Thoughts at Night


The unedited, noncommericalized writings and thoughts by Liz of Liz Rae

Usually written at night

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This is What Happens When You Surround Yourself With People Who Love You

When you surround yourself with people who love you, life does not seem boring. If you are bored and you aren’t sure what to do with your life, then become closer with your friends. The friends who love you will inspire you. They will be the reason you write novels, you start businesses, you take new jobs and you travel to new countries. They will push you outside of your comfort zone, maybe even to madness, and they will do this because they love you. You may not even realize at first how your life went from a night full of watching Netflix to nights without sleep because you are constantly busy. When this happens to you, you know you have friends that love you.

 

When you surround yourself with people who love you, you’ll find that work no longer becomes work. It becomes passion. Even if it is the most boring job in the world, you are excited for work because you are spending hours of your day with people who have the same mindset as you. You are giving away pieces of yourself to people who equally have the same goals in their careers as you. They understand why your days can be brutal, and they can relate to small wins you experience each and everyday. This is good work, and these are the coworkers that love you. 

 

When you surround yourself with people who love you, you no longer have ex’s. You have close friends. A good ex, no matter how you parted ways, will be there for you. Maybe they can’t be present for you, but you’ll know they are there in spirit, somehow cheering you along. They will be there for you when you are crying and you are tired and you have no idea what is going on in your life, and they will take time out of their day to calm you. A good ex will be a good friend, and the rest of the ex’s that don’t keep in contact with you don’t matter. 

 

When you surround yourself with people who love you, the entire world seems possible. It does not seem difficult to achieve the dreams you have been envisioning for ages. It does not seem challenging to start new ventures or to stray along new paths. When you are crying and anxious because the decisions you made to pursue what matters to you seem insane, they will be there for you, and they will give you a home. They may not give you an actual home, but they will give you peace and comfort to protect you against anything that tumbles in your path. 

 

When you surround yourself with people who love you, the world seems smaller. Your friends may be in London and Sydney and Taiwan and Rio de Janeiro and Milan and Chicago, but they do not seem farther than a flight or a Skype call away. They will bear time differences and distances and world events to listen to you speak in the middle of the night, just to hear how your day was. Time does not exist when you are surrounded with people all over the world These are the people that understand that time will pass but you can always pick up where you left off. 

 

When you surround yourself with people who love you, everything has purpose. The sun rises for a particular reason, not just because it is a new day. The wind gusts at forty miles an hour because it is trying to remind you that you are alive. The most tragic events in the world occur to shock you into reality. Obstacles and hurdles will be thrown at you, not because the world is against you, but simply to teach you to rely on yourself and others to jump over those hurdles. Everything you do has meaning, breathes life, and builds connections to everyone around you that touches it. 

 

The world is not cold. The world is not vastly divided. The world is not depressing. When you surround yourself with people who love you, you will find that there is an indescribable beauty around you, and it is your responsibility to return this love to others so they can see this as well. 

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This is Exactly What I Thought Would Happen

 

To say I didn't see this coming would be disgrace to my intelligence. 

I had one thousand warning signs 

and I chose to handle them without care.

Instead I chose to listen to my heart,

and a heart usually has nothing to do with intelligence but everything to do 

with being led astray when I chose to ignore the 

inner voice that carries all of the intelligence. 

 

My soul yelled at me in my sleep, 

the little that I was able to catch, 

keeping me awake with nightmares, 

playing previous scenes of past experiences over and over, 

night after night, 

screaming for my attention

but instead of waking up and moving on, 

I chose to sleep in

 

My gut feelings cried so violently that I 

could feel the nausea for weeks, 

and it refused to go away until I had listened to it, 

until I had given up, given in, 

thrown up my feelings and came to 

reality.

 

My mind spoke so loudly, saying that 

I had every premonition to make the right choice, 

to let go like I always had, 

but instead I was making the wrong, 

and my mind couldn’t have spoken any louder because

it’s voice had become so faded from trying. 

It, too, had given up. 

 

My body had felt the pain, too, not just through the heart,

but through its entirety, 

because of the countless hours I would spend running

mile after mile

until I had reached an unreasonable amount and until

I had lifted enough weights that the pain tore through me, 

and I could ignore the pain of everything I already knew would unfold. 

It was telling me from the beginning that this pain was no unfamiliar territory. 

 

The most difficult part was not listening to myself, 

not listening to what I knew was best and what I had always known,

and instead I let myself confess instead of withdrawing

like I had done so seldom before. 

