Every Day, Forever

Last night I prayed.

Super weird, I know. I didn’t even tell my Boyfriend about it, I felt so weird.

But I did. I prayed.

I was laying in my bed, tossing and turning (which is pretty much every night for me). Then I just thought, “Maybe I should pray.”

I didn’t pray for sleep. Although, that probably would’ve been a good idea to add in there. I prayed for my relationship, for my Boyfriend. That we be together and safe and strong. I haven’t been feeling unsafe or weak or insecure in the relationship, I just suddenly wanted to feel like Someone had my Back on it.

I cried while I prayed.

I didn’t want to pray aloud at first. I think I always thought it was dumb, talking at nothing. But in my head, I kept beginning my prayer over and over. It didn’t feel like enough. It didn’t feel like He heard me.

So I prayed aloud. And I cried while I prayed. I told Him I would Try–that I wouldn’t promise to be on the Righteous Path, or what have you. But that I would Try to have Faith, and to be and do Good.

It felt good. It felt Powerful. I think I’m going to pray tonight, as well.

And maybe every day, forever.

-HH

Home

Before God gave him to me, I was a weak foundation
There were cracks in me from Surface to Earth

Before God gave him to me, I had no intention of Building myself
Pieces of me sat around, just out of reach, and I wasn’t even Stretching for them
Before God gave him to me, the rain poured–
poured–
poured–
Until no part of me remained Dry
Then God gave him to me

When God gave him to me, I decided to fill the cracks
I needed to be the best so that one day he would Build on my Base
No other blocks of cement could be more appealing than mine
When God gave him to me, I decided to fight

When God gave him to me, he took the planks of wood that make up my soul
None of them match or are the right length
Yet still, he is building a house out of me

When God gave him to me, I was Cold to my Core
Unwilling to be Punctured by the reality of Love
I have since learned how to Warm a Room

When God gave him to me, I was sure he wasn’t Real
Sometimes I squeeze him to remind myself that it’s not a Dream
He supplies my Frame with Warmth and Protection
He covers me from the Wind and pushes me in the Sun

Thank God gave him to me
He Built a House from my Broken Bits
Together, we are Home.

-HH

Thankful

I opened a chocolate muffin packet the other day and the muffin had a pale green, fuzzy substance on a part of it. Enraged and grossed out, I wrapped it up and promptly tossed it in the trash. I opened another one to find the muffin perfectly fresh and just what I needed.

I also found myself, for the first time in a very long time, realizing how lucky I am to be able to throw away a muffin and immediately get a new one. At no point did I even consider eating the muffin (which, also, smelled faintly of plastic), nor had it been a struggle for me to obtain them.

It’s really easy for me to get caught up in the stress of college–because, trust me, there’s a lot of it. I stress about my health and my grades and my career path and pretty much everything I do, honestly. A lot of the times I wonder if college is even worth it.

But finals are over now (thankfully). And I know I passed all my classes. I’m passionate about what I’m learning, and when I go home I have bed(s) and family and food and love. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for those things when they’re the norm in my life. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for the opportunities I’ve been granted with my education.

I’m working on remembering to be thankful for them anyway.

-HH

Working, not Breaking

So I had a bunch of things I was thinking about writing about while I binge How to Get Away with Murder on Spring Break. Then there was a scene in this episode where Annalise (Viola Davis) is in an AA meeting. And I thought of my father.

My Boyfriend and I got into a fight  a few weeks ago. It’s the closest we’ve ever come to breaking up. I’ll explain.

We were at a party, surrounded by people with whom I was having tension–his friends. I was surrounded by alcohol–a thing I have so many negative feelings about that I work to process every day. My Boyfriend, while he knows about them, doesn’t get it. He hasn’t had the kind of experiences I’ve had with alcohol. I’m happy he hasn’t. But that can make things difficult.

The party became too much for me almost immediately. I couldn’t handle it. I walked home alone. Try as I might, my brain wouldn’t stop. The panic felt overwhelming. I was alone, with my brain running in circles it hadn’t gone in quite awhile. And I tried to let him have his fun, I did, but I couldn’t.

So I called him. Told him I needed him to come home. And he was drunk on the other end, I could tell. But he loves me, so I figured he’d come back when I told him I needed him.

He didn’t.

Or, I mean, he did. Like three hours later.

And we talked about it the next day. I got mad, he apologized.

“I should have come home,” he told me.

