Best Friend Break Ups

There is no set recipe for grieving the loss of the living. Some people just can’t be in your life anymore- for one reason or another.

I’ve lost friends more times than I can count, meaning the whole nine yards- complete excommunication from the friend group. Each fall out varied; some I had people by my side after and dissolved with lots of words, other times everyone hated me and there were no words at all. But each one in its uniqueness has helped me appreciate the presence of others even more, as well as my own. They’ve helped me grow independent and understanding. A perfect example of why we have to mess up, occasionally, to learn.


My best friend and I have known each other ever since we were about four or five years old. We always did most things together, closely knit. After eighth grade, I moved away and we tried our best to keep in touch, to see each other as much as we could. But inevitably, we drifted without even noticing. Upon my return for my senior year of high school, we tried to pick up where we left off, but it became quite difficult, as we only recognized each other as people we once knew, not who we were currently. Little riffs started to come between us, but none as bad as what happened over the summer.

We were set to drive up to Northern Maine in mid-July to see our friend perform at a festival. And when we arrived, we set up our tent and went to socialize. As dusk approached, I started to feel uneasy. Perhaps it was a mix of being confused, tired, and introverted, but something was very wrong. I had a gut feeling that I shouldn’t be there, so I returned to the tent, where I spent the remainder of the night. And it was there where an awful feeling, much like anxiety, took over me. I started shaking like I was scared, but in my head, I was frozen- paralyzed. I had never felt this before in my lifeDisconnected and distant, I waited for my best friend to retire, sometime long past midnight.

The next day, I woke up conflicted over whether I should leave or not. My best friend didn’t want to leave yet and going meant distressing a lot of people. But despite that, I made the decision to go without her. Selfish of me, and yes, I could’ve stayed. Maybe it would’ve been different the second night around, but in that moment, I had to remove myself completely. We barely discussed it. I waited for her to find a ride home and left.

I remember the expression on her face, betrayed. And the expression on my other friend’s face as I was attempting to say goodbye, cold. None of us exchanged words in the coming days. And to an extent, I was upset too because no one checked up on me that night or asked if I was okay. And I felt that no one left any room for understanding before they got upset, so I failed to reach out or explain myself or apologize. I felt like I didn’t need to.

In the following weeks, I received a text from her, noting all the mistakes I had made since our friendship began. And that too made me feel even further. I had trusted her in knowing most of everything about me. Where was the consideration or sympathy? She had hurt me too…but maybe this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I chose to dismiss it- the day that ended a decade long friendship.

Although this situation was ultimately something between her and I, it become something between me and everyone. I refrained from contact with almost everyone, even blocked most peoples numbers, fearing nasty texts about how I was the girl who left her best friend behind.

I heard what people were saying about me, I even had one person say it to my face- like in person to my face. But for some reason, I let it all fall off me. It was my time to be alone, to reflect, to let go, to fix whatever was going on personally. I had to stop feeling so guilty. It happened. I did it- time to own it. Sure, if I didn’t leave, maybe I still would’ve had all my friends, maybe even more than I had before. And I probably would’ve felt a little more secure too! But, what if we still would’ve inescapably drifted apart?

I didn’t hold grudges towards her, or towards anyone. And I kept my mouth shut too, because I knew I had hurt (and surprised) a lot of people. I practiced enjoying my own company and doing things that made me happy- little passions. I didn’t dwell too hard on the situation, but I did acknowledge it. And I did grieve.

The hardest part was finding new people to hang around. There was this seemingly missing puzzle piece from my life and it always hung over my head. But I tried to put myself out there to talk to people. Then, I was able to find people I enjoyed. I could see through new perspectives and hear new thoughts. Turns out new souls aren’t so bad.

I had spent sweet seconds letting the scab heal over on this one but…fast forward a few months…to where I receive a text from my now ex-best friend. It seemed that she wanted to understand what happened. She missed me. And I missed her too. It probably took her a lot to message me. I was hesitant to give what she was saying the light of day, but we had matured in something we were both lacking at the time things went down- communication.

