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  • Meghan Hurley

333: The Blueprint

Fear- inferior, insecure, inadequate

Surprise- amazed, awe-struck, speechless


What is the most honest thing anyone has ever done for you? Pay attention because they won’t beg for acknowledgement if they’re done with golden intention.

Be cognizant of their blue gaze.

It’s encouraging, but even more so, it’s honest, candid.

We don’t get many honesties in life, here’s mine.

In my lifetime I’ve loved dozens of boys and I’ve been in love with two. That’s one more than the luckiest girl in the world and two more than the smartest. Both of my loves have sprouted on the heels of periods of brutal insecurity. I had always assumed that in life and in love we’re given stepping stones to move into a new more fruitful period of life, I was so wrong. I thought that with enough playing time I’d establish a rule book, or at least...a type. But you know, they’re all the same height when they’re letting you down.

There’s an ice pack in the freezer, take your time.


The first time I fell in love was because he saw me for who I was instead of who I lied to myself about. The next time I fell for someone it was a love I didn’t completely lose myself in, he was the first person who made me proud of who I already am instead of who I assumed he needed. It was clean and it was delicate, I’ve never felt delicate. In fact, I feel rather explosive.

He stopped the clock and snipped the wire.

He wrote the blueprint.


A lot of us aren’t afraid of who we are or what we’ll be, we’re afraid of how it will be received. You’re not responsible for your first thought, you’re responsible for how you respond to it. The response, the reception, there’s the anxiety. I can’t tell you how to erase that from your life completely, but I can show you how to live through it. We need to take a quick trip into my romantic history.

Ughhhhh!

Gross!

I know girls.

But you can't keep a man past April!

Okay? Keep it to yourself.


I'm not going to spell it out for you, so this one is a tough cookie to crack but we’ll get there. On the topic of crumbs, I don’t leave many. I know everyone has theories, so drink up. Whatever helps you sleep at night. From the outside looking in gosh is it magical. Isn’t that why we all love to talk about them so much?

I heard she met his parents...I heard he took her out last night...I heard she started keeping a toothbrush at his place...I heard they’re living together…Woah now, easy does it, y’all are vultures. That’s not a story I’m willing to start writing, yet.

This isn’t going to be fun if you try to guess, so let’s keep things anonymous. Deal? Speculation is a dangerous game and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings nor do I want to give the wrong guy an unjustified ego boost. Players play, baby.

At the end of the day this isn't even about a man, it's about me. Now that we’ve settled that, what do you say we get reading? Groovy. Let’s go.

 

I can’t romanticize love because I like myself better without it, I’m a lot more fun off the leash. They tell you not to put all of your eggs in one basket...so spread those legs girl. I mean, eggs.

Love is scary. It’s scary to put your happiness and self worth in someone else’s hands, I know first hand how it feels to have the rug pulled from under you. I’m here to tell you, however, there is in fact a floor under the rug. That's actually what a rug is for, to cover the floor. You’ll dust yourself off after a few bumps and bruises and you’ll be cruising in no time.

On the other hand, some of my only stability in life has been while I’m in love and I’ve started to crave that security. It’s simple, I can trust it. You always have someone in your corner and that makes it harder to tremble. Love has never been a choice for me, it’s only been sporadic. Truthfully, I never even feel it until I’m out on the other side, it edges me.

Everything I’ve learned about love has been from the aftermath. Falling in has always been easier than falling out, but love also looks like letting go.

Your healing cannot depend on someone else also deciding to heal. Time won't change poison into honey.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

 

I’ve already met my antithesis who of course has blue eyes just like the rest of them.

Hey, at least I’m consistent.

To this day, he owns the only pair that weren’t completely transparent, the only pair I couldn’t conquer.

He set a standard in me for the next couple of months, one that was hard to live up to. Every single word that left his lips felt expensive, I think he knew whatever he had given me was going to stick like glue and he reveled in the thought of having that kind of power over me. He was the first person who ever asked to read my writing before I had even entertained the thought of posting it at all.

It was an impression imprinted into my psyche for so long and still today I wonder what he thinks of me. It’s not often that I write with the feeling of someone looking over my shoulder but for whatever reason, he lingers. I know you read it now, is this what you wanted? Are you happy with the statue I built? I've been generous with my word choices, consider that an olive branch.

