2018 & 2019

Dear 2018,

I do not hate you. I think you sometimes hated me, but it’s okay. If I were to be naive, I could sum up your 365 days into one angry word; but that would not be fair. Truth be told, you taught me more than I have ever learned in all my seventeen years prior.

You taught me the value of true friendship. You showed me a fire within my soul called “Passion,” and I have not been the same since. You made it clear that the world can be pretty evil, and that my voice is necessary for resistance. You confirmed my desire to travel, live, and experience. You challenged my academic abilities and stole my sleep. You told me that I will not make sense to most people, but I should not worry about that. You opened my eyes to what I need, and what I do not. You yelled at me, “LET YOURSELF BE IN LOVE EVEN IF IT WILL BREAK YOUR HEART,” and I did, and it did. You sat with me while I cried over a lost connection and forced me to wipe my face, put my hair back, and carry on. You made madness look pretty and convinced me that my life must be extraordinary. You wiped my tears, pushed my hair behind my ears, and said to me, “You are not for everyone. You are far too much.”

So, 2018: thank you. Thank you for bringing me into adulthood at last. Thank you for breaking me only to build my power within. Thank you for shaking the very earth beneath me and for loving me in the harshest form.

Thank you, 2018.

Sincerely,

Riley.

 

&

 

Dear 2019,

I have yet to meet you, but I have been waiting for your arrival for quite some time now. I think you are going to be good to me; I only have just a few requests.

Please be kind.

Please take me on adventures that will leave my soul thirsty and my heart full.

Please let me love and be loved in return.

And please, oh please –

Let me exist loudly.

I cannot wait to meet you.

With love,

Riley.

understand something

I need you to understand something:

That love is not California weather.

Love should not be cloudy for weeks and then,

suddenly,

unexpectedly sunny.

Maybe for you,

but not for me.

Because I deserve consistency.

I deserve to believe in simple things

like a 3-letter sentence.

I deserve more than what I accept.

To receive the love I give.

I deserve to be chosen first,

just once,

by someone other than myself.

I need you to understand something:

I didn’t just stop loving you.

I loved you

Oh, how I did.

I loved you more than I loved myself,

and I thought myself selfless and honorable

But I wasn’t. I was stupid.

I was selfish, rather,

For forcing my heart to love someone

When my mind knew that love could never

Would never

be returned.

I didn’t just stop loving you.

I used to tell people how I never cry.

Not over sad movies or family deaths.

But I drained my body of all its tears

the day you let me walk out of your life.

I didn’t just stop loving you.

I call myself a feminist,

A strong and independent woman.

Relying on no man.

But when I try to think of a future without you

I see nothing but blackness.

I didn’t just stop loving you.

Even when I knew you belonged to her,

I could convince my foolish mind that I mattered more.

Because I couldn’t allow myself to know

That I didn’t matter at all.

I didn’t just stop loving you.

I just realized,

In the end,

That you never loved me at all.

Not in the same way.

I didn’t just stop loving you.

But eventually

I just started to love myself more.

And no, I don’t love him,

Or him, or him.

Although they are nice,

I don’t.

Not in the same way.

I didn’t just stop loving you.

But heartbreak, I have learned,

is like weening oneself off of a drug.

Little by little,

I’ll be okay.

As if I had never met you,

Maybe better.

I’ll find a different version of love,

Just within someone else.

But for now,

I need you to understand something.

I didn’t just stop loving you.

Nor do I know how I ever will.

For you showed me how to love,

And I discovered love could kill.

Patchwork Series

Everyone has a mood hobby. You know, the one thing you can always do when you’re happy or sad or angry. For some, that’s movies: The Fault In Our Stars when they want to be sad, High School Musical when they’re full of joy.

Personally, I prefer poems – specifically, poems from Pinterest. Seriously, you should see my Pinterest board full of words. It’s insane. I spend more time on that app than the twenty-first-century average housewife. I’m not sure why I save every poem I’m drawn to, because there’s definitely over five hundred on that board by now and I rarely look back at the pieces I’ve already read. Anyway, the point is that I’m way too obsessed and I’ve decided to do something about it.

Instead of just being the reader of poetry, I want to become the writer of it. I want my words to be the ones that jump out at a sad girl or a man in love and make them save it to their Pinterest boards – of life, that is. Catch the metaphor.

So, I guess this is my way of announcing my new – and first – series on here. I’m a newbie to the world of poets, and maybe this won’t turn into anything important at all. Or, maybe it will. Either way, get excited; it’s about to get real.