What I Would Say If I Could

You sit and bitch about what life has handed you,
But you do nothing about it.
You disclaim that you are suicidal,
But you see no reason to live life at the moment.
You say that you want more out of this life,
But you do nothing to go get it.
You whine, complain and put those around you down in a pursuit to justify where you stand.
You seek sympathy when I have none left to give.
Because you made choices that got you to where you are today.
And you had plenty of time to fix what you saw as broken.
You had support from me and an example of what change can truly be,
Yet you still refused to work for it,
And you never gave me credit for the work I did.
You see that my life has changed and you cannot deny that I have changed,
Yet you are still in the same place that I left you three years ago,
Suffering and complaining and unintentionally insulting all the hard work I put into life.
You make off handed comments that put me down and make me feel guilty for initiating change.
You demean my work experience and status that I worked so many years to obtain.
You claim woe-is-me when life doesn’t work out the way you had hoped,
But never admit that it might be you who is the cause of your woes.
You have been handed so much in life,
Yet you still claim to be robbed of so much more,
While here I am working to clean up after myself,
And am taken for granted when I clean up after you as well.
I have handed you everything for the past few years and you have handed nothing back,
I found a place to live,
I worked jobs I hated to pay our bills,
And I sacrificed a life I could have built to build one that supported you.
You never asked me to,
But with a true friend you should never have to.
I have been that true friend,
And you have been the only friend who takes me for granted.
So it’s time for you to finally figure it out.
I will listen and I will provide support,
But the time has come for you to finally figure your shit out.
I cannot do it for you,
And I won’t even attempt to,
Because I can no longer take care of you,
And you should no longer want me to.
You should want to pick yourself up and carry on,
And you should crave this inevitable change.
You are 29 and it is time,
To finally take charge of the life you call your own.
You should finally own up to what you want,
And you should finally put your head down and work for what that is,
You should accept no excuse for delay,
And you should be your own biggest motivator.
I cannot play that role for you,
And I cannot stress myself out with your lack of progress for much longer.
It is time for you to take charge.
I will listen and I will provide sympathy,
Because at the root of that is empathy,
And I have walked where you are walking,
And I have struggled through what you are facing,
And I am the one person who can truly feel the pain you feel.
But you have never listened to me when I speak,
And you have never taken my words as wisdom,
And you do not want to learn from my experiences,
Because all you seek is sympathy,
And empathy is nothing you have ever attempted,
And I am tired of being taken for granted,
And I am exhausted by putting you first,
And it is time for me to move on whether you like it or not,
And it is time for you to do the same.
Because I am done with this shit,
And I am done with your complaining,
And I am done attempting to relate to someone who only seeks sympathy and never takes action,
Because when I was that same person,
You were not there to help me.
You did not spend the time to listen to my struggle,
And although this is not about keeping score,
The score board is clear that I have been doing this for years,
And it is time for you to put some points on the board if you want me to continue to stick around,
Because I do not take friends who take me for granted lightly,
And I no longer stand for that kind of emotional abuse from anyone but my mother,
And although you will always be my brother,
You have proved that you will not always be my friend.
But that’s not what matters in the end.
What matters is what you prove to yourself,
And what frustrates me is that there is nothing you can be proud of,
Because you were never challenged,
And you never tried,
And I don’t know what keeps you motivated inside.
So, I love you and I care for you,
But this is where the sympathy ends.
This is where it’s all on you,
And this is when you must find something to do.
It could be cleaning or cooking,
Volunteering or working,
Fanciful or practical,
Demeaning or up lifting.
You just have to do something.
You have to move on.
It is time for change,
Or at least it is for me,
Because I cannot take this pressure any longer,
And you should no longer want to bestow it on me.
I was never you mother and I was never your lover,
And I do not know what I am getting out of this friendship any longer,
Besides a comfort in a lack of change,
And an excuse for being deranged.
So this is when it ends,
And this is where you should begin,
Because this is when I make my exit,
And I do it without regret,
Because you had years to ask my for advice,
And I had years of being dragged down by your strife,
But I won’t take it any longer,
And you can fall or you can follow,
It makes no difference to me,
Because now I am finally allowing myself to be free.

Please Understand Where I Came From

It took me years to have confidence in myself, and strength to have confidence in my shortcomings. It takes me months to come around and stand by my decisions, and it takes all I have inside of me not to give up on myself. I worked so hard to get to where I am standing today, and it will take me years more to continue cultivating that strength. Because it took just one sentence from someone I love to tear my whole world down to nothing. I don’t hate him for the words he spoke. And I do not resent him for his unawareness of the effect of what he said. I cannot ask him to take those words back, but I cannot help but want to point out the error in his ways. What I do hate is that the second thought never occurred to him and the reflex to evaluate his own words did not kick in. But still, I cannot resent him for not experiencing the same things that I have in life. I cannot blame him for never working a job that demeaned his sense of self and I do not wish that he know what it is like to be reflexively talked down to. I just wish that one of my best friends understood where I am coming from.