I was so jealous from the moment I met him. I felt like I needed to match him or else I just wouldn’t measure up to anything else he had going for him. He’s the one who made me appreciate my brown eyes no matter how opaque they may be. I decided from there on out that clarity and consolation weren’t in transparency, they were in delivery. I know now that what we had wasn't love, it was manipulation.

I tried to mimick that for so long.

I used to try to script my romances and write their lines to perfectly match the storyline, I wanted every one liner to be a stand alone Nicholas Sparks book. Looking back on it, half of them can’t read so there really was no use. Pass the ice pack to your left.


With new blue eyes I finally was able to put the pen down. It was a safety wrapped up in a perfect little box with a perfect little bow. No matter how many rewrites I could've drafted, nothing would've ever come close to the simple comfort I felt with those eyes. The comfort of being just fine the way I was, of being enough to pour into a glass that did not need a refill. Even better than why he said it, was how he said it. He didn’t skip a beat, didn’t stutter for a second. Clarity and consolation aren’t in transparency, they are in delivery.

The delicacy that I had felt with him was not viable, but I knew there was a floor beneath the rug. I’d be okay. With everyone else I’d been with before there was always a weird air of inferiority from one of us masking itself as distrust, jealousy, guilt, hostility, you name it.

What was honest about these eyes, and what was different about their shade of blue, was the fact that neither of us were looking to place the final puzzle piece, nor were we trying to replace a missing one. Speaking from the heart, the worst thing you can do is jump into love simply because you cannot be alone. You completely contort yourself to be packaged into a box small enough to be put in their pocket. Stop watering yourself down to become more digestible, whoever doesn’t like the taste can choke.

Sleep will mask feeling cold, but it won’t fix the fact that you’re freezing. A love that makes you forget that you are broken does not mean that you are fixed. A love to numb your pain does not actually make it go away.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you have to work on yourself first. You need to be in good company, even when you’re alone.

You can say what you want about love but it never makes sense, and that’s what makes it so hard to write about. I had never fully understood what it was about me that always seemed to be out of breath in pursuit of nothing. It was a chase, the chase...but what was the prize? Flannel sheets and a fraternity t-shirt? Is that all I wanted? Come on.

I’ve talked about butterflies before, how they can take your breath away in an instant and you’ll be stuck chasing that rush until you see them again. I’ve decided to keep butterflies out of love because the only thing better than the chase, is the choice.

To replant the flowers or to sit in the mess.

To listen or to speak.

To worry, or to heal.

To win the girl or to fold your hand. You snooze, you lose, lover boy.

In my various fairy tales I’ve never been quick to pull the plug, if at all. I know that between the two of us there are lessons learned and memories shared that deserve more than just a book on the shelf. Because of my distaste for endings and lack of romantic sustainability I jump in the water everytime the forest goes up in flames, maybe I can salvage this, I just have to wait it out. I leave a light on and a key under the mat just for peace of mind. I’m hopeful.

Maybe one day I’ll think of someone else when I hear your name, but not today.


Let’s talk about my blueprint, it’s the best part about me.

He didn't set my threshhold for love or rewrite my fairytale ending, but he was damn near the only person at that point in my life who made me feel comfortable speaking in tongues. He didn't leave a map for my next relationship, he left a reminder for the voices in my head to take a break every once in a while and pick their foot up off my windpipe.

I don't know why it took someone else to do that for me because that probably would've been some great character development on my own, but this wouldn't have been as fun to read if I didn't let him tag along.

They always tell you, “you are the company you keep.” It’s simple enough, keep responsible friends and you’ll be more mature. Keep delusional friends, and you’ll have more fun. Which one do you think I chose?

I will never place myself in a situation if there’s a foreseeable chance I’ll wake up one day and decide I don’t want it anymore. If there is even a shadow of a doubt that I could run, I’ll do it. I still find joy and excitement in a lot of the same rooms, but I’ve learned to

never be so distracted that I don’t notice her slip out the door.

There is hardly any shadow that couldn’t mask her escape, make sure you pay attention to your ways out. Even better, keep an eye on who’s already waiting outside.

