Friday, August 26, 2011


I have always felt that September meant the slow fall into something. At this time of life, when my three year routine has been broken by some virtual onset of irrevocable change, September's syrup-thick promises of downfall to a season of darkness and cold lay heavy on my spirit.

There have been so many changes that sometimes I wonder how I am still functioning. I wake up sometimes before even a hint of light can spill through the back door, and I stand there in the darkness thinking about how sure the day is. It will come.

Last night I dreamt I wore a dress to an empty pool. I tested the slick tile with the grip of my toes to see if it would be too slippery to run. I stood for a moment, wondering why I had such a hunger to jump, to be in the water, to feel it close over my head. Then I walked backwards and paused before running, flinging, catapulting myself to the edge where I lifted off, soared through the air, and then plummeted beneath the surface. When I came up for air there was a crowd of people I knew in the background and they were laughing and saying, "I can't believe she actually did it."

That was all.

Yesterday I woke up and went to the back porch (Which is a dreamy way of defining the three old concrete steps that lead to a fenced-in grass patch about the size of a pick-up truck in my backyard). There were still a few stars lingering, just like life when it's time to let go, and the trees were answering each other in wind blown whispers above. It may be daft, but there is no time more perfect for me than 5:00 AM with my chin in my hands, pajamas all a-muck, tired eyes still closed...listening. And there is still nothing more glorious than a morning wind brushing back all my imperfections, the softest answer to all that I am. Right now. I live for that kind of quiet. I breathe to feel the softest touch of His wind on my face. I'd live well even if I never enjoyed any other moment for all of time except this swathed half-darkness on two crumbling concrete steps for twenty-minutes every morning.

And in-between these times the world is all a clock on the torpedo speed of a interstate and we breathe in and out in the pause of another traffic-jam, decision to decision, the noise of dishes-clanging, siren calling, head spinning filler music all urging me onward, forcing me to fit through the dip of dusk with my hands holding my facial expressions together as the sound of a blender erupts into laughter in my living room and I am just sighing for the race to end and time to stand completely still.

Be still my soul.

He will hush the storm to a calm and gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still.
Psalm 107:29

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Puke Demon.

I was always a fearful child, caught up in the things I couldn't control- tornadoes, throwing up, angering the people around me, making mistakes, drowning, the toilet overflowing onto my shoes, spilled milk, embarrassment, disappointment. I was always afraid of something, and so I constructed clever safety nets to neatly tuck the world around me and if at all possible, to prevent my little heart from spiraling out of control in pain. I covered my mouth with both of my hands when I talked so that nobody would hear me if I said something wrong. I washed my hands up to the elbows like a surgeon until teachers at school began commenting on the raw skin on my knuckles. I played games with God and looked for His protection in a full moon, believing that if I glanced up through the skylight and realized His one great eye was sending a pale glow across my bedroom floor, that I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night and find myself under the possession of the Puke Demon.

The Puke Demon gripped me a lot. I'd wake up in the dark, sit up in bed, and fully believe that if I went outside I wouldn't throw up. I thought I could trick the Puke Demon into thinking that I was healthy if I crossed my front door, went down the porch steps and wandered around my yard in the middle of the night. On more than a dozen occasions my mom would find me walking in circles on the driveway in my bare feet mumbling to Jesus. Then again I was too afraid to fully open my mouth, so she probably got the shock of her life at the sight of her ghostly daughter in a white nightgown circling the driveway and uttering what sounded like strange monotone pleas for God to "make me not throw up." It's humorous to me now that I was more afraid of throwing up than being attacked by a coyote, a "bad man," or the many shadows rustling in the dark woods.

I had forgotten all about this. It's so strange the things that disappear as we are whisked into adulthood. Those fears were such a profound part of my life that now I almost feel sacrilegious, as if I am disrespecting my child-self by laughing about it. Sometimes I believe that she still lives inside of me, and so I take great pains not to mock her, or dub her peculiar because of the irrational terror that gripped her small body so often. I understand now that there wasn’t one flaw in her, in fact fearing throwing up was perfectly rational, although not every single night, and not enough to wander through the trees in search of Jesus. Or maybe it was.

