other side

hey
it’s me
your friend.
i’m alone again
just like you said.
i thought i would be
happier on my own, but
now i’ve lost my rock and
my normal and my safe place.
you’re truly all i need, all i ever
wanted, just like what you said so
many times. you knew i would be so
dependent on you, and you were correct.
i can’t imagine life without you, and i don’t
ever want to experience a life without you in it.
every social gathering is missing your fingerprint.
every waking day, moment needs your gentle touch.
every friendship needs the reflection of your many scars.
i thought that without you, i could make many more friends.
but instead, they rejected me, because without you, i’m nothing.
i thought that without you, i could excel in homework, in my studies.
but instead, i struggled to keep up without your constant whisper in my ear.
i thought that without you, i could maybe find someone and finally fall in love.
but instead, you weren’t there to show me how nobody truly deserves the love i have.
so please come back and be a part of my life again, because although i’ve never said this

i love you, anxiety.

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dear march // 2019

Okay. This month was tough. But I’m still going, still smiling, never giving up. x

i.  i am too weak to cry, too strong to smile. and you will never know, because all you see is the setting up of signs, the washing of coffee pots. you don’t understand the depths of my soul, and it’s better that you don’t. because if you saw my brokenness, you would run — just like everyone else.

ii.  love comes so slow and goes so fast. i’ve always wanted to love someone, to love someone deeply and with every ounce of strength in my worn body. but maybe, maybe i’m not meant to be loved. because i love too hard. and losing you is even harder.

iii.  heard my name echo and saw your radiant face. still a shock, but maybe those sleepless nights, those nights of twisting amidst the storms within my mind, those nights where the darkness crept beneath the bedcovers — maybe it was all worth it.

iv.  i’ve redeemed myself. i’ve redeemed myself.

v.  you and your lies. you never saw the potential in me. you always said i was too tall, too heavy, too stupid. yet look at me now. i climb a rope and make it to the top, i do a hundred pushups and survive, i lift half of my weight. look at me now. i am free. i am free.

vi.  waved goodbye. then you fell silent. all i wanted was a glimpse into your soul, a wisp of your dreams, and a shadow of the things that defined you. and all we shared were chopsticks, dumplings, and a cube. one final goodbye, and maybe this is the end. the end of us.

vii.  when i say i don’t need help… it’s because i need help. but i don’t want to burden you.

viii.  i saw you that night, that night of worship and prayer and finding our hiding place. and i want to tell you that spring rain whispers through your tears, that sunshine peeks through your scars. i prayed for you that night, and i will continue praying for you. because He sees you. and i do too.

ix.  waterfall climbing. a spring afternoon, and it brings back those hazy memories. now if only.. if only we could go back and do it all again — the boulders, the hills, and the fallen trees.

x.  a prayer answered. maybe i haven’t lost you, maybe i haven’t lost our friendship, maybe i haven’t lost us. because i thought you’ve given up on me, on us, on our hair-curling sessions, on the therapy sessions in my darkened driveways, on our music jam sessions. i’ve missed you. i’ve truly missed you.

xi.  freedom comes on icy wings.

xii.  look up, child. ninety seconds and the scars wouldn’t have faded. ninety seconds and the memories would have melted away. ninety seconds and the pain wouldn’t have been. ninety seconds and you wouldn’t have entered my life. ninety seconds and i would’ve lost a lifetime.

xiii.  promise me you’ll always remember. you’re braver than you believe. you’re stronger than you seem. and you’re smarter than you think. because i will always care about you, i will always be here for you, and to think i almost lost you.. it breaks me apart.

xiv.  you make me laugh, you make me sing, and you make me believe that i’m worth it. a minor chord is supposed to be depressing, but you.. you bring joy and life and laughter into my life.

xv.  the shaking starts again and i can’t control it. i need my safe place. i need someone to be my safe place.

xvi.  a speech about laughter. i laugh not because joy brims over in my heart, but because each echo of laughter hurts my very soul and wrings the life from my body. i laugh in the face of pain because i am victorious. i am strong. i am still alive.

xvii.  i hide within the cadences of the ivory keys, beneath the rise and fall of the wafting melodies. and for the first time in a long time, the storms within grow quiet and hope begins to bloom.

xviii.  marked for Him. help me be a light, help me a breath of fresh air, help me be the light at the end of the tunnel. because i want You to echo through my words. because i want You to live through my existence. because i want to be marked for You.