We found our way back. Talking about what happened was a kind of therapy. We found closure in doing so. And hopefully we can laugh about it later in life. But it wasn’t easy. It still kind of isn’t. It was time to put extra effort into healing the tear between us- to trusting each other again. And into relearning who each of us are. She tries her best to be there and to comfort me when I’m feeling uneasy about it. I try my best to communicate when something’s off. And right now, that’s all I can ask for. I can’t stress enough that everything takes time.


Being cut off obviously left me no choice but to be alone. It made me look inside myself at who I was. I had to look at my actions, thoughts, and feelings- and recognize their effects. How was I supposed to water other peoples pots if mine was incomplete?

More so, I taught myself to stop judging people; lovers, friends, ex-friends, enemies, everyone. It wasn’t healthy for me. I gave too much of my energy away to that. And after being on both sides of the judging, I realized that you have no idea what that person is going through, or has gone through up to that exact moment. And you also probably don’t realize how strong of an affect your words have. Their situation is theirs and theirs only- respect their space. Think twice before you pass judgement. You’ve probably made a few mistakes here and there too!

Going through something like this alone, with your own perception of all of it, takes a lot of strength. Just hold tight, it’s not as catastrophic as it seems. And like I said, there is no set recipe on how to do it. Do you for as long as you have to. Stand in your truth.

Be as gentle as you can and have compassion- even if you are angry or distraught or betrayed or hurt…

With Love,

LA.


New Year, New Me?

2018 was a major year for my growth. The end of the summer marked a point where I really started focusing on myself and what I enjoyed. I overcame previous fears and obstacles. I realized who I wanted to be around. I began an honest effort to change the parts of myself I dislike. My passion for writing came to me and I spent whenever I could with it, setting goals and following through. I was motivated.

As the year’s finish line became more visible, I felt like I stopped learning and changing. Being stagnant made me panic, so I forced whatever I had in me to create. I tried making it last in fear that I had lost a gift. But holding on too hard and suffocating my writing set me back even farther than I was before. I began to question my future, my choices, and struggled greatly with self-image. I didn’t want to move backwards, but it seemed like that was already underway.

I am not the best at following New Year’s Resolutions. And I didn’t want something staring me in the face, reminding me how big of a failure I am for not remembering to do it. Instead of brainstorming one big thing, I made a list of small goals that could be accomplished on a daily basis- simple actions to create better habits. I thought of things I wanted to become firsthand.

I made sure to write them down in a place I look in/at every day to make it unavoidable that they are planted in my head. It only takes 21 days to create a habit, so the only thing left is to practice my intentions.

This is what I came up with:

  • Create A Loving Space For Yourself And Your Creativity
  • Put Good In Your Body and Feel Good
  • Go Outside More
  • Be Kind And Put Your Heart In Everything
  • Figure Out What You Want To Do- College? Travel?

^I also made some more personal notes about creating a schedule for myself, finding jobs that would help me establish connections with what I want to do in the future, and various skills I want to learn.

In addition to those, I made a list of affirmations- what I want to manifest in the new year:

  • I am learning myself.
  • I will take signs for what they are- no sugar coating.
  • I will not force understanding- people learn at their own pace (if they’re meant to, of course).
  • I will grow unapologetically.
  • I will not allow my past back into my life.
  • I will build new homes.
  • I will re-pot myself as needed.

When creating these, I had to keep in mind that nothing is immediate. And I had to put trust in knowing that everything would come to me- like my future and what I want to do with life. I continuously have to be patient with the universe and myself.

I fall behind sometimes. I also get down on myself and threaten my growth by wanting to give up. But giving up doesn’t erase ink from paper, so I keep notes. I give myself time to wallow and grieve, if need be. And I’m not strict. When I’m not feeling it, I go out. I do things that make me feel good. No pressure. Then I’ll go back, reevaluate what I’m trying to do, and keep going.

