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

 

Exhaustion

Muscles carve into my bones
Like hot, bubbling gelatin
Legs are filled with pebbles and stones
Dragging calcified iron bars within
Shoulders fall with under the weight of the world
Dangling arms, weak and insecure

I rest my head upon my pillow
Looking down at my world below
Books and boxes everywhere
Memoirs of moments shared
Between every you and every me
Every fragment of my reality

Inhale, exhale… breathe
Air goes from my lungs to my knees
To my fingers, my feet, my toes
Out again through the nose
Finally, a moment to just take a breath
Wake in the morning and start afresh

Soldier on through the day
As they always say
No rest for the weary
The thought is scary
But the concept is rarely
As bad as reality

When all’s said and done
Hard work is always fun
When it all comes together
The puzzle is clearer
The writing’s on the wall
The boxes, on the floor
The pictures’re on the door
We’ve all been here before

MG

 

November 14, 2016

-Wrote this after a long day of moving boxes, tried out a slightly less abstract, more narrative style.

Advice to My Younger Self

Dear younger self,

I am going to write this from the perspective of an older self that you have only recently come to understand.

There was a time you thought you knew it all, m’dear, you thought you had it all figured out. Much of it owed to what those around you allowed you to believe; they put you on that pedestal you never asked for, gave you the attention you never felt you deserved, treated you with their version of “respect”.

Young self, you must understand one thing, not everyone is like you. Yes, you’re self-indulged, but they, m’dear, they are self-absorbed. They’re too caught up in the busyness of their own lives to appreciate all you have to offer. So hold onto some of it, dear, don’t give all of it away.

You invite them into your world, but you have yet to discover the galaxies inside of you. They know not of these universes that you, too, are unaware of at this moment, but they see the light shine through and are drawn to it.

You can welcome them, m’dear, you were born to be hospitable. You were born with arms longer than the average human, arms that reach around the world and embrace the souls that are in genuine need of touching. It’s what you do, because of the kindness, grace, and mercy that has gotten you this far. So don’t take it for granted, m’dear. Hold onto that.

One day, you will reach a realization that you can choose who to let in — yes. everyone who enters deserves respect and sincerity, but not everyone will choose to stay. And for that reason, my young self, know your boundaries and accept your limits. Know your role in their lives, and accept that you can’t be a saviour to your entire world.

Sometimes, transformation does begin by letting go, by pushing yourself off the cliff that was once your comfort zone, your nest.

One day, m’dear, you will meet someone who can and will do for you all that you’ve done for others. Someone who will look at you, appreciate you, and not want to let you go. Someone who not only has that desire, but also that willpower.

So for now, m’dear, do not rush. Don’t be that impulsive naive self that got you into the wreck in the first place. The wreck was so long ago anyway, it may as well be a divers’ hub by now. Swim away, m’dear. There’s nothing more you can do than you’ve already done to atone for the atrocities of your past.

I am that future you never dared to dream of, m’dear. That future is now present.

Embrace it, love. It’s time to stop surviving the storm and start thriving from what the waves have washed ashore.

Now that you’ve learned to shield yourself from waves and breathe underwater, how about moving on up and learn to ride that wave?

 

 

MG

 

 

 

 

In Light of Linkin’…Park

They say that I don’t belong
Say that I should retreat
That I’m marching to the rhythm
Of a lonesome defeat
But the sound of your voice
Puts the pain in reverse
No surrender, no illusions
And for better or worse

When they turn down the lights

I hear my battle symphony
All the world in front of me
If my armor breaks
I’ll fuse it back together

~Linkin Park~

 

 

Do You Remember?

Do you remember, m’dear
Back when you had everything to confront yet nothing to fear
Everything to give and nothing to lose
Everything decided and nothing to choose? 

Do you remember when you looked up at the buildings?
The skyscrapers?

Do you remember when you tried to do it alone?
You dug and dug
more and more rabbit holes 

Do you remember? 

When you challenged a system that was created for
You,
not to challenge but to enjoy.
Still you chose to explode and destroy
Be it with excitement
Unprecedented curiosity
Unencumbered fascination
But do you remember your impulses?

