Mood Board Mondays | 6

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Why are you sad?”
“Because you speak to me in words and I look at you with feelings.
— Leo Tolsto


When you are twenty years old, 
your best friend will tell you that
watching an addict
collapse into themselves
is like being on an airplane
that’s crashing.
She’ll say that the first thing
is remembering how to breathe normally.
That you can’t help anyone
unless you get your own mask on first.

My brothers taught me how to swim
by holding me underwater
until I beat my way to the surface. 
When I gasped out my first breath, 
they said,“Breathe normally. 
You’re fine. 
You needed to learn eventually. 
You could only tread water for so long.”

When I was sixteen, 
when everyone around me seemed
raised-fist ready
to smack me to the ground, 
my mother said, 
sometimes we clench our fists
not to fight, 
but because we have something
we are terrified to let go of,”

What your friend won’t tell you
is that when the plane starts going down, 
you will not want to keep breathing.
You will not want
to take in air without them;
When the plane goes down
you realize that you are a life-vest
with nothing left to wrap yourself around,
(you can only tread water for so long)
so when the tide comes, 
you will let yourself drift
into pain pills
into whiskey
into sex with men
who don’t know your real name,
you will call yourself plane crash
you will call yourself sinking
you will call yourself shrapnel,
you will remember that drowning
runs in your family;

When you are twenty-one, you will learn
watching someone you love die slowly
is not like a plane crash.

It isn’t anything that dramatic.

It’s a piñata at a birthday party.
It’s knowing
they have been beaten so many times,
it’s no wonder they split open.
It was only a matter of time
before everything inside of their chest
started pouring out.

When you are twenty one years old, 
you will learn that sometimes you fight
with absolutely everything you have
and lose. 
People can only tread water for so long.

You’ll find out that sometimes
you don’t get to write a pretty ending,
that not everyone gets a
cymbal crash closing curtain
sometimes it doesn’t end clean
sometimes there’s no firework finale
there’s no plane-crash shrapnel
it just ends in sinking
it just ends in silence

it just ends.

- brennatwohy



You know who’s gonna give you everything? Yourself.

—  Diane Von Furstenberg



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