To Be: A Garderner, Yourself

Disclaimer: I have all of the questions, but the answers? Well...

We have made existential dilemmas and functioning depression a way of life, with our tapping fingers- as if this frantic uncertainty was our Opus, Anxiety in C# Minor- and read text messages (but not replied to, YET, because you’re just not there yet, ya know?).

We act like it’s a prison we’re trapped in, but we fluff the pillows for these feelings and tell them, “please, stay another night.”

And I know, that these issues vary across the globe from person to person and that I’m oversimplifying something that is often so understated, but the bad guy I’m trying to catch isn’t the mastermind, but rather the accomplice.


We forget how to fight, how those trickling little thoughts aren’t just runoff from a bad rainstorm from the night before. It’s snowmelt from towering mountains ready to bleed and pool into a thrashing river. How has drowning become normal? We’ve stopped building dams, stopped knowing how to protect ourselves.



I say that word like it’s the sweatshirt I’ve had since fourth grade. It’s such a casual, comforting thing to toss over the computer chair. I’ll put it on in the privacy of my room when midnight has sailed past and I’m so freaking alone and wide awake and I want to feel like my old-self, eight years old and so unaware- when did I stop feeling like myself?

But would I wear it out in public? Gosh, no!

That is for the smile with the seams ripping as I hold the door. It’s the panic attack I can wear like a bra or underwear; a crucial piece of what I don to walk out of the house, but you’ll never see it.

I’ll brush my lashes with mascara, like maybe that’s where all my insecurities are hiding, between the follicles. War paint, we like to call make-up nowadays. It’s warpaint! It’s my way of facing the world! I feel good! I do it for myself!


Tell me, when is the last time you spent an hour in front of the mirror and really looked at yourself? Stared hard into the eyes looking back in the mirror? Or do you find yourself stranger-on-the-street averting your eyes?

When did our bodies and our minds stop feeling like Home?

How do you stop feeling like the reflection looking back?

Do you square your shoulders and lock eyes with yourself until something clicks? The final deadbolt gives way and you return to yourself after so many years- where did all the years go?- spent abroad, not realizing homesickness can feel an awful lot like being a ghost.

Self-love isn’t pretty. It’s realizing the haunting that’s taking place within our bones, and it’s choosing to ignore the dark circles under the eyes and instead focus on bringing some color back to cheeks ready to be ripened.

Its realizing winter is just a season, but spring isn’t easy either. It’s life after death. It’s being a seed ready to push through inches of soil and become the thing basking in the sun.

Who doesn’t want that moment of simple bliss where you finallyyyyy feel like yourself? 

Well, if you want to be the flower, you’ve got to think like the seed.


Photo by Benjamin Combs on Unsplash