Those not so gentle reminders

You know when people send emails “just a gentle reminder” “just a friendly note” well Not everything in life comes with those warning labels. I’m the type of person that HATES reminders. Anything that is a “reminder” to me makes me feel as though someone is assuming I don’t have my shit together. It’s a horrible trait of mine: I’m super sensitive. When my parents would come down to my room in the morning before school to make sure I was awake in high school I’d get so angry. Like duh, I go to school every day you think it’s not important to me? How dare you! I am responsible! Don’t need your reminders no sir ree. Though I do need the reminders at work when they clean out the refrigerator. Some reminders are necessary, so you don’t lose your fav Tupperware.

But we aren’t talking about those reminders. How about the ones that are inevitable? Everyone talks about hearing the cliché song on the radio they can’t listen to anymore after a break up. There’s so many painful occurrences that happen so frequently, how can we just let them pass? How do we get through it? You get through it because you’re dope, and smart, and lovely, and know better than to let someone control how you feel. And you stare it in the face and tell it you’re not afraid of it. Don’t ignore it, face it, let it make you feel something, let those feelings make you stronger. Adversity makes you well rounded, more interesting. I promise, A chiseled edge is always more interesting and beautiful. A lot of you have reached out to me telling me about the children you share with people that have wronged you. Those are reminders you can’t just say goodbye to. And I’m so sorry that there’s no easy way.

After my first breakup with my high school boyfriend I of course was devastated like a 19-year-old girl would be. The truth is neither of us were happy being thousands of miles apart and you can’t force someone to have feelings for you. None the less everything reminded me of him. Even Airplanes! Every time I saw a damn plane I nearly drown in tears. I was afraid to even listen to music. But how silly! That only made our future of a friendship even more difficult. Now I’m realizing the deeper the relationship, the more frequent and difficult the reminders become.

Even in the case of losing my mom. There is a fine line between being sentimental and being reminded “Oh I don’t have a mom anymore”. Grief is a funny thing, just when you’re feeling okay something will sneak back. I count the days I have gone without speaking to him. I haven’t received or sent a text to him since April 15th. That’s a little over 23 weeks, almost 6 months. It’s like when you quit smoking, you count every day you’ve gone without having a cigarette. Literally Cigarettes kill people and that’s not compelling enough. I’m addicted to someone pretending to love me, sleep next to me every night and say nice things and share life with me. It’s so many days, you don’t want to start back at zero. That would fucking suck. And yet, even last night I laid in bed alone, and thought “I can just text him”. My heart told my brain it would be okay. Spoiler alert I didn’t do it, but part of me would just love to feel that feeling again. Even thought it was fake. Talking to your best friend who holds your heart, telling them all your secrets. But then your brain has to come in with those sirens HE FUCKING HURT YOU, DUMB BITCH COME ON ONE NOW, GET SAVAGE, GET ANGRY.

Don’t forget about the reminders that come from the person I thought was my friend. Her and I closed the book on our friendship. There were months where it was clear she was either struggling internally or couldn’t handle not knowing I don’t want to be friends anymore (A very midwestern trait). It’s usually a text, she has never called me or knocked on my door. Not that she lives here I’m being slightly bitchy about that part. She has texted me to tell me how things are going in her life namely when she bought a house. She’s sent a text telling me she’s praying for me. It was pretty self-serving actually. Whatever you have going on with JC is between you and JC. Then I had a mental breakdown because I didn’t respond and I was a bitch for being angry thinking what I thought. I don’t feel like it’s my job to validate her remorse for her actions. But part of me of course wants my friend back. A month later I got a text saying she wanted to catch up even though “She’s not my favorite person”. It was at midnight that time, a night I wasn’t sleeping anyways. I texted my friend, Number 1, he called me and told me “Fuck that”. He has a way with words. That night I finally blocked her number.

Nothing is worse than Facebook memories. Dear God I can’t look away. But, some reminders are minute: I’m wearing that red dress with the top cut out in a cute pattern he said he loved, the arm woven blanket he got me for Christmas is still on my bed, the rubber mats he got for my car, or my wedding dress that is tucked away in the closet. Then there are some that blatantly stare me in the face every day: the piano he gave to me promising it would grace our home for the rest of our lives together, my entire kitchen filled with wedding gifts, my dog polo who he was so excited to bring home to start our unofficial family. I awkwardly put on my engagement ring the other day for no reason, I have photos of him tucked away in my desk drawer at work I want to burn but haven’t. Hell! He even showed up on my tinder the other day. Then I deleted tinder. Some people think it’s simple to ignore. But it’s not.  Discounting those reminders is doing a disservice to my grieving process. They’ll all subside eventually. So in my opinion there is only one way to deal with the reminders: see them, feel something,  get the fuck up, affirm yourself, and let your bright as light shine, because no one else is going to do it for you.