Continue reading

The “Best Years of My Life” Were a Lie

Someone lied to me. I was led to believe that college would prepare me for life. I was told that that piece of paper that I worked so hard to obtain would open doors for me and allow me to get my foot in. It was conveyed to me that college would teach me life skills and that once I made it through the shit show of four years I would know how to live like an adult. And someone allowed me to believe that that someone else could hand me all of the answers. I trusted in an institution and I had faith in an organized approach with clearly outlined steps. I had to take certain classes to advance onto other ones, I was allowed to develop my own schedule and I squeezed in time at work whenever I could. I participated in an internship that humbled my ego and taught me the meaning of hard and unrewarding work. And I studied abroad to take in other cultures and learn a different way to approach life. I valued every learning experience I had during those four years and clung to them as i was told these experiences would get me through the rest of my life. But someone had lied to me — and although those years built a foundation of knowledge and experience, they were nothing in comparison to what experiencing life had to teach me.

Continue reading

Creating A Life Worth Living

These are the times that I live for. These are the moments that make life worth living. This is my time to shine. And this is my opportunity to accept life and make it my own. This must be what every twenty something feels like, and this must be the inspiration that moves a nation. This must be what gets people by. And this must be what everyone is waiting for. But the question remains, is that what I was looking for?

Continue reading

Understanding Change

She was moving on without him and he was resentful about it. Perhaps “resentful” was a bit strong of a word for what he was feeling, maybe “jealous” described it better. It felt like resentment to her though and her reflexive guilt had kicked in in response. She could not help but move on with her life and she thought she had properly conveyed that to him with months of preparation leading up to this moment. But perhaps he never took the time to actually listen to her and perhaps he never paid attention to the silent progress she was making. Either way, he seemed baffled by this development of change and jealous that he had been left behind. And the feeling was mutual. She was baffled by the fact that he had not seen this coming and the lack of support that she was receiving from someone she considered to be her best friend. And although she had always been able to count on him as an understanding shoulder to lean on, this time it felt like that shoulder was slowly sliding out from beneath her. That shoulder that she had to learn to lean on in the first place now felt like it was pushing back against her and cursing her for her change in dependence. She was now leading the way once again as his younger sister and the one who always accidentally out-shined him, and the resentment of their youth reemerged to place a sour taste in each of their mouths. It was not her competition with him though that drove her to accomplish more, it was her uncompromising nature when it came to living life to the fullest that brought this out in her. And she wished that he understood that. She did not move on to and get another stable job because she had given up on their dream of opening a business together, she did it to make that dream more of a possibility. She had not abandoned him with work still to be done because she no longer cared about their dream, but rather because she knew that life continued on and they needed a way to survive until that dream came true. And she did not leave him to struggle through learning how to make sales on his own, but she did expect him to step up and learn the skill the way she had had to do. All she wanted from him was evidence that he actually cared about their dream too — because from where she was standing, she had been the only one actually working towards making their dream a reality for months now. She had put in hours of her free time to write a business plan and even more hours to test its legitimacy. She had forced herself to reach out to resources to learn more from others who had successfully done what she dreamed of, and naturally expected him to do the same. She had set an example of progress and development for him, yet she felt like he had failed to see any of it and discredited her for the months of work she had been dedicated to. And now when she was expected to carry on with life and when she needed him to pick up where she left off, she was left hanging. And it was hard for her not to resent that. It was hard for her to forgive his blatant disregard for her efforts and dedication, and it was difficult for her to understand why he was struggling. Because she had never been cut slack in her life and she had always worked for everything that was handed to her in life. She was not blessed with good luck or cursed with terrible luck, instead she relied upon her dedication to work and improvement to carry her on. And he failed to see that. He never said it out loud, but she sensed that he thought life had just been kinder to her and that she had found the easy way out. He never gave her credit for the shitty jobs she held to pay the bills and the sacrifices she made to serve the practical side of life. He never saw that she stifled her creativity and independence to humbly work positions beneath her, and how she never allowed that to diminish her self-worth. He did not see the days she struggled to find value in how she spent her time nor the days when she wanted to give up on it all. He naively thought that this came naturally to her, when she felt a struggle and resistance to live every day.
But there was one who saw it all, and he was the one closest to the man who frustrated her the most. But he was also the one who could never do anything about it. He provided support to each of them and reminded them of patience in moments of frustration, but he could never speak out and resolve the clear conflict that was disrupting his household. Instead he waited for his humans to finally see eye to eye, and until then he showed them each the love and attention they needed. And life carried on in the only way they knew possible, with forgiveness, understanding, strength, and a healthy dose of unbreakable puppy love.

Walking Past the Shadow of Doubt

For as long as Mo had known his human, he had worn the label of delinquent. In fact that label is what drove his human to meeting his four-legged best friend in the first place. Operating under the image of a convicted criminal he struggled to find work in the already competitive job market that characterized the overflowing college town. He had grown to expect that he would be rejected as soon as he had to check the box that he had been convicted of ‘drug’ paraphernalia possession. He was not alone in his paraphernalia possession in a town that was built on prostitution and smoked weed like it was a source of life, but he was alone in being caught by the law and used as an example for punishment. He did not look like a criminal and he did not stereotypically act like one, but he had been labeled as one and he could not shake the complex that accompanied it. Continue reading

Holding Steadfast in a Sea of Change

He could see her struggling to keep track of who she is and not allow her new routine to cloud her perceptions. She had spent months with him living as they pleased and not caring about the influences of the outside world. They did not care about living what was considered a normal life style and instead momentarily lived one that suited each of their needs instead. Continue reading