And when those feelings started to fade, and my

mind and my soul and my gut began to internally laugh at me, 

for they had known all along, 

I couldn’t help but remember that this was 

exactly what I thought was going to happen, 

and yet, I had carried on.

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If You Were a Poem

If you were a poem, 

I would take my time.

I would carefully think through all of the words, 

I would search for meanings that were more illusive

and I would write them, not type them,

on paper for you. 

 

If you were a poem, 

I would read you aloud to a small crowd, 

because you only deserve the most intimate setting, 

and I would read the words slowly, carefully, 

because I want everyone to know all the 

adjectives in the world that can describe you. 

 

If you were a poem, 

I would publish you on the internet

because I would want the entire world to read

every line that describes the intricacies of your life, 

what makes you human and what makes you alive, 

and I would let every social media website

share your story, 

because the world deserves to know 

such a beautiful creature. 

 

If you were a poem, 

I would translate you into every language

so every person would want to read you. 

I would make sure each language has

similar words to the ones I have written about you, 

because I don’t want the world to lose a single letter

that was written about you. 

 

If you were a poem, 

I would let an artist draw 

what they thought was an accurate representation of you. 

I would let them etch out your words, 

paint out your imagery, 

and sculpt out your life, 

because you deserve to be portrayed in every aspect of art. 

 

If you were a poem, 

I would carry you with me, all of the time, 

because I wouldn’t want to forget a word that I have

placed from the ink of the pen onto the piece of the paper, 

and I would carry it in the front pocket of my purse, 

until the day I no longer carry a purse, 

just in case someone wants to read about you, 

and I will always have it handy, in that front pocket. 

 

If you were a poem, 

I would have the priest read the words

near my last breath, 

because I want you to be the last thing that I hear

before I no longer have the chance to see you, 

and they would bury me with you, 

the words I penned about you, 

forever with me, 

until I see you again on the other side.

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Here’s 16 Ways to Still Change Your Life in 2016

While everyone is dreaming of a new year, I’ve been thinking recently about how to make the most out of what is left with 2016. I've always been slightly annoyed with people who tell me they don’t have enough time in life. There are approximately 744 hours in December, which also equates to 44,640 minutes. That’s a lot of time. 

 

So, I made a list of all of the things you can still accomplish with 44,640 minutes left of 2016. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still tell someone you love them. We all have someone we still love and we haven’t told yet. 2016 can be the year that you took the chance to say how you feel. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still explore. You don’t have to go far. Take a weekend to travel just a few miles to spend some time along or spend some time with friends. You deserve a break.

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still change your job. If you’ve been thinking this entire year about how much you hate going to work, then start the search for a new job now. Don’t wait until 2017. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still give back. There is still time to offer what you have to others. It doesn't have to be grand gesture. Maybe it’s anonymously buying the person behind you in line a gift card. Whatever you do, do it in good faith. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still make amends. There is still time to let go of grudges and to make peace with those you haven’t this year. A good new year should start fresh, shouldn’t it? 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still get in shape. You would be surprised what five nights a week in the gym can do in such a short amount of time. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still be creative. If you’ve been wanting to publish a book or write a song or paint a canvas, you still have time. Let it be your escape. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still take a stand. If you’ve been disturbed by the recent changes in America, then maybe it's time to have a voice towards change. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can gain back more time. If you don’t think you had enough time this year, then spend the rest of 2016 learning how to find more time. Maybe it’s as simple as cutting back your time on Netflix. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can pick up a new skill. Instead of waiting until the holidays are over, why not start learning something now? Why not learn a new language or begin crafting or whatever makes you happy? 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can make new friends. Even if you decide not to make new ones, maybe it’s time to reconnect with old ones. We get so caught up in our own lives that we forget to care for the lives of others we were once close with. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still start a business. There is literally no better time to start a business than right now. You don’t even have to have the best idea. Maybe it’s just a hobby you want to make money doing. Whatever it is, you can start it. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can still move away. If you hate where you live, you still have time before the new year to start looking at other options. You don’t owe anyone anything, but you do owe yourself a happy place to settle, even if it’s for a short amount of time.

 

With the rest of 2016, you can complimenting someone, everyday. If you haven’t been kind to others, then you can start taking time to be. A simple compliment can go a long way. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can start anew. If the world has made you sad this year, then you can start planning how to change your life. Changing your life doesn’t mean you have to completely uproot everything, but it can mean taking small steps to become happier. 

 

With the rest of 2016, you can be kind. The world has seen enough hurt and anger this year. Don’t let 2016 end by being angry as well. 

