The Clumsy Ideal

A blog about how to be an adult, because we’re all still figuring it out.

Things I Never Got To Tell You (Poem)

Things I Never Got To Tell You (Poem)

I’ve been on a journey to strengthen my self-worth. That includes a daily gratitude practice, a healthy workout regimen and some heavy self reflection. Everyday, I’m learning more about myself and loving more things about myself. And at 28 years old, it feels pretty great.

This morning, I woke up thinking about how our self-esteem can diminish over time, especially in our formative years. In the photo above, I was 19 years old, high and in a bad place. I didn’t like myself in a deep, dark way.

I wondered this morning: What happens as life unfolds that convinces us that we are not already whole? It was clear to me that my first real heartbreak marked when things started to go downhill. So I decided to write something that I never had the chance to. That’s what this is.

  1. It hurt when you left.

  2. It hurt all the times you left.

  3. Why did you keep coming back?

  4. After all that time together, why couldn’t you just say goodbye?

  5. It took me years to stop thinking about you. I’d pretend you didn’t exist. I’d turn off my computer, change all my passwords and make believe that I never met you; erase all the ways I couldn’t get you to love me too.

  6. I was young when I loved you. I hope you know that. I threw myself at you, over and over, because at 17 and 19 and 21, I thought it was the only place I could find love.

  7. I wanted to make you happy. I didn’t know that was something I couldn’t do.

  8. I still remember your eyes and it’s frightening.

  9. I know it was terrible — how much we drank.

  10. I’ve mostly forgotten that night at the bonfire on the cliff behind the rock. I still remember the night you crawled in through my window.

  11. I know that you found yourself after me. I found myself too.

  12. I eventually learned that it wasn’t love that made me so desperate. It was that I wouldn’t love any part of me because you couldn’t either. At 17 and 19 and 21, I couldn’t have known that I needed to love myself first.

  13. You might get a chapter in my book.

  14. I used to think you were the greatest love story but that didn’t start until you left and I fell in love with the girl that I was. I am in love with the woman I came to be. My husband is too.

  15. Now that is a romance for the ages.

  16. I know that you are happy now.

  17. So am I.

How A Daily Gratitude Practice Has Changed My Life

How A Daily Gratitude Practice Has Changed My Life

The Day We Moved Away From Home

The Day We Moved Away From Home