g i r l s

With the beginning of the end in sight, I thought it quite fitting to reflect upon one of my favorite television shows of all time, and how it has shaped my life and the person I am becoming everyday. As a 20 something myself, I easily identify with the cast of characters Lena Dunham has created, in a show that makes me feel good and bad and then good (again) about myself in a single, 45 minutes episode. This show is none other than HBO’s Girls .

Where to begin. This show has impacted me in so many ways, I’m actually so grateful Lena Dunham made this dream into a reality. In many ways I am just like each of these girls, and in other ways I am nothing like them. This show was taught me how to be and how not to be. If I had to pick one thing that I am convinced is the most important message of this show, it’s that we are not completely a Marnie, or totally a Shoshanna. We are, as girls, and as humans, a perfect blend of each. Ms. Dunham has done a remarkable job of portraying 4 entirely different personalities that bring out the best and the worst in each other, and through 6 seasons of highs and lows, I have grown to be so much more connected to myself, and the world around me, because of it.

For today, tomorrow, and Sunday, leading up to the season finale Sunday night at 10pm, I will be focusing on each character of Girls, talking about their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately, what we can learn from each of them.

Let’s be honest, I’m trying to make this sound all deep and purposeful, but I’m really just trying to find closure because my life will be so different once Girls is gone from it on Sunday!

Do any of you watch Girls? What are your thoughts on the show? I’d love to have a discussion!

Thanks, lovelies.

Es ist was es ist,

c.w. north

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in sickness . . .

Maybe it’s just me, but when I’m ill, I get terribly anxious about . . . well, just about anything.

It’s as if all the time I spend sitting doing nothing, for days on end (for when I get sick, I rarely leave my bed. I find I heal faster if I don’t over exert myself and just allow my body to recuperate) just gives my brain opportunity to feed my irrational – and rational -fears. This time, during my spout of illness, I’ve been plagued by a few different fears: 1) flying 2) being a boring person and 3) getting married.

  1. flying

God, why am I so scared of this? It’s not really that I’m afraid of flying itself, it’s just that I’ve never flown before and I’m deathly afraid that I’m going to hate it. I hate car trips, for one, and if a drive is more than 45 minutes, I rebel. I refuse to go on road trips unless I absolutely have to. Also, spending large amounts of money gives me anxiety, and I just plopped down a whopping 1480.00 for two round trip tickets to our destination of choice. And that, whoa, that was a major eye opener. I’m flying now whether I want to change my mind or not. I’m getting on that plane and I’m spending 42 hours total on it. What if I hate it? What if I’m miserable? What if I wasted 42 hours of my life on something that I might not even survive?!?!?! Okay, okay, calm down. It’s gonna be okay. Here’s to hoping the destination of my dreams is worth overcoming my fear.

2. being a boring person

This is a weird one. I’m not quite sure where to begin, exactly. All my life I’ve been surrounded by fascinating people. People who have interesting lives and stories, who are intelligent, witty, wealthy, and popular. That’s a funny thought, too, considering I am none of those things. These people have always accepted my offers to “hang out” graciously, and to anyone else, it would appear we have a good time. I’d even say myself that I had a good time. But when the favor is not returned, it completely negates the feeling of joy previously had. Does that make sense? It was a little wordy, I’ll admit. Here, let me clarify: If I ask you to hang out, I’d appreciate if you’d do the same to me. Friendship is a two sided coin, people. You don’t get heads up every time, no matter how lucky you are. You’re gonna get tails eventually, and you better keep your end of the bargain, otherwise I’ll stop offering to play.

The fact that this has happened to me since I was a child, every. single. time. makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Why won’t anyone ask me to hang out? Am I mean? Crude? Are my jokes getting old? Or am I just plain ole . . . boring? God forbid! I live to make people laugh, and I’d like to think my dry, self-depreciating humor is funny to someone! It would kill me to know that people don’t find me . . . worthwhile. So yeah, that’s something I’ve been freaking out over lately.

3. getting married.