 

 

However you choose to spend the 44,640 minutes of December, spend it with care, compassion, and inspiration because the world needs more people who want to end their year projecting happiness instead of hatred.

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A Letter to the 2016 Version of Me for 2017

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Dear Me,

 

This year has been, undoubtedly, one of the most insane years of your life. The best part is none of this was ever planned, dreamed, or even remotely considered by a younger version of you. Isn’t it crazy how life completely changes everything we thought we wanted?

 

This year, you’ve travelled a lot. So much that you broke your suitcase in Paris. You’ve flown from both ends of the US to both ends of Europe multiple times, and everyone you have met in between has changed your life. They’ve changed your life so much that you’ve completely changed your mindset on what you want to do with your life. Don’t stop exploring because you’re finally starting to really, truly understand what it means to be a explorative soul.

 

It’s ok to leave everything behind to start anew in 2017. You’re not too old.

 

This year, you became friends with a lot of your ex’s. I don’t know anyone who does that, or who has wanted to do that, but you. Out of all the people you know, you are the only one who has tried to make peace with a lot of wars, and for some reason, your ex’s were the next war you wanted to conquer. I wish I could tell you that in 2017 all of them will have an impact on your life, but I’m not sure they will. I’ve watched you become close with them only to find out that becoming friends with them was the closure you needed to move on. 

 

It’s ok to let go in 2017. 

 

This year, you began pouring your heart out to the world. Instead of writing shit articles for terrible websites, you instead began publishing (not exactly better) raw poetry and prose about the way you feel. You did this so much that you started to learn to love yourself more than you ever have and everyone else in your life. And maybe everyone around you finds you crazy because you’ve learned to love so much, but you’ve learned that you would rather spill out love than hold it inside. Life is too short to keep it all to yourself. 

 

It’s ok to have feelings, and in 2017, don’t stop loving people and don’t stop loving the work you do. 

 

Speaking of work, this year has been the best work year of your life. You stopped letting work be a prison and let it become a destination. You left jobs and you started new ones, including new businesses. You’ve decided to work somewhere that supports you (and your business), gives you time to breathe, and inspires you to do great things in your life. You’ve taken a lot of risks this year, and I assume this is going to be just the start of many, many more. You were never one to live or work traditionally, pushing the norms to an entirely new level. 

 

It’s ok to love the work you do, and in 2017, don’t stop doing great things in your life. You never know the other lives you will impact. 

 

Lastly, this year, you’ve learned what pure love and friendship means. This has been the first year in your life where you finally learned to surround yourself with people who loved you and people you learned to love back unconditionally. Isn’t is wonderful how much more positive your life has become once you removed negative energy around you? When you emit so much love that others surrounding you have to feel it back? There’s something truly magical about the way you let 2016 be the year of being close. Don’t stop telling people you love them. 

 

Most importantly, it’s ok to let yourself go and love someone else in 2017.

 

I hope that you take a tumultuous 2016 and turn it into an astounding 2017. You spent 2016 changing everything about your life, and I hope you continue to do the same in 2017, not only with your life, but with those around you. I hope you look at 2017 with the same awe and curiosity that you did with 2016. I hope in 2017 you find new ways to change the world just as you changed yourself in 2016. 

 

And finally, I hope 2017 is so astonishing that you never look back at 2016. 

 

Love, 

Me

 

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I Like to Leave Because I Don't Know How to Stay

I am not one to stay in a certain place for too long

I have a residence, but it is another bill every month,

it is not a home

 

I am always on the next flight out 

to anywhere

because I am so over trying to build a singular life

that I make airports my home and hotels my resting space

creating lives for myself wherever I may land

 

there’s comfort in knowing that in a few days or a few weeks, 

I’ll be on the next plane, train, bus

or my eye will be caught by something that glitters just as

much as the gold before it

 

there’s some comfort in knowing that

no one really knows anything about me, and they won’t ever really have a chance to

because I won’t be around for long

but I will always return at some point in life,

and pick up where things left off.

 

And maybe this comfort is brought on by the fact that 

it’s easier to let people go than it is to let

people close

it is easier to mend a broken heart

than it is to let someone else help repair the

broken pieces. 

it’s easier to be independent than

it is to find dependence

 

I like the idea of a see you again 

rather than a forever goodbye

because if i don’t stay long enough,

I will never have to endure the emotions of a goodbye

 

so I like to make an exit because I’m not quite sure how to build a home and

I like to leave because I was never taught how to stay

 

his piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here

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I'm Not the One You are Looking For

I knew it when I first introduced myself to you. 

I’ve known it every time I’ve introduced myself to someone

for the first time. 

