  It seems like the harder I try to improve things, the worse they get, and I leave feeling like I am the villain in everything that’s gone wrong.  And I am.  I have accepted this; no matter how much time or effort that I put into building these personal relationships up, a tragic flaw appears, one way or another, that leads me to ruining it for both people.  I’m tired of this pattern of incompetence and helplessness…I seem to just attach myself to people and watch them flit through my grasp as specters merely passing by.  So many pieces of my heart that have been placed in full trust of people have been lost to the ages.  My fatal flaw is that I am too willing to trust people and give them a chance, and I indulge in this flaw in complete ignorance and innocence by throwing all I have into developing that little chance.  It’s the hopeless romanticism that permeates into all areas of my life.  A young boy reading Shakespeare with Romeo and Juliet failing to feel the pain that gets his eyes wet after thousand daggers pierced his heart, making suffering a lonely art.  You read that sentence and think drama and, for the more keen observers of rhythm, poetry.  And that’s what I’ve built my life upon, to be honest.  The drama of a normal life has magnified itself in my eyes so that everything could be taken for something of worth, something meaningful, until my paranoia overwhelms my satisfaction with the present and swallows up my faith in personal relationships.  It’s my hopelessly romantic view of loyalty too that manages to mangle my faith in relationships; I take too much pride in having a blind loyalty to a select few people, and I somehow expect that loyalty to be reciprocated, knowing full well that only fools rush so quickly into giving that kind of loyalty.  And yet it hurts every time, waking up to the fact that maybe it’s not mutual, maybe I’m caring too much and just being an annoyance to that person.  I don’t know what they feel because things always end up dissolving into history’s clutches before I get a chance to review them in the present.  All I know is that I will keep on being loyal to the ones I care about whether or not they reciprocate it, or even notice it, because they’re really all I’m living for.  That blind loyalty to God ended up preserving my own life back in high school when suicide was just a bike and a car accident away, so I know it’s worth something.  I just need to make that leap of faith in loyalty to overcome the insecurities swimming in my head.  I know that someone will come along who understands what I mean and how I feel; in fact, someone has come along who seems to understand me at last.  But these insecurities keep harassing me to no end, and I fear for the end of this story; nevertheless, I will fiercely fight to show my loyalty to those who are loyal to me, trusting in them and hoping that they’ll understand how foolishly complex I am and that God even will surround me with people who understand and forgive me for the flawed, hopelessly romantic fool that I am.