Okay. So, some of you may have read my other post and know I’m getting married this autumn. I’m very, very excited, don’t get me wrong. But I’m also absolutely terrified. I was going through my Spotify today, adding songs to our wedding dance playlist and suddenly, listening to all the beautiful love songs, I got so very nervous. Some thoughts that crossed my mind throughout the feverish haze of the last three days:

“I’m too young to get married! I’m wasting so much potential and freedom!”

“What if I get tired of him? What if he’s not who I thought he was? What if I’m not who he thought I was? What if we end up resenting each other forever?!”

“What if no one ever speaks to us again because all our other friends are still single and they won’t go out with us because we’re boring, old, married people?”

“What if I get cold feet? What if someone I loved from my past shows up and makes me regret everything?”

“What if 20 years down the road I meet my real true love and I can’t do anything about it?”

Now, if you read my other post, mentioned above, you’ll know I have a perfectly valid and reasonable argument to talk myself out of these nonsensical fears. I’ll be okay, I’m still going to walk down the isle, and I’m not going to regret anything. I am madly in love, and I always will be. But, still, when I am sick, or lonely, or tired, these thoughts creep into my mind and make me question things I normally wouldn’t think twice about. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous for one’s own wedding, at least that’s what I’m telling myself as I try to resurface from the waves of sickness . . .

Funny, as I write about these things, I realize . . . Do you know what all these “fears” have in common? They all have different names for the one fear they are all actually present in.

It’s the fear of the unknown.

I don’t know what flying is going to be like.

I don’t know what people think of me.

I don’t know what life being married will be like.

It’s all the unknown. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, but that doesn’t stop us from waking up. It doesn’t stop us from getting in our cars, on our bicycles, taking each step down the sidewalk . . . We can’t predict the future. So instead of obsessing over it, we must embrace it. That is what makes life special and exciting. We don’t know what will be thrown our way and we must face it – head on – and prove to ourselves, and everyone around us, that we are forces to be reckoned with.

We are human; strong, and brave, and defiant. We don’t let the unknown stop us from pursuing our dreams. Dream on, dreamers. You’ve got this.

Es ist was es ist,

c.w. north

letters

Recently, I have been overcome with . . . that word that I can never place. Of feeling lost in the past. Sadness and yearning for the “good ole days”. What IS that called??

Reminiscent?

Melancholic?

I’m not sure.

At any rate, it is becoming most troublesome. It has been extremely hard to live life the past couple of weeks as I have been burdened by nearly every thought that passes my mind. It all started when I was going through my truck of letters that I keep locked at the foot of my bed. I don’t know what on earth possessed me to go through them, but es ist was es ist. I have hundreds of letters, and I am not exaggerating. I have letters from best friends, ex-best friends, enemies, lovers, ex-lovers . . . I have always been one to keep every letter I receive because letters are a dying art. With Facebook, smart phones, and even email, it’s just so much easier and faster to send a quick thought, rather than take time to hand write pages upon pages of words.

This is my theory: words are not as special as they used to be. Nowadays, I am witness to countless relationships – those of my own very dear friends – that fall apart, broken, because people spoke words they did not mean, or spoke them prematurely, without understanding the weight and the meaning they held.

This is a tragedy.

Even I have said words I did not mean – to people I sincerely loved! – thinking it was the right time and the right way to show them that I cared. But if words are spoken hastily and without grave consideration, you can shatter even the most precious things to you. I speak from experience. Heed my warning, for your sake. I care too much about you, dear reader, to see you hurt like I have been hurt, or hurt like I have hurt others. These letters of mine, that I have stumbled upon again, remind me every day of the things I have lost and the lessons I have learned. I am glad I have them, even if they sting a little every now and again. You can’t save every text conversation or email the way you save letters, now can you?

“But letters are so bulky! You’d need storage bins for a lifetime of letters, C.W.! At least I can save my emails and messages without taking up so much physical space.”

Yes, yes, yes. I see your point. But I will always believe there is something so undeniably special and irreplaceable about holding a letter from a loved one in your hands. The feeling you get is indescribable. You don’t get that kind of feeling but only from a letter. The fact that the person spent so much time – possibly hours! – upon crafting a note of sentiment for you, and only you . . . I live for that feeling: to feel it, and in return help others feel that way too. Everyone needs to feel that loved, at some point in their lives.