My motivation? If I don’t change, the world won’t. And life won’t come to a halt for me. I deeply want to keep evolving with it. There is always something around the corner. To get to it, I must manage movement. And having people by my side that want to see me at my best, but are able to be there when I’m at the opposite, helps greatly.

Let it come in strides. Do things for yourself. Be good for yourself.

Everything will invariably fall into place- without hesitation.

With Love,

LA.

once;

flame,

There is not enough of you to piece together a fantasy. My eyes set away for too long and all I caught was a glimpse. The rest is left to my imagination. I’ve spun a seed and for now, I, the water of creation, will fertilize you until you’re brought to life.

And as months pass, I note that time has done you well. You’ve matured into a silhouette, so when my thoughts are absent, you may glide across. And my head starts spinning with new impressions. You confide your ideas of what our journey could be and I dote on them- our little secret. I wonder of a date when those devoting words will truly exist between us.

I am blind to your colors, but sound keeps telling me to run. Heat is sparking your ember, my pitterpatters to your thunder. I am hesitant, but certain. And I escape past suitors to the safe place we’ve created.

Exhaustion is entangling me, searching for you is unyielding. But sound finally whispers the sweet words that you’ve been welded into the mountains. Then sight returns and I look for relief. Cavities form and sculpt until you’re a mere man.

A simple exhibit, you tell me stories of how you melted cold heavens in rich desires of a visit. But the thought that we will part once again always sticks. And when I utter the question- the wind embraces me and departure arrives.

I suppose the sky suits you best after all.

With Love,

LA.


Thoughts from a Flower in a Concrete World: Part Two

I’ve been peering into the eyes of one of my closest friends since I was a child. I could probably map out his freckles like stars in the sky by now. But I was missing something grand and I did not notice until a few days ago that he is one of my inspirations. He does what he truly loves. And when I say this, I speak it seriously. I imply that he has completely surrendered himself to his passion, regardless of its outcomes, because it makes him happy. And that is something I admire greatly. Because every day, he shows me that there are other ways. And I’m not suggesting that he never struggles or doubts himself- I wish he didn’t (it takes a lot to fully take on your gifts). But despite this, he keeps moving. I envy him and his courage to dive into himself and extract his purest form of art, his courage to do what he loves and abide by his own life laws, neglecting the comments our elders, and even friends, throw at him. And I honor the pathway he is unknowingly paving for the people that will come after him. Because it is something vital to every generation, to every person who knows their passion, but thinks there isn’t a way. 


I have known for a spell that I don’t want to go to college. The thought of that frightens me. I’ve tried everything to rid myself of it. I’ve mixed it with my indecisiveness, so I could disguise it as ‘I haven’t found the right school yet’, or ‘I don’t really know what I want to do’. And I’ve swallowed everyone’s beliefs for breakfast, just to sway myself towards the notion that college will be the place I find myself. 

I want people to be happy with me. I want them to be proud of me and love me and listen to me. And somehow, the idea that going to college was the only way that people would accept me has made an indentation on my brain. But always doing things that I don’t want to destroys my creativity and happiness as a whole because then I’m giving myself away to be welcomed and acknowledged. I shouldn’t have to spread myself thin to be approved by people I matter to. 

Having most of everyone in my ear with the following cliche quotes doesn’t help me feel any less worn either. ‘College will give you the tools you need to succeed in the world.’ ‘You’ll only make good money if you get a degree.’ ‘Having a degree will make your life a whole lot easier.’ ‘It’s unfortunate, but people will only listen to you if you have a degree.’ ‘If you don’t go to college, you’ll miss out on the opportunities.’ ‘College is how you meet people.’  I bet you got tired of just reading those, it gets old after awhile. They’re all just fancy ways to cover up ‘You won’t have a voice in this world if you don’t go to a university.’  And a lot of people are conditioned enough to think saying this means they care- maybe they do.

