Spencer

Spencer was new to school and hadn’t quite decided who to be. Having the benefit of a unisex name meant that Spencer had also chosen not to identify as ‘he’ nor ‘she’ but ‘it’ or ‘Spence’.

On the first day, Spence dressed in such a manner that its gender could not be identified at first glance. Short-ish hair but not entirely, hoody, jeans, sneakers, and body language that simply confused everyone.

Spence didn’t like being told who to be nor was It capable of mimicking what has already been done, so instead of trying to emulate the behavior of those around, It decided to merely experience people. This strategy was much more relaxing than trying to ‘keep up with appearances’, because all Spence had to do was either sit back and listen to what people seemed inspired by or initiate conversation and be aware of what emotions were evoked throughout the duration.

The first day was fun for Spence. Some of the classmates whispered to each other, “Is that a boy or girl? So weird…” This made Spence feel a little amused but also disappointed knowing that befriending this sector of the class would just cause misery throughout the term. Spence smirked a little and tuned-in to the group on the other side of the room.

“Dude you can’t say shit like that! I think the new kid is kinda awesome,” said one of the more charismatic figures in the class. Spence listened more, and heard another classmate say in a mocking tone, “Go say hi then!” To Spence’s surprise, the new friend actually walked over and said “Hi, I’m Evon. When an O.”

Spence liked this person’s energy—confident but not overpowering. “Oh!” bantered Spence, “As in O-V-A-N?”

Evon caught on quickly and chuckled. “Not ‘oven’. Evon. E-V-O-N.”

“I’m Spence. Like pence with an S,” Spence played along with the vibe.

“Ha!” Evon turned around and called out to the group, “This is Spence! Toldja the new kid is awesome!” The group walked over to meet Spence and introduced themselves.

The judgmental group from the first side of the classroom rolled their eyes and went back to mainstream mediocrity, gossiping about which teachers might end up dating each other or which Netflix characters should ‘soooo not be together’ (which could be heard from the hallway).

Evon’s group didn’t seem bothered by this, and frankly neither was Spence; what was noticeable though, was that the more Evon seemed to ignore them, the louder and more uncomfortable they seemed to become. Their eyes rolled more aggressively and their voices became more audible to the point where full conversations could be heard outside the classroom.

Spence turned back to Evon and the newly-made friends, grateful that this new school wasn’t entirely hopeless. Still, for a split second, Spence did feel bad for the conforming haters on the other side.

Everyone knew those were the kids who’d either die alone or become so miserable with insecurity that eventually they’d be intolerable.

Everyone knew.

Everyone, except themselves.

 

MG

The Path Not Taken

I looked at old pictures
Of you and of us
Trying to muster an apology
For not being “good enough”
All that came out
Were words of honest truth
“I’m sorry that I was never
Broken enough for you”

For months I kept trying
To go back and apologise
Kept thinking I’d done wrong
That I’d accidentally lied
In retrospect I realize
The only mistake I’d made
Was not spotting your disguise
I thought was “compromise”

You’re so used to being depressed
That you throw away happiness
Every chance you get
You stop to analyse instead of progress
You were noticeably different when we met
A lot less distressed
A lot more perplexed
And a lot more invested

I, too, was trying to process
A great deal of unrest
The turmoils of our youths
Eventually split me from you
I took time to rebuild myself
You, instead, ran to hell
Got comfortable and stayed there
Whining that no one cared

Slowly, I faded out of your life
Drifted effortlessly into mine
One that I had relentlessly created
To include only those who motivate
And silently exclude those who berate
My world invites but does not force
Just come through the door
Don’t break down the walls
You are always more than welcome to stay
But you deliberately choose not to pull your own weight.

 

MG

 

Kindness is Not Weakness

She looked at me with insecurity in her eyes, as if pleading for sympathy.

I couldn’t.

Much as I tried to muster up a shred of compassion, she had used up the last ounce left in me. Used it up on some medial triviality that was, if anything,  inconsequential to the matter at hand.

