The Roads I Used to Know

Crumbling edges of long, winding roads
worn tires and no cell service
kicking up dust and distant memories
of days when I was someone different 

Complicated pangs between heartbeats
it hurts, but I hope it lasts forever
the bittersweet flavor of emotion
crashing over me

the sweet honeysuckle air of early summer
saturating every poor with subtle notes of nostalgia
a backdrop of rolling fields and familiar forests
fading sunlight softly shining through knee-high grass

the blooming joy of all that has been mine
the bitter grief of knowing it's past
the lonely recognition of unique remembrance
never to be shared fully by anyone

the miracle of time's twisting perspective
the power to ferment past pleasure and pain
into one deliciously intoxicating wine
savoring each sip of yesterday

Distilled Memories

there is so much happiness
hidden in images of the past
looking back it feels so perfect
all uncertainty long since settled 

why is it easier to love
this ghost of myself
and not the girl
that stands before me now

somehow my reflection
feels more like a stranger
than the pictures I have
of who I once was

compassion swells in my heart
when I remember that old self
I hold her to me, flaws and all
and feel nothing but tenderness

I guess it's always been easier for me 
to love what is long gone
than to cherish the quivering truth
of what's before me

my memory has edited and cropped everything 
down to it's essential goodness
while my anxiety projects only
unpleasant possibilities ahead

the past is the only place I feel safe
because it has already happened
nothing can surprise me or cause me pain
now that it's permanently printed in time

the present and the future
are stained with uncertainty
looking back it's easy to forget
that I carried it with me back then

still there is comfort in knowing
despite all the mistakes made
nothing can take those trailing years
away from me now

Missing Myspace

Do any of you remember the old myspace days? I genuinely miss that platform more than I’d like to admit. Part of it may just be the nostalgia that comes with reminiscing about that time in my life. I was in middle school in those days. I was just discovering my own identity, not to mention some amazing music, and Myspace was the perfect place for both. Unlike Facebook, Myspace was much more about creativity and individuality. I would spend days crafting the perfect page for myself and trying to learn HTML. It’s hard to believe that that was well over a decade ago now.

Any of you that do remember Myspace, must remember the classic Myspace questionnaires everyone was constantly filling out. I doubt may of us cared what the original poster’s answers were (unless we had a crush on them, that is) but it was always fun to steal the questions and answer them yourself. Just for old time’s sake, I thought today I’d find one of those questionnaires and fill it out. So here it is. Feel free to copy and past the questions and answer them yourself!

1. Last beverage:
Coffee with oatmilk pumpkin spice creamer.

2. Last phone call:
Monday night with my boyfriend. Verizon kept dropping the call because I live in the middle of nowhere.