 

You want to believe it. 

You said there was some connection on the first night you met me, 

like something lit inside of you that is so unexplainably hard to describe. 

I like to write, so I’ll describe that feeling for you. 

 

I’m not the one you are going to 

settle down with. 

I’m not even going to be the one you date. 

I’m not going to be the one you will ever get to take on a date. 

 

I’m not the one you are looking for. 

 

It’s not that I don’t like you.

I like everything about you, and that’s why I’m not the one you’re looking for. 

I’m afraid of the things I like most.

 

You need someone who can point out your flaws and 

turn them into gold. 

I just can’t do that. 

I’m going to start finding your flaws as annoyances because 

that’s just what I do. 

 

You need someone who can withstand differences in a relationship. 

I like people who are different, 

but I’m not looking to make meaning from differences right now. 

I’m not looking for a chase or for mystery or intrigue. 

I just simply don’t have time for this, and you need someone 

with time. 

 

You want someone who can entertain you, give meaning to your life.

I’ll unintentionally entertain you, 

but I’m not doing that specifically for you. 

I can’t spend my downtime entertaining you

because I don’t even spend my downtime sleeping. 

 

You want someone who will care for you,

who will listen to you and learn from you.

But I’m not selfless, 

I’m selfish. 

It’s not that I’ll forget to talk to you,

it’s just that I won’t want to. 

I’m ruthless, 

and I think you already knew that when you met me. 

That’s what drew you to me and that’s exactly what is going to draw you away. 

 

This isn’t right, and you know that. 

 

So do better for yourself with someone who loves you more than I ever will

because I’m not the one you are looking for. 

Hello, World!

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If You Feel Too Small in a Big World

First, know you’re not alone. 

 

The world is massive, and there’s no denying that. But know that, even though there are millions of people in this world, you are connected to some of them. You were sifted from the dust that is situated around you and ignited from the flames of love, just like everyone else. You may think that you don’t know many people, but you are so connected to everyone you pass on the streets without realizing it. 

 

So if you feel alone, explore. 

 

And no, you don’t need to explore as expansively like Instagram travel accounts tell you to. Maybe that’s not your style. Maybe you like to be an introvert, and that’s ok. But you still need to explore because you will only feel as small as the space you keep yourself in. If the space you hide in is as large as your bedroom, then you need to explore. 

 

Take weekend trips. You don’t have to go far. You can go 100 miles just to see something new. Take evening excursions. Sleep under the stars. That’s an excursion. Swim in the lakes at night. That’s an excursion. Even if you do it alone, the earth will start to seem a little less like a stranger. 

 

If you still feel alone in this world, contact your friends. Maybe you already have. That’s ok. Contact those people who you aren’t really close with. They might think you are a little weird, but everyone’s a little weird. That’s what makes life interesting. 

 

The more contact you make, the more you will push yourself to converse more, because when you start to feel alone, you’ve kept too much to yourself. Life is meant to be shared, it’s not meant to be kept secret. You were made from the same shared particles as everyone else around you, so why would you ever keep all of you to yourself? You have something to offer other people, even if you don’t believe it. 

 

If you still feel alone, make an uncomfortable change. Maybe it’s time to leave your job or move or just eat different foods. Do something that makes you cringe, makes you nervous, makes you rethink everything you ever knew. When you do this, you’ll have to find support in yourself and support in others to guide you. Change brings people closer, not farther, because it forces us to learn how to adapt. If you’ve become too comfortable, then you’re not expanding your mind. Take time to do something different. 

 

If you still feel alone, do something for a stranger. If you’re shopping, buy a gift card and leave it for the next person in line. If you’re near a post office, buy stamps and send cards to your friends. If you’re at dinner, buy a meal for someone who looks lonely, too. Don’t expect anything in return, but do it because someone else will feel a little less alone. Maybe that’s all we need to be closer to each other. 

 

So when the world feels too small, make it a little closer for you. The more you reach out to others, the closer every other country, state, city, and stranger start to feel. 

 

And suddenly, the whole world starts to feel one giant home. 

 

You have to remember, everyone is a stranger until we introduces ourselves, so don’t be afraid to make yourself known.

 

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here.

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I’m Sorry I Failed to See Your Addiction

 

I should have known better. 

When you told me about your history, and you went through every criminal charge and pulled up all the court documents, I should have known better. And by known better, I mean I should have been a little less selfish and a little more caring. You were completely honest, and I should have known what I was walking into. You had every right to be guarded, and I was wrong to push for answers when you didn’t have them. 

