Tag Archives: close

Letter.

To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?

-Melissa

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Fog.

When I was in early high school, I was still riding the bus because I couldn’t drive yet. I remember some mornings, I would walk outside to wait for the bus driver and the air would be thick with fog. The kind of fog that covers everything. We would ride to school and I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t even see the school until we were pulling into the parking lot. And it seemed like it was popping up out of nowhere.

I think fog is pretty fascinating. I don’t know why. It’s always just seemed to contain some sort of mystery to me. You see, I think there are two sides of fog.

The first is comforting. It wraps itself around you; keeps you to itself. It’s inclusive. It welcomes you in and forms to fit you. It envelopes you with it’s presence and you’re safe.

The second is terrifying. It blinds you to everything around you. It steels your senses from you and forces you to go in blind. It isolates you. It offers no warning for the danger that could be lurking just out of your sight.

I kind of had a family emergency this week. That’s a lot more like the second side of fog than the first. It settles upon you without warning and catches you off guard and, senseless, you fumble through the blinding mist trying to find something familiar. When this happens, if you and your friend and family are Christian, people tell you to pray. And you should, they’re right. But sometimes, I just can’t. It’s hard for me to focus on anything because my mind is either spinning or it’s numb. And, especially at the start of it, I could barely talk about it. My words were slow and I left long pauses in between them because my thoughts weren’t… there. I can’t think. So it’s hard for me to pray, even though I really need to.

And you know what? I really think that’s okay.

Because I think God’s presence can be like the first side of fog. I think He surrounds us on every side and becomes as close as our breath. I think He wraps us in Himself and becomes a think blanket of comfort. In the midst of confusion and chaos, He’s there, holding our heads up or sitting next to us as we stare blankly into space, not being able to think. And, truthfully, in those moments, I think it’s enough to invite Him into that numbness with you. To simply utter, “Could You just sit with me for a while?” and rest in His presence. I think He has more than enough grace for that.

I also believe that, in distress, it’s the responsibility of others to pray for you. I pray for others a lot and so I hope when I can’t pray, they’re stepping up to pray for me. I just think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

“What can I do with my obsession with the things I cannot see? Is there a madness in my being? Is it the wind that moves the trees? Sometimes You’re further than the moon, sometimes You’re closer than my skin. And You surround me like a winter fog; You’ve come and burned me with a kiss. And my heart burns for You. And my heart burns… for You.” // David Crowder

-Melissa

Missing you.

It’s hard to say when my mood dropped.

It could have just been when I realized how tired I was. When I noticed my energy had left.

It could have been when someone started paying a little too much attention to me, the alcohol in him letting him speak more easily, more freely than normal. It could have been when he made a place on the couch for himself beside me- too close to me- and then talked my ear off. About nothing. The strongest parts of his personality showing themselves without apology. Mind you, those are the obnoxious parts of his personality. It could have been when I literally moved to a different part of the house and he followed me. Three times.

But it could have been when I turned to my friend and, from the side, with the light just right, he somehow reminded me of you. Of the smile I missed terribly. I’d had to squeeze my eyes shut against the familiarity and turn away.

I’m not supposed to miss you still. It’s been three and a half years. I’m not even the same person you knew. I’m not supposed to still get glimpses of you when I least expect it. When I haven’t even seen you in months. But I do. I can’t even say I wish I didn’t. Because I feel like I need to remember you, because I never want to forget you. Because, honestly? Remembering you might be painful, but the thought of forgetting you is so much worse.

Missing you.

-Melissa

Missing you.

I couldn’t find the vanilla.

I knew exactly where it should be. I’d been down the baking isle three times. I wondered from it, up and down every isle now because clearly it had to be here somewhere.

A song came on the radio. The familiarity struck me even before I realized what it was. It was late enough that most people were in their homes instead of grocery shopping so the store felt peaceful. I sang the song softly as I wondered around. What had I been looking for?