3. Last song you listened to:
Bayside – Already Gone

4. Last time you cried:
About a month ago while on LSD with my boyfriend. (Happy tears of course.)

5. Have you dated someone twice:
Yes, didn’t work out either time.

6. Have you ever been cheated on:
Not that I am aware of.

7. Kissed someone & regretted it:
Sooo many times. Usually while under the influence of alcohol.

8. Have you lost someone special:
Yes, through death and otherwise.

9. What are your three favorite colors:
Black, pastel green, & turquoise

10. Met someone who changed you in the past month:
Yes, every kid I meet at work changes me.

11. Kissed anyone on your friends list:
No longer have social media. 😥

12. How many kids do you want:
Human kids? Zero.

13. Do you want any pets:
I already have one cat, one dog, and one mouse, and they are splendid.

14. Do you want to change your name:
Yes. I’ve never liked my first or last name.

15. What did you do for your last birthday:
I honestly don’t remember. Most likely nothing.

16. What time did you wake up today:
6:15AM. I slept in.

17. Name something you CANNOT wait for:
My boyfriend to move back to the area at the end of the year.

18. Last time you saw your mother:
A couple weeks ago.

19. Most visited webpage:
YouTube

20. Nicknames:
A few people call me Rach. Would love for people to start calling me Elle.

21. Relationship status:
Dating a perfect vegan dreamboat. ❤

22. Zodiac sign:
Sagittarius

23. Male or female:
Female

24. Height:
5’6”

25. Do you have a crush on someone:
Yis. My lovely boyfriend.

26. Piercings:
Lip and 00 gauges in both ears.

27. Tattoos:
Not yet.

28. Strong or Weak:
Strong physically, weak mentally. lmao

FIRSTS

29. First surgery:
Wisdom teeth removal.

30. First best friend:
Can’t remember their name from daycare. But in kindergarten, her name was Katie.

31. First sport you joined:
Volleyball

32. First vacation:
I went to Castaway Bay with my mom, grandma, and sister for three days when I was little.

WHICH IS BETTER

33. Lips or eyes:
Eyes.

34. Hugs or kisses:
HUGSSS

35. Shorter or taller:
Taller

36. Older or younger:
Older.

37. Romantic or spontaneous:
I guess romantic.

38. Sensitive or loud:
Sensitive.

39. Hook-up or relationship:
Relationship.

40. Shy or outgoing:
Outgoing

HAVE YOU EVER

41. Kissed a stranger:
I don’t think so…?

42. Gotten a speeding ticket:
Yes, quite a few actually…

43. Lost glasses/contacts:
Nope, don’t need either.

44. Sex on first date:
Yes. Terrible choice.

45. Broken someone’s heart:
Sadly, yes. But I’m usually the one being broken.

46. Been arrested:
No

47. Have you turned someone down:
Tons of times.

48. Fallen for a friend:
Many times.

49. Moved out of town:
Yes, but not far.

BELIEVE IN

50. Miracles:
Eh, undecided.

51. Love at first sight:
Not really.

52. Heaven:
No.

53. Santa Claus:
Obviously not.

54. Kiss on the first date:
Depends on the person.

55. Angels:
Nah.

56. Yourself:
Sometimes.

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY

57. Had more than 1 girlfriend/boyfriend at a time:
Mhmm. I’ve dabbled with Polyamory/made huge mistakes.

58. Been in love with someone you couldn’t be with?:
That’s usually what being in love is like for me.

59. Ever cheated on somebody:
Yes, and it was the biggest mistake of my life.

60. If you could go back in time, how far would you go?:
Perhaps just to the 60s.

61. Are you afraid of falling in love:
Yes. It’s scary to need someone.

62. Was your last relationship a mistake?
I don’t think so.

63. Do you miss your last relationship?
Sometimes.

64. Who did you last say “i love you” to?
My boyfriend

65. Have you ever been depressed?
When I was a teenager.

66. Are you insecure?
Oh yes.

67. How do you want to die?
In my sleep.

68. Do you bite your nails?
Yes, unless they’re painted or I have fake ones on.

69. When was your last physical fight?
Never been in a fight.

70. Do you have an attitude?
When things don’t go as planned.

71. Twirl or cut your spaghetti?
Twirl

74. Do you tan a lot?
I tan easily, but don’t do so intentionally. Never used a tanning bed.

75. Ever eaten food in a car while someone or you are driving?
Yea, but not in a long time.

76. Ever made out in a bathroom?
Sure.

77. Would you take any of your exes back?
Probably not.

78. Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
Probably not.

79. What are your plans for this weekend?
Going to a local Fall festival with my family to buy delicious wines for the holidays.

80. Do you type fast?
I do. Last I checked it was 65wpm.

81. Can you spell well?
Used to be great, but now I always second guess myself and rely on spellcheck.

82: What are you craving right now?
More time.

83. Have you ever been on a horse?
Yes when I was a kid.

84. Would you live with someone without marrying them?
I have before and certainly would again.

85. What’s irritating you right now?
Nothing at the moment.

86. Have you ever liked someone so much that it hurts?
Sure have.

87. Does somebody love you?
Yes, lots of people love me.

88. Have you ever changed clothes in a car?
I’m sure I have although I don’t remember specifically.

89. Milk chocolate or white chocolate?
Milk chocolate as long as it’s vegan.

90. Do you have trust issues?
Absolutely.

91. Longest relationship?
Not long, maybe 3-4 years?

92: Do you believe your most recent ex thinks about you?
If he’s not a complete imbecile.