It’s important to have supportive friends, duh. When your name is rolling off tongues in rooms you will never step foot in, make sure they brushed their teeth.

I have a habit of seeing the end game before I can anticipate the middle steps. That’s what burned me, I’m unrealistic and that’s why I felt like too much. My thoughts didn’t feel plausible to them so I must be neurotic. I must be too much.

Tell them the most unreasonable dream you have for yourself, and pay attention to their reception. Be clear with your delivery and wait for their response.

Listen to their tone, and watch their eyes.

Everybody tells us opposites attract, and they do. But who wants someone to pull them back to Earth when the view is so much prettier from space? I have way more fun being impractical, you always liked that about me, it made you laugh. The real question is whether you were laughing with me, or at me. I guess the trick is to find a balance between the two, that was your superpower.

You always believed in me and I should probably fess up to a thing or two.

Don't worry, with you, not at you.

I promise I'll keep you young if you promise we'll never get old. I'll be Peter and you can be Wendy.

Thank you for speaking my language, even if you don't know how to read it,

even if we can't remember where the commas go.


 

The memory loss side effect of depression is paralyzing.


I was staring at myself in the mirror watching the mascara stain cobwebs across my cheeks, I didn’t even notice he was next to me. I was focusing on my breathing and trying to slow my heart rate. What just happened?

Please don’t touch me.


In the same shirt but in a wildly different way, I was staring at myself in the mirror watching the mascara stain cobwebs across my cheeks, you were next to me. You were focusing on my breathing and trying to slow my heart rate. What just happened?

You laid your chin on my shoulder and we watched ourselves in the mirror.

How long did we sit like that? It must’ve been half an hour before either of us said a word. I had no idea how to tell you what I was feeling, no idea how to tell you what I was replaying.

“I don’t know,” I whispered.


Three weeks later, nearly to the date, I told you something that must’ve reminded you of that night, but you didn’t mention it.


“I don’t know,” I whispered.

I understand,” you said.


Three weeks later, nearly to the date, I did it again.

“I don’t know,” I whispered.

I remember,” you said.


“If I loved you less,

I might be able to talk about it more.”

 

333


Just one more time.


I’m homesick for myself, I still am.


I miss him so much.

I miss all of you.

I didn’t know it would be like this.

You used to try and get me to pray with you but I never could remember the words. I’d come along with you every Sunday and just sit silently.

I’d lay my head on your shoulder and just listen to your heartbeat.

I didn’t have to know the words.

I should’ve gone easier on myself.


Let’s try this again.


My 3 p.m. last week looked different, every time I went to type a thought my fingers would start to flutter in the air like they were playing the piano. The thought skewed left when it should play right.


They were dancing.


I know which dancer I am today. Take my hand, we’ll start the song from the top.


“Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.


The world is on fire, you know where she is.


Loving is so short

Forgetting is so long.


Please.


Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer

and these the last verses that I write for her.


Just one more time.


I love reading yesterday and knowing I can rewrite it all today.

I thought maybe I could streamline my consciousness and make a list of thoughts as they trickled in and out. Did it work?


Maybe I need a lobotomy.


Growth is grief every step of the way. Somehow, we’re all in mourning for someone or something.

It’s a peculiar type of party to weep over your own casket.

Did you bring flowers?

I brought whine.

;)


Do you remember what I told you about the doors? We don’t have much time, I’ll come with.

Follow the envy, I know it chased after her.

They could never get enough, could they?

Hasn’t anyone taught them to put her book down?


Look for the broken pottery, look for the ash.


It’s covered in green,

Always has been.

Always will be.


"Check the river," I yelled to you from the other side of the yellow tape but you didn't respond.

I glanced over my shoulder, one set of footprints.

I could feel my cheeks flush.

You'd been with her in the water all this time, hadn't you.

"I don't know," you whispered.

"I understand," I said.

Never underestimate the power of a woman who just learned her own dialect.

Excerpt from “Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines)” by Pablo Neruda
 

I suppose you found what you've been looking for.

I'll see you when I see you, and I'll still love you when I do.

 

Well, I hope to God I remembered to indent.


What does indent mean?


Does anyone have any Advil?



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