Guarded Fences

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“How long will you stand within a fenced area when you are able to see an open field as far as your eyes can see?”

After 2 years following my breakup from a long term relationship, I can finally say I am ready to meet new people and see where my vibe and energy takes me. I want to make a ton of friends and if somewhere along the line a friend becomes something more, I wouldn’t mind. Through these two years I have accepted my own flaws and worked on them to be a better person. The biggest thing I have come to realize is that my internal happiness will never be through another individual, and the amount of time I spend with them has no correlation with the strength of my relationship. One would think that accepting and improving your flaws is a plus. Then understanding the fundamentals of a healthy relationship is also a very important thing to understand, but lately I have been very confused.

I will become friends with someone then a month into it I will hear the cliche line, “sorry I am very guarded, I had a tough past” and as always I have to say “Oh it’s okay, I understand.” Truth be told I actually don’t understand and I am tired of people using that as a scapegoat to not open up. I get it, being vulnerable is tough because you literally are taking your armor off and letting someone you do not know into your life, but at some point you need to open up. The question is, how long will you talk about your favorite color?

The reality is we all have been fucked over in one way or another. The reality is we have had our heart broken and we’ve broken a few hearts, it’s life and it happens. So to use your past as a wall to keep people out could hurt you down the road. Good people and good things do not always come knocking on your door. It’s an opportunity you have to know that is rare and without you opening the fence up and walking out to take a look, you might miss out on it. If you don’t then you will have to watch from a distance at the flowers of the field you see start to blossom and look happier than you have been feeling.

You can either stay within your own fence and push everyone away that comes your way or you can be open to the idea of making new friends and seeing where it goes. The foundation of a healthy relationship is a solid friendship. Make your foundation strong, lower your walls a little, open up the gate to your fence and just walk out. Set yourself free from your own fences and I promise you, everyone around you will notice a new vibrant version of you.

Types Of Love

download (5)I was 20 years old when I first fell in love and instantly my life became full of colors. Her color brought me to a new high because we instantly clicked on every level. Our personalities went together like the summer in June, our birthdays were two days apart and my day was not complete without seeing her. We texted each other paragraph long text messages every morning, we fell asleep over facetime and made so many internal jokes. Each day that passed felt like a dive into another parallel universe because when I was around her, nothing else mattered. My family, friends, school and hobbies didn’t matter anymore because she was able to fill all those spaces in my heart. Some would say it’s not healthy but at that time I didn’t listen to anyone, besides her. One month turned into one year and I knew she was the girl I will marry. I mean, why wouldn’t I think that? We did everything together. That’s what love is. That’s what I saw in the movies, so this had to be it. Yet, we fought a lot and with those fights we forgot to give each other the space to grow. In my head love was being together and being away meant that love is no longer alive.

At the one year mark our love became an obsession that pulled the other closer if they dared to even hang out with someone else, but we loved each other. The thought of losing her would make my heart tremble, the fear of me losing her became more evident. As each day passed I became sucked out of our own parallel universe. I stopped laughing at her jokes. I didn’t have much to say anymore, but she was my home. So I always went back because it had to work this time around even though the other 55 times didn’t work. I became confused at our relationship because I couldn’t live with her and I couldn’t live without her. Our love became overwhelming and suffocating; both of us knew this but we were willing to slowly die within our self made poison we called love. As each day passed we became more distant. Hours on the phone became a quick 30 second call. 3 meals a day soon became 3 meals a week. Facetime turned into an automatic text, “sorry can’t talk right now.” As if we actually talked anymore? Eventually I got distracted because maybe deep down inside I wasn’t happy. She then sat me down at our favorite restaurant to talk and I knew what bullet was about to come my way. She said it, the three words, It is over. Within that instant the few ounces of happiness that I had left, soon became depleted.

~KirfanLive

 

I was 20 years old when I first had my heart broken and just as the canvas I called my life had become so colorful when he entered my life…in an instant my life became black and white once more. I wondered, what had happened to the two souls that seemed so inseparable? What had happened to the young love that had promised forever and a lifetime? Every day that passed without him felt like being hit by a train, but drowning at the same time. He’d always said that my heart was a mosaic he had put back together for good…and looking back, maybe that’s why I felt so many empty spaces in me. He was the glue that held me together, the reality that I felt was worth living for. Our nights together, had turned into days, and our days to months, and then years. I thought he was the one. I’ve often heard that when someone leaves your life they take a piece of you with them. He took all of me with him. He was my fairy tale in the world of non fiction. All I wanted was to keep him close, and love him. But…one year later our fairy tale was fading, and I felt powerless knowing that I was losing him. It felt like I was constantly holding my hand out to him, and no matter how much he tried to reach out…somehow our hands never met anymore. He said we had become poison for each other, but if so why was his love still my elixir? Every memory we had promised to make together, had in fact turned into a memory. But at this point, I knew it was over. I couldn’t see him suffer no matter how much I wanted him to be mine. And so one night, over dinner, I said it. It is over. With tears spilling down my cheeks, and my breath refusing to leave my throat. What else could I have done? As soon as the words had left my lips…I ran. I ran far far away from him. And I haven’t seen him since. I held him so close to my heart, so why had he kicked me out of his? I may have turned into a nightmare he wanted to wake up from, but he will always be the dream that I fall asleep to.