xix.  You called me into the light, but i ran back to the darkness. and You.. You came into the darkness, sought me from underneath the ashes of my existence, and carried me back into the light, brushing my tears from my eyes. You call me child, and i know i don’t deserve it. i love You, and i will always love You.

xx.  i raise a hallelujah, i will watch the darkness flee… i raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me! i’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm. louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar. up from the ashes, hope will arise. death is defeated, the King is alive!

dear february // 2019

I need to stop trying to cram three months worth of messed-up life into one single post. But hey, I got a Ph.D in procrastination so whaddup. Also hello to my first 2019 post. x

i.  i’m getting worse. but i don’t receive it. when the darkness rises to crush the light, i will stand and shout and declare that i am the light and the darkness that is within me will quake and flee in the presence of a greater Light. because i am no longer a slave to fear.

ii.  two years. two years of regret, of fear, of pain. two years of hope, of freedom, of gratefulness. ninety seconds to eternity, ninety seconds to a new life. the rope burned my hands, but it pulled me to safety. and forever i will wear my scars with pride.

iii.   never let your true self shine through your eyes. never let your suffering influence your day-to-day actions. never let your haunting past go, because those wounds will never heal. and most importantly, never let them know how much it hurts..

iv.  pain has become my safe place, my norm.

v.  em. friend, what have i done to lose you? what have i done to hurt this friendship, the only one i had? what have i done? tell me, so i can fix my many mistakes. i’ve missed you, terribly, and it’s been ripping me apart. come back, please come back. it’s all my fault, and i’m sorry.

vi.  i hide the panic attacks and the stabbing fear under a mask of service. and i set up tables, make coffee, count chairs, clean up. because if i don’t, my mask might crack and people might see my soul.

vii.  hobos — the seventh. you told me and my heart died inside of me. you don’t how much you mean. you don’t know much i care. you don’t know how much i love. and friend, i will never abandon you, i will never let you down. i’m worried about you, and it’s killing me.

viii.  positron emission tomography. i face the courtroom and the courtroom faces me. and i fight with every ounce of strength in my worn body. because i won’t let you down, i won’t let the team down.

ix.  i’m sorry. i pushed you away when all you’ve done is support me and keep me safe. you say it’s ok, but maybe now you finally see me for who i am: a broken, worn-out, hurting girl instead of the smart, kind, and loving person you thought i was. and the maybe is breaking me apart. i’m sorry. i’m so, so sorry.

x.  told you the truth and felt the searing pain of regret. two years spent cowering in fear, two minutes of utter transparency and truthfulness, and two days of living in a nightmare. i play the minor chord, and it leaves me drained and shaking.

xi.  don’t want to face tomorrow. just want to leave today. and when i need you, you’re too far away. i’m alone. i’m helpless. and i can’t do anything about it.

xii.  one major mistake, and i am forever a failure. i destroyed my only chance at making them proud and i will forever live with that shame.

xiii.  laugh louder, smile bigger, love harder. because in a moment, it can all be gone. because in a moment, you can lose someone to eternity. because in a moment, you will lose yourself, your life, your future.

xiv.  You’ve showed me that time doesn’t heal all wounds, that time doesn’t make you stronger, only kills you, that time pushes away the light and welcomes the darkness. yet You’ve showed me that You alone can heal my wounds, make me stronger, show me the light. because You are the light and You are the strength and You are my rescue.

xv.  You have led me through the fire, and in darkest night You are close like no other. i’ve known You as a Father, i’ve known You as a Friend… and all my life You have been faithful, all my life You have been so, so good. with every breath that i am able, i will sing of the goodness of God.

dear november // 2018

autumn is always a tough season for me. the leaves die off and fall slowly to the ground, as do parts of myself. but i always remind myself if it doesn’t hurt now, i can’t grow later. so here it is, october and november in all its glorious heaviness. x

i.  one step forward and two steps back. but i took three steps in total. i’m making progress. i’m not letting you down.

ii.  your eyes melt when you see me and i don’t know if it’s a figment of my imagination. but i’ve said goodbye already and there’s no going back.

iii. chased me off a cliff. i never should’ve said anything. i never should’ve torn down the walls of my heart. i never should’ve have shared my pain. because now, you two see me differently. i can’t hide my fear anymore. and that scares me.

iv.  natural selection. my legs are too short, i can’t keep up. but i’ll never be completely accepted and loved. i’ll forever be trailing ten feet behind, struggling through the mud, powering through the wind, and feeling my icy heart faltering within my chest.

