Reset?

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Found this gem on Facebook, thank you to whoever posted this for the post inspiration.

If you were given the opportunity to reset your life, would you do it? This is a question I get asked a lot. I have many questions, but never the answer. Do I get to remember everything I’ve learned so far? Will I get to right my wrongs and still have a decent outcome in life? I guess now is the time to start thinking of the answer.

There are a few things in my life that I’m not proud of. I’m not proud of giving my all to people who didn’t give a damn if I was there or not, I’m not proud of quitting school when I was younger, and I’m certainly not proud of how I handle the stresses of everyday life. But would I really reset? This reminds me of a line from another great Spoken Word poet, Neil Hilborn, from his poem “The Future”. He says “I think a lot about killing myself, not like a point on a map, but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave”. Resetting your life is essentially killing the old you to make a new you, right? Or maybe that’s just my morbid thinking. Maybe this is why I love slam poetry, it makes the morbid thoughts of mine seem normal. Let’s get back to the main topic, shall we?

If I were to ever reset my life, how far would it take me back? Would I get to pick the age where my life started sliding into fuck town, or would it be an automatic reset of life in general? Would I get to choose my gender? That would be nice, not being a woman, but then I’d never have my son or the man who loves me today. But I’d be paid more and treated less ignorant than I currently am. Then again, I’d never be able to show emotion as a man without being told to “man up”, which leads me to another poet, and his “ten responses to the phrase man up”. The problem is, like Neil said, my life is a show that isn’t bad enough for me to leave. Despite how much I bitch and complain about my life, it’s never that bad. I don’t even think it’s that bad, at least the normal part of me. There is always one part that wants more. But what more could I have? Most people would kill for the job I have, or at least the pay. I have a very loving and accepting boyfriend who takes each and every break down in strides. You see, he isn’t used to someone like me, someone who can go from happy and content to sad and morbid in just a matter of days. He isn’t used to someone who’s mind thinks that everything will be fine, just as soon as you blow all of your money on things you don’t need. He now understands why I am so persistent on making sure all of the bills are paid, because if there is ever a moment I cannot control the constant nagging of my mind to do the dumbest shit, at least I’ll know we are set for that month. You see, he has dated normal girls before me. Now these girls danced dangerously over the line of ignorant and selfish, but they were normal none the less. Now that’s something I’d kill for – normality.

How many people do you know can’t go to a funeral of someone they don’t know? Well, if you came to this post not knowing anyone, you will leave knowing that I can’t. That’s right. Hypersensitivity is one of the WORST  things ever. I remember getting a call from my friend, begging me to come to another friend’s funeral, someone I had never met. She needed moral support, and more importantly a designated driver. I got ready, picked her up, and made the quiet drive to the funeral home. It took five minutes of being in the room, and I was whisked away by my own emotions. Tears streamed down my  face, my chest tightened, I felt like it was my best friend that died. Needless to say, my friend got upset. She couldn’t understand that I, being in the same room as roughly fifty distraught people was enough to send me over the edge.  That is a moment I would love to reset.

I struggle with my makeup, making sure it looks perfect. My sister sits next to me, talking me through each step. She smiles as I complete each step correctly, and she explains where I messed up. By the time I am finished, she is beaming. It was just a small amount of time spent with her, but I treasure it forever. Don’t take this away, Reset.

Or the time I came to my boyfriend now, when we first met, and told him I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I wasn’t ready for someone to treat me right, because at the time, I didn’t know I was worth being treated right. Hell let’s be honest, there’s still moments I don’t think I need to be treated right. But there’s something so special about someone who wakes up at 2:00 am when he should be sleeping to roll over and hug me tightly, no words spoken for a long time because he knows that all I need is to be held. He does this because he knows I can’t hold myself together, so once again he needs to be my glue. I wish I could tell him I get better. I wish I could tell him that this is the last time he needs to piece me back together after I have slowly destroyed myself from the inside out. This is a moment I wish I could reset.

My boyfriend and our children are preparing to head to the lake, and even though I can’t deal with cold water, I go with them. I haven’t smiled this much in a long time. Our children are the best behaved kids in the water, and we are still so much in love, much like the first time we met. Our fingers laced with our children’s, we floated there together, as if we were all slowly floating into space, dancing among the stars. I would not change this for the world.

My son comes home, throwing his backpack to the floor with such a high amount of sass that I am taken aback. I’ve noticed a pattern, this only happens on days that I have to leave before dinner is finished to go to work. He is angry at me, but I hope that one day he will understand, but until then he holds his anger inside. He learned this from me. He bites his tongue to drive the tears back to the deep well inside, but that well is about to overflow. He is only seven, but he is already learning how to numb himself. Part of me wants to pick up the phone and call work, telling them that I can’t come in because my son needs me, but they wouldn’t understand. I’d have a point against me, one less point to use when absolutely needed, and one day less that I may be able to pay the bills. Please let me reset.

