Not All That Bad

I wish I could say that 2016 ended on a better note. The last few months have been rough and the last few weeks have been even rougher. Despite the whirlwind of stress, depression, hurt and a mix of many other emotions, when I think about it, this year wasn’t all that bad.

This year brought me on priceless adventures. I’ve done things I never thought I’d have a chance to do and have gone places I never thought I’d have a chance to go. I’ve even had the opportunity to meet a number of new people. Overall, I’ve done a lot, seen a lot and learned a lot.

The last couple weeks have made me think and within that realm of thinking, I’ve made some pretty serious decisions. They haven’t been easy. I’ve bounced back and forth at least a dozen times. Although scary now, in the long run it’ll be worth it.

Sometimes the toughest choices are also the scariest, for better or worse. At times it can feel like standing on the edge of a cliff, not having that final push to jump off. We never really know what’s at the bottom, just like we never know what a new year will bring, but there’s still that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach telling you to make a move. I think it’s at those times we simply have to jump.

I’ve learned that it’s easy to let all the tears, all the hurt and all the darkness overshadow and eventually consume the laughter, joy and light. Sometimes it’s easier to remember the bad times because in remembering the good we realize what we have lost.

The saying goes, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” In every experience in life we learn and grow. With every experience we feel, for better or worse. Even in the worse of times, maybe the pain means you feel more and care an extreme amount. Hurting means you once had something that you loved and we should never regret the things that once made us happy.

This year was a year that gave me more then I could’ve ever dreamed, but it also took a lot away. It was a year of great highs and major lows. It was a year of joy and laughter as much as it was a year of pain and tears. It was a year of love and lost. It was a year of some doors closing and others opening. It was a year of possibly losing myself and then finding myself again. It was a year like no other and because of it, I’m stronger then ever before. I’m the person I am today.

I hope in 2016 you’ve all learned something, whether it’s been about yourself or in general. I hope you’ve all had the opportunity to grow. I hope 2016 has been good to you and that 2017 will be equally as good, even better.

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Ghosts

the risen specters
once buried
in the graveyard of memories
now haunt my every step
make my heart race
pull me in
embrace me
with beautiful dreams
as tears cascade
you run through my veins
a toxic chemical
lethal
a drug
irresistible
a touch
electric
a feeling
unshakable
as memories are seared
to my skin
my mind
my heart
like tattoo ink
forever carried
shall slowly return
to the earth
while spirits are laid to rest
in the graveyard of memories

Final Closure

Words are a tricky thing. They stand on the tip of our tongue, are unable to come out, or spill uncontrollably from our mouth. We all have those things we regret saying or those things we never had a chance to say.

Maybe some of you will be thinking that I should be over this by now, but I’ve realized that feelings such as love don’t quickly fade and turn to dust. While part of me has moved on, I can still feel another part of me slightly holding on. Things changed in an instant and I think I’ve been searching for answers as to why. I think I’ve been looking for answers I’ll never find. Now I realize what I’ve really been searching for is closure.

I’m not sure he deserves to know the things that will appear in this letter, in fact he doesn’t, not after what he did, but it has occurred to me these last few days that I can’t completely move on and fully focus on another man, whoever he may be, until my mind is cleared of him. So this letter, these words, are my final closure.

Dear Handsome,

It’s been weeks, months, and most days you walk around this place treating me like a ghost. I say hi and try to talk to you because I don’t want to be rude, but even if you respond, most times, you barely look at me. After everything we’ve been through and shared together, that hurts more then any horrible, nasty thing you could possibly ever say.

I’m sure you think I’m being ridiculous or overthinking things or even blame me for being the one who walked away, but I think you walked away a long time ago without even telling me. Yes, there was a time when I was mad at you and even a time where I hated you, but those feelings are such a waste of time and energy. I’m done. The things you think you did that upset me – well they did – but there’s more to it. The reasons you think, they’re not the reasons I walked away, but a culmination of everything. There were little things that you started doing, or stopped doing, that weren’t right. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but in this situation, I did nothing wrong. The only thing I ever did was love you. And if that’s wrong, then, I don’t want to be right.

