This Novel Life

"Live the life you dream." -Henry David Thoreau

Sorry, Cinderella.

Don’t fight for the fairy tale, it doesn’t exist.

The fairy tale is some good marketing by a pretty princess during a bad moment where she wanted her story to look especially perfect. The fairy tale is a proposal he planned for weeks or months, a perfect series of seconds in an otherwise very regular life. There is so much more to the story than Prince Charming swooping in at the last minute and slipping the lost slipper on Cinderella’s foot.

There will be crying in the car in the pouring rain in the driveway, staring at the diamond on your left ring finger and forcing yourself to work up the strength to go inside. Screaming matches, throwing fits and curling up in a ball wishing it all away.

And then, at the end of the fight, there’s an off the cuff remark that makes you both laugh, and there he is, Prince Charming, swooping in at the last minute and wrapping his arms around you.

There’s always going to be another broken washing machine and puppies that need potty training. Bills and babies and school orientations that you have to go to alone because someone has to pay those bills. Family emergencies and friends that need help and sometimes there is a villain to defeat who wants nothing more than to tear you apart.There is life. And that’s going to mean more than the fairy tale. Because it’s real, and it’s dirty and messy but at the end of every day you’re just two people who can’t seem to get enough of each other. It’s not a fairy tale, it’s an adventure of epic proportions, and you need more than a glass slipper to tackle it.

 

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Your promises expired like the milk in the fridge,

Our hopes and dreams swept away in the current.

We could love each other for a thousand years

But stability didn’t count days on the calendar.

Then your watch stopped ticking

And my heart stopped beating

So I gave up like I always do,

The only constant in all the inconsistency.

 

And I watched you leave

Like you never had before.

A Bad Year

She is tragically romantic,

I can’t get you out of my head.

Thriving on what if and what could be,

My life is incomplete without you.

Begging her phone for a text,

It was you all along.

She binges on romance and fantasy,

You give me a reason to breathe.

Wishing on shooting stars and romantic comedies,

I will love you until the end of time.

She lives in her dreams,

I love you.

He will forever be her always.

Tragedy

I cried for all the moments that were robbed from me, for all the peace and serenity on summer nights. I cried for the words I wouldn’t hear, the whispers that were no longer mine and mine alone. I cried for the loss, for the pain in my chest and the sorrow in my heart and all of the looks we would never share again.

I blamed myself for all the words I never said, the times I held my breath. I searched for an answer and found only questions and so I cried for the naivety of believing things could last forever.

I mourned the defeat, for it was both my greatest mistake and your greatest achievement, to finally break the heart of a girl who dreamt of tragedy and welcomed sorrow…

Seven

She thought about him often, he was the question constantly in the back of her mind, drifting around without answer.

It wasn’t that she didn’t love him. It wasn’t that she didn’t spend hours picturing their life together. She kept moments from their adventures scattered around her house, a quiet nod to the kind of happiness she could have had. The simple truth was she was motivated by a picket fence fairy tale that he never wanted to give her. He wasn’t the Noah to her Allie, he was the Dawson to her Joey, a kind of story that was great on paper but she knew they could never make it off the page.

She stood at the gate, waiting for the flight attendant to scan her ticket and the years flashed before her eyes. She could turn around now, and maybe he would be there, waiting at security. The opportunity grabbed at her heart strings, leading her down a path of what ifs. Her hazel eyes gazed out the windows onto the runway of planes, carrying people to new chapters in their stories, knowing that her true adventure was behind her.

“Ma’am, your ticket?” the flight attendant asked, and suddenly the ticket felt like a heavy weight on her chest, pressing her with the age old choice of following her heart or her head…

The Breakup

Her broken heart didn’t come from another person.

It was the breakup she yearned for,

The breakup she would never get over,

And the breakup after a year of change.

It came from the ocean she no longer stepped foot into,

The wooded trails that would hold no more sunset runs,

The dusty roads that had been sing-a-long backdrops.

She cried for the loss of who she had found in those places,

Someone who begged for adventure,

Who craved the thrill of finding herself,

The woman who could see the future laid out in front of her.

There was running and leaving and going home again,

Laden with tearful goodbyes to each person she had been.

 

Loudest

I remember the way you looked

When you loved me the loudest,

Driving up the coast in your Chevy.

The smell of the ocean

Wafting through open windows

The sun shining down on laughter

The music drowning out reality.

We lost ourselves in the city

Hidden among the cobblestone road.

That day became just a memory,

The kind we soak up on rainy days

Hungry for a glimmer of sun and surf,

And magic in a normal world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows

She sits in the shadows of my soul

A deadly reminder that one shove is all it takes

A haunting momentum to push harder and be better

Escape the ghosts that trap her there

I see her in the quiet confines of the past

Pulling at my present like strings on a marionette

She laughs as if to say you’ll get there one day.

She sits in the shadows of my soul

Reminding me of the person that I could be

Provoking me with raspy words and foggy moments

Condemning me to the darkest places in my mind

Where she is a prominent and forceful deity

Luring me in with the carelessness I try not to crave

Taunting me with dreams I never wish I had.

 

To The Parents I Never Had

I know it isn’t your fault you’re not here. Decisions made as teenagers that brought you to the places you exist now are the reason I don’t have the Hallmark memories I so desperately crave. But all the student debt and psychology classes in the world haven’t helped me forgive you. There are moments I wanted as a child, Dad teaching me how to drive or Mom snapping photos on prom night. When the holidays roll around, I scrape together scattered and fading childhood memories to create a single good, wholesome moment, and for a second it is there – the family I always needed.

There are substantial moments in my life when I needed you and the pain comes most heavily in being an adult and understanding that my fundamental flaws stem from the moments you both so selfishly deprived me of.

When I turned sixteen and got my first job, nobody was there to deter me from blowing my paychecks on acrylic nails and Cheetos. I didn’t have a father to try and stop me from dating the first boy who so destructively broke my young heart, or a mother to pour over college applications with me. There was nobody there to cry to when I got engaged, and nobody for my future husband to ask for permission to pop that question. There was no mother to plan a wedding with, no father to walk me down the aisle. Nobody to teach me about credit or careers, and nobody to hold me and tell me everything would work out when I saw my first positive pregnancy test. But these moments pale in comparison to the fact you weren’t there to teach me how to survive the soul crushing emotional damage caused when I lost you.

It’s a scene on repeat in my mind, even now, years later, haunting me in a way that can eclipse even the brightest of sunny days. You aren’t here to walk me through the maze that is life, helping me handle being an adult without a parent to turn to when my days are long and hard. I’ve spent years pretending that you are out there somewhere, but the truth hits like a ton of bricks when I pick up the phone and there is no number to dial.

On my worst days, Christmas, Thanksgiving and the moments in between, I beg the stars for you, for a message or a sign that you had hopes and dreams for the daughter you couldn’t put first. I wonder if you looked at your precious baby girl the way I do mine and constructed a life of happiness and laughter for her. I question if, in your last moments or hours of reality, if there were regrets in leaving someone who relied so heavily on guidance she would never receive.

I wonder if the day will come and you’ll be there, on the other end of the line, to call me home for a turkey dinner and a night of reminiscing in front of the fire place. But you’re not there and it won’t happen, so I stumble through life with a heavy heart and memories created from a fantasy.

Complicated

I’m missing you

Or the idea of you

The way you’d look at me

As if this life was all a dream

I’m missing you

The things we used to do

The way we used to be

Out on that old back road

With the radio up

And not a care in the world

I miss the way it used to be

When you were you and me

And we were all we ever needed to be.

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