My trunk of letters contain stacks tied up in silk ribbons, each a different color which represents a particular person. I have a rather small stack, from a boy I loved when I was a teenager. Actually, if I am being complete honest with you, it would be more truthful to say these letters were from a boy I thought I loved. But in reality, I did not. Not really. These are the only love letters I have ever received.  Therefore, they are special to me, even if him and I didn’t end up together, and in fact, haven’t seen each other in approximately 2 years now. Not even passing on the street because he has moved away. The funny thing is, well, there’s this quote, from a favorite book of mine that says “men never know their own minds. We have to make them up for them.” In a way, this is true – at least, it was in this particular situation. I was almost positive of his intentions towards me, but it wasn’t enough for me to trust in glances and sighs to get the point across. I simply had to say something. I had to write down how I felt and send him a letter. This is always my instinct, when I am feeling any sort of strong emotion. I write it down. It is so much easier to say what one means if you write it down, rather than just stumbling over the words as they are sent flying from your mouth.

I sent him a letter. He wrote back. He felt the same way.

“You knew I would reply, didn’t you? I mean, really, you couldn’t write me a perfectly beautiful letter like that and then not expect I would have something to say in return . . . ‘Today I fell in love again’. A bold statement, no? And yet with you, it’s so easy to believe. After all, why wouldn’t I fall in love with you? Not only are you the best friend I’ve ever had, but meeting you is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.”

If I did not have these letters, how would I ever remember that those words – such emotional, sentimental words! – were ever spoken about me? Me of all people; so undeserving of any kind of love, ever.

Another letter, more achingly lovesick words, after a “falling out” of sorts happened that ruined any chance we had of being together.

“I still care about you immensely. You know that. I’ll still wait for you, as long as it takes, and there is no way I could ever forget you.”

Oh, but he did, and how quickly too, when I told him that I had no intention of trying to make things work any longer. But instead of just telling him my anxiety about our situation, I told him I never loved him in the first place. His reply was with none other than a letter; a letter that spoke words I no longer associate with the boy I once knew. For he no longer feels this way towards me. I suppose that is just what happens when you break someone’s heart. They don’t take kindly to it, do they?

“By now I’m sure we can say that the secret romantic relationship we had is over – it’s been over for quite some time, really, and I think we knew at the time that whatever ended up happening between the two of us, it wasn’t going to stay exactly that way forever . . . I would have liked to say that I thoroughly enjoyed being in love with you . . . it could be that you didn’t mean any of those things, but you don’t have to tell me. If you were to tell me it was a mistake for me to give you my heart, I’d tell you it was the best mistake I ever made. But I don’t believe it was a mistake. Perhaps some people come into our lives at just the right time, not sooner, not later, for exactly the right reasons. And I am still incredibly thankful that you came into my life just when you did. You gave me an eternity within a numbered amount of days, and I still like to consider myself the luckiest human in the world for ever having the privilege of loving you.”

A month later, I heard from another friend that he had burned all the letters I had ever sent to him. I’m not even exaggerating. It happened. And he told me to my face, with real, spoken words that ring in my ears even to this day, that he couldn’t believe he ever fell in love with me. That he couldn’t believe he had ever found me beautiful, or smart, or funny. I had become, in his eyes, someone who was no longer trustworthy, or worthy at all, of any kind of affection. And I do regret it. All the things I had said and then taken back. I had no intention of hurting him, or anyone. You must be wondering why I would ever keep such letters! Don’t they just stir up memories I’d rather forget? Well, the answer is, truthfully, no. I don’t want to forget, ever. These letter serve to remind me that I am capable of great love and great destruction. I have the power to bruise and to heal, and I don’t want to abuse that power ever again. That is my vow.

Words are life. Remember this.

Goodnight,

c.w. north

the cure – IV

I am numb. I can’t feel my own hands, which are furiously grasping at my arms, nails biting harshly into my tender skin. I’ve run out of water in my eyes, but now a scream is welling up inside, begging to be let lose. I can’t scream, of course, which makes it all the more painful. My chest burns, throbs, because it cannot free itself from this hurt. Knowing I cannot voice my emotions makes me feel helpless, and as Griffin so plainly put it, worthless.