Walking away from you, from us, is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I didn’t walk away because I wanted to. I didn’t walk away because I stopped loving you. I walked away because I had to. In loving you, I put all my energy into pleasing you and making you happy and, as strange as it may sound, I think, I almost forgot what it was like to be happy myself. In the end, in loving you, I think I almost forgot to love myself.

Part of me still wishes we would’ve met at another time – before life took hold of you, took a bite and tore you apart – but this was our time and I don’t regret a moment of it.

Part of me believes that a small piece of my heart will always love you. In a lot of ways you were special to me.

I do believe that there was a time where you truly cared for me, but there was also a time where you told me not to wait for you. Well, for a long time, I waited, but after everything these past few months, I can’t wait anymore. The only reason I ever stopped fighting for you was because you stopped fighting for me. So I’m moving on.

There are people in this world who will never treat me poorly, never take me for granted and always do their best to appreciate me. Somewhere in this world there is a man who will love me and cherish me and I will not make him suffer because I’m stuck on you. I will not make myself suffer because I’m waiting for a ship that will never come – you.

As I said, I don’t regret our time together. You gave me more then you’ll ever know. You taught me things about myself and things in general. We can all learn something from each other and we all impact the lives of others, no matter how big or small that impact may be, and for that I want to thank you, so – thank you. I wish you all the best, always. I hope you find the happiness and whatever else it is you’re searching for in this life.

Be well,
Nicole

Two Year Anniversary

When I started this blog two years ago it was for the joy of writing.

I love words, stories, as well as the lessons and stories that life teaches us. I didn’t want to be told what to write. I wanted to write about the things that I’m passionate about, and, maybe even more importantly, I wanted to write about things that mattered, or I thought mattered, and maybe even things that inspired and helped others. I wanted to write about life, people and all the things in-between.

In the time I’ve had this blog its transformed and grown into more then I could’ve imagined. I’ve written more life narratives and added poems, posts about traveling and much more.

I want to thank all of my followers. I want to thank those of you who have been with me since the very first post and to those who have just recently joined in on this journey. You are as much a part of this blog as I am. Thank you for your support over the last two years. I look forward to the future and the future of this blog.

Here’s to another year!

Thank you all!

If Only We Knew

If you knew it was your last day with a family member, would you stay with them longer?

If you knew it was your last day with a friend, would you hug them longer?

If you knew it was your last time with that person you cared deeply for, would you kiss them longer?

The problem is, we never know when it’s going to be our last.

I’ve been fighting myself a bit lately, as I think we all do at times, thinking that there was something I could’ve done to prevent what happened or, at least, I should’ve seen it coming.

But I never saw it coming.

Maybe the signs were there, hidden or right in my face. Maybe there’s always some type of sign and we simply miss it or choose to ignore it.

This past week I was compelled to go back and read the list. It was a list of promises I made him a long time ago, when we first met. I realized that through everything I broke two promises – I sincerely promise to never be angry or yell…because I’m not that person and I sincerely promise to take your hand and never let go.

I only every yelled once and I’m not even sure it could be considered yelling. It was recent. He pushed me too far with his games and antics and rude, nasty behavior. I never intended to yell at him. I never intended to feel a rush of emotions that’s categorized at anger. After it happened, I felt awful because I’m really not that person. But – I sincerely promise I’m not perfect. (No one is…and that’s alright.)

For a long time I held on. I took his hand and never let go, even during the bad times. I simply gave him space – I sincerely promise to give you space when you need it. Sometimes you have to fight for the things you want and the things and people you love. I’m sorry I broke my promise, but in the end I had no choice but the let go.

I never saw it coming. There are nights, not as often now, but there are still some nights where I wonder if he saw it coming. That night, our last night together, before we were torn apart, was perfect. We were both happy. We talked and laughed. I hugged him tighter, kissed him longer, and held him closer. And he held me, kissed me and spoke softly in ways like never before.

For a brief moment, I wondered if I would’ve treated that night different if I knew it was going to be our last. The answer is no. It was perfect, a memory all it’s own, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

No, we never seem to see the end coming. We always seem to believe there will be more, another time just like the one before, but if life is really like a story, then, things are made to end.

It’s up to us the enjoy the journey and live in the moment.

Thinking about it now, I still don’t regret anything and I can’t think of a more beautiful ending for us.