June 15, 2014

Dear Old Me, 

One day, you will stop trying so hard to make sense of who, what, when, where, and most importantly, why. One day, you will wake up and realize that all of the anxiety, fear, nervousness, pushing, pulling, hurting, and burning has led you to the place that I am today and in this moment, for the first time in all the time I’ve known you, you and I are at peace.

I am not angry, upset, self-loathing, and self-hating for the things you do and want and love because you are everything that has made me the person I am today. I am not perfect, I am not always happy, and I am not much different: but I forgive myself daily, and more, I love.

If I could tell you anything, every day, age five to this moment, I would tell you to be kind to yourself.

You are valuable. 

I wish I knew how to send this letter. But I wouldn’t, maybe. Because maybe everything you and I went through was necessary to learn this. And if I sent it, you would still be — I would still be you. 

Here’s to the fireplace where I’ll have to burn this, and more importantly, here is to knowing one day, you will look inside yourself and see all the fire and beauty, and it will not consume you. 

It will make you bright. 

March 10, 2014

I’m still so sorry that the person I am is not the person I / you / we need me to be. I promise I’m trying. 

8:28pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z0CKRy19nWydh
Filed under: personal writing 
March 10, 2014
On Writing My Love Letter

I am looking around the room and trying to explain why it is that I feel like I’m on the threshold of a breakdown. I’m at a table by myself, slightly hunched over my Macbook Pro, typing furiously at a group of words I can’t seem to get right. My lips move in small shapes as I silently make the words on the page real sounds in my head and they are beautiful and singing until I type the wrong word, stop, and hear a piano in a distant place inside my mind bang out a note too sharp.
I’m trying to write a love letter. 
I’ve written them before. I write them often. Usually, I write them to lovers and friends, family members even. However, as I sit now, hunched over these keys, this is the first time I am ever writing a love letter to the person I hope to spend a very long time with. 
We met five months ago, and it felt like the world finally began to make sense to me. He is handsome, he is smart, he is wonderful, he is kind. He is like me, he is unlike me, he is his own like no one else is. 
I am typing the words I wrote above, and I hear them exclusively in cliches from every romantic comedy or tragically beautiful love story that has ever been written. I am translating our romance in terms of Nicholas Sparks and then Jane Austen, Shakespeare while I reach for Michael Cunningham and beg for the help of TS Elliot. And then, I look up, straighten my shoulders, and stab furiously at the backspace button. I delete every word, because there are thousands and thousands of them, but not one of them is coming together to sound as beautiful as his name. 
When we started to fall in love, I promised him that I would be difficult, tentative, hesitant, and afraid of anything that felt remotely real. He told me he didn’t mind. 
The first time that he told me that he loved me we were in bed. He was on top of me, looking down at me. 
His light blue-green eyes met my dark brown ones and he suddenly whispered, “I love you.” I heard him, maybe. But as my lips started to turn into a smile, I said, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” He stopped and he said, “Nothing.” I smiled fully, then. My eyes were sparkling, and his were too. He said it again. “I love you, Safeena.” I moved our bodies so that I was on top of him now, my dark brown hands holding his white face, and I moved my lips down and kissed him. I whispered, my eyes closed and my lips an inch from his, “I love you too.”
How do I write that feeling into a love letter? 
I want to be honest and I don’t want to sound contrived, but I want desperately for him to know that if I am the moon, he is the sun and the light that he shines on and in and through me is so bright I can hardly remember that the people are always mumbling about a part of me they call my dark side. 
If I am my Macbook, he has become my charger. If I am the stars, he has become the explosions that make me shine. If I am the ocean, he is the sand and I move back and forth and back and forth, searching the earth to kiss him.
I look around me and I hear the white noise of the coffee shop in sharp bursts, instead. My favorite song, Primavera by Ludovico Einaudi, starts playing from the speakers above me. The song holds me tight as I look from table to table. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” a man wearing a long-sleeve crew neck smiles to a girl with curly hair and an oversized flannel shirt. “Your argument is completely unclear,” a young graduate student says sharply to a student with her nose so close to the piece of paper she’s writing on she’s practically smudging the graphite with her blackheads. “But do you miss him?” A concerned best friend is patting the arm of a girl with her back towards me. Her spine is more sad and burdened than my own. Laughter from the table next to me. Spoons clinking on the rims of mugs across the wooden floor from me. Boots tentative on the stairs and disappearing down to the first floor. 
I look back at my Macbook and at the empty screen. 
I close it and I pull out a piece of paper and my Pilot G-2 pen. I put the pen to the paper and I write, “Darling,” and the sound of the pen scratching across the paper completes the orchestra of sounds in the coffee shop, in my head, and the composition of the words on my tongue that spell all the love I need to give you starts to come together in perfect rhythm. 
I write and I do not stop until I see that our love is enough that I’m nearly out of ink. It was just stuck in my fingers, waiting for the right way to sing. 