I am standing on stage in my graduation cap and gown. My mother, father, boyfriend, son, sister, aunts, and uncle are silently holding their breath. This is a moment we all have waited for this moment. The announcer slowly says my name and I glide to the small black X located center stage. I hold my breath as the two people I’m standing in the middle of hand me my diploma. I finally did it. There are cheers from my family and I am shaking, fighting the happy tears. This is a moment to remember forever.

My father and I bond over a cup of coffee after he takes my child to the bus stop. We talk about life, or listen to The Beatles, or bake, or just sit in silence. I remember a time when I looked at him and said that I wanted to live with my mom, because I didn’t like the woman he married. I remember watching his eyes flash and pain replace them. I am not proud of myself. This man taught me how to be happy with what I have, how to love people for how they are, and because I didn’t like his current wife I am abandoning him. Perhaps that is why I’m afraid to start my own life, because I don’t want him to feel abandoned again. Please reset!

As you can tell, life is a mixture of happy and sad times. But for the life of me, I can’t find any reason to press the button. Resetting my life would mean killing every moment that has made me who I am. In some cases, resetting seems like a great idea, removing the extra stress on those I love. But they love me, and they would help lift the metaphoric boulder on my shoulders that I seem to feel that I need to carry. Resetting isn’t an option, moving forward is. And as Neil said: “I saw the future, I did. And in it…I was alive.” My future will not involve a reset button, because my memories and lessons need to be kept alive.

Enjoy “The Future” – my ultimate go to spoken word poem.

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Opposites Attract

You were strong,
Nothing seemed to break you.
I was weak,
Bending to the blowing wind.

You were brave,
Facing danger with a smile.
I was frightened,
Shuddering with every step.

You found light,
In the darkest of places.
In a room full of light,
I was stuck in the shadows.

We were different,
In every possible way.
Yet you found something in me,
That I thought never existed.

You came to me,
With that smile across your lips.
I couldn’t understand your intentions,
Until you held me.

We are black and white,
Different in every way.
With each other at our sides,
We see with a new vision.

Color dances through our world,
Music plays from deep within.
We dance in slow motion,
As the world rushes by.

Our differences are not to be feared,
Together we will become one.
Your smile driving my fears away,
And my kisses bringing you to your knees.

The Musk 

As I toss about in bed, unable to sleep, I clutch at your pillows. How I long for the moments we would go to bed at the same time, but we both know that we have to do what is needed for our family. 

As the tears threaten to free their blue-green prison, I catch it. The faint remains of your cologne dance along your pillows like a ballerina preforming a magical display. I inhale the musk, memories dancing in my head. I fall back to a time where I’d lay my head on your chest and your fingers would slip slowly through my hair, enticing the goosebumps to rise to the surface. You’d snicker and call me a whimp, playfully of course. I giggle as I fail to stifle a yawn. 

The musk lulls me to sleep and you are there in my dream. You stand proud in an impressive suit, your eyes dancing over me. I can’t understand why you are beaming like a child on Christmas until I look down. I’m donned in the most stunning of gowns, one that puts the Disney princesses to shame. I run to you, streets appearing beneath my feet and glass buildings appearing beside me. I turn to glance at the reflection in front of me and gasp. My hair is long, skin is glistening, and teeth are straight and close together. I am the picture of perfection with you by my side. 

You take my hand and we sway to music that only we can hear, in the middle of the busy streets. The drivers don’t honk for us to move, in fact, they take turns swerving around us. They create a protective barrier as we get lost in each other’s eyes. I rest my head against your shoulder, and there I am reacquainted with your wonderful musk. 

I fall deeper into the musk induced slumber, and the walls of our home begin building themselves. We are sitting on the porch, a hand built swing suspended from the beams of the porch. I watch our children play with their children in the sprinkler, while you tell stories of all the things you built for our home. The grandkids stop and giggle in tiny fits, exclaiming “don’t brag, papa!” I take your hand in mine and smile. We know the truth, every inch of this home was designed by you. 

As the dream fades to an end, I stretch and find myself in our bed, alone once more. I turn and take a deep breath, a smile breaking my lips. Even though I’m alone, you are still here. Your pillows were always my favorite, because of how well they preserved your scent. 

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The holes in our laundry

It’s funny to me that a simple family chore could teach me to love and appreciate my boyfriend far more than I previously did. Let’s set the record straight for a moment; I despise laundry. I read an article on Facebook about six months ago, talking about a machine that would fold your laundry for you. Sadly, I’ll never be able to afford such a luxury, so of course I’m still folding the clothes of a small army by hand.

My boyfriend and I pick Sunday to do laundry. On good days, the laundry is wash, dried, folded, and put away by their owners. However, about a month ago, there was one Sunday that the laundry was just washed and dried, stuffed into baskets, and placed at the foot of our bed. My boyfriend threw himself into bed that night and asked me that one question no mother/girlfriend ever wants to hear: “Can you fold those tomorrow?” I nodded, though I knew full well I’d have to study all night to learn to force to make those clothes fold themselves.