Recently, a friend dubbed me FEARLESS. She says I’m not afraid of anything. And when I heard this I almost laughed at her mistake. But I caught myself, and the child inside of me held up her hands and grinned. It would be easy to guess that I will always be what I’ve always been, but it would also be a tragedy, because I was born to wake up in the middle of the night and walk outside in my nightgown as if this were perfectly acceptable behavior. Truth is, I’ve been fearless all along, and not one soul could make me know it for sure. Not one soul, except for me.

Take that.

Puke Demon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Night water.

Last night I went out on a boat with some friends to see fireworks on the water. I've never been out on the lake at night, and the way the red lights reflected on the black water was so beautiful I thought I'd just come undone right there. We stopped out in the middle of the lake, surrounded by hundreds of other boats as more and more people gathered together in the darkness. The lights were otherworldly; Christmas lights strung across boat roofs and outer decks, headlights and searchlights, all reflected with pale ambiance on the roving top of the water. We were buoyed up and down in the wake, as everything from yachts and pontoon boats rumbled past, the people on their decks invisible except for the laughter that carried and faded into the softest lapping against the side of our boat. We waited, and all around was the rise and fall of the wake as we were lulled up and down, back and forth in the sheen of moving lights that glowed across the surface of the lake. It was beautiful. It was almost soundless. The wind picked up softly, and it seemed that we were completely exposed out on the open darkness, existing in some sense of danger as we were buoyed around by the wash of ever-changing currents. It didn't matter. Live or die, the lights were too spell-binding on the dark open water to think of what could go wrong. It was one of those moments that I became overcome with silence, as if with a fever. The sky was clouded over and just as I thought I might cry sitting there with my arm hanging over the ambulant darkness, the haze in the sky opened up directly above our boat and bathed in the reflection of a slivered moon, I saw the stars.

Wonder, like truth, is relative to the individual who can grasp it. I took turns watching the fireworks explode in the smoke studded haze and on the water, the reflection of their colors spilling out over the pitch of ever-moving black mirror on which we wove and dipped and lulled.

That black depth of ever-changing and accumulating, waking and resting, swelling and spilling out was my heart. In luminous, slow-moving diamond streams of light my wandering, surface-level and storm tossed heart was the roving of dark night water in the wake. And in those moments, as the breath was caught up in my chest for the total wonder of my wind-tossed being in the glow of the night, I asked God to forgive my wandering heart. I asked Him to show me, to remind me that one of the ways He stays the same is He gets better and better every day.

I will not always be drawn up in a cocoon of morning light. I won't always exist on the colorful fringe of another moment of excitement, but I can attempt to rise up with the comfort that as my world is shaken, He remains the same- the same goodness, the same personality, the same hope that reaches out and draws me back into the unexplored caves of strength in the darkness. He's wrought them all within me. And I might be ever-changing as the wake when it is tossed up and buoyed out, but He is the light that is reflected on the water.

Oh roving heart, tossed and spilled with every passing boat, look out over your midnight wake. He is the glow that bathes your thrashing darkness, and illuminates your fear with the never-changing light of truth. May you always have eyes to see, and may you cry sitting there in the shifting seas, for the wonder of it all.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Sometimes it is as important to remember the reasons for leaving a place

As it is to recall why you came in the first place.

(five and a half years ago, I inscribed this on the inside of my closet wall where only an unnaturally small person, or the occasional negligible spider might find it. Like a secret.)

It's been five and a half years.
And I haven't changed my mind.

It is very possible that falling head over heels in love with life is easy for me. But I am not prone to the gradual leak of happiness that some applaud as recognizing the "simple joys" of a present situation. I am in fact, more prone to the utter gushing, the wave roaring, exhaustive torrent of happiness that has, can, and will cause me to be swept up in a gale forced hurricane of squeeze-your-eyes-closed-tightly-remember-to-breathe AWASH with the sap of one hundred golden pre-dawn silences as the music builds into one great rush of a storm in my midst kind of happiness. You would think this kind of joy would be rare as the brink in all the wonder of a lunar eclipse.