Did you still listen to this band? Hmm. I never would have heard of them if not for you. I found myself looking for a drink you once got here that I’d never been able to find since.

Where would I be….How different would my life be…. If you were still in it?

I squeezed my eyes shut for just a moment and tried to picture calling you right then if nothing between us had ever gone wrong. Because I wanted so badly- I want so badly- to talk to you. And not to rehash anything or figure out what happened. Just to talk. Just to hear your perspective. Just to hear you. Just because I miss you.

Yes, even still.

But I couldn’t picture what my life would be like now if our friendship would have lasted. I can’t imagine it. It’s taken so many unexpected turns since I knew you. I don’t know if they would have been effected by your presence in my life somehow or not. I just don’t know.

But I do know it sure would have been nice to call you today and here your voice… I so much hate that…. it seems like a foreign concept now. I’ve… I’ve lost pieces of you as time has gone on. I so much wish I had never had to. But I… the person you knew no longer exists and the only memories I have of you… well, they’re actually hers.

The way you cared about me wasn’t fair, you know. The way you saw me wasn’t fair. It didn’t make sense. You shouldn’t have been so good to me. You shouldn’t have been so in tune with me.

Because now I miss you quite terribly.

And then the song ended. Something much friendlier came softly through the speakers above me, like the other song had never played. And no one noticed the change. No one felt like something so, so, so good had been cut way too short. No one felt an emptiness in it’s absence.

Except me, of course.

Now….where was the vanilla?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Too.

I sat quietly, trying to read one of the thousands of pages I’d been assigned. Unfortunately, my mind wasn’t anywhere near the book I held in front of me.

I replayed the moments in my mind. Not the good moments, though I had many of those to choose from. Just the awkward ones. Just ones where the silence lasted a touch too long. Just the ones that didn’t go perfectly, that made me question every single thing either of you had ever said to me. And my mind worries over every single second.

Because what if one of those seconds made you realize I’m not as great as you’ve somehow made me out to be? What if one of those moments caused you to wonder why you had bothered to come? What if you realized how uninteresting I was and got bored? What if you suddenly became aware of the fact that I am a horrible conversationalist? What if you came to terms with understanding that you had an idealized version of me in your head?

And I know none of those things are true.

Maybe it’s because I can’t read either of you very well. Or I think I can’t. Or maybe it’s because I… well, I honestly think you’re really cool so I can’t imagine you actually wanting to be my friends.

I do realize that this is not fair to you. I know that. I know that you, if I said these things to you, would argue relentlessly. I know. I am aware. I know you’ve proved me wrong countless times by now. And yet I question everything. I wish I could just turn that off.

Wouldn’t that be great? Do you have any idea with how much more comfortable I would be around you? Do you know that I rarely, if ever, fully let my guard down around you because I am so focused on how I’m being perceived? No, you don’t. Because I can’t tell you. Because that would legitimately hurt you, and for good reason. Because I should not be like this. I consider you close friends and yet… I’m afraid it’s too good to be true.

I’m so sorry for that.

-Melissa

Close.

Sometimes, if you’re fortunate enough, people break themselves apart in front of you.

They twist their fingers into their ribcage and pull it apart, slowly. You can see it on their face; it hurts. The way their expression is disfigured. They way they don’t look you in the eye. The way they do….

But they continue.

And when they’ve finally gotten the bones out of the way, they reach inside themselves and they pull out their heart.

They take it, dripping with pain, with passion, with love, and they set it in front of you.

Oh, and now it’s your choice.

Will you take it? Will you share in their pain? (It might hurt.) Will you see behind the whys in their life? (You may wish you hadn’t.) Will you allow yourself the honor of seeing things through their perspective? (It may clash with yours.)

To come alongside someone is a blessing. A long, tiring, sometimes hurtful blessing.

Allow yourself to see what others see. To hear what they hear. To feel what they feel.

“If you’re not close enough to get hurt, you’re not close enough to make a difference.”

-Melissa