Being supportive is caring, that doesn’t have to mean you can entirely comprehend what is going on. And there are seven billion people on this planet and counting, I am positive we’ll meet people worth while. Opportunities open like doors and are available at your fingertips. The only trouble with it is that you may close them on yourself by believing they aren’t there. And you won’t be penniless on account of the absence of a piece of paper that says you spent four years in a classroom. And you can refuse their beliefs, gently. Thank you, but that is you, not me. 


Breaking free isn’t easy. Years of ‘training’ does a number on the soul, but passion, I believe, is enough motivation to break up with the voice that says ‘there is only one way’. Nothing will ever be good for you, unless you’re doing it for you. Create unapologetically, please. Through it, your voice is heard. But it will not be wasted on grey people who have no room for it. The hardest part will be realizing that you are capable. As tempting as it is, try not to lock yourself back into the chains that a particular part of humanity has handed you. Those ‘tools’ weren’t meant for you, you don’t have to take them. You are taking control now, success is whatever you affirm it to be. 

It’s time for me to finally spend quality time with my craft. She’s been waiting for acceptance. 

With Love,

LA. 

Where I Am Right Now

Lately, I’ve been letting everything move me. I mean, I’ve been letting music saturate my brain, sweep me up, and dance with me every time he plays. He has me engrossed in his thoughts and I lose my train of thought. This is letting go. This is my meditation. I’ve been letting the voices of the people around me hold me through life. I let them sing to me and we laugh together and I stop doubting. I am reminded I am surrounded by divine company. I’ve been letting my hands lead me, so I can feel everything I must. They recognize lessons my eyes can’t. I’ve been letting my feet propel me…because they know if they don’t, I won’t ever get to where I’m supposed to be (wherever that is). And if they stop, I’ll shatter into the pavement. I’ve been letting my heart make the decisions. And I refuse to ever say she’s wrong again…because she’s been making thrilled (ecstatic!). And here I am, back at my conscience, letting her whisper ideas in my ear. What she’s been uttering most often is, ‘take action‘.


I’m at a crossroads in my life, it seems. After trying to categorize each section, I’ve realized it’s just a big jumbled collection of concepts I’ve been feeling over the past few months. So, after hours of trying to put parts of myself each into a special box, I decided I would lay them out, free of any labels. (At this moment) these are the pieces of me:

I often get tangled in my thoughts- lost in them actually. It always starts with a pleasant seed, then it transforms itself in loops until it turns into an overly complicated, dramatic, false piece of information my mind created to get me worked up. And that’s where my anxiety beings, halfway between fully functional and completely shut down. My brain is almost literally composed of parts of Dante Alighieri’s works; Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Each day I’m in a different book. And I struggle greatly with controlling my thoughts and trying not to worry so much- about today, about my future. I’d like to think knowing this means I’m making progress; the fact that I know what my number one flaw is. I know what I need to fix first. I’m going slow…with myself.

I (un)willingly dedicate a lot of time to myself. In intervals, I convince myself I am destined to be alone in this life because; the people I care about don’t care about me, or they don’t fully understand me, or they simply don’t have enough love for me. I am lost. And I don’t belong because I think too differently, because my emotions are much stronger than I can imagine anyone else’s being. Perhaps all the things I think are true, but who cares. I’m gaining appreciation for the people around me, whether they’re friends, or people I make casual conversation with during class, or people that test my patience. Without a doubt, they cross my path for a reason. And my uncertainty is fading because I recognize that they have a purpose. I’m allowing their balance, their flow, in and out.

I get up each morning and I wonder why I continue the same bullsh*t routine. Every. Day. I don’t know why I get up to go to a place to pretend to enjoy learning about something I’m not passionate about. Because I was told to. Without reserve, I would like to run straight to the mountains and allow them to embrace me. I am drained from living someone else’s life and I would like to live my own, thank you. I will live creatively, happily, and excitingly. All my dreams and ideas are surfacing. And I will leave my imprint on the Earth because it is my right- a right no one can take away.

