Letting Go vs. Forgetting

I would like to be able to say that I don’t have room in my life for hatred, for bad feelings towards people. I am working toward that reality, but currently, I’m not in that place. I have forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten.

However every person that has touched my life, touched it for a reason. Who knows where I would be today if certain things hadn’t happened, if I hadn’t met certain people. For that, I thank even the bullies and  the family members that chose not to be a part of my life. I thank the friends who abandoned me in my times of need. I thank them all, because I am in love with the person I am now, and who knows if I would be her had I not been forced to grow strong with these forces pushing against me.

Even then, I still harbor resentment. I know it’s unhealthy, as an alcoholic knows the drink is bad but keeps drinking anyway. I know to truly move on, I have to at least let it go. Maybe not forget it completely, but let it all be in the past. I am not there yet, but I am here –

There is not a single person who has touched my life, that if they came to me asking for help, I would turn them away. Life is too short to watch others struggle and simply stand by with the compass in your pocket.

I understand that there are exceptions to this rule; there are people who have done things that should never be forgiven, and perhaps don’t deserve the help that you have to offer. Maybe they can accept the help from someone else, but it’s not your place.

To summarize a long story and make it rather short – I am learning to let go of the past. It’s healthy. Learn from it, remember the lesson, but let the pain go. This journey is too short to continue blaming others for our pain. Help people when you can. Offer a hand when you can. We’re all going to arrive at the same destination, we’re just taking different paths. We’re all human.

Act like it.

Earth Shattering

When I was a little girl my biggest dreams were of wedding dresses

and a prince on a big white horse

Like in the movies I would ride away

Perhaps into the sun or into the night

and I would live my happily ever after –

This is not to say that happily ever after does not exist –

this is to say that the fairy tales are a lie

and the little girl still somewhere inside of me

has excepted it.

She still loves sappy TV and romantic comedies

A prince coming to save her is still at the heart of her every dream

But the woman realizes that after the prince comes to save the princess

the princess realizes she doesn’t need saving.

This is not to say that she does not need a prince.

She needs her prince – with or without a crown –

to kiss her forehead

hold her hand

reassure her that everything will be

just fine.

She needs her prince to tell her that he loves her

on her darkest days

when she struggles to love herself but to also tell her to always

love herself.

The fairy tales are a lie

but the reality is beautiful

and worth waiting for.

The reality is saving yourself

and still riding away with your prince.

 

– Chan Eliza

I Know

I know you unlike anyone

I know the gleam in your eyes when you are happy and

the tilt of your head just slightly when you are sad.

I know the way you like your coffee in the morning

way too much sugar and just the right amount of

wake up.

I know your laugh and how

it changes when you are with different people.

My heart knows your heart.

We are like old friends that only just met

years ago or maybe centuries

I know when you are hurting.

I know when you need a hug or

ten shots of something too strong

I know you feel like giving up.

The weight of the world feels too heavy on your shoulders

And you feel alone but

I know that you are not.

I do not know all of the answers.

I don’t know the future, I’m not even sure of the present

I have never been good at adding or subtracting

but I know that I would do anything

to keep you from drowning.

I know that if you were too jump

I would be at the bottom to catch you.

This is messy

We are messy

The world is messy

But I know my world isn’t my world without you in it.

 

-Chan Eliza

Dear …

When I was in High School, I remember this one assignment from my English teacher in which we were asked to write a letter to someone we loved and also to someone we were mad at. We were to write it with no intent of this person ever reading the letter – and while originally the assignment seemed ridiculous – it was actually extremely therapeutic. I encourage you to assign yourself this task. Take a minute to think of that one person who made you really angry or hurt you really badly, and write them a letter they will never see. Or think of the one person you love more than anyone else in this world, and write them a letter describing every little thing that draws you to them – they don’t ever have to read it.

For today’s post, my letter is to my middle school self.

Dear 13 year old me,

There is no denying that you are different from your classmates. Don’t even try to fit in, because I’m sorry, but you weren’t born to. You are never going to fit the mold and you are going to learn eventually that for you, that’s a very good thing.

Ignore the bullies. I know how hard this is when they won’t leave you alone and seem to come from every side, but just ignore them. What your parents keep telling you is true; they are just jealous of something you have. Either that, or something is wrong for them at home and for some reason, they have picked you as their target to release the anger that causes. None of this makes it right, but it’s not personal. You are better than them anyway, and one day soon you are going to see this for yourself.

Use the medicine the doctors prescribed to you for your acne. Just use it. It takes two minutes and you’ll thank me later. Just do it.