I came here for wind chimes and lamplight on pages of poetry in my memory. I came for Amy Grant, because she gave the sweetest hugs and talked about bush-hogging fields and thistles. I came for the horses, and the winding roadways, and the women who called me baby in convenience stores. I came for the fence-lined drives, and the peach stands and the promises I made myself. Promises to be not what I had always been.

But mostly I came for the hills.

Now my list of facts rings with such a discordance of past and present that I am like the wind chimes I hung on my porch yesterday...only in a storm, partially shrill and joyous, yet ringing with the pell-mell sound of beautiful uncertainty. Home and Here are clanging together now. They are resonating, building not on the discord of a thousand aches and pains, but on the harmony of highs and lows that are, in fact, what makes music grip us in the first place.

1. I love dancing

2. Sometimes I get lost in daydreams that last entire days

3. From the time I was 8 until I was 13, I was afraid of flushing the toilet. I would flush and then RUN.

4. I drink peppermint tea every night before bed.

5. Sometimes I write down what I'm going to say before I make an important phone call. I write, "Hi, this is Brittany" in case I forget my name.

6. I am obsessed with trees.

7. The North Shore of Lake Superior is engraved on my heart. It is also part of my existance.

8. I take my coffee very strong and very black, about 4 times per day.

9. My spine is shaped like an S.

10. Way too much of my time is spent thinking on, writing about, and drawing fences.

11. I could go pro in jump roping. Seriously.

12. The song Clocks by Coldplay brings me to tears. Every time.

13. I drive with my knees. A LOT.

14. I never, ever turn down a dare.

15. Fake nails make me nauseaous.

16. I worked in sales once, selling slabs of marble engraved with pictures at the mall. That was the last time.

17. I once built a nine-foot tall arch out of vines and branches. It was incredible.

18. I took swimming lessons and almost promptly forgot how to swim.

19. When it storms, I'm in heaven.

20. My appendix nearly ruptured when I was 20. I drove myself to the hospital in a 92' Astro van that wasn't mine.

21. I've been hiking since before I could walk.

22. I was raised to wear socks at all times. I now hate socks.

23. I caught Giardia in Gordyville, Illinois when I was 14.

24. I was homeschooled for 10th grade and finished high school alternatively.

25. I love light. Filtered light. Hazy light. Morning light. Evening light. Moon light. And Christmas lights.

26. I am addicted to wind chimes.

I remember now.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


There's a catch. There always seems to be a catch, especially when something is too good to be true. The catch is about half an inch longer than all the others, and it links me to the undeniable fact that, with his blood, I will always hide this brewing storm that I never chose in the first place. It is a disastrous hurricane of stubborn blame, and, coupled with slight selfishness, it brews quietly in the clenched jaw of silent mealtimes and uncontrolled outbursts of rage.

There you have it! The proof is in the puddin... that is, in my father's very long second toe.

A linkage, a likeness, the spillage, the clone, the identity

The Inheritance.

Except maybe there has been a cosmic alteration to my entire existence. Things keep flashing all through me. Bright moments in a downward spiral of a hundred cluttered memories rolling down the stairs. There are voices, but they are far away, and they are only sirens from an accident I chanced to live. Unless I am strong enough for this, maybe just so, maybe a little more. In which case, THIS WAS DESTINY.

(I'm Different. I'm Different. I'm Different.)

And I am swimming. Keeping my head above the water, looking for the shore. I have got to keep moving. And It's completely amazing how I have trained my soul to live in parts for so long- little chasms of halfway existence. Like the tylenol I took before I knew the shards of glass were yet to move slowly through the atmosphere and permeate the bubble I have expertly woven around myself- like the arch I built to stand under, look through, and believe there was another place on the other side. A closet with no back. And behind the clothes, and the hanging coats pushed aside, there would be a world in which I lived in the safety of a thousand surrounding oceans, an island of peace and sleep. With stars.

There must be a string, from his belly to mine, or some kind of calling chord wound around my beating heart, and our blood runs all through us. For I get lost in feeling what he feels, until I am the same machine of numb robotics, dying to be born.

We've got chromosomes
and genes
and DNA
and silences
and ancestors
and history
and words
and the moment I burst
into the world destined
to be another link in the
chain of moments I never

sinned enough to deserve.