93. Have you ever walked outside in your PJs?
I don’t have PJs.

94. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
Yes.

95. Did you have dream last night?
We all dream every night, but I don’t remember my dream.

96. Have you ever been out of state?
Uh yea.

97. Do you play the Wii?
I have one, but rarely play it.

98. Do you like Chinese food?
Love it.

99. Are you afraid of the dark?
No

100. Is cheating ever okay?
No

101. What year has been your best?
Maybe 2008. That was a really good year for me.

102. Do you believe in true love?
I’m not sure.

103. Favorite weather?
Hot, humid, sunny days.

104. Do you like the snow?
It’s pretty, but too cold for me.

105. Do you like the outside?
Of course.

106. Is it cute when a boy/girl calls you baby?
If we’re romantically involved.

107. Have you ever made out for more than a half hour straight?
Definitely when I was a teenager.

108. What makes you happy?
Nature, intelligent, engaging conversation, animals, drawing, coffee, kratom, my friends and family.

109. Ever been to Alaska?
No and don’t plan on it.

110. Ever been to Hawaii?
No, but I’d love to go someday.

111. Do you watch the news?
I used to, but I’ve stopped within the last few years because it’s just unbearable.

112. Do you love MTV?
No, and I don’t have cable.

113. Do you like subway?
I used to before I went vegan.

114 Would it be hard to kiss the last person you kissed?
Not at all. I would love for him to be here so I could kiss him.

115. Your best friend of the opposite sex likes you, what do you do?
Probably be pissed off, because male friends never seem to just want to be friends.

116. Why did you decide to do this quiz?
Nostalgia

117. Have you ever seen someone you knew and purposely avoided them?
Lots of times.

118. Do you have a friend of the opposite sex who you can act your complete self around?
Yes.

119. Who was the last person of the opposite sex you talked to?
My friend Scott at work.

120. Who was the last person you had a deep conversation with?
My coworkers. God, I love my job.

121. Ever bought condoms?
Actually, no.

122. Ever gotten pregnant?
Nope and I never will. (: Hallelujah.

123. Have you ever slipped on ice?
Yes.

124 Have you ever missed the bus?
Maybe when I was still in school. Can’t remember though.

125. Have you left the house without money?
I hardly ever carry cash.

126. Have you ever smoked cigarettes?
Yes, I’ve smoked on and off since age 18.

127. Have you ever smoked a cigar?
Yea, but I’m not a fan.

128. Did you ever drink alcohol?
Yes. Waaaay too much in college, nearly became an alcoholic a couple years ago, but now I have little to no interest in drinking.

129. Did you ever watch “The Breakfast Club”?
Once or twice.

130. Have you ever been overweight?
Yes, and I’ve felt overweight my entire life.

131. Ever been to a wedding?
Only one in my whole life and it was my best friend’s.

132. Ever been in a wedding?
Yup. I was a bridesmaid.

133. Have you ever been on the computer for 5 hours straight?
Never counted, but I’m sure I have.

134. Did you ever watch TV for 5 hours straight?
Definitely.

135. Ever kissed in the rain?
Not that I recall.

136. Did you ever shower with someone else?
Many times.

137. Did you ever fail a driver’s test?
No. I ran a stop sign, but they passed me anyway. lmao

138. Ever been outside your home country?
Yes. I went to the Bahamas on a cruise once.

139. Ever been on a road trip longer than 5 hours?
Yes. I hate road trips.

140. Ever been to a professional sports game?
Yes, but I didn’t pay attention to the game at all. I was people watching.

141. Have you ever broken a bone?
No! Impressive, right?

142. Did you ever win a trophy in your life?
Only lame ones for participation.

143. Ever get engaged?
Nope.

144. Have you ever been on a diet?
Seems like I’ve been on a diet since I was 6 years old.

145. Have you ever been on TV?
Probably local news very briefly since I was in my high school band and we would do parades and stuff.

