dollhouse love

 

One more time, we got this.

Even without glasses, because eyesight is overrated and headphones help me more. And because I left them on the floor, fumbling in the forty degree dark, crawling to the fireplace with my keyboard and blanket. And I left them in a gazebo at midnight when I was a little more awkward and making out in cars, and there was no ocean where we lived so I tried instead to drown myself in love. This kid in a band held my hand back down those small town blocks, and helped me find what I needed so I could see the streets again.

Twelve summers later, he inked up those fingers for me, and held mine across half the country. We crossed all our t’s and dotted our i’s and had it all mapped out to get entirely lost in the magic that happens when you strip down a life to nothing more than two glowing souls, tangled together and unattached to the tangible.

There should be a warning label though, where my mouth is. Trying to build me a life from broken things takes so much work, and being forced to first break down all my fucked up walls is so entirely unfair. All the roads caught on fire in the rear view, and eventually I told him I broke the microwave because the mediocre broke me and maybe he shouldn’t have married me. But just to prove all his patience he plugged it back in the wall, and laughed at me, I suppose for thinking I am so tough. He taught me you can’t jump off bridges that have already been burnt and then kept the keys safely in his pocket while I kicked and cried like a child until I fell asleep.

Just a kid and his radio, he helped me to find what I needed so I could hear the music again.

Now when we wake up, golden light and warm lips give us the pines on the wall in a shadow, like the projectors that made desks romantic in the dark. Temporary but beautiful nonetheless, until the tasks of the day takeover and our tender hearts are told time and time again that there is so much to do and be done, but no one taught us how and they all forgot the why. So we spin in circles up the stairs and down them again, sending grocery lists in texts where love letters should spill and signing school papers until the sun has set and smoke fills the sky and his fingers find my hair. The string lights come undone and all the children sleep and when they wake up, so do I.

Sometimes, it will be this way. Like a dollhouse in your palm, you can see the whole picture. Watch me paint my eyes and put myself together, watch me twirl around the deck and have tea in pretty dresses and mostly empty rooms. Sometimes the electricity is on in all the halls and closets, and life is so transparent and weightless, like the mountain air that pours in where the walls are cut in half. And I want you to see how happiness works, so I put on a sweater instead of closing the shutters.

And you can watch me take it off, too. Blushing suits my pretty porcelain face.

Sometimes, you may choose to be my witness, and take from what you see all that you need to remember how hearts keep beating.

And when your arms are tired from carrying all that you do, and you just need a lullaby, find me. Tucked away in my imaginary attic, just a small amber square in the middle of the dark blue morning. You can see tiny splinters and too many tacky gel pens and a notebook with blue lines on the paper and the name Parker, scribbled in between the messy math problems. Mostly, you can seek comfort in the lyrics, and the effortless way they tug at all the corners, in cursive or bold or helvetica black.

Sometimes, everything else is dark. The only thing you will find is a torn page, or a fuckton of them crumpled in the cobwebs, catching the tiny plastic curtains on fire and choking the life out of the thoughts in my lace bonnet head.

But some of us have learned to keep ourselves warm in the most unconventional ways.

 

tongue tied

I don’t have time to write. I don’t have time to write, or do anything else, because I have small children at home.

No.

I don’t have the attention span to write. I don’t have the energy to write.

I don’t have the emotional stability to write. The mental clarity.

I have time.

Why do I write?

I write because I do. Because I always have. Because I feel better. Because I breathe.

I write because I have overflowing thoughts, and they spill into words on paper.

I don’t know why I write, but I need to. There are many things we do but don’t understand.

So why can’t I write now? Fear of perfection. Fear of writing something I don’t want to read? Something I don’t want to admit is inside my head?

I have time to write. I have time to do anything I want. We all do, right?

I don’t write because there are dishes. Because there is laundry. Because there are doctor’s appointments to schedule. Because there is dinner to cook. Because my journal to keep myself on track of things is already days behind. I don’t write because of the guilt that I should be playing outside too. Because of the guilt that I should be walking the dog. I should be taking the kids to the park. I should be enjoying a movie cuddled with them instead of putting on the tv for them while I escape into my headphones for peace and quiet.

I don’t write because I’ve forgotten how to write for myself.

I don’t write because I can make money. I can be paid for my writing, if I am writing in a certain voice. If I am writing about a certain product. If I am reaching a certain audience. If I am telling you what you need to hear, or what a brand wants you to hear. If I save up all the thoughts for the perfect flow of words that will go viral. I can make money if I do those things, so I don’t write for myself.

Because you don’t want to read this. I don’t want to read this. I don’t want to give life to what’s in my mind. I don’t want to let it be real.

I don’t have time to write. But I do. I don’t write because I am afraid of myself. I am afraid that I will feel something. I am afraid that I will not be good enough. I don’t write because I want to be a good mom, and I feel like I can’t be. Like I don’t enjoy the things I’m supposed to. That normal people don’t need to write out their feelings just to have patience for ten minutes of playing with barbie dolls in the moment.