I think I am can be know I must have the will to be what I should can are AM.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Greatest of These is Love.

The wind howls through a crack in my window. The truth woke me up today.

Love. Endures long and is patient and kind; Love is never envious, nor does it boil over with jealousy. It isn’t haughty or boastful or vain. It isn’t conceited or rude. It doesn’t insist on its own rights or its own way because it is not self seeking: and because of this, it isn’t fretful or resentful. It never holds a grudge in fact, it doesn’t even pay attention to a suffered wrong. It doesn’t rejoice at injustice but rejoices when RIGHT and TRUTH prevail.

The truth woke me up today. The truth that Love is everything. Without Love, anything I say and do and believe in the name of God is obnoxious. It’s a clanging cymbal.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes. I brace myself on Love, and I lean in and on this Love, no matter what comes. Because Love never fails or passes away.

As for prophecy- the gift of being able to interpret the divine will and purpose of things- It will be fulfilled and pass away.

As for tongues- they will be destroyed and cease.

As for knowledge- It will lose its value and be superseded by truth.

Our knowledge is filled with holes. It’s fragmented and incomplete. Our prophecies and our teachings are also imperfect.

Love remains. Love is the greatest of these. Without Love I am nothing.

For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim reflection of reality. What I know now is only IN PART of what I will know later. What I know now is imperfect.

-1 Corinthians 13: 4-13

Thank God for his word. I don’t have to live frantically grasping for truth. I don’t have to be stuck in the void of the unknown, without the voice of God to tell me what to believe or what the truth is. His word is the only path to take. He speaks through His word.

LOVE is the greatest of all gifts. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

This is what I know God says. “Pursue and seek to acquire this Love. Make it your great quest and your total aim.”

What a perfect Easter gift. What a glorious hope to stand on. Love was made for me. And it's no wonder...

Perfect Love casts out fear.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Windows of Light.

"And there will be a time, you'll see, with no more tears.

And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.

Get over your hill and see what you find there,

With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."

Mumford & Sons

I am overflowing with the GRACE it takes to love myself well.

I get up at dawn, go to the window, and search my heart. In windows of light I search myself. Slowly, slowly, I've learned the Grace it takes to know, respect, accept, and love the status of my soul.

God's sheer Grace over my head is a veil to help me hear the whisper from a mouth pressed against my ear: "Behold! Behold! The old has passed away, and the new has come."

"See now, I am doing a new thing! See how it now springs forth? For I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert."

I will be.
I am in.

Windows of Light.

(Andrew Edwards and Elly Kaiser)
{b.rees creative}

I know that those who sow in tears will reap, and reap, and keep on reaping joy. I am thankful, I am grateful that I have sown in devastation and confusion, because now my heart is awash in what I would have never known for sure.

Since ancient times no ear has heard

No eye has seen any God besides You

Who works and shows Himself active

On behalf of those who earnestly wait for Him.


I know what this journey means.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In the moment.

There are times that I

Do Not. Can Not. Will Not.

Feel present.

I am pulled in seven different directions at the same time, whipped back and forth on the rollercoaster of emotional whiplash, super speeding in a typhoon of tangled confusions. It's unfair. Yet in the center of every tornado there is an eye of calm. And in the center of all of my confusions there is The Eye of God, and it's looking right at me. It's a forceful gaze. Fierce. Ardent. And lately, in the force field of madness that I wrap around my swelling heart, that gaze is fixed right on me. Dead center.

Gives me the flips in my stomach.

I'm trying to be a woman after this eye, but frankly, I feel really jipped. "To be a woman of God" sounds great, but I thought the whole process would be like ironing a white dress, spraying that fresh starch on it, and putting it on. Viola! Insta-clean and new and pretty as a church lady on Easter. Frankly it's a lot like kneeling on your hands and knees in the dirt and trying to clean it all up. It's messy, and painful, and rather not like training to be a church lady, but a warrior goddess in leather armor. Yes, with a sword. I'm serious. Luckily, I'm captivated by this process. I was made for it.

Though it hurts to leave

The Old. The Norm. The Secure.