My heart is gracious, kind, and open. And for awhile, I told her she was a fool. But she is not and never was. I think she may know better than my mind does. She is not confusing and she knows what she wants. I trust her in gravitating towards the places she belongs and she expands with every distance she treks, every person she connects with. Listening to a logic that wasn’t mine has only gotten me in trouble. You see, in the brain, lies all the things you’ve ever been told, but truth lies in the heart. So, for now, I think I’ll let her lead.


I wound myself into a cocoon long ago and I’m finally crushing it.

With Love,

LA.

Pardon Me, I’m Blooming

Growing is a part of life. And it doesn’t only happen after serious breaking points. It’s happening every day, fast or slow. It’s sitting right beside you awaiting acknowledgement. Being in a relationship or alone doesn’t prevent it. It’s a cycle in itself and it’s happening to each of us, we’re simply each in different phases. But we cannot begin the true process until we sit down and say ‘You know what, I’m ready for this. I’m ready for whatever the universe is going to throw at me. It’s time to break out of my seed and grow.’. 

Knowing this, you will not grow until you are equipped. You won’t change unless you want to. (It’s a lot like puberty. I know-weird example, BUT our minds, like our bodies, do not develop until they are ready.) 

I don’t remember exactly when it happened to me. And I suppose none of us do. When did you truly begin to develop intellectually? Now I don’t mean book smarts! When did we first learn something school, or our parents, didn’t teach us? When was the first time something hurt us, and we learned? When was our first ‘aha’ moment? 


There are so many little notes for growth. So we start small…

You must set your space. When you keep aloe in a small pot, she stays very small. But if you move her to a larger pot, one that allows her to breathe and stretch, she will spread her limbs long and become even more marvelous than when you first took her in.You are the aloe. Evaluate what you’re surrounded by. Most of the time, it’s hard to see what you’re in while you’re in it. So you’re allowed to take a step back and reflect on it. And if the conditions aren’t suitable, it’s time to (re)move yourself.

This brings us to isolation. While isolation has a bad connotation, on occasion, it’s a blessing. Isolation allows us to see what we’re working with, outside and inside ourselves. When you spend enough time around people, you pick up things they do. ‘Alone time’ helps you get to know yourself. It brings you back to originality. What do you actually like? You won’t know if you’re constantly dependent on someone else and using them as a crutch. Get to know your likes, your quirks, your feelings…

Within, you know, your intuition may be an aid in this, the truth of your situation. You are present to see how the people around you are treating you. You know what you deserve. Although, you may choose to believe otherwise. Therefore, it’s time for you to clear  your space and remove toxicity. I know this is the most difficult part. Maybe they’re the company you’ve been keeping, maybe it’s your family, maybe “they’re all you have”. But it’s time to stop keeping things in your life that stunt your growth. (And yes I know you can’t get rid of your family and I’m not saying you should!) It’s okay to set up a wall and not listen to the negative comments they have to throw at you. Ever heard the saying, “you are who you hang with”? It’s true and you don’t have to be a product of them. I promise, from experience, that when you let one door close, another will open. There will be something better on the other side!

While you’re removing the bad juju from your life, stop doing things you don’t like. I’ve never heard of someone who was happy doing something they didn’t enjoy. You don’t have to live according to anyone else’s words, only your own. Don’t seek permission, you don’t need it. Life is too short to be listening to everything everyone else says. What do they know if they aren’t in your shoes?

Now don’t get me wrong, having supportive people in your life is vital to this process because while you need to self reflect, you also need someone to ‘show you the way’. Certain people in our life show us what we’re lacking, not in a bad way. Constructive criticism doesn’t have to be scary. And it’s 100% okay to ask for help. Reach out to people you trust and are close to. Sometimes we need a little push, so we can see what our flaws are. Notice and acknowledge them. Say ‘I know you’re there and I’m going to bring light to you’. 

Don’t forget to feel what you’re going through. Growing is about sorting through our baggage, then tossing it. If you don’t feel, you won’t move past it. Cry, scream, laugh, feel every single emotion because all it means is that you’re alive! And you’re human! 