When you said that you had changed, I should have known that you didn’t. Maybe you did for a few years, because you thought you were strong and past all the shit that you had put yourself through. But I should have known from the friends you had around that you were about to fall right back to where you started because you didn’t know where you were heading. I think you let people lead you down a dark path that you weren’t ready to disclose with those who thought you escaped into the light. 

When you said that you were telling the truth, I should have known all of it was a lie. Well, maybe not all of it. It was so easy to tell when you were lying and when you were telling the truth, because when you told the truth, there was something so deeply real about it, that it was frightening. But I should have known better to look past your lies because I think there was a lot of truth behind the reason you told them. You had so much to cover up because you felt the obliged to impress unimportant people. But you were just slowly falling back into the burden you spent years throwing off your back, and I didn’t bother to help take that weight away. 

When you said little to nothing in conversations years past, I should have known that was a cry for help. You were always so talkative, and instead I just treated you like every other guy that I had seen. I let you fall off my radar. I should have been more careful. You did a lot of hurtful shit, and I should have known that you had no idea what you were doing instead of being upset with you. I should have known that you were slowly letting the drugs get the best of you.

I should have known. 

But instead, I just got annoyed with you. I blew you off. I didn’t answer your calls because you stopped regularly answering mine. I blocked your texts, blocked your social media accounts, I blocked everything. It was easier to block off a problem than to try to fix it, and you weren’t a regular problem I was used to. 

I should have known. 

I’m so sorry I didn’t. 

I’m so sorry I treated you like every other douchebag I decided to spend my time with. I’m not saying that you’re not one, but I’m also silently punching myself in the stomach because it makes me sick to think that all of this time, I treated you like nothing, and that was not what you needed. I’m not saying I could have saved you, but I should have looked at the situation a little differently because I’m not sure if anyone else did. You lived in a world with fake friendships and people who only talked to you when they wanted to get messed up. And I was just another person who did that to you instead of trying to help you. 

You were the most honest person I knew, even through all of the lies, and I’ll never find that in anyone else. I should have taken your lies as a sign for help, but I didn’t. 

I should have known, I should have known, I should have known. 

And I don’t think I could ever say I’m sorry enough times for not saving you when you needed it most. 

 

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here

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How a Handwritten Card Can Change a Life

Anyone who knows me knows that I like to write. I like to write terrible, click-bait articles, but I also prefer to write a lot of sentimental pieces (like wedding scripts) because I like to portray variety in the way I express how I feel about life. It's not the best writing, but I'm not trying to make a living doing it. I think that’s why I like running a wedding business. No two couples are ever the same, and I’ll always be challenged in the way that I craft a ceremony around each couple. 

 

Anyone who knows me also knows that I like to send handwritten cards. When a couple books with my wedding business, we send a cards at various points of the year, even after their wedding is over. And maybe they get annoyed by it, but we don’t really care because we hope they appreciate that someone out there is cheering on each milestone they have in life. I periodically send cards to my friends, just to say thanks for dealing with my crazy life and crazy mind and for deciding to still stick around. I also like to send cards to vendors I meet at weddings or even random, cool people I’ve met around the world while traveling or networking. 

 

If you know me, you’ve probably received one of these cards. 

 

There’s a good reason for doing this, and it isn’t for monetary reasons to grow the wedding business and it isn’t because I’m trying to get the attention of my friends. There has never been a hidden motivation behind this at all. 

 

It’s because it is so convenient to send a text, to send an email, to pick up the phone, that is has become so inconvenient to spend our time writing something. 

 

When I was a kid, I used to love writing terrible novels on hundreds of notebooks because I loved the way pen smeared across paper. But back then, I was grounded all the time and had all the time in the world to write. Now, I’m so pressed for deadlines to complete my thoughts that even using dictation to finish writing something doesn’t seem fast enough. Writing something by hand takes excessively long compared to anything technological. 

 

So if I take the time to handwrite something, it means I care. It means that I set aside time to find the card (because I definitely put thought into the look of each card I send), to find the right pen for the card, and the time to write something very specific to the person I am sending the card to. It’s never been a generic message, and it’s always specific to whoever I’m sending it to. 

 

As my business keeps rapidly growing, I’m starting to lose control over all the little things I used to manage because those tasks get delegated to people smarter than me for continued growth. Writing personalized notes to people may be the last thing I can hold onto as the business expands. 

 

And maybe I’m creepy because the couples I’ve married have friended me on Facebook, and I pay attention to their life events and send them cards. And maybe I’m nuts for telling my friends cheesy things (like how much I love them) in the cards I drop in the mail. And maybe I’m too sentimental to not let go of anyone that has ever popped into my life. 