But when I demanded to know why he didn’t come home earlier, he couldn’t give me anything worth anything. Because “I was playing Beer Pong,” just doesn’t compare to “My girlfriend needs me” in my opinion.

“It’s going to take time for me to forgive you,” I finally said. “You’re going to have prove yourself to me.”

Weeks later, we were riding home to Spring Break. And for some reason, that night crossed my mind. And I turned down the radio.

“I’m not meaning to start a fight, but I told you it was going to take time for me to forgive you. And I think you deserve to know that I haven’t forgiven you, yet.”

And he got mad. When I tried to grab his hand, he pulled away.

“That was weeks ago and I think there’s a bigger problem if you’re still holding on to it.”

And I laughed. “With me? Oh yeah, definitely.”

I think maybe we probably almost broke up again, in the car. Which would’ve broken my rule, so I’m glad that didn’t happen.

“You picked beer over me,” and I hate to admit that my voice broke when I started to yell, but it did. “And a lot of people have picked beer over me, my entire life.”

He got quiet. And all the anger I had felt from him before changed.

All the anger in me shifted. “I’m not angry at you. I’m scared. That that’s going to become normal.”

When the fighting is over, we always ask each other. “Do you have anything else you want to say?”

Normally it’s nothing big. Quiet I love you’s. Hand kisses. Hugs and I’m sorry’s.

But this time it smacked me.

“I didn’t realize that it was about more than just me.”

I always know about the things that make us different. Like he’s Catholic, and I love writing. But I forget about the bigger things that make us different. I think he usually forgets them too.

Alcohol, to him, means a fun night. Alcohol, to me, means my father forcing my sister to drive his car when she was twelve, while she was crying. It means my father dragging my mother through a verbal slew so awful I can’t believe I ever trusted one awful thing he said to me about her. It means my mother throwing her wedding ring out the window at 3AM. It means broken doors being replaced five times in ten years. It means broken windshields from my mother’s feet, scratches across my stepdad’s face, holes in walls (and ceilings and cabinets).

So we’re working on it. I’m working on realizing that I have no reason to believe that my Boyfriend is like my Parents. He’s working on realizing that I didn’t grow up like him.

We’re working, not breaking.

I kind of, maybe, definitely want to marry him.

Pretty sure the feeling’s mutual.

-HH

Icosahelpme

My friend Cameron wrote about the girl she was in high school not too long ago, but I (as usual) was late to the game reading it, and only got to it just now. I really liked Cameron’s post. She talked about her edges being softened as she opened her heart to God. It made me feel good reading it.

There aren’t a lot of things that make me feel good, right now. There are moments, yeah, and days, even, where my edges don’t feel rough and my brain doesn’t feel like it’s going a thousand miles a minute. But I feel like I keep trying to climb my way out of a hole that I’m actually, accidentally, digging for myself, somehow.

So there’s that triangle of balance that’s not actually a triangle, right? Where the expectation is that you only have to balance Social Life, Grades, Sleep–but the reality is that you have to balance Family, Friends, Relationships, Grades, Money, Sleep, Health, General Ability to Feel like a Person. I wish life were as simple as a triangle.

It’s probably something more like an icosahedron.

I keep trying to find a thing that feels like it can create balance. Right now it feels like if one thing is wrong (and something always is) then I’m turned inside out, or sideways, or backwards, or upside down. Nothing feels small. One thing feels…colossal.

I remember this feeling from high school. This burned out, End of World feeling. I remember being stressed about my grades, my future, a boy, friends, family, my body, money. I remember thinking that One Day I was going to be not quite an adult yet, renting a house with like seven of my friends just off campus, going to class, kicking ass, and taking names.

I guess that’s why I need to quit daydreaming because One Day is Now, and it’s definitely Not That.

I’m not saying that Now is bad. I love my Boyfriend (so much, it’s kind of gross). I love my friends (they aren’t plentiful–but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality). I love my family (I’m going to be an aunt!). I love my classes (which sounds like a lie–but I really, genuinely do). But I still feel like I’m missing something.

It makes me wonder if Jesus is the answer, the way Cam talked about.

And I shit on my Boyfriend about his religion, a lot. So I’m sure when he reads this he’ll expect something harsh or rude or insincere.