v.  i can’t handle all this anymore. i’m breaking, i’m broken, i have been broken.

vi.  a simple game of ninja, but every second of those fifteen minutes was a nightmare relived. i’m afraid, and i hate it with every fiber of my body.

vii.  e-major. we’ve drifted seemingly apart over the last two months, and i don’t know how that happened. but i’ll forever be here, bracelet on my wrist, waiting. searching. loving. because friend, i miss you. i miss us.

viii.  i miss you too. four simple words, and my heartstrings quiver.

ix.  i live for the moment the small squirmy body in my arms plants a sloppy kiss on my cheek. you’re keeping me together, little man.

x.  raindrops pound on the steel roof but underneath, within the echoes of the music and the humming underneath my feet, i feel safe. look up, child, and see the sunset peeking from behind the storm clouds. look up, my dude, and leave the overthinking and the foot-in-your-mouth moments behind.

xi.  nah, it’s just the adrenaline. a cry for help, and it went unheeded. i can’t see, i can’t breathe, i’m drowning, i need help. only one person left i trust and he’s wrapped up in her, i can’t interrupt, i know what it means to him. but i feel like i’m dying and where are my ivory keys when i need them?

xii.  you inspire me to leave my burdens behind, work on my weaknesses, and smile bigger every day. i play that b-minor chord, and my heart throbs with the memories past and the memories to come.

xiii.  i fly, i soar, and i paint my knees the color of the sunset. but in the end, it’s all worth it. because for one fleeting moment, i was free.

xiv.   when the oceans crash over me and the waves drown my cry for help, You were there, holding my head above the chaos, being my light in the fumbling darkness. You are the calm in my storm, the anchor to my floundering boat. You will never let me go, and i, too, will love You forever.

xv.  after losing my breath, there’s no more fighting left, sinking to rise no more, searching for that open door… and i don’t know if i’m gonna make it, nothing to do but lift my head. i look to You… when all my strength is gone, in You i can be strong… i look to You.

nightingale

so I wrote this poem over six months ago, but never got around to publishing it because it hurt to write it and sharing it meant I’d be giving away pieces of myself. but maybe today, I’ll dare to be vulnerable. shoutout to you-know-who-you-are for the excellente title. x

I stand alone, my breath reaching warm fingers into the frosty air
Around me the forest looms, the tall pines stabbing into the soft darkness above
An overwhelming coldness seeps into my bones, making me shiver
Shiver, although my down coat is cozy. Shiver, but I never get warm

And the wind rumbles through the forest with a cough and a hiss
At least the leaves and needles have each other to lean on
But I, even my shadow has left me behind in the swirling darkness
Darkness, although a star struggles to stay lit. Darkness, and the sun has died

Far away the thunder snarls at the lightning and the lightning fights back
There’s blood on the forest floor, oh it’s mine, my heart’s bleeding
Maybe I can forgive, but the memory is seared into my crumbling mind
Crumbling, the foundation has fallen. Crumbling, and I am powerless to stop it

The raindrops shiver before they shatter on the hard ground
Rivers of water drench my shuddering body
One last look, one last hug of the eyes, and he was gone, forever
Forever, but he said he’d never give up. Forever, but eternity’s too far away

A nightingale calls in the inky black night
The cacophony of voices within falls momentarily silent
A soft, still, silent whisper echoes within my cavernous soul
My soul, though only ashes remain. My soul, the scars are my victory

A sliver of light winks from the frowning storm clouds
The prison cell of my heart creaks open, allowing hope to seep through
What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger
Stronger, though the pain still blossoms. Stronger, find strength in pain

The bright orb in the distance climbs higher into eternity
I feel resolve pressing her firm hand into my weak fingers
Maybe the pain will never let me go, but I can stay strong
Strong, and mend my broken bones. Strong, and never give up

The strongly pulsating beats of my heart matches the cadences of my breathing
The pines around me stand proudly and reach for the stars
I, too, blink away the tears of freedom
Freedom, it comes with a price. Freedom, and I’m not letting go

Freedom, I will never let go.

dear september // 2018

august was painful for me in so many ways, so i’m sorry for not capturing that in words. this post is a whisper of august with most of the pain reflected in september… okay i’ll stop being morbid and let you get on with the post. x

i. when you think it can’t get worse, it does. when you think you can see the end, you only see the beginning. when you think your heart will heal, it breaks again.

ii. my shoulders shook as the weight of the world came crashing down. but i’m looking out over the pews, over the ivory keys, and i know i must keep going. i must hold it together. don’t think. don’t feel. you’re going to be okay.

