This is Us

by Jess R.

My town

It’s so beautiful. I walk through it in peace with no memories. Maybe I always kept people at bay, so they couldn’t take the scene from me. The historic buildings and the rustic edges seem to enlighten me. Maybe I knew people wouldn’t last the way the buildings do so I kept them apart. It’s weird to walk the same streets you’ve walked for years knowing it’s different. I guess that’s why I’ve always been cautious and distance. Streets and buildings can’t change like the way our lives do.

Her in the Winter

As the snowflakes hit my cheeks and my hands become numb. I think of her. I remember that spring night when I passed her by. I was drawn to the sadness in her eyes. The fake smile she tried to give me. But, I knew it all too well. I tried rescuing her. She was the me I spent 4 months fixing. I was just slowly ahead. By fall, I was her again. And she was me. She lifted me up when I was ready to crumble. I was the leaf that fell off the tree. She knows dark just like I do. I was born with a curse of despair. She was too. I could see it in her eyes that I never needed to explain. She was there. She always was. It’s an endless rotation with us. We know life’s struggle all too well. There are only a few that know about the darkness that creeps in on beautiful days.

-          This was to one of my best friends who struggles with depression and breakup issues like I do/did. We were a few months apart on breakups so with the waves we were constantly picking each other up.

Is this true?

The life I did have verse the life I do have generates a few things that come to mind. That sick, empty feeling that consumes your soul. When the thoughts of death consume my every breath. The feeling when you do everything right per the universe’s request, but you get tears in return. Those moments. Oh, I know them all too well. Those feelings when you are “being you”, “authentic” and others take them for granted and yet, you take it to heart like it was something you did… but did you? Those moments when you walk over the ice on the sidewalks wondering where to next? Those moments when the sun beams down on you, and you look up, does it make you feel alive? But let’s talk about the rainy cloudy days… Do the emotions set in? Do you feel like you are where you want to be? Is the universe on your side? It seems to always be sleeping when I’m awake.


Sometimes I think of you when the nights get tough. Sometimes I think of holding you when there is nothing left in me. I find myself yearning for you in rooms I don’t know. In places and states, I don’t know. I miss you. I miss the safety and security that came with you. I miss the me that was capable of absolutely loving and adoring someone. I miss your family. I miss the her that was ready to be yours. I miss the her that loved unconditionally the way her dog loved her. I miss the girl that would wake up on Sunday rolling over saying good morning, I love you; and knew there was nothing to compare that to. Maybe one day she will say it again without the past in her way.


I wish we met at a different time. A time where I understood life’s complications and learned to appreciate happiness when it presented itself at the door. We met when I didn’t know who I was. We met when I didn’t understand feelings and emotions. Somehow, I ended up loving you. Which, explains why we didn’t last. How did you love me for so long? I’ve spent more days with my chest aching like a rotting tooth than feeling butterflies. I’ve experienced more pain in my life than happiness, and at that time, home was a dark place and the unknown was light. I wish we met now. Things would be different …


You let my mind wonder for a year. With no regret and no remorse, you walked the same world as me as if we were nothing. And now that I’ve heard from you, I am going to let yours wonder.


To the girls who grew up desperate for love, to the girls who wanted to fit in for the wrong reasons, to the girls whose dads neglected them when they needed them the most, to the girls who didn’t want to go another day. This is for you. When you feel your lungs gasping for air, your mind racing, and your heart breaking, this is when you know you are okay. I don’t mean that life is going to get better. But this is you feeling. This is you transforming. This is you becoming who you are meant to be. If I was told this at 9 when my life first crumbled, maybe I would be different today. Maybe I would appreciate the people who left me instead of hating myself for their actions. Maybe if I had someone that could reach out to me, shake me, and tell me that when you feel you can’t go on any longer, that is when it’s in your favor. Maybe I would have grown up differently and saw the world from another perspective. I learned at 26 that when I’m down on my knees asking for mercy, that is when the best things come to me. That is when I find myself, that is when hope, love and peace come to me. I need you to know. I need the girls who aren’t yet women to know, that life is difficult, but if you take a minute, feel the wind as it gracefully blows across your face, that they are the moments when the universe speaks. They are the moments that “it” finds you.

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