Single Mom Out Loud

The joys (and desperation) of raising a boy without a man


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After A While You learn… (Poem)

After a while you learn the difference,

the subtle difference between

holding a hand and chaining a soul

 

And you learn

that attachment isn’t love 

and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn

that kisses aren’t contracts

and presents aren’t promises.

 

and you begin to accept your defeats

with your head up and your eyes ahead

with the grace of woman,

not the grief of a child.

 

And you learn

to build all your roads on today

because tomorrow’s ground is

too uncertain for plans

and futures have a way of falling down

in mid-flight.

 

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns

if you get too much of it 

 

And you learn that it takes years to build trust

but only seconds to destroy it.

And that you can do things in a split second

and regret it for the rest of your life.

 

You learn that the true friendships continue to grow

even with long distances.

And that what matters is not what you have in the life,

but who you have in life.

 

With time you learn that good friends

are the family we were allowed to choose

and that you and your best friend can do many things together

or nothing at all but still have a great time.

 

You start to learn that It takes a lot of time

to become the person we want

and time is short.

So please don’t compare yourself to others,

but to the best that you can be.

 

 

After a while you learn that love,

just like patience,

requires practice.

And its not because someone didn’t love you the way you expected them to

that they didn’t love you at all. 

 

After a while you learn that

it does not matter in how many pieces your heart was broken;

the world will not stop for you to fix it.

 

So plant your own garden

and decorate your own soul

instead of waiting for someone

to bring you flowers.

 

And you learn that you really can endure

you really are strong

you really do have worth

and you learn

and you learn

with every goodbye you learn…

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Wishes 

Well, first I wish you love. And I wish it’s easily reciprocated. But if it’s not I hope you find the strength to pursue it. 

There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. 

But you lose it, I hope you are quick in forgetting. And when you do, do it without resentments. 

Later I wish you are never alone. 

But if you are, feel the loneliness without despair. 

I also wish you have many friends and even if they are irresponsible and reckless, I hope they are courageous and loyal.

I wish in at least one you can trust without doubts. 

And because life is the way it is, I also wish you enemies.

Not many. Not few. 

Just enough so sometimes you can reevaluate your certainties.

I also wish you confidence, but never enough to make you think you are irreplaceable. 

And in bad times, when there’s nothing left, I hope this confidence is enough to keep you on your feet. 

While at it, I wish you tolerance and understanding. 

But not with those who make few mistakes, because that’s easy. 

But with those who screw up repeatedly and irreparably.

I hope this tolerance and understanding can be a good example to others. 

I wish that while you are young, you don’t try to mature too quickly. 

But when you do, I wish you don’t insist in getting younger. 

But above all, when you finally get old, do not feel desperate. Each age has its pleasures and its pains and you need to let them run their course within you. 

I also wish you some sadness. 

Not the whole year. 

Not a whole month or a whole week.

Only for one day. 

And on that day, I hope you learn that daily laughter is good 

But constant laughter is insanity. 

I hope you discover, with the utmost urgency, that there are oppressed people all around you.

Be grateful you are not one of them.

Be their voice. Join their fight. 

I wish you money, because its practical and fun. 

But at least once a year, put a portion of it in front of you and say: 

“This is mine.”

So you remember who owns who. 

I also hope none of your loved ones die. Both for them and for you. 

But if they do, I hope you can cry without self-blaming and suffer without resentments. 

I also wish you change. Not much. Just a little every year. Not for others. But for you. Change is progress and it’s important to improve ourselves every day. 

Finally, I wish you integrity and I hope you become a good man. 

And you find a good woman that will love you just the way you are. 

And when you do, appreciate her. People come and go, but to a precious few you should hold on. 

And when you do, I hope you learn to love her slowly. 

Love at first sight is infatuation. Real love grows. 

And as weird as it may sound, I also hope you two argue at least once a week, so you both remember you are unique individuals with independent personalities.

And if all this happens, I have nothing more to wish you.


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Big Mistakes And Unexpected Lives

Perhaps we need to be broken first before we can finally become whole.

Painful love is the worst kind of heartbreak. It’s the one we had such high hopes for, the one we gambled everything for—only to find it was a bet that would never be won.

~

So we break into a million small pieces of ourselves and wonder how we could have gotten it so wrong.

We make mistakes in love.

We choose people based on the lessons that our souls need to learn without realizing that it’s usually those difficult lessons we need to experience the most.

We can’t be changed by ease and we can’t have our minds broken open by the mundane—instead it can only happen when we are left with nothing but ourselves and our regrets.

Maybe there is no such thing as a mistake if we indeed needed it to learn more about who we are and how we love, but still there are those loves we wish we could rewind and just take back. The ones whose endings were too painful for us to want to permanently claim as part of our history.

The thing is, we need that big mistake to help propel us toward our ultimate life.

We need to be broken in order to find out how we want to put ourselves back together.

Often times the biggest mistake of our lives is a relationship that we should have walked away from the minute it began—or at the very least should have let go of long before we actually did, and way before it all went downhill.

But we didn’t, and it’s not because that love was meant to be, but because without it we might never have realized the life we were truly meant to live.

~

We always have the choice to stay in a relationship that is a constant battle of wills and ideals. Yet, no matter how many times we hope it will end differently, or just maybe work this time around—it never does.

This is because it’s not meant to.

Our mistake is meant to end, usually bitterly, and often catastrophically. Its purpose is to rock us to our core and challenge our very self and our beliefs about love.

We are meant to question what went wrong, and to wonder what love really means to us. This isn’t an overnight process , but one that we need to take the time to immerse ourselves in until we no longer hide from the truth that our hearts whisper.

It’s a state of healing that lets us know that we can send someone our love, but we can also walk away with our heads high and our faith strong knowing that we haven’t messed up the best thing we ever had.

Because the best version of our life is out there waiting for us and when we meet there will be no question about why we needed to have our hearts broken in the way we did.

Because all along they were only leading us to this—a life that was created just for us, and somehow through the meandering paths that life takes, ended up not being perfect, but still being perfect for us.

The life we are waiting for only comes when we are ready for it. When we have broken apart who we thought we should be and instead embraced who we are. The things and people that will make up this life only appears when we have gained the ability to believe that we deserve what we want.

We will allow ourselves to gaze past the superficial and instead appreciate the energy that these people and things bring into our lives, reveling in the new-found depths of connection that we are experiencing.

The life we are meant to live won’t look or feel like anything we’ve ever experienced. The friends and love affairs we are supposed to experience might come softly, or it might even enter as a wrecking ball. It might be a city you never thought about moving to, a kid you never thought you wanted, or a partner that is the opposite of what you imagined and friends you would have never met if it wasnt for your mistake. But, it will all come together and present you with a life that is beyond what we ever imagined.

And that’s the thing about life—it may not end up being how we thought it was, and it may still not come without challenges, but somehow its still better.

Because finally we realize that our “great mistake” was really a north star all along, leading us to the life we are meant to live, with the people we are meant to have around.

“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” ~ curiano.com

 

*This piece is for my dear friends Carrie Hill and Jason J Hill and all the other amazing people I met because of my Big Mistake.*