Stop. Stay.

October 1, 2018

I cried at a subway station yesterday morning. It was 10:23 am and I waited for my train and cried just a little bit.

Months ago I made a promise to myself that I would feel things; that I would stop shutting out absolutely everything. I needed to feel things so badly that I got my promise tattooed on my ribs. A sweet/sad/melancholy reminder that I am a human. A reminder that I need other people.

I used to say that I was afraid of commitment. I was afraid of the possibility of getting hurt, that someone might leave, that these things wouldn’t work out anyway. I have no proof of any of this because looking back at my life I have always been the one to run away first. I have stood in my own way. I have come up with reasons why these things Just Don’t Work Out.

“I love you” does not mean “I will stay.” And I’m learning as I go to separate the two. I don’t know what it means to say “I love you” when I mean it, so I’m learning to show it instead. I’m forcing myself to ask the hard questions and say the scary, vulnerable things, and love a little better. I’m teaching myself to stay.

It’s been a hard few months. I can’t deny that. But I’ve grown a lot and loved a lot and hurt just a bit. And I’ve felt all of it. I’m proud of myself for that.

I have learned that there will be good days and there will be bad days. There will be moments when I feel happy and others where I feel unbelievably sad. There will be nights when I can’t sleep and morning when I can’t get out of bed. And all of that is okay.

I have learned that hoping and wishing and wanting might break my heart, but it’s better to feel the sensations than not. I have learned that feeling a little dead does not mean I’m not alive. And I have learned that I am not hard to love. My attention span may be short and I am a horrible sleeper but I am not hard to love. The more I hear it, the truer it’ll feel.

Xo, Willa

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