Do you remember being… 

 

free…? 

 

MG 

Don’t Look Away

(Creative writing: May 2009 – when it all began)

Perhaps there was nothing wrong with her to begin with, and she was just as normal as everyone else. But maybe it was her honesty that landed her where she was now—a rut. All that she once represented, all that she once was, the person she used to be, all left behind with the rest of her past. Her memories are what they are—memories. None of it the reality of now, rather a fragment of the past she carries around with caution.

No one can explain her, no one understands her. No one can love her to the capacity she does. She’s alone, but not. Thrown into this place she couldn’t comprehend, this place she could never absorb, she sits in wonder. She watches as the cars go by, as people fall into the deep abyss of love. She watches as people don’t realize they’re being watched.

Life, the one big controversy waiting to erupt. Or maybe, just maybe, it already has. Maybe this rut she’s in is the result of being swept away by lava carrying to this state of confusion.

She watches everyone around her—no one is normal. No one conforms. No one can fully blend in with the scene. So what was she doing here on her own? Was there even an “answer” to such a question?

Tears started forming in her eyes as she unraveled the memories of her past. She wanted things to go back to the way they were. She would give up all emotions, even happiness, just so that she would never feel pain again. A long time ago, she was never happy; but a long time ago, she was whole and complete. A long time ago, she was never broken.

She had to fight back the liquidized demons they called “emotions” that were beginning to fall from her face. No, she couldn’t be weak. She couldn’t let society win. But society itself had an advantage over her. It was closing in tightly around her, entrapping her, blocking her from herself.

Outside this cage was a mirror.

Inside this mirror stood a girl with a distorted smile. She was pretty, and she was smiling. The eyes in the mirror told a story, a happy story. But as she studied this intriguing person, she realized that her hands were tied. She had no means of breaking free, but she was happy. The person in the mirror sighed. A tear drop trickled down her cheek, fell to the ground, but didn’t break. A single teardrop, so small and fragile, yet so strong it did not shatter as it hit the floor.

This girl looked away. She couldn’t bear the image of a teardrop. Looking down, she found a pool of clear water on her shoulder. She looked away. These teardrops were her memories melting, liquidizing. She couldn’t fight it anymore. She looked back at the mirror once more, at the girl who smiled and hid her tears. The girl whose hands were bound, yet didn’t struggle to break free. The girl, who could be happy.

She blinked, and turned around.

On and on she ran, looking away from anything which fueled her memories, her emotions.

Those memories, no matter how close they were to her heart…were unfinished.

MG

As I Lay Dying

(Creative writing, REALLY old one from 2011. Darker writing, found it when I was going through old material.)

———

And as I lay dying,
the sounds of the conspirators remind me
of who I was supposed to become.

It’s never too late to be who you want to be, but watching the world pass by your dying corpse, you realize there really was no purpose.

That last slash, that last pill, that little nudge… you realize all along that you made the right choice.

But the one time you wonder what it would have been like to hold on rather than back down; for that split second, a moment of the reality of what “could have been” just flashes behind your reluctant eyelids.

The knowledge that all you needed was 3 more seconds with her…and it wouldn’t be you on this end.

You would be the one standing, watching her beg for life. She would be the one asking herself what she could’ve done to change it all. She would wonder what she could have done to re-write the ending.

And that’s when you see it…you envision the blade soaring through the air and puncturing her abdomen. She screams for you to stop as you’re blinded by the rage she fed, provoked, only makes you stronger.

You kick her to the ground and she weeps. Begging for a second chance to live her life differently. Still, you can only be as merciless as she was all along.

She bred this evil monster, fueled the fire ignited once upon a time.

This version of the person she loved has been warped by all the scars and venom injected into veins once innocent.

Nothing will ever mend this brokenness created by the one lying defenseless on the ground. Slowly, as she drowns in a pool of her own blood, you watch her slip away.

Merciless and too selfish to see past your peripheral vision, you wish it was how it used to be.

