So, I’ve decided to start a new series on here, which I’ve nicknamed Musical Muse, because I’m clever like that. Basically, I’ll be posting poems that I’ve written that were in some way inspired by a certain lyric from a specific song.
Here’s the first one 🙂
I crept past the dragon
guarding your door,
tiptoed into the dark halls,
and began to search.
At first, there were only ghosts,
hiding in closets and
tucked under beds,
I dodged their rotting fingers.
Then i found the pictures,
your form just a blur,
and then the mask
you wore to meet me.
-And I knew it had never been real.
Inspired by “So I took an ax to a mended fence,” by Taylor Swift- “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”
I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell my story, and why I felt such a need to tell it, for at least a year now. Nothing really seemed to work or feel right. At least until a certain concert I went to that inexplicably sparked something in my mind that caused the pieces to fall into place. Suddenly, I couldn’t stop writing. I’d been reminded of my roots, of the ways in which my voice is strongest, and it finally felt right, and safe, to say what I needed to.
In telling the story, I wasn’t sure what I hoped to accomplish. I just knew that it needed to come out, one way or another. A couple of nights ago, I finished the first draft of that story and I was surprised to feel not just nervous that people would actually be reading it soon, but also an overwhelming sense of peace. Peace and confidence and serenity that I haven’t felt in almost 5 years.
It will be 5 years since the assault happened next month. Every year I’ve done something on or around the university to take back my power of that day and try to prevent myself from succumbing to the painful memories that can sometimes surface. Last year, I forgot there was an anniversary at all, something I considered, and still do, a victory in and of itself.
This year it seems the anniversary will bring about a piece of work written in my blood and tears. It’s honestly probably the piece I’m most proud of to date. More importantly, writing it brought closure. I can’t tell you what it means to finally feel like I can close the door behind me on this chapter in my life when for years I didn’t think it would be possible to go more than a day without thinking about it, hurting from it.
But that’s what happened. When I came to the end of the word document that held everything I’d gone through…I felt closure. I felt like I can finally move on.
I’ve been wondering at times what the purpose in my coming to Texas was when I’m just going back home to Indy in March, but now I think I know. I needed this. I needed to get away from all of the monsters that held me hostage before, come to a new, untainted environment, and find my voice again.
And I did. I found it, and I’m proud of it, and I’m so incredibly happy that as some sort of miraculous bonus, I’ve finally found closure. I can finally go home feeling happier and lighter than I have in years, and I am so grateful and excited for this next chapter.
So the other day I was talking to a friend about dating, etc and I made my typical self-deprecating comment (something I’m trying to get out of the habit of, by the way) about why I didn’t understand why they would want to date me when my life was kind of a mess. They were kind and said they were used to messy lives but when I set my phone down I was struck by something odd.
I realized, afterwards of course because isn’t that always how it works, that what I’d said wasn’t exactly true. Not anymore at least. Maybe I’ve been used to the idea that I’m a total mess and going through a million things and barely keeping it together and that had become my default answer but when I thought about it, I realized that I’m actually more together than I’ve been in years.
Things in my life are actually going…well. I’ve got a steady source of income, I’ve got some big changes coming up but nothing bad or overly taxing, I’m writing more, I’ve got friends, and I’m happy. Not sure when all of that happened haha, but I could definitely get used to it.
After living in Texas since June 1, 2017, I’ve decided to go back to Indiana. It hasn’t been an easy choice at all. I love Austin a lot. I feel like I can breathe here and I’ve been really happy here and am proud of myself for making a life here. I’ve also had the chance to learn a lot about myself since I moved, and one thing that I learned is that my family and friends mean more to me than I realized.
I love it here, but I feel like I’m missing a limb, like a huge chunk of myself is just absent. It took me a little while to come to the realization that I can live with an Austin-shaped hole in my life (as long as I still get to visit!), but I can’t live with a family/friend-shaped hole.
It turns out though, that even while I feel like this is right decision in my gut, I’m still apprehensive. I left Indiana at a time when I was suffocating and could barely hold myself up. The few months I spent before I left at my brother’s house helped for sure, but the time before that, in the apartment by myself, I was followed constantly by a storm cloud that I thought would eventually drown me.
So, now I find myself going back and a small, irrational part of me is scared. I’m worried that the anxiety and crippling depression I left behind is waiting for me, a 70-foot dragon waiting at the state line just daring me to cross.
It scares me. I’m worried I won’t be able to breathe there. I’m worried the depression will come back when I cross back into Indy’s borders, like shrugging on an old heavy coat. I’m afraid everything will be the same.
But I also know that this is something I need to do. That while I’m safe here in Austin, I need to face the demons and dragons I left behind to show that I really have grown. Because the fact is, things won’t be the same in Indy when I get back, simply because I’M not the same.
So, March 2018, I face the dragon.
(and who knows, maybe it’ll end up looking like this guy)