 

But I just don’t really care, because I can only hope that everyone who receives these cards is reminded that someone out there loves them and cares for them, and with how unemotional our society has become, someone out there (aka me) has got to recognize people for how amazing they are every now and then. You never know when this could change someone’s attitude on life. 

 

So if you haven’t received a card from me, you’re probably on my list. I’m sure you know that. 

 

And if you don’t think you are, feel free to comment here, and I’ll send one to you, periodically throughout your life. If you think that’s weird because we don’t know each other, don’t forget that we are strangers to everyone until we introduce ourselves.

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If You Have My Number, Please Use It

 

If you have my number, please don’t be afraid to use it. 

It’s ok if it’s been a week, a month, a decade

you have it for a reason. 

 

The number that you hold isn’t just my personal number,

it’s the direct line to hope and to help. 

It’s a direct line to support and it’s a direct line to understanding. 

I’ve been through rough times, and I’ve been through happy times, 

and I’ll always be conscious of what made you

want to pick up the phone.

 

So if you are awake late at night like I am, 

and you wonder who to call because no one

else will answer your texts, you can call me. 

 

I’ll always listen. 

 

And maybe sometimes, I’ll forget to text you back or call you back

because life moves so rapidly, and some things slip through the cracks. 

Sometimes I'm in another country and sometimes, I work so hard I don't sleep.

But don’t give up. Continue to text me. 

I will never be upset. 

 

Because if you have my number, you have my friendship. 

I hope you never go a night thinking that no one out there thinks of you, 

because I probably do,

and I want to hear from you. It’s alright if it’s been a while

because life goes on, and I will have forgotten how much time has 

passed until I look at our last conversation and by then, 

we’ll already be talking. 

 

So if you have my number, please use it, 

and if you don’t, 

please ask.

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What to Do When You Think of Going Back

When you think of going back, 

research all of the recipes you never got to make

and go to the grocery store and buy all of the ingredients.

Make sure the majority of the ingredients are fresh produce, 

because if you have to use the produce before it goes bad, 

you’ll focus on using the produce and not

using them. 

 

When you think of going back, 

sign up for a triathlon or a marathon or even a 5K

and make sure you sign up with a friend

because if your friend is counting on you to be there for training

and for the day of the race, 

you’ll focus your time on getting in shape

and not shaping your life around them. 

 

When you think of going back, 

begin your spring cleaning early

clean out your closet, donate your clothes, and buy new magazines for inspiration

then go shopping. 

buy clothing that is drastically different than your old clothing

because if you have to spend your time learning how to wear a new style

you won’t spend your time trying to use old clothing

to impress someone who knew your closet by heart. 

 

When you think of going back, 

contact a one night stand. 

They’ll get back to you immediately. 

Even if you have no intention of being anything more than friends with them, 

their attention to you will be every distraction you need 

and all the confidence to remember how it feels to be wanted

instead of trying to forget what it’s like to be used.  

 

When you think of going back, 

start writing a novel, or a song, or film a movie or paint a canvas

throw yourself into art, because art makes people crazy, 

and if you are trying to go back, you are too sane to realize how

crazy life is when you stop trying to recreate the past and start creating

a colorful future. 

 

When you think of going back, 

create a home bar for yourself. Coffee or alcohol, choose your vice. 

Study the flavors and learn the combinations because once you do this with liquids, 

you’ll start to do this with people

and suddenly, your expired combination of a person won’t seem so fascinating anymore

because you will be so indulged in the new tastes you’ve discovered.

 

When you think of going back, 

travel. 

Don’t listen to self-help articles that say traveling doesn’t cure anything.
Traveling will cure everything. 

You can go three miles away or you can go three-thousand miles away,

but whatever you do, get away. 

How can you expect to prevent your instincts if you are too close? 

 

When you think of going back

don’t think of going back

 

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here. 

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Please Don't Forget Me

I hope that when next winter comes around and the rain starts to roll

down on the hills into the sea, 

the rain smelling vaguely familiar through your open window screen,

You remember me

 

I hope that when summer begins to dawn and the 

sun rises earlier in the morning, unpleasantly waking you up

because you were never an early riser

You remember me. 

 

I hope that the next time you make breakfast, 

and you realize your coffee is two months too old, 

and you find the coffee I shipped to you 

sitting inside the upper cabinets above your refrigerator

You remember me.

 

I hope that the next time you make an international call

and you find my number hiding down the previously called list

with a log of the numerous times we just missed each other’s rings

You remember me. 

