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Black and Blue Jun 2019
Be patient.
     His heart is guarded and he has built walls around himself to keep others out. He deflects with humor and light words, he deflects by always being “okay”, he deflects by comically dunking on you—but one day his dams will break and his walls will crumble. You need to be patient for the day that this will happen. You need to be patient for the day that he will truly let you in, let you peek at his raw emotions, let you marvel at his strengths and weaknesses. Maybe it will not happen all at once, maybe it will happen as slowly as a river carves a canyon out of rock. You must be patient with him.

Be kind.
     He needs kindness like we all need air to breathe. He might not always think so, but he needs kind words, encouraging messages, thoughtful gestures. He needs kindness, the world hasn’t shown him enough of it.

Be compassionate.
     He pretends he doesn’t need these kind, gentle touches and kind, gentle words but he does. He is a desert parched for soft rainfall—give it to him. Be compassionate when he opens up about his mental health, his deepest fears, his family, and those who he loves. He is a man who loves deeply, and you must love deeply too. He is a man who cares deeply, and you must care deeply too.

Be understanding.
     He carries a lot of pain and a lot of tragedy—he has been dealt bad hand after bad hand. But he is trying. He is growing. He is making progress. Be understanding of his needs and his journey, be understanding of him.

Be resilient.
     He will try to shut down his feelings and shut out the world—it’s his tried and true way of survival. Don’t leave him just because he needs to do a hard reset on his emotions. Don’t leave him just because he seems like he’s okay. Don’t leave him just because he’s quiet when it rains. Don’t leave him just because he tries to push you away in his silence. Be resilient and never ending in your reassurance of him. Remind him quietly, or loudly, that he is yours and you’re not leaving.

Be honest.
     You must continually be honest because he’s been lied to, too many times. You must be honest and forceful whenever he refuses to accept compliments, because his truth about himself is poisoned by the pain he’s carried around in his lifetime. You must be honest with what you’re feeling, he just wants to help you and he cannot read your mind. You must be honest in letting him in. You must trust him and be honest in return.

Be yourself.
     He has no tolerance for fake smiles, fake feelings, or fake people. He has no need or want for mistruths, half-spun lies, or false claims. He needs authenticity. He needs someone who is genuine. He needs someone who said what they said and did what they did...maybe someone with the ability to know if they were wrong but not lie about their missteps. He needs someone who will show him all of their highs and lows, someone who will be unafraid of who they are, someone who will proudly be who they are instead of who they think he wants.

Be strong.
     He has been strong for everyone else for far too long. He needs someone to lean on, someone to support his aching arms, someone strong enough to share the weight he carries. He needs someone that will allow him to feel as deeply as he needs to, to be as weak as he needs to be. Be strong and be bold—for he is strong and bold, and needs the same to thrive.

Be hungry.
     He has a hunger for life, for laughter, for enjoyment, for smiling, for telling stories, for eating at his favorite Mexican places, for playing his favorite games. He has a bottomless hunger for affection, for great hamburgers, for passion, for art, for beautiful words, for learning new things, for dogs & cats, for white chocolate mochas, for jokes. You must be hungry enough to keep up with his appetite.

Be protective.
     He has been hurt too many times and he needs shelter from the world. He still cares so readily, so openly, and still gets hurt time and time again. Be protective of his sweetness, his softness, of his gentle moments. Be protective of his weaknesses, his shortcomings, of his darkest moments. Keep them safe, hold them close to you and protect them. Keep him safe, hold him close to you and protect him.

Be ready. Of course be prepared, but also:
   Be ready to laugh. He is the funniest man I know. He uses humor to show those around him that he cares. He uses humor to show those around him that he’s okay. He wields humor like a knight wields a sword to protect himself and others. Be ready to laugh, but be ready to see through his humor.      
     Be ready to adventure. He needs adventure. He needs little adventures throughout the days and months in trying new things and going new places. He needs big adventures to draw him out of his comfort zone, to take him to new cuisines and maybe new countries.
     Be ready to love. You will fall in love with him and his ocher eyes and calloused hands and strong shoulders. You need to be ready, because whether that love happens all at once like summer storm-clouds pour rain on cornfields or whether it grows slowly from a seedling to a honeysuckle vine twining through your heart and squeezing it, you will fall in love with him and you must be ready.
     Be ready to wake up early. He is a morning person and he wants someone to fix him/help him fix/help him pick breakfast. He is a morning person that wants to roll around in the sheets and play with your hair and skim his hand up and down your arm while you’re half awake. He is a morning person who wants to listen to music to start his day even though he almost never sings in the shower. He is a morning person by necessity who has come to love it by nature; try to get up and see sunrises with him, try to get up and share the breakfast table with him, try to get up and see him first thing in the morning with sleep in the corner of his eyes and a deep rumble in his chest.
     Be ready to listen. He has so many stories in his mind, in his eyes, and on his tongue that need to be told. From the stories of his day, the jokes of his coworkers, the songs he loves, the recipes he watches, the feelings he shares, the games he loves, right down to the things he doesn’t say aloud...he needs someone ready to listen.