For years, I had done my best to understand the root of the issue. For years, I had given a part of myself to her — my ears, heart, time, energy. I had been sympathetic towards experiences far out of my scope. My arms were always open for embrace, my head was always open to another perspective, but my soul was guarding my heart from digesting more than I could stomach.

Then it happened.

One day, I opened my eyes and realized that she was a living, breathing reminder of everything I had already overcome. She had the demeanor of a human, but the behaviour of what used to be my undefeated demons.

I was at the end of my tether, a tether I didn’t even know existed — perhaps very few people had ever dared reach it. Even fewer lacked the cognizance to know where my line lay.

But she, I suppose, fell into that category of “one of the fewer”.

I confronted her, of course, regarding the levels of disrespect radiating like Venus’ sulfuric acid — she didn’t “mean to”, she just couldn’t “help it”. Apparently it was my fault for letting her speak in that manner, for not defending myself.

Well my apologies for choosing to rise above the need to be unnecessarily defensive.

I took her advice, nonetheless, to prove a point. I “defended myself” by not taking blame for other people’s transgressions. This was, incidentally, viewed as “interrupting” and “not letting the other person finish speaking.” (Rambling, honestly).

Well my apologies for having self-respect and guiding a conversation instead of enabling validation. 

My tether.

How did I even let it go on so long?

Simple.

I’ve been there before.

I’ve been in her shoes before. Those juvenile, self-centered, self-indulged, narcissistic, insecure, egotistic, defensive, over-analytical, paranoid, anxious shoes.

I’ve worn something like that.

Many moons ago, but in those shoes I’ve tread those paths — climbed the mountains and rolled down cliffs, drowned in lakes and washed up on shore, broken my bones and worn them casts.

But I am not there now. Nor do I want to go back to any of it.

So when I say that I am out of sympathy, it is not selfish or uncaring. It is not callous or heartless.

It is that I will no longer allow anyone to twist something beautiful into their distorted versions of reality. I cannot fill the voids she won’t admit exist, and will not validate insecurities that are hers — not mine — to fight.

My darling, if you ever read this, I’m sorry that I’d ever let you mistake my kindness for weakness, but I’m walking away because of the strength I’ve mustered up after recovering from this battle. I can’t let you interpret my words to your advantage simply to justify the mistakes of mine you continuously repeat instead of move past. I cannot keep being the buoy you cling to when you get stranded at sea, repeatedly. It’s time for you to pull your own weight — I’ve left you with enough care packages and tools to sift through, but it’s up to you to figure out how to use them. 

You’re on your own, darling, but in a way that you need right now. 

I’ll see you on the other side.
Hope you make it out alive.

Signed with the kind of love you’ve yet to understand, 


MG

Still Standing

Dear…friend,

It has been a long time since I’ve written you a letter from the heart. Yes, it’s not the first, and it may not be the last. But it is a letter nonetheless, one that should be read; if not by you, then by those who will meet you in the future.

For the longest time you have been a key part of my life: my existence, my core, my all. I became dependent on you in my time of weakness, of need, of vulnerability, letting you in and giving you that freedom to roam around my world. You did, and you were a lovely contribution to what was once a monotonous and decaying life.

You were a rainbow, a sunshine, one of the brightest lights I’d ever seen, especially on my darkest days.

But you also came with collateral, one that I did not comprehend until much too late. The collateral that did not explode or destroy upon impact, but slowly imploded, leaving the toxins to seep out of the crevices of a cracked shell. You were that destruction I needed, to slaughter my demons and fight through the pain. You consumed the evil in my life, and I let you.

They feared you, but they loved me. You were my protection, the blazing amour of a knight in the night. They were apprehensive around you, but embracing of me. They blamed you for the pain in my life, not realising that you were the one protecting me from them in the first place.

Nay, their egos and self-centredness I could not fight…but you could, and you did. You brought out the sides of them they always feared the most, the sides they never wanted (me) to see for they stupidly believed they could escape pain.

My friend, you were the best and the worst thing that ever happened to me — the best, because I learned how strong I could truly be if I let the right people stay by my side. But the worst, because you had to wear me down completely until I accepted my limits. Not simply understanding limitations, but a full-on acceptance that I am fundamentally a flawed human being.

Just like the rest of them.

