Standing Still

I want to be with someone who is sure of me. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw:

Carrie: I’ve done the merry go round I’ve been through the revolving door I feel like I met somebody I can stand still with for a minute and… don’t you wanna stand still with me?

Big: You dragged me out to a park at three in the morning to ask me if I wanna stand still with you?

Carrie: …Yes.

Yes, damn it. I have done the merry go round. I’ve been through revolving doors. I’ve stayed on the elevator too long, pressing every button hoping one of them is the right stop. It’s tiring. When you find someone you feel like could be worth it, you just want to stand still for a second.

But I have this guard up that is impossible to let go of… and when that person has a guard up too, possibly higher than mine, it makes me nervous.

You want to know who I really am right? You want me to earn trust that I didn’t lose, right?

These two things are hard. They aren’t something I’ll do, or give away, to just anyone. You have to stand still with me. You have to be sure of me.

They say a girl worth having won’t wait for anybody. These words I know to be true. I won’t wait. Not unless it’s worth it.

So who am I?

I’m the girl who can’t drink out of a cup without a straw because I’ll spill all over myself.

I’m the girl who has been through hazy nights of too much booze and too many mistakes and learned from it. Whether that meant that staying silent means no– and it doesn’t make you a slut. Whether that meant puking my brains out in an Austin bar bathroom thanks to Jamie sticking her fingers down my throat because I thought ordering both of us fishbowls was a “good idea.” Whether that meant running off with strangers after too many drinks and making friends but knowing that it could also mean ending up dead in a garbage can somewhere.

I’m the girl who maybe has opened my legs many more times than I’ve opened my heart, because you’re less likely to get hurt that way. Maybe that’s not something I should admit, but I’m also the girl who will tell you the truth, even when it’s hard, even when it’s embarassing. I’m not ashamed of who I’ve been, because I know who I am now, and where I want to go.

I’m the girl who has best friends all over the country (and world!) that mean more to her than anything. They have seen me crying hysterically after getting lost in a rainstorm in Madrid. They have seen me dance on tables at a pub crawl in Rome. They have seen me fall in love with a German in Vienna. They have had me call the cops/ems on them from thousands of miles away when I worried they had tried to kill themselves. They have pulled me out of a bathroom stall in Austin when a girl pulled me in to make out. They have poured their hearts to me on a swing in front of a bar, during a festival, in Vienna and wandered the city with me. They have ziplined across the rain forest in Costa Rica with me. They have partied at music festivals with me in Georgia, Chicago and NYC.

I’m the girl who was engaged at 18, then un-engaged at 20. I should have never said yes as a teenager but I was so scared of losing him. He was my first long-term boyfriend and I didn’t know what being in a serious relationship really meant.

I’m the girl who lost her first love at barely fifteen. Because of this, I drank my way through high school, deeply depressed that the boy I said those three little words to, the first boy, was gone and ripped from my heart. I got suspended junior year for having alcohol on a school field trip. Looking back, I wanted this to happen. I needed help. I needed someone to realize how much I was drowning in the loss of such an amazing soul. I never did get it… but I learned how to pull myself out of it.

I’m the girl who two days after getting her driver’s license, ran straight into a stop sign. Then less than a year later, almost ran into a house.

I’m the girl who expects her friends to be there for her as much as she would for them, but is constantly disappointed.

I’m the girl who thought she was invincible, got pregnant in an abusive relationship and let her crazy pregnancy hormones believe that he was the one for me. On the day we got married, we got lunch at Jimmy Johns. I asked for a sub with no lettuce. When my then-almost-husband came out and handed me the sub, I unwrapped the paper and started crying. There was lettuce on my sub.

I’m the girl who realized her mistake way too late when her husband’s father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and his already abusive tendencies magnified themselves the more he drank. My back got familiar with our walls, sometimes with a newborn/baby in my arms. My wrists got familiar with the strength of someone else’s power. When we moved out of the townhouse, I found empty bottles under the beds, under the couches… and in my son’s closet.

I’m the girl who finally got the strength to leave but listened to the voice of a manipulator for two months telling me he would change, he would join the army, he would make his, our, life better. But I pushed on and really left two months later, defeated, flying to Chicago in one piece, but my heart in a million, as I hugged some of my favorite people and felt better for a weekend, before flying back and moving back to my parent’s house.

I’m the girl who feels more at home traveling than she does in a house.

I’m the girl who is always writing, always thinking. I’m the girl with an imagination the size of a country. I’m the girl with a pen and paper handy, voice memos constantly being left for myself, new ideas blossoming in my mind at all times. I’m the girl who dreams of her name across the bottom of a novel, on shelves across the world, in the hands of teenagers and adults looking for an escape.

I’m the girl who will tell you all her secrets… you just have to ask.