My nail beds are chipped and cracked, pulling apart at the seams, and my elbows are rubbed red. I’m not exactly sure why but if I had to guess it would probably have something to do with change, and this thing that is inside of me pushing and trying to get out.
I keep thinking of this moment, in early August, when I was petrified by the idea of change. He told me that that’s life and it happens that way for a reason and then he told me that it would all be alright and that he would be coming home to me soon and I realize now he was only half lying. Because in life there is always that constant state of change and I’m always caught hanging somewhere in the balance of it all and sooner or later, in some way or another, everything does turn out alright. But he never did come home to me.
I sat on the side of a mountain, with my feet tucked up beneath me, and I thought about how sometimes people let you down and it’s all you can do to not be disappointed. Even though he promised he would try to not break your heart, he did anyway and what once seemed like magic is now fraying at the edges and sometimes you just have to take what someone can give you and use that to build your own world. I used to think I could fit into this fairytale of a life he wanted, even if it wasn’t what I wanted. And even though my mama said to never change for anyone I would have done it anyway because I thought maybe for once in my life I could finally be the princess in a fairytale. But I think trying to fit into a fairytale that isn’t your fairytale just leaves you with a broken heart. He’s still the prince, but there’s another girl playing Cinderella.
I wasn’t foolish enough to think that life wasn’t ever going to change, but in some naïve way I did think things were going to stay the same. I thought that promises made during one of those swing set summers of my childhood would be kept because that’s what love is, it’s keeping the promise anyway. And I’m still in this town where I grew up and a college acceptance letter came in the mail, but there was no phone call or text message to share the news. And I get that people grow up and things change but all I can think of is the promise, and that love is keeping the promise anyway.
It’s October now and this year has proven to me how much things can change. I’m empty handed and heavy hearted. This life I’m living is making me tired and sometimes I forget why I’m even doing it until one morning I wake up and something makes all the loving worth the pain and it gets just a little easier to breathe, a little easier to remember who I am.