146. Ever ridden in a taxi?
Nope.

147. Ever been to prom?
Yes. Not a fan.

148. Ever stayed up for 24 hours or more?
Yes, when I was a kid.

149 Have you ever been to a concert?
Yes, but only a couple.

150. Have you ever had a crush on someone at work?
Yes.

151. Have you ever been in a car accident?
Only fender benders.

152. Ever had braces?
Yes when I was in middle/high school.

153. Did you ever learn another language?
Constantly attempting to learn Spanish.

154. Do you wear make-up?
When I feel like it.

155. Did you ever have your wisdom teeth taken out?
Yes.

156. Did you ever kiss someone a different race than yourself?
Yes.

157. Ever dyed your hair?
Yes, many times. Nothing too exciting though.

158. Did you ever wear someone else’s clothes?
Yea, I wear my boyfriend’s clothes all the time.

159. Ever ridden in an ambulance?
No.

160. Ever ridden in a helicopter?
No.

161. Ever caught the stove on fire?
The stove??? No…

162. Ever meet someone famous?
Yes, artists from bands I like and one of the actors from Twilight.

163. Ever been on an airplane?
No.

164. Ever been on a boat?
Yes. I went on a cruise once and my dad has a speedboat.

165. Ever broken something expensive?
Not unless cars count.

166. Did you ever kiss someone before you were 14?
I believe so. I was in eighth grade.

167. Did you ever find something valuable on the ground?
I’ve found money on the ground before. Most was probably $20.

MySpace confirms it has been hacked | IT PRO

Memories

Today I thought I’d give myself a little break from coming up with a topic to write about. Instead I’d like to write about a few memories that make me happy. I’m hoping that by doing this it will put me in a good mood and help me enjoy the rest of my nice, rainy day off. So here are five memories of mine that bring me joy.

One: The drunken sleep overs I used to have with my two best friends in high school.

Despite all of the problematic things I went through, high school was still one of the best times in my life. I was very lucky to have a very close knit group of wonderful people around me. It was especially nice to spend the night with my two best friends, let’s call them Bailey and Ally. Young and full of teenage angst, nothing was more gratifying than sneaking around after our parents went to sleep and getting into their liquor cabinets. Drinking was never more fun than when it was forbidden. I still remember one night in particular that Ally, Bailey, and I even snuck a couple boys into my house. We had so much fun and they brought us some weed to smoke too. I distinctly remember having my first cigarette that night. We were standing out in the warm night air, there was a hardly perceptible drizzle of rain coming down. In that moment with my best friends in the world, I felt completely and utterly content.

Two: Making forts at my mom’s office.

When I was a preteen, I used to spend a few days every week in summer at my mom’s office. She worked for a local college and they had a summer program for kids around my age so that employees and students didn’t have to pay someone to watch their kids after school let out for the year. Even though I was still a very awkward little weirdo, I managed to find myself a group of friends there. The other girls in my group were a few years older than me, but that made me feel cool to be included. One of our favorite things to do (especially if it was stormy out) was to move together a bunch of tables and cover them with blankets. Then we would go inside and hangout in our nice little fortress. I can still recall that feeling of togetherness and comfort that it always gave me. Although I don’t think about that place often, it still holds a lot of precious memories for me.

Three: Walking to the park in my hometown.

Many times throughout my childhood and adolescence I walked from my house to a little park in town. We lived on a back road on the outskirts of a small town, so it was quite a substantial walk there and back. I used to walk there with my sister and grandma. We’d often get some Reese’s pieces or a can of pop from the little corner store. As I got older I would walk there with my friends when they would come over. In middle school I would often walk there alone to meet a boy in town that I dated. I still remember getting butterflies when he would call me and ask if I wanted to go to the park. That’s even were I got my first kiss all those years ago. I honestly haven’t thought about that in years, but it brings me just as much joy as it did back then.

Four: Talking with my friends on the phone and AIM for hours on end.

When I was a kid, talking to your friends was a much bigger deal than it seems to be now. We didn’t have phones glued to our hands to text people sporadically throughout the day. We set aside time specifically for talking either on our landline phones, or on Aol Instant Messenger (AIM). I actually still really miss AIM. It was better than texting because, for one, you could type on an actual keyboard so you could have more in depth conversations. You also knew that if someone was active on there that they wanted to talk to people. I hate the way texting doesn’t seem to have a beginning or an end and you never know if someone is busy or just ignoring you. Even though the advances we’ve made in technology are supposed to bring us closer together, I felt much closer to my friends before smartphones existed. I used to call one or more of my friends on the phone every day. We would talk for hours about everything and nothing. A few times my friend Ally and I would even be on the line in complete silence, just watching a movie together on TV, then discussing it during the commercials. I long to go back to those simpler days.