But now, you’re the one down. Barely able to see past the slits in your dying eyes.

You slip into a coma.

It’s over.

You’re dead to the world, knowing that your last thoughts were nothing but vengeance.

And still…hoping that your legacy lives on…

And as she lay dying, the sounds of the conspirators reminded her of who she could have become…

MG

Where Am I Now, They Ask

“Where are you?” they ask, then don’t stop to listen to the response. Well…

I am capable of anger. Rage, too, mind you. It is not an anger that reacts to the ordinary, mundane trivialities of social construct, such as religion, race, gender, and class. No, it is a genuine anger, not a projection. It is an underlying one, the undercurrents, which have found different mediums of release so that no more human collateral is necessary.

However, I am capable of anger. And pain. And rage.

Some call them demons, I call them artists; exploding paint into an array of beauty, of wonder in the making.

But more than anything, that anger comes from disappointment. Sweetheart, I’m disappointed. I know you are, too, but part of that springs from the knowledge that we both want the same thing and just not from each other. We want it from ourselves.

Yet, I have the audacity to write this to you, knowing that you’ll never read it –  I use audacity in the context of “courage”, not “entitlement”. I am that flux between your best dream and worst nightmare. It is my humanity I present to you, as sincerely as I know how.

You’re free to come and go as you wish, you always have been. But darling, you have become as apathetic to my presence as I am resilient to your absence.

So for once, I just wish you would meet me halfway. That said, I don’t know if I should be reaching or settling…but I’m present, somewhere in the middle. That’s me.

Balanced.

Present.

Always, the last one standing. The one they’ve left to hold up the fort.

And I do, using the pain and strength that came from shattered bones regrown. On cold days, the scars do burn a little, a reminder that there is still a fire within me. On hot days, the anxiety levels rise and my aggression is channeled into “midnight strolls” that turn into 20 kilometer strides around the city.

I have no choice but to be strong. My weaknesses are merely “assignments I have yet to complete.” The disappointment in me springs from always feeling incomplete, from the perfectionism that has been instilled in me through knowing that I can only ever improve. The disappointment in knowing that I have become who I aspired to be, and now need new aspirations so as not to become complacent in the results. There is no end to the learning process, only expansion and improvement.

But they say, moving forward sometimes means allowing the future to unravel and unfurl, the seeds that have been planted through time.

They always say “reap what we sow”, and then leave out the entire “growth” process. The longest part of the journey. They say it as if one can plant a bean and it magically sprouts into a beanstalk, instead of describing the journey of how it took to turn into a plant. So yes, we reap what we sow, but in between, there’s a whole ton of adventure and growth.

Those are the challenges: the long days in the sun, plowing through the soils, finding the right fertilizers, weeding out bad roots…and yet…those are the parts they all skip…and you ask why I’m disappointed.

I feel betrayed. Betrayed by the lies you didn’t mean to tell. Because the lies you tell yourselves, are the lies you tell me. And then expect me to swallow it like it’s not insulting. Expect me to stand there and take your projections of insecurity because I’m “strong enough” to ward them off, apparently.

Well, I’ll tell you, I’m not warding them off, darling. I let them sink it, taking the place of what used to be “respect”. Perhaps it’s not that respect needs to be earned, but that disrespect should be earned. I approached you with respect, the respect you hadn’t earned, but still expected. So I handed it to you, sampling it to see what you’d do.

You took it for granted, love. You took me for granted.

It’s not a line you’ve drawn between us, or a wall you’ve built between us, darling.

It is an abyss you’ve created, a canyon, where we’re both on the edge wondering who’d fall first.

I assure you, I’ve already taken that plunge. A long, long time ago. I’ve been down here a while now, exploring the caves and digging for diamonds.

But I’m not staying down here alone, so when the storm comes and floods this canyon into a river, I’m letting it carry me wherever it leads.

Because this, darling, is out of my control. And evidently, out of yours too.

I love you. And I’m sorry that loving you hurts this much, but I’m not sorry that hurting grows me this much.

So join me, or don’t, but know that I won’t be here forever…

MG