Boy was I devastated when I woke up the next morning and the clothes were still in their baskets. Damn you, George Lucas, you made me believe the force was real. I dashed upstairs and made myself some coffee, trying to find anything and everything to occupy my time so I could say that I was too busy to fold clothes. Sadly that opportunity never came and I departed to the basement. I knew I’d need all the help I could get, so I turned on some music and started to sort the clothes by owner. Once one person’s clothes were folded, I delivered them to their room so they could do the deed of putting them away. After about an hour and a half, all that was left was my boyfriend’s.

Now out of our two children and ourselves, my boyfriend has the least amount of clothes, yet he has just enough for the week. Some of his jeans are worn, with holes either by design or by the wear and tear of his job. I giggled to myself as I held up his most recent pair of jeans, the ones he bought from Walmart after telling me “these will be just fine”. Being the snarky female that I am, I thought to myself “once again, I was right about the quality of the jeans,” as I tossed them onto the folded pile. His shirts were folded quickly and all that was left were his socks. That’s when I noticed them.

Holes. He had just bought a new pack of socks, and the new ones had holes in them. I shook my head in disbelief, and glanced at his briefs. Those had holes too! His undershirts, flannels, new jeans, socks, briefs. Everything had at least one hole. I shook my head and thought back to the last time he bought himself clothes, good quality clothes like the ones we try to find our children. My heart began racing because in the two years we have been together, he only bought cheap clothes to get him by. But it didn’t stop at the clothes, his shoes were often cheap Walmart specials that wore out after three months use. His work boots were full of holes as well! I couldn’t understand how I didn’t notice.

How could I not notice that his clothes were slowly falling apart, and he was more concerned about the children, about me. How could I not notice that he knew I cared about how I looked, and sacrificed a new wardrobe for articles to add to mine that I’d probably never wear more than once.

My heart dropped to my stomach. This man wakes up every day, goes to work where he has to lift heavy furniture, and come home to help take care of the kids. On the weekends instead of relaxing, he is cleaning around the house, doing laundry on Sunday afternoons. I choke back tears, knowing the last year I have been hoping and pleading that people will see that he and I are the same in terms of working. That just because I’m not as physical at work as he is, doesn’t mean that what I do doesn’t help the family. I was ashamed that the first thought I had when I saw his jeans with holes starting to show their presence was a chance for me to be right.

That night, when he came home and tried to fight off sleep in the recliner, I looked at him with new light. He works every single day to always give our family what we need, and often what we desire. He does this without a single complaint. Meanwhile, I am sitting back arguing with people, saying that my job is just as demanding as his. I walk over to him and kiss his forehead, being cautious not to wake him. I see him with new found love, and the love I feel for him has come full circle.
Lesson six: Love is not about one person, love is two people becoming one. 

Learning the lessons

I quit school when I was 17 and spent two years trying to get the GED. I failed the math and writing multiple times, and after a while I quit again. I went back to try a final time, at which point my teacher told me I could do a high school completion course. After a year and a half, I graduated as a member of the Nation Adult Education Honor Society.
Lesson one: Believe in yourself.

My son attends a magnificent school with wonderful teachers. I just found out today that he is being bullied, and he is afraid to tell the bus driver. The boys who are picking on him used to be his friends, and now that my son turned over a new leaf, they don’t like him. I asked him what he plans to do, almost afraid that he would say that he would go back to his less than desirable ways. He told me that if they can’t accept that he wants to be good, then they don’t need to be his friends.
Lesson two: Be true to yourself.

I had a rough relationship, the guy got into my head and made me think things about myself that I didn’t like. He made me feel crazy, used, and that nobody would love me but him. I didn’t want to wake up in the morning, I didn’t want to eat. I went from looking healthy to being harped on by doctors because I looked anorexic. I still struggle with the thoughts of being fat. There were times he made me feel that the people in my life would be better off without me. He paid me for sex, telling me that this is what people do when they are in love. He lied.
Lesson three: If someone truly loves you, they will not hurt you on a daily basis. 

I separated myself from dating and sex and spent time getting to know myself. I now know that I like my coffee with a lot of creamer, I look best with nude color eye shadows, I like hearing people talk (even if I don’t catch what they said), I can be a good friend to someone, I can make my son smile with just one hug or high five, and that it really feels good to laugh.
Lesson four: It’s okay to be alone.

A man came into my life when I was 19. I was fresh out of a relationship, but not ready for the emotions he made me feel. After a few months of trying to be normal with him, I walked away. I couldn’t settle down. I was in and out of relationships more than I’d like to admit. Each and every time, my mind went back to him. When things got rough, I’d leave. I knew deep down the others weren’t who I was meant for, but I could never admit that he was what I longed for. It took me four years, a few unpleasant conversations, and one apology before we finally got it right. If I would have listened to myself the first time, I could have avoided a lot of unnecessary heartache on both parts.
Lesson five: You deserve forgiveness, and you deserve to forgive. 

Life is full of lessons, and I’m ready to learn them all.