 

I hope that the next time you melt into the sands on a beach

and you see seashells scattered around you,

and the thought of the YouTube videos I made you watch comes to mind

You remember me

 

I hope that the next time you have Spotify on shuffle

and the random assortment of music I secretly added to your playlist

hums through your car speakers, 

You remember me. 

 

I hope that the next time you pick up someone from the airport

and you wait patiently, on the second level parking

and spot someone with the same green suitcase

You remember me. 

 

I find you everywhere I go, 

in my breakfast, in airports, in the music I listen to, 

and I will always hope that you 

find the same nuances being subtle reminders

so please, whatever you do, 

don’t forget me. 

 

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here. 

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Why I Don't Celebrate My Birthday

 

 

When I was 2, 

my parents threw me a massive birthday party, 

with the tablecloths and matching plates

because my mother had the daughter she always wanted, 

or she thought she wanted, because her friends had one. She loved trends. 

But then my grandmother arrived, the lady who always loved me, unconditionally,

but my mother didn’t love her, 

and her arrival began the end of my mother loving me. 

 

When I was 10

my mother went shopping for herself, because

“today was her day, she gave birth,”

she always said. 

I guess when you push a child through you, it suddenly becomes 

monumental, as if women don’t accomplish this every day under worse circumstances 

and so I sat in fitting rooms, hoping that maybe I would be found 

as lost

so I wouldn’t have to return home. 

 

When I was 13

I found myself at the bottom of the staircase, 

crying because they had threatened to pump my stomach, 

as if the substances inside weren’t there in the first place

because of the marks that were whipped onto my body that day. 

I just wanted everything to dissolve so I wouldn’t have to have

anymore birthdays. 

 

When I was 16

my parents reminded me that I had failed them,

drinking on the weekends at such a young age

with people who were nowhere near my age

blaming me for their decision not to get the ID every 16-year-old dreams of, 

the one that lets you drive, 

when it was just another way for them to lock me inside. 

So I stayed inside that birthday. 

 

When I was 18, 

my parents screamed at me from the front door, 

telling me that I would never do anything, ever, in life

as the police sat in their squad car, a block away, protecting me

and my cousins removed the items from the house and into their car. 

When I was 18, I assumed I was lucky to make it to 18

because I didn’t think I would see past the day I was 13

and that was the only thing I could have ever asked for on that birthday 

 

When I was 21,

I flew to see my boyfriend, who I broke up with two months prior,

because for a month straight, all he could do was apologize, 

and I broke down and said I would visit. 

Two days later, he packed his bags and left silently at two am, 

and I found myself on the flight back, relieved, 

with the reminder to always trust my gut. 

That birthday I realized that being independent was the best gift I never received. 

 

When I was 23, 

I realized that for the past 5 years, I just wanted one day, 

to stop pretending that there wasn’t a history of 

destruction on the thirtieth of the month

and I wanted a day to collect my thoughts, 

a day people would respect, a day I would have an excuse to be alone

so that for 364 days a year, I could be alive.

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Why I Will Never Reread What I Write

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here. 

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Today I Found You

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his piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here. 

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I Don't Owe You Anything

You are not special. 

 

You don’t get the luxury of walking back into my life, 

at 3:30 in the morning, 

trying to claim something that was never yours. 

I may like tequila more than I have ever like you, 

but I can see through my own fog. 

 

You don’t get to declare history. 

You can’t tell me that you’ve known me for a decade, 

like you’ve earned this because of you’ve stuck through 

our wars

You can’t say that we made promises when we were younger 

and that those promises still hold true

I loved you when I was younger

but I know how much history repeats, 

and I don’t love you now. 

 

You don’t get to say you’re the only one who truly knows me

no one knows me. 

I am the ultimate chamber of secrets, 

and you don’t get to pretend that you’ve spend years uncovering all of them

just to get close to me, in this moment. 

Don’t you know how many men have tried to tell me they know me, just as you have?  

 

You don’t have the right to bring up the past, 

just to make a future. 

You don’t need to remind me of all of the years we spent together. 

You can’t congratulate me for battling through childhood

for independently funding my way through college

claiming that you are so fiercely proud you have known me for so long. 

You weren't there for anything. 

 

You don’t get to make me feel guilty. 

I don’t care how many years we have toyed with the idea

I can say no, and that is always my right.  

You can’t make me feel responsible, 

like you’ve been pent up for years, waiting, 

and you’re the one with everything to lose. 

You already lost so many years.

 

You don’t get to throw compliments at me

Don’t you know I have heard everything you are saying from other men? 