Five: That Christmas in College were we all bought each other toys.

I used to have a really awesome group of friends that I hung out with my second or third year of college. Sadly since then we have all drifted apart. A lot of the memories from that time have been blurred or obliterated by copious amounts of alcohol. There is one that stands out in my mind though. One year for Christmas we decided to buy each other kid’s toys instead of normal gifts. We had all been missing our childhoods and thought it’d be fun to have a kid Christmas one last time. We all went to Ally’s parents house to spend the night. We drank a lot, opened our gifts, and played together with our new toys as if we were kids again. It was so silly and stupid and special. I am really grateful for that experience. It warms my heart.

So there you have it, five random memories from my life that make me smile. It definitely did feel good to write about all of those things. I have truly had a wonderful life. There are so many of these kinds of memories that we forget we have until we go searching for them. I’ll definitely make more posts of this type in the future to see what other gems I am able to unearth. What are some memories that make you happy?

white ceramic mug on white wooden shelf photo – Free Image on Unsplash

Memory

Photo by Allan Mas on Pexels.com

Memory has always been something that fascinates me, like dreams. Another mysterious inner activity of the mind that we struggle to fully understand. Both my memory and my dreams are private worlds that only I may enter. It’s an interesting thought. Reality can be confirmed by those around us experiencing the same things. How are we to know if our solitary memories and dreams are “real?” Perhaps in the end it doesn’t matter. They are real to us. Therefore they influence the way we see and interact with the world.

Lately I’ve been asking people about their earliest memories. I’ve done this a few times in the past as well. Even though I always seem to get similar responses, I never cease to be shocked and frustrated. I don’t think anyone I’ve ever asked has told me about a memory from before they were in school. Even kindergarten memories seem to be rare for people. This is just so hard for me to believe. Do most people really not have any memories from early childhood, before school? Before 5 years of age? That just can’t be true. I can’t imagine going through life like that.

The excuse is usually, “Well, I have a really poor memory.” But so do I! My friends will tell me stories from our adventures together in college and I’ll have only the foggiest recollection of the whole scenario. There are handfuls of people I’ve met and even slept with that I don’t remember at all. Sometimes it feels like my memory is a jar of sand with a crack near the top. All of my early memories seem to be safe at the bottom of that jar, but memories from recent years slip through the crack and are lost forever. I used to have a nearly photographic memory. However years of drug and alcohol use have all but destroyed it. But I just thought a deteriorating memory would encompass every memory, not just more recent ones. Perhaps my brain is able to hold onto the memories it keeps, but is just hit or miss when it comes to forming new memories.

Either way, the fact remains that even will this poor memory of mine, I am able to remember countless things from a very young age. I have tons of memories from before I went to school. I have memories of my grandmother watching my sister and I and the fun we would all have together while my mother was at work. I can remember going to preschool when I was 3 and 4. I remember the friends I made. Even snippets of conversations, the toys we would play with, the ones we weren’t allowed to and how frustrated I was by that. (There were finger paints and giant blocks that we were forbidden from using to my confusion and dismay.) I can remember a lot about kindergarten too, not just one or two memories.

It is honestly scary to me that no one else has these kinds of memories. It makes me afraid that I will someday lose them. It makes me want to start writing it all down for myself. It also makes me doubt myself. Do I remember these things? Maybe these are false memories. Maybe none of those things really happened or happened differently than I remember. Maybe I am just remembering the times throughout my life when I have recounted these memories to others.