You’re probably wondering why this has to be so serious. But surprise! It doesn’t. Part of growing is expressing yourself and being creative. Take your growth seriously, but at the same time make sure you’re having fun with it. It’s okay to treat yourself. And life is too short to be wasting your time being unhappy. Your soul must flourish. Participate in things you actually enjoy and when you need it, remind yourself why you’re here. Life doesn’t have to be a harsh place. Be kind to yourself, I know this isn’t easy. 

We all fall and mess up, dozens of times. But we shouldn’t be judged for any of our faults because, well, we’re blooming. And we won’t fully understand something, even if it’s said right to our faces, until we discover it for ourselves. 

It’s important to accept that these ‘steps’ will occur over and over again. The obstacles won’t ever stop, we just get stealthier. 

With Love,

LA.

Heartbreak; A Lesson of Life

Breakups won’t ever be easy. You’ll spend what feels like forever feeling empty, wondering if this was the way to go, how it might’ve ended up so broken. You’ll spend all that empty time missing the person and looking for distractions. And forget sleeping because you’ll spend late nights letting their heart wander in your mind, wanting to reach out to explain how you miss them and love them and care so deeply. You’ll worry that they’ll move on, or that you won’t. What if this was forever- and I ruined it? 

It’s a strange death to be a part of. Much like attending a funeral with an open casket; that person is still there, but when you speak to them, they don’t respond. All the times you had spent with them transform into distant, glamorous memories. It’s like you both spent your lives with a joint bank account, saving money for future and then waking up one morning and that money is gone…tragic. 


There are three types of relationships. And I’ll tell you them in the order that I’ve felt them:

  • Rotten. My first “real” relationship occurred in high school- and arguably the most confusing I’ve ever had. We were best friends turned lovers. It was exciting, but unhealthy. While I thought I loved him, I did things to hurt him and he did the same. And because I didn’t know how to let go, I continued to hurt myself further by staying, trying to convince him out of the feelings he felt for someone else. Rotten represents the toxic relationships people choose to stay in or are too blind to see. They’re relationships that are strung along. And when you finally emerge from one, they seem a whole lot like a rotting fruit. 
  • Unripe. This relationship appeared as perfect in the beginning, but the signs of it being not possible floated to the surface as time passed. I was treated the best I had ever been, I was watered as needed, and I flourished. But fighting consumed our love and then beat us down until the road ended. Unripe represents the relationships that happen at the wrong time. Relationships where one, or both, of you have some growing to do. And because of this, there is some waiting to be done. You can’t consume a fruit that isn’t ripe. 
  • Ripe. To tell you the truth, I’ve never had a ripe relationship. And if I had, I suppose I’d still be with them. Ripe represents relationships that are perfectly brewed. By this, I mean both ‘participants’ are happy with themselves and capable of loving the other to the fullest extent. Everyone has their ups and downs, but these relationships are gold and always occur with flawless timing.  

I’ve only had a handful of breakups- some weren’t “official” relationships and others were between friends, but all were uniformly painful. Most of them caught me by surprise, but it was (is) always the worst when I was able to see the shore washing it in. It’s very strange to suddenly be without someone you spent months, even years, alongside. It’s a heavy hollow feeling. Every action becomes without purpose. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to switch to autopilot. 

And I will never be able to say letting go and learning are easy. But breakups allow us to clear our space and evaluate the situation we’re in; What could be fixed? What should’ve been done differently? Is this really what I want? And equally, breakups teach us to stay in the moment and not look too far into the future. Appreciate what you have right now because it might be gone tomorrow. And this is exactly what you need right now, this is supposed to be happening. It is okay to hurt over it. Feel it as you may.

Love is not evil, in fact it is the most beautiful thing the universe has to offer. You can’t go backwards, only forward, so grow. This is happening so you can be ready for a love just as earth shattering and even more immense than the last. Who knows, someone wonderful might walk straight into your life at any moment. All in good time. If it’s meant to be, it will be. 

The universe told me; Use this time for self reflection.

With Love,

LA.