You showed me how to stop caring about what anyone else thought, that if people had anything bad to say it was generally a projection of insecurity and not a justifiable validation. You showed me that if people truly did care, they’d communicate in a sincere way rather than lash out based on emotional impulse.

You, my friend, you showed me the difference between emotions and excuses. 

For this particular reason, I thank you for all that I have learned, all that I have seen, and all that I have become because of your persistence.

You taught me that, too. You taught me that it was never about being the biggest, or the strongest, but rather the one with the most endurance.

Thank you, my friend.

I don’t want to let you go…and by the looks of things, maybe I don’t need to, either.

I’m sorry for being wrong, and I’m sorry for thinking you were the cause of my destruction.

You weren’t…….

Because……

 

I’m still standing.

Thank you.

Sincerely from the heart,

MG

 

It

It can be the most beautiful spectrum of life, the most colourful aspect of every silhouette.

It can be the most devastating pain, the most stabbing of truths unraveled at the speed of light.

It can be the most thrilling ride, filled with highs and lows, ups and downs, resets and continuation.

It can be the most exhilarating of encounters, an array of mutually experienced chemical changes.

It can be the steadiest and slowest of growths, a conservative one that serves to conserve, to preserve the beauty that is already in existence.

It can be the most rapid of changes, a liberation of sorts, roaming freely around each other, dancing daffodils in the wind.

It can be the most excruciating of moments, an essence of a droplet magnified into a concoction of patterns, of repetition, of spirals and depth.

It can be the most fleeting of frivolous fun, a joyous joviality jeering in the most “banterous” of manners.

It can be each and every reflection of who you were, are, and have yet to be.

It can be honest.

It can be deceptive.

It can be perceptive.

It can be receptive.

But if it is not reciprocated, it is non-existent.

That, is what sets it apart from love — Love can exist without reciprocation.

“It”, however, cannot.

“It”…

 

 

…is friendship.

MG

Couldn’t, Shouldn’t, Wouldn’t

Here’s to all who’ve ever said that I couldn’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t (and meant it).

To those who said I couldn’t, I appreciate the projections of self-doubt you placed upon me. You’ve taught me what it looks like to pass on insecurities that were instilled in your childhoods. From you, I’ve learned not to stunt people’s growth, you’ve taught me not to constrain them into walls, boxes, or categories.

To those who said I shouldn’t, I sincerely appreciate the caution and concern. There are some of you whose warnings I did heed, and for my own sake too: you were saving me from myself. But to those who were self-centered and not self-experienced in this regard, I appreciate how blatant you were about the lack of effort you were willing to make for me. It made it easier to gauge how much I’d exert.

To those who said I wouldn’t, it was always for one of two reasons. One, you thought my ideas too farfetched and overreached, didn’t believe that I would come up with a way to make it happen. You projected your insecurity onto me, and only challenged my intelligence to see if I’d push. The arrogance in me caved, at one point — always had to be right. Always had to have an answer for everything. I’ve learned, now, that when you properly define the problem and get to the root of it, the solution presents itself.

Second reason would be that you did believe I could come up with a method, but also that you could foresee better than I could how much effort it would truly take to convert certain dreams into reality. Thank you for humbling me, and keeping me grounded when I flew too close to the sun. Thank you for allowing me to soar, but not to get burned.

All of you, lovers and haters, makers and breakers, you’ve inspired me to be authentically me. I got caught up in the mixes of each and everyone’s insecurities, the empathy in me went mad with apathy until eventually I just reached an overload and shut down. I’m sure many of you can relate to this, we’ve all been in it together. We’ve all been running around in the chaos just trying to survive, figuring a way out, a way in, a way forward, a way backward.

But what if…what if we just…embraced all of it. It’s not about changing, friends, it’s about expanding.

My darlings, I tell you this from the heart.

You’ve come this far, not just to get this far. I did, I do, and I will do, again and again and again until it gets better and better and better.

“It’s time to more than just survive. We were made to thrive.” (Mark Hall)

Grow, expand.
Don’t change.
Embrace.

It’s less about finding yourself,
more about letting yourself be found.
MG