I don’t write because it’s easier to press pause. It’s easier to step outside of the moment and let the weight of all the things I want to do wash over me, to suffocate me in paralyzing guilt.

I don’t write because I would rather be at the beach. Or hiking through a forest. Or getting a new tattoo. Or I decide to redecorate my house. I don’t write because if it feels like a job, I want to run away. If it feels like a chore, I want to feel alive.

I don’t write because I am distracted. I am distracted by everything. I am distracted by needing a four letter label for my distraction. By trying to hide my distraction, or medicate my distraction. By trying to rationalize why and how my brain chemistry works and put it into explicable little definitions. I am distracted by trying to make sense of what I am, and who I am. I am worried that everyone else can see the mess of wires tangled behind my eyes. I’m overwhelmed by the pressure I place on myself.

I don’t write because I am worried someone will read it. I am worried someone will tell me I am an inspiration, and I will feel like an imposter. I don’t write because my words can hurt. I am afraid that the things I have to say will break someone into pieces. Or show everyone all my broken pieces.

I don’t write because I don’t know what to fucking say. I am afraid everyone will tell me I am excellent and eloquent, and I will look in the mirror and see my flaws. And deny that I do. And try to take the compliments with grace. How do I do it all? ‘Oh, haha, I don’t know, it just comes natural.’

It doesn’t. I don’t do it all. I curl up in my bed and cry. And I feel like a failure. And I let those thoughts consume me and I rush around at the last minute to wipe my tears and put on some lipstick and make sure the kids don’t have dirty nails and polish up the surface of our life and I cover up the crazy for you. Or at least make the crazy look cute and use terms like “hot mess”.

I don’t write because it’s never quiet. Because there is always someone screaming or crying or chewing or needing their diaper changed or barking or something boiling or beeping or asking me questions. I don’t write because I am needed in a million other ways. And when I could write, I can’t just write like this.

I can’t write because who cares what my banana pudding recipe is like. You all have pinterest too. I have no secrets to share. Why am I unique? I don’t write because I don’t feel like I am special.

I don’t write because I am not entitled. I don’t write because I don’t think I am enough. I am not enough to be placed on a pedestal, to have followers. Why me? I am not more important than you because I have a messy head and my chaos happens to look like creativity.

I don’t write because what if someone takes me seriously? What if this ‘little blog of mine’ is not just a phase? What if it’s ok to spend my days taking photos of my life and sharing my diary with hundreds of thousands of people?

I don’t write because I don’t take myself seriously. I don’t write because if I do, I feel vulnerable. And confused why anyone cares what I have to say. What is everyone searching for that they think they will find in the alphabetic vomit that I type into a keyboard?

I don’t write because this is not a safe space. Because my words are powerful, and they can make changes. They can change me, they can cause legal action, they can persuade others, and they can change the world. And that’s scary as fuck. I’m not powerful.

I don’t write because there is no safe space. Someone could always read what I write, no matter where I write it. The only really safe space is inside my head.

I don’t write because I’ve been abused. Because I question everything I do in every moment of the day, because I’ve been taught to walk on eggshells and overanalyze my words and actions. Because I am too busy making sure I look like I have my shit together, convincing everyone I am strong and unaffected by the years of emotional turmoil that’s in the past. Because it’s not in the past – it still spins in my head every waking moment.

I don’t write because I am impulsive. I don’t trust myself to believe the things I say after I say them, enough to feel certain about the results. When I say things, it makes things happen. I move across the country, I make people feel things. I make people fall in love, with things, with places, with me. I affect the lives of everyone around me. I don’t want to be responsible for that sort of thing. What if I change my mind? What if I get bored and unhappy as usual? What if everyone sees that I really have no idea what I’m doing because I say the opposite of something I was so sure of yesterday?

I don’t write because there are rules, you know. Even though this isn’t a real job, in the real world, where people really respect you and what you do as work. There are still rules. Because posts have to be this many words, and they have to have this many well-lit photos with eye-catching text overlays. Because sentences have to end in periods and begin with capital letters and you have to share it all on Twitter with a catchy headline and your Facebook photos have to be certain dimensions and you have to plan an editorial calendar around the holidays and you have to be relatable and you have to share good content on a regular predictable schedule and you have to engage and you have to plan your stories with a purpose and a vision and treat it like a business and you have to do this and that and you have to follow the fucking rules, don’t you know? You can’t break the rules.

I don’t write because I think the rules are fucking dumb. I don’t write because I am afraid that the way I write is not how you’re supposed to. Because the way I write is the way I think and the way I think isn’t normal either. And who cares what I think? I am not an authority.

I’m just kind of a mess. I don’t write because I can’t anymore without admitting that.

So there it is.