How could I be so stupid! I was mad at him, but why? Because I find him annoying sometimes? Because he drives me crazy with talk of his big plans and wild dreams? I have no logical reason to be angry with him, yet I am; was. I tell myself I am the only one to blame. I am worthless. I have nothing good to say, so I’ll continue to bite my tongue.

I don’t know what time it is anymore. When Griffin spoke those words to me, I turned without a sound, and left. I did not turn back and I don’t regret it. Now, as I’ve made my way several miles from where we were, I do, however, regret not having said I was sorry; am. I growl. My mind is rebelling. I wish I had a time-piece of some sort. I don’t like not knowing the time. At home, I am looking at the clock every few minutes, willing the day to go by when I can sleep and forget everything and everyone. Night is my great consoler and confidant. I am never truly at peace or at rest until I am wrapped in its dark security.

When I’ve finally let go of my guilt, or part of it, I look up and find myself in an area I on’t recognize. There aren’t any houses, but I can still see the faint outline of our fence in the distance. I find a patch of weed that isn’t too scratchy and plop down upon it, shaded from the grey sky above by a row of sad looking ghosts. I pick at the ground as I begin to think.

I only concentrate when I am utterly and entirely alone. I feel as if anyone were around they could easily read my thoughts. My thoughts are not merely the internal workings of my mind, but expressive in every part of me. My face and body reveal all too much about the way I act, careless and disgruntled. Thoughts are dangerous, but I feel a little more reassured about letting them run wild when I am alone.

As I stare at the white, paper-like coating of the ghosts all around me, I think of Griffin. I start to realize – and this is hard for me to admit – that I may be wrong about him. However hard I try to believe he’s just a distant, unattached person, the more I come to understand that he is most definitely no those things. With the death of his sister and the mentally fragile state of his mother, I see him more and more willing to be open with me about his struggles. Does this frighten me? Yes, very. I don’t like to hear Griffin talk about leaving because it so preposterous. Not that he can’t leave; he can. He could go to the Western Region if he got a passport, and if he properly passed the worker’s transfer paperwork. I don’t like to think if him going because I’d actually miss him. I wish desperately that Griffin could leave and study medicine; find a Cure and fulfill his dream. but it’s impossible. Jumping through the transfer hoops take forever, and most people never gain clearance. He knows it. I know it. Why can’t he accept that leaving is near impossible?

I stare at the fence several yards away and smile. I wonder how easy it would be to burn it to the ground. I think I could overcome my fear for that.

~

When it’s beginning to grow dark, around what I assume is about 6 o’clock, I head back home to Ofelia. I find her knocked out cold on the couch and I’m pretty sure that whatever she was drinking this morning finally hit her. I look around and notice that nothing seems out of the ordinary. The place isn’t messier than usual and the TV, thankfully, isn’t on. I hear my stomach make protest about the absence of food all day and I decide I better find something to calm its nerves. When I wander into the kitchen, I nearly scream.

There is dirt everywhere. All over the counters, the floor, even brown smudges across a few of the cupboards. I step around the piles on the floor that appear to be trying to multiply themselves. I clench my fists and grind my teeth together. “I just cleaned this place yesterday!” I shout. There’s no response from the living room, so I push open the butler door, its squeaking hinges cowering at my ferocity, and stomp over to where Ofelia’s snoozing form lies on the couch.

“What’s with the dirt on my clean floor?” I yell in her face. She doesn’t move an inch, doesn’t even open her eyes, but startles me after a moment’s silence with, “clients.”

I roll my eyes. I’m not putting up with this.

“I’ve had quite the day today, so I’d appreciate your cooperation!” I feel tears welling in my eyes but I scowl to hind them. Why am I so emotional today? The moon must not be in my favor this cycle.

“Have you? Well, so have I,” Ofelia taunts back.

“The dirt?”

“Clients, I already told you.”

I lose it. “What were you doing with dirt in the kitchen!?”

Ofelia rolls over and sighs. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you can clean it up fairly quickly.”