~V.G

 

It’s been almost five years now. I still think of him every day, but I’m sure he’s moved on by now. There’s probably a lucky girl in his life now, that he comes up behind, when she’s drying her hair in the mirror…and whispers, “hey beautiful” into her ear. People that haven’t seen me in years still ask me about him. If we’re still together. And I’m never able to get any words out. I just smile my sad smile, and continue trudging through life. So many people told him that I’m with someone now…but I’m not. I’m as lonely as ever. My only relationship is with my own solitude. I guess he needed more than just me. I still occasionally go back to the pier where we had spent so much of our time. I listen to the waves crash against each other and try to piece myself back together. I’ve found some peace though. I don’t hate him. I know I never will. If I were to completely honest, I still love him. But I’ve grown enough to know that not everything in life comes and stays forever. He was one of those things. I just hope he’s happy. Because that’s all I really ever wanted. I know that God has someone for me somewhere, and I’ll use all the lessons he taught me. And yeah, maybe I still cry in his memory. But one day, I’ll smile again…and everything will be okay.

~V.G

 

Note from the author:

This was one of the best collaborations I have been a part of to date. Me and Vaidehi have very complimentary styles that intertwine perfectly. This is one of many collaborations coming your way. Visit http://www.vaidehigajjar.com to check out her writing. #KayVStrikes

Burn Your Ships

burnships.jpg“The same love you give to people is not the same love you get back”

An old friend of mine once told me that life is like a boomerang; what you throw at it, is what you get back. I agreed with her at the time because it made complete sense to me, but now after my personal life experiences, not so much.

So I ask you, have you ever had unconditional love for someone? When all you wanted was the best for them and for them to be happy, no matter what they did? Their happiness meant so much that if they needed you, you would drop the world for them? If you said yes to the questions above you will understand what I’m about to talk about.

No matter how busy I was, I always made time for every single friend I had in my life. I truly loved all of my friends and wanted to be around for them just in case one of them needed me. Whether it was a break up, family issues, or something as simple as spilling coffee all over their favorite shirt. I always tried to help my close friends in any way, shape, or form because I knew when the time came they would do the same for me. Or so I hoped.

As I said earlier, what you throw at life is what life throws back at you. The boomerang I threw at my friends was love, understanding, compassion and unconditional support. The boomerang I got back, however, was the complete opposite from what I expected. Of course I spilled coffee on myself, I walked into a pole and even fell in public all of which my friends were always there for; until my life took a twist of fate. Suddenly I looked around and never felt more alone in my life. The same people I called my brothers, the same people I would drop the world for, were now suddenly unwilling to drop a party for me, or just text me and see if I’m okay.

With all I was going through, I figured eventually that boomerang would come back with my friends, because this time I needed them. This time I needed a friend, i really did need to go out; but this time, the people I needed no longer needed me. That was a tough pill to swallow but I had to accept the truth. My hard times and downfall were my own problems and nobody else could help me, besides me.

Since a lot of what I went through was alone I often found myself feeling scared and on a hill that had no end. On such days I’d sit on the floor with my back against my bed and would look up at my office chair. I always had a flashback to my father sitting on that very chair, while I sat on the ground as he told me a story. One specific story I remembered a few days ago was about a king who was unable to capture an area of land. The only thing that held the king back from capturing the land, was his own fear and hesitations. He figured that all of his old ways didn’t work so he had to change up his game plan. This time around, he got on his ship with the rest of his soldiers and told them to burn the ships once they got to the island. The soldiers looked at the king with confusion because obviously they needed those ships to get back if the opposing army was stronger. The king then told them, “If we don’t burn our ships, we will run back just like we did last time”. He explained to them, “We can’t have a safety net this time, our only way out is to keep marching forward”. After days of battle, the king and his army were tired, in pain, and aching but they did what they set out to do; they conquered the land that they wanted.

While sitting on my room’s floor I remembered what my father told me and I felt like he was really on that chair, just like he used to whenever he wanted to give me a quick life lesson. As a kid, I thought it was a cool story but now I understood what my father was trying to explain to me. I have to burn my ships and keep marching forward, no matter what people or life throw my way.

Be careful of where and to whom you throw your boomerang. You may not always like the boomerang you get back.

The Blossom Effect

 

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“I blossomed before you and you stopped growing as a whole”

Mistakes of all forms happen and heartaches happen at different magnitudes, but Imagine hearing that from the person you were supposed to marry. I always remember telling her she is my sidekick, my day 1 and wife. We weren’t married and just had the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, but I wanted to do everything with her. Not that I was unable to do it alone, but simply because her being with me, made everything better. There was not a snapchat she didn’t send my way that I didn’t take a screenshot of. There was not a dinner where I didn’t sneak a picture of her. There wasn’t much I didn’t take a picture of because I wanted to hold those memories. Unfortunately, through the process I lost touch with me and my world became her happiness. So naturally, I stopped growing from the inside out. Yes, I figured out my style of clothing and starting smiling more, but that was really about it. Whereas now when I look back at the pictures I can tell the exact moment in time where she lost touch with me. I can tell the exact moment in time where she blossomed and I was the same guy she met. Maybe it’s good thing or maybe it’s a bad thing, i have no idea how to feel about it. I have just come to accept the fact that she blossomed before me.

