I am a fairly open person. I don’t keep a lot of secrets.
And if you want to know the honest truth, I’m probably your best bet.
(If you ask me, you better be sure you want the truth!)
But there are things, out of respect to others, that I don’t mention here.
And there are things, because they just cut too deep, that I don’t mention here.
And there are some things that are too big to be contained with words.
And other things that are so unimportant that it almost feels cheap to waste words on them.
But writing is, after all, the way I process things.
And so there are notebooks full of disjointed phrases, words trying to capture the emotion but simply unable.
And there are shreds of paper lining trashcans and carefully covered up with apple peel or coffee grinds.
And there are stories that play in my head when I close my eyes – so vivid sometimes that I’d swear it were real.
But they are not all my stories to tell.
At least not all of each story is mine.
And tip-toeing on the edge of my story and theirs is tricky.
You see, I’ve learned the hard way that words are more powerful than we think they are.
And once they are written down (oh, especially on the internet) they are there forever.
They can always be found, always be referenced, always be brought back up.
And they can cut just as deeply the 100th time you read them than they did the first.
I have a box of cards hidden in my closet under a pile of shoes.
It’s full of little notes and long letters and sweet cards that I’ve gotten here and there.
Almost all of them are happy, or at least pick-me-ups meant to make me happy.
But I have a terrible, horrible habit.
I also save the worst ones.
The ones that hurt the most.
The ones that were most unexpected.
The ones that I still don’t understand.
And I know that I shouldn’t.
I know it and yet I do.
Just one peek, I tell myself.
And the ache starts over; the punch in the gut steals my air.
The pain of the memory washes over me, but this time the balm of time has stolen some of the sting.
My eyes no longer prickle with tears.
And without the tears, I can see clearly.
I don’t second guess myself anymore.
For the first time I read it and I don’t wonder what I could have done differently.
I don’t question myself, my motives, my response.
I do still wonder where truth ends and harsh emotions take over, but I supposed I always will.
I close it up and pack it away.
I should just destroy it, I tell myself.
Maybe I should burn it.
But I’m just not there.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”