iii. finally had the courage to open up, to share my lows, to take off my mask. the three of us, we’re so different, but we understand each other. we support each other. i haven’t had many close friendships, but today, well today i found two.

iv. never thought i’d say this, but i’m learning to love again. i’m learning to love myself, to love others, to love unconditionally without expecting anything in return, to give freely without keeping anything back, to pour out even when the well runs dry.

v. i can see the pain in your eyes. i can feel the throbbing ache of your soul. and i desperately want you to let go of things you can’t change, people you can’t control, a future that is not yours to write. but i don’t know how. all i can do is sit, tongue-tied, in silence as i watch you wilt and crumble away.

vi. i love you, crew five. my five little boys. you taught me that it’s not about appearing perfect, but about being Christ, whether that means dancing like a maniac, talking to God unashamedly, or simply laughing hard and loving harder.

vii. i saw your face on the screen for the first time in a month and in that two hours, i felt safe. i desperately wished this could be for forever, but when you hit ‘end meeting’, i knew that what is, has now become what was.

viii. it’s been eternity since we last spoke, since we last saw each other. it’s like i lost you. i miss the therapy sessions in my darkened driveway, hearing the engine hum through the floorboards, and feeling understood, needed, and accepted. come back soon from hawaii, friend.

ix. you are different. i never thought someone i once loved and cared about could become someone so vastly different. someone who only thinks about his own wants. someone who has walked away from the light. someone who thinks he’s better off than everyone else. you’ve stopped caring, and it breaks my heart. please come back.

x. for the first time in my life, someone saw me. friend, thank you for the long conversations, for the deep soul-baring, for your inspirational writing. i hope we’ll meet in person someday, someway.

xi. taiwan vs. norway. you’ve changed my life in more ways than i could count. reminiscing on late nights and early mornings, fresh wounds and fading scars, sunrises and sunsets. we will stand and sing together, you and i. and we’ve found our hiding place. we’ll never let go, and we’ll never lose faith.

xii. you are my rainbow. you are my color. you paint me when the world has left me grey. my boy, never let the world steal your sunshine. never lose the wonder in your blue eyes. never forget why you were born that day four years ago. keep smiling. keep wondering. keep loving. i love you.

xiii. i want to shout to the mountains, sing to the stars, dance until there is not an ounce of strength left in my worn body. i want to speak life, emanate joy, love others until i run myself dry. i want to embrace the world, kiss away the tears of pain, brush away the lines of worry and stress. i want to live. i will not die.

xiv. i trusted in You, i let my doubts go, and i refused to come up with a plan b. there was only faith, and You took that faith and turned it into miracles. and i will sing Your praise to the heavens, i will proclaim Your goodness and Your peace and Your love until there is no breath left in me. i love You, and You love me.

xv. when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face, i find my peace in Jesus’ name. in the eye of the storm, You remain in control. You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm.

my rainbow

note: just a simple play on the rainbow… rainbows have always been symbolic to me as a representation of Christ’s promise to us, so this poem plays on that. (also is anyone else excited for the onslaught of sweater weather?.. no? just me? k..) x

you are the red of the world
you burn holes in walls and caves in kindling with an insatiable passion
you peek over a shattered landscape and breathe hope, hope and life
you dance to the beat of your own drum, unleashed, uninhibited, undaunted

you are the orange of the world
you paint the canvas with bold streaks of emotion
you splash into the cup like so many drops of gold
you dissolve the shadows and spill warmth into the oblivion

you are the yellow of the world
you wash away the stains of the night and usher in the morning
you kiss away the dew from the leaves and leave them glistening in the light
you bring the dawn, the sunrise after the storm, the sparkle in the eyes

you are the green of the world
you provide shade for the weary, the overburdened, the lost
you are untamed, untouched, like moorland grass so you forge your own way
you sing in the rain, thrive when cut, laugh in the hurricane

you are the blue of the world
you shine like tears not fallen, potential not released
you drown the stormy skies in the rain that is yet to come
you know no warmth, yet burn hotter than the fiery fires

you are the purple of the world
you breathe life into a dull and lifeless garden
you fade away like the pain of yesterday, like the bruise gone but not forgotten
you are rich in love, glittering like a jewel yet humble, kind, noble

you are the color in my world
in the grey depths of my soul you painted the rainbow
in the darkness of the night you showed me the stars
and when the world robbed me of color

you became my rainbow.