After The One

They tell you life is cut and dry. As if things work or they don’t. As if we still live in the vein existence of a black and white television coated with accurate simplicity. They tell you about princesses and the princes that carry them away. They speak on the importance of obtaining a degree, or two, or three. They suggest you fold to the pressures of our societal norms: save money, vacation with a purpose, find the one who makes your heart seep like sand through the cracks of your hands only to coat the exposed skin. Or if nothing else, pay your bills. They tell us all of these things in hopes of guiding our decision into a practical conundrum. They tell us these things in hope to spare an ounce or two of lung puncturing pain.

Of nauseating thought.

Of stomach wrenching sadness.

There was this point after college where life seemed set. In a relationship with a breathtaking man, a ground breaking career on the horizon, and a handful of close friends to lean on in lack luster times of need.

Then all of it came to an end. Came slowly breaking down onto the floor of a 400 square foot efficiency.

My career became spent through the decision to move home. My heart physically sickened by lost love. And a gaping hole pushing any ounce of security out of the world so precisely planned. The life of a washed up 20-something was starring at a sunken cheeked, black eyed, outline of the person I could never be.

It took three months to go a day without crying. Five months to let go of social stipulation. Ten to go a day without thinking of him. And twelve to understand the universe had placed me in the exact right position.

They tell you all of these things that seem great in theory though neglect to tell you pain-stakingly plausible outcomes. Perhaps it is a cover, or perhaps a constant fault of the generations before. The only problem with it, they never tell you what happens after the one.

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