I scrounge for change. I bring my own travel mug
to school because it’s cheaper that way. I start books
but do not finish them. I think about love obsessively.
Everything I do reminds me of my grandfather.
My grandmother visits and talks to me about God,
wants me to believe, but I do not have that kind of faith.
I only believe in the easy things, like red lipstick
and coffee before noon and writing essays in pen.
I make my mind up about boys and then I unmake it,
compare us to continental drift, two ships passing.
I hit the snooze button too often. Write disposable
poems on napkins and old homework, try to discipline
myself when it comes to removing my makeup
before bed. I am trying to understand men better,
cut them some slack, write about them less. I dream
about oceans and mountains and wolves. I do not
always love myself. I do not always forgive myself.
I write apology letters and do not send them. Usually,
I do not mean it when I tell someone “goodbye.””
“Aquarius: This is a week for working so hard, for trying, for being as daring as you can as you try to build a life that works. It’s a week for committing to yourself, to your own bright vision of the future, to your weird wild desires. Get bold and get brave and trust your gut and still, always, take care of yourself, take care of your body, be gentle with your funny fragile brain. Listen to songs about trying to connect. Listen to songs about trying to make it through. Listen to songs so loud you almost lose yourself.”
“The nothing weighs a fucking ton”
“You give a lot of great advice about what to do. Do you have any advice of what not to do?
Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do. Don’t stay when you know you should go or go when you know you should stay. Don’t fight when you should hold steady or hold steady when you should fight. Don’t focus on the short-term fun instead of the long-term fall out. Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore. Don’t seek joy at all costs. I know it’s hard to know what to do when you have a conflicting set of emotions and desires, but it’s not as hard as we pretend it is. Saying it’s hard is ultimately a justification to do whatever seems like the easiest thing to do—have the affair, stay at that horrible job, end a friendship over a slight, keep loving someone who treats you terribly. I don’t think there’s a single dumbass thing I’ve done in my adult life that I didn’t know was a dumbass thing to do while I was doing it. Even when I justified it to myself—as I did every damn time—the truest part of me knew I was doing the wrong thing. Always. As the years pass, I’m learning how to better trust my gut and not do the wrong thing, but every so often I get a harsh reminder that I’ve still got work to do.”