What I used to consider my earliest memory is now suspect. I was only 1 or 2 years old. I was in my crib, throwing a tantrum, throwing binkies out onto the floor. I wanted my original binkie. Like the first one I ever had, if that gives you an idea of just HOW young I was. But it had gotten old and used up so my mother threw it away. (This I only discovered from telling this memory to my mom when I was younger.) Even at the time she was shocked I could remember that. And at the time I truly did. But now it feels more like I am remembering the story, not the actual experience. There are some of my very very early memories that feel this way now, but with others there is still that feeling of being transported back in time in my own head, that bodily sensation of being there again.

Part of me doesn’t fully believe people when they tell me their first memory is from when they were 9 years old or something. It just seems absurd to me. I question if it’s just that they don’t want to tell me their earliest memories. Perhaps that’s too personal for me to be asking. Or maybe they could think of earlier ones if they really concentrated and put more effort into it. I just cannot accept that I am rare in remembering things from when I was 3 or 4. Or that I could possibly be mistaken in thinking I can. That’s what actually unnerves me the most. Because those memories mean a lot to me.

I want to hold onto as many memories as I can from those early years. Those years of simple bliss, of being so lovingly cared for, marveling at the whole world, learning, exploring, loving everyone and everything with the innocence of a child. Maybe I will write as much as I can remember down and see if I can at least confirm it with my mom, grandma, or sister. That might give me some peace of mind on the matter. For now, I am going to keep asking people in the hopes that I can find more people that share these memories of early life. Please help me out by leaving a comment letting me know when your earliest memory is from. And if you’re comfortable doing so, let me know what the memory is about as well. I would love to hear from more people.

Valentine’s Day

I have had a strange history with Valentine’s Day. For most of my life I was indifferent to it. I did enjoy creating those boxes in class and receiving cards and cookies. Thankfully when I was young, everyone was required to make a card for everyone else. I’m still horrified at the idea that there was a time when unpopular little kids were left empty handed with only the feeling of utter rejection and isolation on this “day of love.”

As I got older, I grew to detest it. I still don’t know if it was just the corniness and commercialism or if it was an attempt to distance myself from the fact that I never had anyone to share my love with. Whatever the reason that began this feeling though, it continued even into the years when I did have a boyfriend. I remember the first year we were together and he bought me a giant bouquet of flowers and had it sent to my classroom. I was humiliated. Red from ear to ear. I had to carry that embarrassing thing around with me the rest of the day. Of course, as far as he ever knew, I loved it.

By our next Valentine’s Day he knew me much better. Instead of a showy display, he got me a box of gourmet vegan chocolates, paid his mother to leave so we’d have the house to ourselves for the night, and presented me with five hits of acid and some ketamine. (I had recently gotten my wisdom teeth removed and raved about how much I enjoyed the laughing gas. He said ketamine was the closest street drug he could find as far as effects go.) To this day, I count that Valentine’s Day among one of the best days of my life.

It is hard to believe that was six or seven years ago now. So much has changed and yet, nothing has. In the years since then, I’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day as my cat’s birthday. (The acid that night inspired me to adopt her. I even named her Lucy.) And I guess that’s just one of the tricky parts about life. The good and the bad are so many thread inextricably woven into the same cloth. To trace along one, you inevitably stumble across the other as well. These precious memories of mine are, for the most part, too painful to recall. What a cruel joke of memory that the past can be soured by the present.

Maybe it is just an art I need to practice more, accepting and honoring those twinges of pain that impinge upon my happy nostalgia. There is beauty and growth that blooms from pain. When you look at a flower garden, you don’t often focus on the filth and rot and decay that has fertilized the soil. The longer I live, the more I come to understand that life is all about focus. It is a blessing to realize this and the fact that attention is a muscle that I can train with practice.

As for today, I will wrap myself in gratitude. Things are not perfect. They have not gone exactly as I would have liked. But so much unexpected beauty and love has come to me regardless. Lucy has truly brought me all the love and joy that a first child should. We know one another, love one another, and have grown with one another. She has been by my side through some of the darkest times in my life. She has been my strength and my purpose when I had nothing else to get me out of bed in the morning.

Today I choose to focus on that marvelous, miraculous bond we share. Today is a day of love. I have all of the love I could ever want or need from Lucy and her sister Sybil. We are a family that transcends species and language through unconditional love. And that is truly something to celebrate.