You are strong.
You deserve effortless, passionate love.
You matter.
Work hard and be kind today.


There’s this thing that some of us have inside us. It’s a kind of angst that doubles as raw, all-consuming pain. I think it comes from a deep yearning for something, something that almost seems unattainable. Will I ever find it? Will I be happy one day? This thing, this thing inside some of us, it was put there. It had to be.

Maybe it was left behind the first time I saw my Mom and Dad tearing each other apart at the top of their lungs. Or maybe it came with the scar my sister left on my thigh the time she beat me with that leather belt. Other times I wonder if it came from the times I made my little sister cry, pulling her hair and bruising her sweet, delicate arms. Why am I crying? It could have come from the time my father stomped his foot on my stomach. All the air left me and, maybe as I was gasping for life, I inhaled this thing. I could’ve put it there myself, too. All the years of self-loathing, of telling myself to be someone I wasn’t, something I didn’t want to be, maybe I left it there when I tried to be someone else, someone others wouldn’t hate. Maybe he put it there, left it behind after he forced himself onto me. The feelings of shame, disgust, and betrayal might have brought it with them along with the scalding, hot tears I shed on my best friend’s shoulder.

Heartbreak might have something to do with it. After all, when our hearts break something is taken from us and something is left behind, something empty. Maybe that’s it. So maybe he gave it to me the time he slept with another man and then again with me, when he stabbed me in the back. Or maybe he gave it to me when he said he couldn’t do it anymore, that the responsibility of another was too much. Maybe he left it inside me as a parting gift when he left me, broken. Or maybe he gave it to me when he, like my father, took the wind out of me, this time with a closed fist. But heartbreak comes in different ways. So I have to wonder…did my Mom put this thing inside me? Someone put it inside of her. Maybe she gave it to me the last time I looked her in the eyes, tears falling down her face, as she tried so hard to live, to leave. She left me empty. Maybe she tried to fill the void she left behind in me with this thing.

Maybe all of these things together, all of them, put this thing inside me. This thing that feeds on my insecurities, that keeps me awake at night and devours me from the inside out.

But maybe, maybe it’s not something inside of us. Maybe it’s something outside of us that has been taken away. Maybe that’s what we’re searching for, for the last piece of ourselves. The piece that will make it all okay. Will I ever find it?