Be steadfast.
     He needs commitment. He needs a white picket fence and a dog and two or three children. He needs someone to always hold his hand and stand by his side. He needs someone unafraid of his darkness. He needs someone steadfast, brave, loyal, etc. He needs someone to call his home. He needs someone who will look a storm in the eye, adjust her sails, and drop her anchors where she stands.

Be good.
     Actually, be better than good. Be better than great. He only deserves the best this world has to offer. Too often he is Atlas carrying his pain, others expectations, his past, his deep desires, and the world on his shoulders. He deserves the best to stand beside him and remind him he doesn’t have to be alone. He deserves the best of women to hold him through his lows and soar with him on his highs. Be yourself, but be the best version you can be. Because he deserves only the best this world can give him.
for ERJIII
  Jul 2018 Black and Blue
Anne
you told me you'll
w
     a
         i
             t

              and i did. i waited for you.
              but maybe i  was not your type.
              and,
                        day
                                              after,
           ­             day
                                               after,
                        day

                   you broke my heart. and then you went
                   just like how others did.
Black and Blue Jul 2018
I wish I could say something beautiful.
But all of the words I dance with keep stepping on my toes,
like the boy I danced with in 8th grade that told me
he was surprised by how graceful I was for my size.

I've always carried other people's grief and anger around in my extra pounds,
storing their feelings like I was preparing for winter
and I've never been graceful about it.

I fall and I stumble and I slip but at least I didn't step on Brandon's feet when I was so nervous about my first kiss following the Sadie Hawkins dance.

I wish I could say something beautiful,
but all of the metaphors I try to grow never bloom.
Because I overwater them the way I overwater all of the loved ones in my garden and all of the wildflowers in my lungs.

I've been told my thumb is black, and not green, because I never know when to stop piling fertilizer upon seeds that will never sprout,
and when to stop piling unreciprocated love upon the people that I care about.

I wish I could say something beautiful.
But my voice is always silent like lightning or booming like thunder
and I've never learned how to make it fill a room like the sound of rain,
without being a natural disaster.

I wish I could say something beautiful.
But I still have a hard time looking into a mirror without picking myself apart,
like diagramming myself for autopsy before I've ever even pulled the trigger.

How could I ever produce something beautiful, when I can't understand the work of art that I am?

How could I say something beautiful, when I stand in my hallowed exhibition hall and refuse to paint my walls because I'm so afraid of making mistakes?

How could I say something beautiful, when I'm afraid to frame my best qualities because what if other people think that they're overrated? Overrated like seeing the Mona Lisa in person and still not understanding what the **** she's smiling about.

How could I say something beautiful when I've never been able to appreciate the different hues and shadows and brush strokes that fill my skin and my mind and my mouth?
I've never been able to appraise and value myself because I'm afraid I'll never sell and never find a home.

How could I say or create or become something beautiful when I'm so preoccupied with imitating others' paintings instead of allowing myself to be my own masterpiece?

I wish I could say something beautiful, but maybe the most beautiful thing I could say in this moment is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,

and kid you gotta be beholden to yourself instead of those critics in your art gallery.
Black and Blue Mar 2017
What they don't tell you, is that you don't need to be depressed to want to end your life.
You don't need to think that your life is over.  
You don't need to think that everyone hates you.
You just need to have a crippling fear and anxiety over everything you have and haven't done in the next few and last few days.
It sounds like simple stress.
But what they don't tell you, is that sleepless nights and days without meals and unrealistic expectations add on you, and pile on you, until you're breaking from hysteria.
Hysteria is all you need to **** yourself, although they don't tell you that.
Just absolute conviction that you just want to go to sleep and never wake up.
It doesn't matter how happy you are, it doesn't matter how many good things are going in your life, it doesn't matter how selfish you're being.
All it takes is the inability to drag yourself out of bed to face another disappointing day.
All it takes is a little bit of meaningless sadness.
All it takes is hysteria, weeping, and conviction that you don't want to see another day.
You may not ever act on suicide, but that doesn't mean that a part of yourself hasn't died....but they won't tell you that.
They will never tell You that.
Black and Blue Mar 2017
I'm not sure what exhaustion plagues me more; fatigue from depression/stress/anxiety/workload/socialization/emotional upheaval or fatigue from explaining why a woman with a liberal arts degree is important in a man's world.
Black and Blue Feb 2016
would it really be so bad to not wake up tomorrow?
Black and Blue Feb 2016
is one of those days.

one of the days where I know it would be easier to die than to continue fighting this losing battle.
one of the days where I know I wasn't meant to be alive this long.
one of the days where I crave contact, but know I don't deserve anyone's time.

today, I'd like to stop existing.
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