The unfortunate thing about toxic relationships is it leaves its scars on you permanently. You can move on, you can grow and be different but something about that toxicity, stays with you. The easy way is to blame her, but as a man I have to admit both of us together just didn’t work. I had to swallow my pride and accept the fact that I didn’t do enough to keep her around. I simply became boring and stagnant.

The first year was difficult in all forms because I had to adjust myself to doing things alone. I had to be okay with her doing her own thing or with friends, instead of me. I had to face the truth of me being the same guy as the first day she met. I had not grown in any way, so I really had two options? one , I could drown in my own pain and sorrow(which I was already doing). Two, I could start a new chapter in my life and never hear this ever again.

It’s been two-three years now and those words ring in my ear whenever I relax. Those words help wake me up at 5 am to start the day with pedal to the metal. I have taken out the word tired from my dictionary. I have stopped with relying on others to join me on adventures, if anything I love my alone time. I probably have grown the most this year than ever before because 90% of things I have done all alone.

I was sitting with my father one day and he told me a story about an eagle that wouldn’t fly. The eagle would just sit on a tree branch all day even though it had the ability to fly. The owner then decided to cut off the entire branch and the eagle immediately started to fly. Just as this eagle I was meant to soar but she was my branch and my comfort zone. I held on to her for dear life  because I was too scared to fly and now that I am soaring, I only want to go higher. I only want to try new things and be the best version of myself. If you are in this predicament, i’m telling you, cut off that branch. You can love someone without limits but the day you become stagnant and stay in your comfort zone is the day you will hear what I did. I promise you. The day you start doing things alone, is the day new doors will open for you.

The Conversation

 

It was 11:51pm while we were sitting on my deck when my friend Ayesha asked me why she doesn’t know much about me.

All I could say was “I’m not a open book and I don’t share much with many people besides the positives. My internal struggles are always within me and my history is a thing of the past that I don’t bring up. It takes a lot of time for someone to know the real me, ummm I would say only two people really know who I am.”

She was a little surprised but then explained to me very nicely that solid friendships are made through talking and sharing stories. I just nodded in agreement so I wouldn’t have to say much.

I’m sure Ayesha noticed I was not going to tell her about me so she looked at me with excitement and said, “Here look, I will go first” and started talking. I had no choice but to listen because Ayesha loves to talk and by talk I mean she has no brakes. The good thing is that her excitement with every story keeps you interested. Through the excitement and her love to talk I was able to learn so much about her personality, past, relationship history and views on love.

Ayesha hit the brakes on her conversation, looked over at me and said “Now you!”. I knew I wouldn’t get out of this so I took a deep breath and starting glazing over a few minor details. Then she interrupted and said “No, that’s lame! Try again!” so I restarted my story and told her every fine detail. When it came time for the topic of my past I got quiet, looked down and then away from her. I remember whispering, “I fucking hate talking about my past”. She heard me and said, “hey its okay we all have a past just let it out of your system”. I took a deep and said, “I no longer believe in the idea of dating or wasting my time on a relationship because nothing really works. Whenever things go good somehow and somewhere along the line the relationship fails”. Before she could say anything I told her I think I have a problem and she pulled her chair closer and waited for me to talk. “No matter how good someone is to me now I always find the smallest of all flaws and pull away from the person”. I saw the pain in her eyes and a sense of understanding after I said this.

She pulled her chair even closer, took a deep breath and said “I think you’re afraid of getting hurt and letting yourself be broken so you wreck the relationship before it could wreck you”

My heart rate slowed down, my pupils got bigger and just looked at her with complete shock. I felt as if the ground under me fell through because it was the most intimidating thing I have ever heard about myself.

Ayesha didn’t talk this time and she didn’t push me to say anything. I just looked out in the distance and avoided eye contact.

With all the talking we lost track of time. Her iPhone buzzed 4-5 times because of texts and instagram notifications. She looked over at me and said “kay…its 4:27am” so in a panic she grabbed her keys and I walked her to her car.

Once I made it back into my room I thought about my conversation with Ayesha and it made me think all night long. The reality is that Ayesha was right about me and that’s what scared me. Another reality I faced was I couldn’t be a coward and run away from a human necessity such as love because of a few broken pasts. Lastly, our pasts may be rough, broken and intimidating but that’s part of our journey to know what we want and do not want.

The clock read 6:57am and I finally fell asleep with so many thoughts still racing in my mind

Before you decide to shut out people as I did and pull yourself away from everything besides work, gym and a few friends. Give someone a chance; even as a friend because you never know what a friendship can blossom into.