So We Beat On, Boats Against The Current

8/4 update: I feel like I wasn’t very fair in my earlier post, so I’m editing it.

Here’s something you’ve probably never heard an English teacher say: I hate poetry.


I hate poetry because it’s raw and honest. My skin prickles as I read through the words of a poet, waxing on about how they see and feel and think. I prefer that no one knows me in the way that poetry demands to be known. It’s why I didn’t write one on Friday, even though this blog is supposed to challenge us and force us to grow as writers.

But if you want a little honesty, here’s some: I don’t think I’ll ever get over my parents’ divorce.

This past week would have been their 31st anniversary, but instead they’re both celebrating their second year of marriage with their new spouse.

Yeah. That was an awkward summer.

Now I’m 26, they’ve been divorced for over six years, and I’m still not over it. I often wonder if “getting over it” is a myth. Do people really get over watching their life as it knew it be torn into two messy parts that want nothing to do with the other?

I don’t think so.

At least not for me.

Sometimes I’m convinced the inky signatures scribbled at the bottom of those finalized documents I picked up from the courthouse slid off the paper and slipped into my bloodstream, infiltrating my DNA and forever altering my genetic makeup.

Grief has stamped its presence onto every cell of my being. Some days I swear I’ll be grieving for eternity because I know I can never “go back” to how things used to be.

Is that even a normal thing for people whose parents are still together? Can you go back to how things used to be? Or is this side effect of growing older?

I don’t know.

The truth is: I feel like I don’t recognize this version of my parents. Were they always like this or was I simply naive and unaware of who they are as humans separate from my parents. Maybe it’s because they divorced in the middle of my sophomore year of college, when everything in life was already crazy. Or maybe it is because they were always the person they are now and simply grew tired of trying to be who I thought they were.

Either way, I miss the way life worked Pre-Divorce, when I didn’t have to debate who to call first when something exciting or awful happens, or when I could go back home, not the house that I grew up in that looks nothing like it did before, or when I was the only one with sassy remarks at dinner.

Life back then was far from perfect, but at least it felt whole. This splitting time, skipping holidays, homesick for something that doesn’t exist anymore? That’s not real life.

But it is. Because it’s mine.

So the atoms that make up my cells that make up my body that make up my life swirl and swirl and swirl, keeping these thoughts, this grief, this life as upright in the best way it knows how. It’s trying to follow my dad’s advice: just take it one day at a time.

Maybe I’ll get over this.

Or maybe I won’t.

Either way, I’m certain that I can still grow.


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