January 17, 2014

we aren’t lost anymore

we found something better

than hands to hold

or shoulders to cry on

we found awareness

that we don’t need anyone

to be everything

instead

we

are

it

all

10:02pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z0CKRy14dU03d
  
Filed under: writing safeena 
January 16, 2014

Every sound that you whisper to me through your soft lips and through my frizzy hair hits my ear like a wave of chills that covers me from head to toe. The warmth of your breath is nothing compared to the warmth of your words: so bright, so tender, so honest. The way your mouth forms the syllables of my name is so careful, like you know how much it means to me that my name is not easy to say. You hold the “uh” and the “ee” cradled between the “s” and the “f’ and the “nah” and it sounds like, in your breath, you are carrying something infinitely more valuable than anything I have to give. But the way you hold your words like that is a perfect parallel to the way you hold everything else: your gaze, your smile, your arms around my body. To be safe in a world like ours is such an impossible thing: the pieces that don’t stop moving, the footing you can never find, the silence that never holds, they all are motion and despite that your energy is passion and vibration, when I can’t seem to stop, you find a way to hold me still. And as your voice enters my ear, and your hands grip tighter to my skin, and you push yourself closer to me, everything becomes dark except you. And me. And I look up to you with my black eyes meeting your green ones: and in our dark part of the world, I feel more safe than I have ever felt. I smile, and I move my lips to yours. I whisper your name and find my footing. The world turns on, but we are amber. I kiss you and we are on fire. We burn and are not burnt. We are home in the chaos. We have each other. 

January 7, 2014
2013

I can’t believe I have hardly written in the last couple of months. More on that later, I think.

Regardless, it’s been such an incredible fucking year. This has been the year of my highest highs and my lowest lows, BY FAR. This year has been the most challenging, the most demanding, the most alone I’ve felt, the most stressed, depressed, strained, overworked, sleepless, crazed… but it’s also the year I’ve felt the most euphoric, the most on fire, the most passionate, driven, successful, happy, overjoyed. This has been the year of creative writing and elections and new friends and letting go of old friends and passed laws and hosted events and career aspirations and life ones. This is the year I finally lost the 20 pounds I’ve wanted to lose. This is the year I’ve realized that my principles are more important than popularity and my dedication to public service is more important than my selfish love of performing.

This is the year I met the love of my life.

Thank you, 2013. You’ve been far meaner and kinder than most. More importantly, 2013, you’ve made me feel alive.

Here’s to the hope 2014 comes with more, more, more.

December 19, 2013

I remember once thinking that without my words, I might be nothing. I remember thinking that without the way I am able to verbalize every part of the way I am, I might cease to be anything.

But, today, I have tried so hard to manipulate these letters, these commas, these line breaks into something that stands as strong as you do, feels as safe as you feel, sounds as warm as your voice – and I have found, for once, that it is my words that mean nothing. It is my words that have ceased to be anything. 

Instead of the way that the syllables and syntax usually create something more beautiful than anything I could hold between my small fingers, I have found the words to be hollow, the metaphors to be disingenuous, and the sounds to be nothing similar to the feelings that I now feel. I am not a writer of love poems or love stories; I am a writer who clings desperately to loss and broken heartedness. But now, in the way that I can’t seem to find any darkness in the light inside of me, in the way that I can’t seem to feel loneliness on the tip of my pen, in the way that I can’t seem to feel anything but loved on this day, I worry that perhaps I am not a writer anymore, at all. Instead, maybe I am more. Perhaps you have taken all the words floating inside the folds of my mind and melted them all into a pile of fonts and inks and thick or slanted characters that pools together into black ink that slowly forms the only word that could describe what I have become. You have made me into a lover. 

I am no longer scared to feel whatever this feeling might be called by the great authors of love of our time, but instead, I am happy to float in the water as I cling to you and the sun kisses our faces and you look at me and smile and I am happier than the stars in the sky or the moon above them, because I am not alone.

Darling, I wish I could explain how much that means to me. I feel, for the first time in such a long time, not-lonely. 

November 8, 2013

I have approximately three minutes before I have to run to catch a bus I need to take to get my body somewhere in between very far away and a little bit closer to you.

You are exactly who and what I needed when I thought I needed nothing. I didn’t even want anything, and somehow, out of somewhere, you appeared with this incredible ability to make me feel so safe and beautiful and free.

I feel like I can be me when I’m with you and I love that you can be you and that we’re finding such beautiful surprise in the honesty we’ve created for each other.

I love your smile and your hands and the way that you hold me and say hello to my friends and open my wine and play with my hair.

I just haven’t felt this way in a long time.

I don’t know if I love you or like you, but I love and like this feeling.