That’s when I plop down on the floor, face in my hands and sigh. “Griffin’s mother’s insane,” is all I manage.

“You didn’t know that?” Ofelia rolls back over.

I look up and the face Ofelia glances at me with tells me she seriously can’t believe I didn’t know sooner. I pull myself up, walk out of the room. Running up the stairs and down the hall,  I come to my room and slam the door, done with the world for right now. Finally, I let sleep take me away, food to ease my hunger no longer my biggest priority.


© 2017 C.W.North – All rights Reserved

for better or for worse

You fear, sometimes, I do not love you so much as you wish? My dear…I love you ever and ever and without reserve. The more I have known you the more have I lov’d. In every way – even my jealousies have been agonies of Love, in the hottest fit I ever had I would have died for you. I have vex’d you too much. But for Love! Can I help it? You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass’d my window home yesterday, I was fill’d with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time. You uttered a half complaint once that I only lov’d your Beauty. Have I nothing else then to love in you but that? Do not I see a heart naturally furnish’d with wings imprison itself with me? No ill prospect has been able to turn your thoughts a moment from me. This perhaps should be as much a subject of sorrow as joy – but I will not talk of that. Even if you did not love me I could not help an entire devotion to you: how much more deeply then must I feel for you knowing you love me. My Mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it. I never felt my Mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment – upon no person but you. When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses.” – John Keats

~

Recently, I became engaged to the love of my life.

I don’t know about you, but I believe in love at first sight. You can only really believe it once it happens to you. I used to be a skeptic, but once the love of my life walked into the room and we locked eyes, I knew. He is everything I ever dreamed of and more. He is smart, sweet, funny, nerdy, sexy, goofy, and kind. He’s got great abs too! Man, I really hit the jackpot with this one. Of course, if I said he was all those things to his face, he would deny it. He is a humble one, my man.

Our love story isn’t that *exciting* or *dramatic* if those are words you would choose. But it is our love story so it’s just perfect enough for us. After we first met, I pined after him for a year and a half (those were obviously the worst days of my life.) Then, one day I must have been annoying enough that he thought asking me out would shut me up! Haha, kidding, kidding. He asked me out to coffee and well, it’s been many cups of coffee shared since then. We love all the same things such as music, coffee, poetry, literature, theatre, and art. He’s a real renaissance man. (That’s actually the farthest thing from the truth! He is the guitarist in a metal band, and the drummer in an emo rock band. The renaissance part is hidden inside.)

I used to believe I would never get married, or want to get married. But when that one person comes along and floats into your life, you really have no choice but to give into the wonderful experience of falling in love.

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Also: I said “I love you” first and he said “thanks” back, so I think I win an award for “most dedicated and unperturbed lover.” Luckily for me, 4 months later he said “I love you” too and I finally got to say it back (since I didn’t dare utter the words again with the kind of response I got the first time!)

I guess I should try to be serious at least a little on this subject. If I were to say one thing about love, that I would hope someone would listen to and take to heart, it would be this: Love is commitment, and a one shot, hit or miss deal. When you say “I do”, you are saying for better or for worse. You’re saying, “if you turn out to be someone other than the person I thought you were, it doesn’t matter. I will stick by your side forever because I promised I would. It doesn’t matter if anyone else comes in my life who I think is cute or smart or funny. They’re not you. They aren’t the person I said yes to forever with. You are my one and only love and that’s just how it is.” So don’t say “I love you” and don’t say “I do”unless you are willing to commit yourself to a lifetime with the one person you want by your side.

Yeah, it’s terrifying. That’s why I don’t take it lightly. I’m scared do death to say “I do” on my wedding day, but I’m more scared of being alone, and sad, and having an empty life. I’m more afraid of those things than thinking I’ve made a mistake in my choice of companionship. Luckily for me, I’m madly in love with my man, and even when we argue and disagree, we love each other enough to work through it in preparation for our future. It’s always been worth it. He’s always been worth it.

I wish you the best in your romantic endeavors. Love is never in vain. Don’t give up, and remember to respect yourself enough to find someone who loves you like they should.

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.” – Ray Croft

Es ist was es ist

c.w.