God's making a warrior woman out of me. Meaning: my Affirmation my Blessing my Solid Ground my Intimacy my Femininity my Support my Joy my Purpose my Heart my Perfect Love My Fearlessness. All come from Him alone. The Eye. The Gaze. Without Him, I'm in the mud, cleaning up the mud, dirtier still.

I don't know where He's leading me.

But I'm going to love fearlessly, like He taught me. He's the Author and Finisher of my faith, and He already knows my story, start to finish. All I have to do look right in His eyes, and follow Him. In Love, armored safe.

I never thought

He 'd make me so strong.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dear Tennessee, I am in Love with you.

This is our new house. We are in love.

Nashville... I covet you.

And I'm quite certain that you're the only one for me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

He is near the broken hearted.

There is no pain, no agony, and no sense of loss, abandonment or physical anguish quite like the epidemic of the broken heart. It is an excruciating battle between life and death, a rending of the very core of one’s existence in abrupt chaos. As the clock ticks, the beat of time is struck by some cosmic darkness from the outside; the tearing of the soul reverberates throughout the mind, will, and emotions. Caught in a whirlwind of sudden disaster, the body, with all of its silent aches to be known and remembered is reduced to tremulous sighing. Wounded, the sufferer falls. All anticipation of good, all inner hope and self-sacrificial work to gain the return of desire is severed. This recognition of loss can be likened to a bed of wet leaves in a wood during the dark of night. The nearby roadway is gleaming black, and the burn of passing headlights on the pavement are mere lit shadows on the concrete. As a driver spots an animal running across his path, he lurches the wheel, and the vehicle is pitched over a ditch, making immediate impact with a solitary tree. This conflict of time, space, and motion is ended in collision that induces abrupt silence. Smoke rises. Still lit headlights cast an awful half-life beam into the dark woods. The car is a tangled mass of smoking metal. Silent. The bed of wet leaves on which it rests have been apprehended. Every trace of the quiet rain of midnight on their deep stillness now displaced with the simmering monster of foreign heat and arbitrary hatred.

1 How long, oh LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.

There is only One Unfailing Love in all the earth.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


In a leather-bound book with a cover that reads, "Got something to say," I write little commands to myself….little epiphanies that are thoroughly unimpressive. They are normal. And I hate the truth that I am both of those things.

"Go to the Phillipines."
“What if I had been a dove?"
"I have my father's dry hands."
“I love men. So much.”
“Mom could sell an ape the stick out of a corndog.”
“To serve God is to be liberated.”
“It’s no wonder I’ve been crazy.”
“I love Nathan Douglas McCarty.”
“Why did you just eat that frosting?”

I used to believe that I was really special for the following reasons:

a.) I hated men. For a very long time. And I told everyone I wouldn’t marry a two-timin' masculine son of a gun if he chased me down with a sack of cash and a ticket to Fiji.

b.) I wrote God really long letters, most of which sounded like late 18th century romance novels.

c.) I threw a pack of my friend’s cigarettes into a ditch on my way home alone one night.... And then smiled smugly at God who, without a doubt, rolled His great big ocean eyes.

d.) Everything. Everything. Everything. Was a secret. And nobody heard a word of it.

e.) Boys liked me.

f.) My favorite TV show was the travel channel.

g.) I drank large quantities of green tea and did perpetual leg lifts in front of the travel channel.

For the entire duration of the ride to Nashville, TN to go to college, I kept my eyes out of the window on the passing hills and imagined that I was going to SUCCEED because of…well…see the above list.

It took me 2 lovely days to realize that I was just your run of the mill transfer student who had a nightly leg lift habit and enjoyed the Travel Channel.

It took me 2 more years to realize that God’s got bigger fish to fry than cigarettes, my love letters are high on His priority list, hatred will eat me alive, secrets will be a cancer in my soul, and leg lifts are a waste of my time since I have very little time to work with in the first place.

Sometimes I get lost thinking about how we all have wells that never end, probably because they lead upwards into the unfathomable distance to heaven- to God’s soul. And in-between He and I, in that path, that deep, dark well, are lies and secrets and truths to expose. As I expose, as I train my heart to see Him more clearly, I can drink His water. I want to lift my hands in torrents of the stuff.

So I will.