Because frankly, religion makes me uncomfortable. The idea that an Omnipotent Being is Judging me is terrifying. Mostly because I’m already pretty busy judging myself. Likewise, I think the rules are dumb. I don’t think any God will love His children any less for not believing in him. What a narcissistic dick, amirite? But, further, I don’t think any God will love His children any less for loving someone of their sex, or for not identifying their Sex with their Gender, or for eating Meat on Fridays during Lent. I don’t think God gives two shits about whether or not you come up to me and talk to me about Him, I really don’t. Because you know what I think God cares about?

I think God cares about how you made me feel when you walked away. Or how you’ve made anyone feel ever.

I don’t think God cares about things we do that don’t actually hurt people. I think God’s got bigger fish to fry, if you will. Like perpetuating Love. Like perpetuating Happiness. Like perpetuating Change. I digress.

My God doesn’t really fit the mold of any religion I know. Every God I’ve heard of has these arbitrary rules. Every God has this Black and White way of looking at things: Did you follow all the rules? Heaven. Did you break any? Hell.

But if God made us, then doesn’t He know we’re not Black and White Creatures? Does one action really define a person?

I hope not. I am not a bad person, by any means. But that doesn’t mean I’ve always done good things, either.

But I don’t think stealing a rubber pencil from the library in elementary school means I can’t kick it with the Big Guy Upstairs. That’s just me, though.

-HH

Joy Cometh in the Morning

Today I ran for an Officer position within my fraternity and I lost. I sat through the rest of Executive-Board voting, I got into my car, and my Boyfriend (bless him) suffered through me going through a flurry of emotions as I finally got to voice my grief at the loss.

And for a minute I really wanted to fall into my hole of self pity. I remembered a post I wrote awhile back, which started off with, “I am not the girl who gets.”

I wanted to reaffirm that. To kick myself while I was down and convince myself that the Universe has just decided that I do not deserve the things I want, and that my fellow Brothers do not find me capable.

But I didn’t. I cried because I was disappointed, because I was mad, because I was frustrated and bitter.

“I wish I had never gone up there,” I told my Boyfriend.

And when I was nominated for a position to be voted on next week, I couldn’t even stop my response. “I don’t want to do that again.”

Because I don’t. I am not beaten or bruised or broken, but I am not willing to get up there for something that I want again. Right now, I don’t think I want anything enough to get up there and fight for it.

My pride is shot, my confidence even lower than before. And it will be picked up (I hope) but not tonight.

Tonight I will eat my feelings and be a little angry. Tomorrow I will get up and be better.

I found a Bible verse that I quite liked that’s kind of my motto for the night. Since I’m trying out this whole faith thing, I guess quoting Bible verses is a thing I’m into now.

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. – Psalm 30:5

-HH

Summer Bite

Today I want to go on a roadtrip. Driving to class this morning, I put the window down and yelled about how it’s a beautiful day. My Boyfriend agreed.

The air felt fresh and the sun just a little too hot, hinting at the bite of summer.

The Morning Agreement is that my Boyfriend gets the Aux cord on the way to school. Whatever song he was playing, I felt like my father would’ve liked it.

“I miss my dad today,” I said. And he squeezed my leg.

So I want to go on a roadtrip:

To the house where my Father died. I wonder if it is still half-empty with things that no longer smell of him. I wonder if the pool room has been overrun by spiders and lizards. I wonder if there are still CDs lying around, a drawer full of koozies, an ashtray in every room, a pair of my stepmom’s glasses in every drawer. The green-clothed chair with wooden arms. I wonder if it will still feel empty when I walk through the door. I wonder if the house has been condemned.

To the gas station we frequented as kids. We would take late night drives to it for cigarettes (for my father) and ice cream (for me, my sister, and my father). He would never have shoes on, my dad, and he’d peek through the window panes of the building, “If it’s the right lady, she won’t care. But if it’s the one who doesn’t like me, we’ll have to go back so I can grab some shoes.” And we’d giggle.

To Duffy’s. I’d beg for a burger from Duffy’s every time I saw my dad. The fries are delicious.

To the Chase bank our dog Buddy got loose by once. We had two dogs–Buddy and Angel–and somehow Buddy had escaped off his leashed. It was late at night. We called for him and laughed.

Today I want to drive to the beach, or to a lake. I want to feel water on my toes, hear it run along land. Today I want my brain to stop feel like it’s running too slow. I want to each oranges from my grandmother’s backyard. Today I want summer.

Normally I do not remember good things when I remember my dad.

Today I remembered. Today I wanted. Today I missed.

-HH