This year I don’t want a long list of superficial goals. Idealistic thoughts about having things that don’t really matter or a body I’ve been told to need. This year I want to commit to being good to my soul. To curate happiness in my bones.

I don’t want anything more than to journey to understand that I am all I will ever need.

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To the person I loved last.

My brother asks me when it happened. When I knew.

It was the first night without you, after the first night with you.

It was when you fell asleep texting me, and I couldn’t help but write you a 6 paragraph monologue of all the the things I adored about you. Of all the things I couldn’t handle you not hearing.

Everyone has a predisposition for an art; everyone’s heart becomes geared towards a medium they scribe their remaining emotions in.

The second I wrote for you; the second I had a need to write for you–was the second I knew the decision to stay, the want to be yours, was irrevocable.

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Sometimes my heart hurts so much my head sympathizes.

I keep getting flashbacks of you; phantom touches and emotions–the sound of your voice over Sunday morning cartoons. The sound of your voice as you came home from work; the memories of you kissing mom or embracing her. The memories of how far your love had taken you; how much it ruined yet became of you.

I remember when you told me that my birthday is the most important day of the year–the most important day of your life–because it is the celebration of me: the small mirror of the woman you could never stop loving. I remember every year, welcoming midnight with kisses on my forehead to the sound of a boisterous, off-pitch, household Happy Birthday song. 

I miss talking about you. I miss talking to you.

I miss the feeling of falling asleep during Chinese movies in your arms; the feeling of waking up to the sound of business calls and bookie talk. 

People ask me my favorite memory; my favorite stage of life. My favorite place–and it’s all just this childhood ideal: the kingdom where you’d never die.
Lately I wake and see your face: pecking mom on the cheek, smiling at me over steaks on the grill–looking up from your chinese epics; scribbling numbers on notepads. Lately I sleep  and can’t remember you: the feeling of home; of protection, of forever and unconditionality.

It’s hard to explain the heaviness around holidays. The strange emptiness that characterizes every happiness; follows every event.

I wish you were here. I wish your number brought your voice and not a dialtone. I wish I could stop smelling the scent of jaipur homme; I wish I could stop feeling so alone.

Every problem seems magnified. Every situation seems impossible. Every thing seems so unremarkably bland.

Lately all I can think about is the tiredness that characterized every part of you; the fatigue that became your baseline. Lately all I can think about is how I’ve become of you–how exhaustion has seeped into my bones that were made from you. How the feeling of constant half-lucidity makes me dream closer to you.

I’m scared of what I am now. Of the hours I work, the parts of my life I hate but refuse to change–the materialistic; the shallow, the ugly and intensely mundane. I’m scared that I forgot what parts of me you loved, and the person you wanted me to be.

I’m scared of the idea of you meeting me now. Whether you’d be proud or recoil or refute. Whether you’d smile like I’ve always known.

I’m scared of how tired I always feel. Of how often I feel guilt on my heart and shame in my soul. I’m scared of the frequency of your memories; the forgoing of momentum. I’m scared of these thoughts in my mind. The ideas I keep returning to.

Another birthday will pass without you. Another celebration without our traditions; another day doing what is needed and refusing what is wanted. Another day that I would trade; compounded with all the ones we have lost–to spend a singular moment

letting you know

your Jenny

will be okay.

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The hardest fact of life is the knowledge that every beginning eventually has an ending.

It has been a conscious decision to start each friendship; each relationship–each surprised hello with the same surprised goodbye.

It has been a conscious decision to start the morning, knowing that there will be a night.

The thesis of my life was born from the idea that if I leave someone with something more than I found them… each goodbye would not really be an ending–just another start I could not finish.

My coping mechanism was somehow lodged in the safety of the infinite beginnings I could no longer quantify. My coping mechanism was the selfish ideology that the pain is a necessary means to polarize the pleasure.

Everything is an excuse.

I end things because I can’t handle starting them. I start things because I can’t handle not being able to leave them.

I wonder if eventually there will be something that I can’t seem to finish; someone I can’t seem to stop or sabotage or find the need to polarize.

I wonder if it’s because I am too weak to handle the compounding story. Too weak to handle an actual, heart-wrenching, life-shattering climax.

I don’t want to know how I am with the possibility of breaking again. Of finding myself without a multitude of beginnings.

Of finding myself with a singular finale.

Of finding if I am strong enough to live my life not spread across pages of books I can’t remember the covers of.

The mark of growing older is the realization that everything you want is just an echo of something you used to have.

People come to me after their loved ones died–looking for solace, asking for comfort, wondering how to reallocate grief.

How do I tell them that there is no answer? That at twelve, the only solace was found underneath damp eyelids and soaked pillows? That the only comfort was the belief in the unconsciousness; that the only allocation of grief was from my heart to my mind until I forced my own, sick, manic responsibility for your death?

There is no refuge for your only fear; there is no answer to your own mortality. One day your heroes will die and become your memories. One day your heroes will die and lay beneath the soil you’ll watch strange men bury. One day your heroes will die–and you’ll be the only part of them left living.

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