The entire journey isn’t over yet, (I’m exhausted, I wish it were) but I am normal. I am unimpressive. And I am capable of re-learning all of the lies I made myself believe.


a.) Men are good.
b.) To serve God is to be liberated.
c.) I love Nathan Douglas McCarty.
d.) Eat. The. Frosting.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Thank you Myers-Briggs and the counseling center for a taste of clarity! Finally! After years of struggling to fit in somewhere, anywhere, with anyone…I have found the truth to my intricate peculiarity.

Yes, it’s true. I am an INFP.

Which means…for all of you who are psychologically impaired, I share my personality with one percent of the American population.

One. Percent.

This is precisely why I have never seemed to fit in with 99 percent of society. This is why I still get teased sometimes. Frankly people, when it all comes down, I am just a little bit weird.

(At this point, it’s perfectly ethical to agree with me.)

Even though it's been a good thirteen years since the brunt of teasing, sometimes this longing to be a Spice Girl wakes up in the pit of my stomach and I morph into my prepubescent self. I transform into the epitome of awkwardness. I am almost positive nobody notices this makeover but me. I can be standing in the Bluecoast Burrito line and suddenly, without warning, grow a pair of chicken legs with Ked sneakered feet turned in, and wide-eyes surveying the floor tile. I appear beaten. Like a dog...Maybe a poodle or a small child. But it's my 1997 self, having just come from a taunting in the 7th grade locker room. I don't know who in the world purchased me hunter-green sweatpants, but I'm wearing them with a gaping hole in one knee. I have a white sweatshirt on, with a purple cat posing seductively among some flowers, and I don't know who would by me a piece of work like that either. Nonetheless, I'm wearing them, with jacked up teeth, and a bob haircut that actually resembles a legit fro. There are girls in my grade whom I want to be, and I watch them sometimes from where I sit alone in the cafeteria. They wear blue eye shadow and own Giga-Pets. I write in my diary that if I were as pretty as them I would probably have hair that dried straight, and braces, and my period, not to mention magazine photographs of Jonathan Taylor Thomas hanging in my locker. If I were like them, I would even think that Jonathan Taylor Thomas was hot. (I never did. Even when I realized that boys existed in tenth grade.)

Also, if I were cool as those girls (who by the way all started having babies at 16 and never made it to college) I wouldn't get made fun of by "the populars" who looked like they came from a JC Penney catalog every single day, and hated my guts for some reason. Does anybody know why it's fun to slam a 12 year-old girl into a locker? Probably because I didn't ever seem to own the right shoes. Probably because I felt like my limbs didn't fit, and had this way of walking down the hall with my shoulders hunched and my little back curved. It could've been the scoliosis. Or it could've been that I was just 100 percent awkward, down to my fingernails, and everybody knew it.

Especially me.

Sometimes I stand in the Student Center and something reminds me of blue eye shadow and sweatpants with holes. It's always something as fleeting as a word, or a tone of voice, or the kind of shallow envy that rises like nausea. It's her. I see her in my hands when I bite my nails. I see her when I walk quickly through a crowded room to escape the hoards of people. She comes out in my shyness, with the aversion of eyes, and the inability to introduce myself. She's hiding. She thinks everyone is making fun of her. And when she hears Hanson on the radio, she still thinks about the back of the bus, and going unnoticed, and Wal-Mart tennis shoes with multi-colored laces.

In case you haven’t gathered it by now, her is me.

I feel like casting her out, like a devil. Saying: "Go from me twelve year-old!" But you can't ever cast you out of you. I've tried it a thousand different ways. With food and words and clothes and mutilation and hair dye and comedy and tears and shoes and boys and pain. You can't. So I have to be friends with the twelve year-old that nobody wanted to be friends with. I have to hold her hand and calm her down and say, "Shhhhh. Shhhh, you're twenty-five years old so please calm down at least until I purchase my lunch and get you back to your room."

I still hear what my mom told me in high school. "Honey, they're just jealous!" It was something like a padded answer that infuriated me at the time. If only I would have understood! If only. IF ONLY.

If only it wouldn’t have taken me this long to realize the truth of the matter. Hear this, twelve year-old, hear this and be quiet.
They were.