family

How to Ride a Bike—And Other Things my Father Taught Me

1) Fearing someone is a necessary part of loving them. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you will find someone who will tolerate loving you.

2) Never rely on anyone for comfort. The person who wipes away your tears can just as easily be the person who causes them.

3) Food is a weapon.

4) Hands are weapons.

5) Your own vulnerability will be used against you as a weapon.

6) These weapons will be used to harm you until you don’t know the meaning of the word “weapon” anymore. They will be used to harm you, repeatedly, even after an apology. Apologies can not be trusted. As such, weapons should be avoided at all costs.

7) Pain is sometimes a necessary punishment for bad behavior. If there’s no one around to hurt you for what you’ve done, then you must hurt yourself.

8) How to ride a bike.

9) How to recognize the constellations.

10) How to build whole worlds with just your words.

11) The person who taught you these things deserves all of your trust.

12) The person who deserves all of your trust will violate it again and again. And you will give it to them again and again anyways.
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Top Five Tuesday #1

This is a series I may or may not actually continue with (really, look to see how many posts say part one or part two in their titles and then never get a follow-up. I’m notoriously flaky). Also, I am well aware that it’s not Tuesday, I’m just a sucker for alliteration.

Without further adieu, here are the Top 5 Things Well-Meaning People Say to me and Why They’re Bullshit
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I met a good person today

Today at school, these college kids came in to do a writers’ workshop with us. They told us to write a letter to someone who we really wanted or needed to talk to. They assured us that the letter wouldn’t be collected, graded, or judged—it was purely a cathartic, self-searching sort of excercise.

Cara and Chloe and Anne, like a lot of the kids who were there, didn’t take it all that seriously. They wrote their letters to each other—giggling and shaking with laughter, filling the page with inside jokes and good memories and Mean Girls references. And I think they expected me to do the same; the four of us have been good friends for a long time, so there’s certainly no shortage of shared experiences to draw from. I could’ve had fun with it; I could’ve joined in on their happiness. But instead, I chose to write my letter to my dad.

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Choose Wisely

Yes, do whatever you want with your own body. You’re fully in control of it and any decisions you make regarding it are your own. But just be aware of the fact that you’re not always making the choice that you think you are. People are going to judge and exploit you in ways that you won’t even be able to imagine until it happens. So, yes, do whatever you want with your own body. But just be ready for the fallout because, hey, people suck sometimes.

~my mom
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Build Your Walls

To my dad

These words that you sang
They used to mean so much to me
But now they have no melody
And now they mean nothing

And these walls that we built
We fought so hard to break them down
And before we even knew it
We’re building them back up again

I don’t really know about you
But I’m just getting so
Tired of it all
No, I don’t know about you
But I think you’re starting to get tired, too

These wars that we fought
Were they even worth it to you?
Because they sure as hell
Weren’t worth it to me

I used to hold your hand
And I loved the feeling of being held
Even when you grabbed
Tight enough to crush my fingers
What do I have to do
To make you hold me again?

I don’t know about you
But I am just so
Tired of it all
And I don’t know about you
But I think that you’re tired, too

I used to sit up on your shoulders
Knowing you would never let me fall
Yes, I could fall asleep on your shoulder
Knowing you would keep me safe from all
The things that wanted to hurt me

When did you start
Letting everything hurt me,
And why do I suddenly feel
Like you’re letting me fall?

These walls—these walls
We build them up
As we break them down
And it’s breaking me

So I think I’m going to let you build
Your walls alone