Bus is coming.

November 4, 2013

I took down all your pictures because for once, I’m going to really try to let you go. 

8:52pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z0CKRyzWz6h4
  
Filed under: writing safeena personal 
October 30, 2013

I remember thinking, you broke my heart. Then I realized, my heart has been broken since I was five, when my father walked out the door without looking back, (even for a second). He didn’t look back to tell me he wanted me, to tell me he needed me, to tell me that I was worth sticking around for. I was five and I learned by his shutting the door that my self-worth was smaller than my five-year-old body. That April left me broken and all you did this November 16 years later was remind me of the rules he taught me, anyway.

I don’t talk about this because it’s so Goddamn cliche and honey, I’m fucking sorry about that. But Daddy issues are a cliche because they hurt in every place every time you walk away, every time you even think about walking away, every time I run before you leave when I sense him in you. I feel it build: I am so not worth it, to me or you, I whisper. My heart breaks preemptively. I shut my eyes and slam you out, thinking I mean nothing and I am no one but a shadow you can leave behind, and I let myself break again as if this feeling is new to me.

But it’s not. Because every time I fall to the floor when you leave, I turn back into my five-year-old self, holding a blanket and looking at the back of my front door, wondering why I wasn’t worth fighting for.

It’s not your fault he made me this way and it sure as hell isn’t a reason for you to stay, but I want you to know I understand that maybe it’s not you or maybe it is but I really hope it’s more than you. You’re not the first man to break my heart and you won’t be the last.

The last man, the one who won’t break my heart or even remind me it’s broken won’t sit and try and talk me or medicate me through all the sad. Instead, he’ll hold me as I cry, staring at our front door, and love me until I realize, all the cracks in my heart and my memory have healed. I will be strong enough to look at the door and know it was not my fault, I did not push him out, or shut it behind him, that I am strong and worth my 21 year old body and my five year old one, too, and I will look at him and see not a closed or closing person, a gone or going lover, but someone fixed and strong.

Someone fixed and strong who helped me see the same in me.

And even if one day he walks out my door, I will open it for him, see him out, and know that even if he leaves, I am not the broken person you or Dad made me feel I am or could be.

I am strong regardless of the doors: opened or closed, opening or closing.

October 2, 2013

God, it has been such a strange 24 hours.

1. I set an alarm for 4:53 AM last night and fell asleep wearing my formal meeting dress. We did not wake up until 6 AM. You got home safe. The explosion on campus did not cancel my 9 AM class. I regret drinking that bottle of wine. Actually, I don’t. The wine was nice. You are, too.

2. I had to look up on Urban Dictionary whether or not “I love you” meant the same thing in the UK as it does here in the US. It does. That was a stupid thing to look up on Urban Dictionary. You said you love me and I said “:).” I felt stupid using an emoticon to respond but I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t want to get on Skype because I am so not ready to have this conversation internationally. I asked you what use being in love was when I might never see you again. I listened to the song you sent me six times.

3. Instead of dinner, I asked if we could move our date to Taco Tuesday and hang out with 15 of my closest friends. I didn’t think I wanted to date you. But I was wrong. You were very sweet, more handsome than I remember, and we both like Blue Moon. You texted right after you left. I didn’t use any emoticons to respond.

4. I almost forgot that I am so close to not loving you. I was being so good, and today, I almost forgot and ruined everything, I almost ruined all the above, 1-3. But I looked at my phone after I fell asleep on it for 11 minutes and remembered that I worked very hard to ensure I would never fall asleep waiting for your apology again. I woke up and brushed my hair and my teeth. I put my phone on my nightstand. I opened a book. Not a single character is you.

September 18, 2013

how 

liberating

it 

is

to

have

a

voice

uniquely

your

own

September 18, 2013

and to think we almost lost each other completely

proud and prejudiced

we almost let everything go

September 17, 2013

Oh, how I have loved exploring mountaintops in your brain: those places considered most high and most dangerous, most inaccessible and most rewarding, most draining and my goodness, most beautiful.

To climb and climb until every peak is explored, loved, and possibly even understood, and then to watch as thousands more form: is there any other happiness?

September 17, 2013

The strangest part of the whole affair was waking up at some point between four and five in the morning, when the morning looked grey and calm, and feeling that your arm was still around me from the night before. I don’t even remember falling asleep that way, but as I awoke and became aware of myself, it was clear that my body was pressed tightly to yours, and that you were holding it in place. It was alarming to note the tenderness and protectiveness with which you held me: so alarming, in fact, that I pushed your arm off of me and moved to the other side of the bed.

I woke again an hour later, only to find myself firmly pulled back into your embrace. This time, I didn’t struggle. I leaned closer into you and fell asleep again. 

It is smart to protect yourself from love. It is less smart to protect yourself from shelter. 

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