Stop worrying about the friend’s that back stab you or treat you like a second choice; don’t give them a second thought. Focus on the one girl who has never faltered and who has always been there. You know who I’m talking about. Trust me, in just a few short years it’s going to be very clear who your true friends are and all of this time spent trying to get old friends back is going to seem like a waste of time. You will go to many lengths to keep friends, and that’s what makes you so good, but not everyone will do the same for you. You don’t need those people.

Stop arguing with your sisters so much over the tiniest of problems. Yes, I know, it’s easy to argue, but they are your sisters and you’ll always have them around. When it seems like you have no one else, these girls are always going to have your back. Don’t take them for granted.

Stop. Yelling. At. Your. Parents. Trust me. When you’re out living on your own, it’s your mom and dad that are going to be answering the phone at nine o’clock at night to hear you ramble and answer your ridiculous questions, no matter how stupid. So just stop. They are doing their best, and they don’t deserve it. You are very lucky to have such amazing parents.

Stop focusing on the family that doesn’t spend time with you, and focus on the ones that do. You have amazing people in your life. The people that don’t want to be their don’t matter.

Don’t beat yourself up about math class. You’re not going to get any better throughout High School, and that’s okay. You excel in other classes, focus your energy there. You will pass math class, it will be okay. Don’t stress about it so much.

Have fun. Don’t worry about looking silly. These years are going to fly by so fast and you’re going to wish you had taken another minute to swing on the playground and play tag with your friends. Savor these moments before they are gone.

Love,

Me

Panic Attacks

The room is too small and the walls are closing in

I can’t breath

My lungs are collapsing under pressure from this

elephant that has planted it’s beautiful self on my chest –

The world is spinning faster and faster –

I’m on a tilt.

My fingernails dig into the rich earth,

searching for a hold,

something to keep me from falling into the blackness lying below –

I scream

But no one can hear me because

my mouth never opened.

– Chan Eliza

Loving him is like breathing

Long distance relationships are easy

Like climbing a ladder with no rungs is not hard

Why would someone climb a ladder with no rungs you say? – Why would someone choose to live with their heart beating outside of their chests when the task of existing is already so defeating –

But when he kisses me

When I kiss him

When phone screens become lips and

Emojis are whispers in the dark

Long distance relationships are easy

Like getting lost in the pages of your favorite book

You would not just stop reading

Your favorite book simple

Because you can only read

The hard copy once a year

Why should this be any different?

You say

Wouldn’t it be easier to be with

Someone here – someone you don’t have to wait on –

Life is not a movie and

I would rather have a love I am

Sure of over stretching miles

That turn into tumultuous waves

Than a bland love I have to question

In the silences between the dark and the light

No

Long distance relationships are easy

Like breathing

Or jumping into the wind

Trusting the arms below to break

Your fall

 

Chan Eliza

What Anxiety Feels Like

When I was a little girl the monkey bars at the school playground were my worst enemy

They were out to get me, I know it because

All of my friends could crawl across them like they were born to scale buildings but

When it got to my turn the bars became fire and my hands were sticks

At the first touch I would burst into flames

Imagining falling three hundred feet to my death with no one there to catch me –

Of course –

When I did fall, that one (or ten) times

There was always someone there who would catch me

In their outstretched arms as if they knew the whole time

That I would not make it to the other side

Now the other side is my own happiness

And the monkey bars, the dreaded monkey bars

Are my own mind

A burning fire living and breathing to take me down into the depths of an ocean

And I can swim pretty well

But I never learned how to stay afloat above waves ten feet tall

I don’t know if I can get across

But shouldn’t I be able to? – because all of my friends did it

On their first try

They are smiling and I don’t think they have to think about how to move their face muscles into the correct position just to prepare themselves to do it

They are talking and I don’t think they have to prepare themselves five minutes for the simple interaction of saying Hello

My worst enemy now lives within me

Getting to the other side looks like it should be so simple

But I have felt the heat of the flames too close for comfort licking at my hands

And what if I catch fire?

I hear “Someone will be there to catch you when you fall”

I can see them below me

With their arms outstretched

An army of ants swarming beneath with the sole intent of breaking my fall

Before the fall breaks me

Why do I need a safety net?

Shouldn’t I be able to cross without the help of these warriors who seem to be able

To handle their own lives so well – why do they have to handle mine too?

My mind, this anxiety, these monkey bars stretch before me

It is not that I don’t want their help

I have depended on others for too long

The fire is licking and the ocean is raging and my heart is pounding

But for fucks sake I am going to make it across this time

And I won’t need anyone to catch me

– Chan Eliza