You don’t get to tell me how much I have changed, how beautiful I’ve become, 

you’ve become. 

I’ve been all over the world, do you think I haven’t been with more exotic beings than you?

 

You don't get to ask me what we are, 

because you’ve listed all the things we once were. 

We are nothing, 

and we are especially nothing now that you’ve asked.

You don’t get to throw your feelings for me

at me

like I’m waiting to catch them, to accept them, a decade later. 

 

You are the fantasy every girl has, 

but I am the reality of women. 

And while every other women you have ever laid hands on may not 

be strong enough to pay for your cab home, 

I owe you nothing

and an Uber ride home is the most you will ever receive from me. 

 

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here. 

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We are Starving, but We are Artists

We are the deranged ones. 

 

They call us crazy because we are passionate,

unstable because we live paycheck to paycheck

absurd because we refuse to work a 9-5

 

we are so invested in our craft that we couldn’t imagine our lives 

any other way

we slit our wrists just to write our words in blood

we suffocate ourselves on nooses just to paint the light we saw

we ingest toxins just so we can dream in color

 

we are crazy

but we are so vividly alive

 

we are so much more carefree than those

who see themselves in money

we are so much more happy 

than those who eat feasts for all meals

we are so much more loving

than those who have only found one word for love

 

we breathe in our work

and we breathe out happiness. 

 

we are so in tune with the world and the world sings back to us

it sings to us through our pencils, our paintbrushes, our instruments, our film

it write us notes and it colors our canvases

 

our lives are so desperate, and we are always hungry

we are hungry, craving for more in life

we are satisfied from the emotions we experience

rather than the fullness we feel after dinner

 

we sacrifice our personal lives to share our 

memories with anyone who wants to witness

there are traces of us all around the world,

in the back alleys we graffitied, 

in the hotel paper on which we wrote the first line to our novel

in the painting hanging in a Parisian coffee shop where we last left it

in the hearts and the minds of the people we have loved

and this alone keeps us alive

 

some may think we are starving

 

but we are artists. 

 

we are always content, 

content with consuming life

 

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here. 

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I’m Not Going to Instagram Us

I’m not going exploit us

we are so much more beautiful than

the petty posts we could ever publish to social media sites

 

i want to spend our time in the moment, 

not trying to capture it

 

i’m not trying to prove us

to anyone

and i don’t think anyone else

needs to be fed photo after photo 

if they are not wholly genuine

they already talk about what the see

and what they read about me on the internet

why give them more?

we don’t need to take

overly posed

entirely reproduced

photos just to show other people who we are

we are already all that we need to be

 

when i am with you, 

it is everything i want

i’m not going to make you feel like a poster child

to my dating life

and i’m not going to make you stop living

to remember living

and maybe,

here and there, 

there will be a few photos of you, scattered throughout

because the world should know how incredibly vibrant you are

but i want those few, shared moments to be just that

 

few. 

 

there is more elegance in living memories with you

and capturing them, candidly

because you are so radiant when you don’t know anyone is looking

we are so much more lively than the internet

and you mean more to me than any series of photos i could ever

submerge to the world

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here

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I’m Sorry I Wasn’t There for You

It’s strange, isn’t it?

How we can sit in this crowded coffee shop, 

talking about what has changed in our lives, 

the people that have come and go, 

the jobs we have left and we have acquired,

the humans we have loved and we have lost,

as if there was no time missing in between?

 

And all I can think about when you are speaking is, 

My, I have missed so much.

 

You tell me about all the dates you have been on, 

the struggles you’ve had at work, 

your desire to find your passion but the challenge behind paying bills.

 

And I deserted you, in your time of need,

because of my own selfish acts. 

Time has changed us so much, 

we are grown, mature

and my acts of selfishness prevented me from protecting you.

 

All I can say is I’m sorry.

I wasn’t there for you breakups,

your makeups, 

your heartbreaks,

the tears, 

the fears, 

the sleepless nights. 

And I’m sorry. 

 

I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, 

but you have made me realize in this moment, 

that I was always thinking about you, in the back of my mind,

wondering if you were okay, if you would be strong enough to make it through all of the

challenges you face. 

But I should have known, 

you are so strong, you can conquer anything

And I am so lucky to have you in my life again, 

to teach me independence, strength, and to 

always follow what I desire most in life. 

I would travel miles and miles and miles to be there for you, 

and I think, 

even with all this time lost between us,

we have always been there for each other, 

and I’m so happy to by your side again.

This piece has been published on Thought Catalog. You can view the published version here

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