A Letter to Myself at Graduation

Ty,

So, you’ve made it. At least according to the world’s standards. You have graduated from college.

And, really, you should be proud of yourself. College graduation is no small feat.

I don’t want to be the first to monsoon on your parade, but I want to let you know that in the months ahead, you’ll face things that your warm and safe bubble of College Park could’ve never prepped you for. You read a slew of advice from Kelly Cutrone and Ellyn Spragins. As the day you would move to Massachusetts inched closer, you wrote quotes on your white board to keep you inspired and motivated. But, not even those small gestures could equip you for this thing called adult life.

So, if you remember nothing else, remember this: no matter what, you are going to be more than fine.

Adult life isn’t glamorous or always fun. And, those MTV producers did a really shitty job of naming that show “The Real World” because those people are partying all the time and that does not happen in the real world. The real world is waking up early, working, coming home and doing it all over again punctuated by weekends, trips here and there, and whatever else you can do to keep yourself sane.

So, I encourage you to do those things to keep yourself sane. Don’t lose those things that make you Tyece. Don’t stop dancing in the middle of your living room, even when your best friend isn’t there to do it with you. Don’t stop watching mindless TV. Don’t stop listening to music at every possible moment. And, whatever you do, please don’t stop writing. It will be an anchor for you when everything starts rocking and swaying and you feel like you can’t hold on to anything or anyone else.

Stretch outside of your comfort zone. Go to places where you’ll know absolutely no one. But, know that there’s a difference between going outside of your comfort zone and doing things you just don’t like. Don’t do things you don’t like. That’s just plain silly.

Maintaining your friendships will become more difficult. But, if you work hard to maintain them, you’ll see how rewarding they are. Maybe you’ll call one person every Monday or one person every other Sunday. But, talk to your best friend and your sister every day. Because, you don’t know what it’s like to go a day without talking to them and that is how it should always be.

After the newness of your apartment has worn off and the glow of your freedom has waned, you’ll get homesick. Very homesick. You’ll realize that Maryland wasn’t ever as small or as lame as it seemed and you didn’t outgrow it as much as you believed. You’ll doubt yourself and your decision. And you’ll scare the bejesus out of your parents when they hear your voice waver and think you want to quit. Here’s the point where I’m supposed to tell you not to quit. But, I don’t even have to say that. Because you won’t. Because just like Christopher Robin told Pooh, “You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

And, then the heavy things will come. The personal battles that you couldn’t have anticipated even if someone gave you a crystal ball and your own personal psychic. The bulldozers that will knock you down and force you to crawl before you can even think about walking again.

And, when those things happen, don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to let it hurt. But, above all else, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t put a bandaid on your wounds and try to keep it moving. Some parts of you need casts; they are broken. But, if you nurse them properly, they will heal and be stronger than they were before.

Aside from the serious stuff, don’t feel bad when something in the fridge gets moldy or you eat take out 3 nights in a row. Nobody ever became an adult overnight and if they tell you they did, they’re a bold faced liar. It’s OK if you eat dinner off of a fold up table that costs $8.50 at Walmart. It’s OK if you fall asleep at 10pm on a Friday night. It’s OK if you still want to sleep all day on a Saturday like you did in undergrad or if you are scrounging pennies the day before pay day because paying rent absolutely sucks. It. Is. Ok.

All of those trivial things mean nothing. You have a roof over your head. You have something to eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You have something called a job to get up and go to. You have incredible people in your life. In the grand scheme of things, you are doing absolutely amazing.

So, if you remember nothing else, remember this: no matter what, you are going to be more than fine.

5 months into this whirlwind called adulthood,

Tyece

P.S. Boys still suck. I don’t know when that ends.

Just wanted to say hello

After a 1 month hiatus, a move 8 hours away, a new job, a computer virus, and too many life changes to keep track of, Free Love is back. And, thank God because I need it.

Today is July 5. And, in the tiny world of Tyece, that means more than just the day after a beautiful long holiday weekend. No, today is also my ex’s birthday.

So, like any human being with half a heart, the thought went through my mind…do I contact him?

Birthdays, graduations, New Years…something about special days melts our hearts and makes us want to contact people we haven’t spoken to in years. And, only a few months ago on my birthday, I remember wanting my ex to call me. It had only been a few months since our break up and I thought my birthday would be the perfect opportunity to just say hello.

Now, almost a year since our break up, I had to make the decision. And, after some thought, I decided against that lifeless and faux email that would’ve said “Just wanted to wish you a happy birthday.” Not because I have anything to prove. I did it for me. Because, at some point, we have to stop with the nonsense of “just wanting to say hi.” You never want to just say hi to an ex. In the words of Michelle Tanner, puhlease.

Women (yes, I stereotype) are infamous for “wanting to be the bigger person” and doing the things that seem nice and cordial, even though the results are sometimes awful. But, after a weekend of listening to my oldest sister’s life lessons, I realize a lot of that is just garbage and is an excuse for not living up to our true self-worth. Chances are today will come and go, my ex will turn a year older, and I will live the same way I do every single day. Nothing’s going to happen. The communication line has been closed for awhile now; no point in re-opening it just cause he’s no longer 22.

I don’t want to just say hello. After a 12 hour work day, I just want to go to bed. And that is exactly what I intend to do.

Love freely,

tY

Unfinished Business

In one week, I’m going to don that oversized and overpriced cap and gown and walk across the stage into exhilirating (pronounced monotonous) adult life. As a result, I’ve been flooded with an array of emotions, one of which is reflective.

I’ve started thinking a lot about the idea of closure. Many times, people reunite with exes in hopes of getting “closure.” But, what the eff does that even mean?

Today, I got some closure of my own with a friend whom I may or may not have made a bad decision with. We sat down and talked our way through a situation that had absolutely no business happening and, at the end, I felt better because of it. I’m actually sad to say that if it weren’t for him prompting the situation, I would’ve just never contacted him again.

I realize, that’s often times my way of ending things. I just ignore, dodge, and avoid by any means necessary, hoping the person gets the hint sooner or later. I let time do the dirty work for me and I now see that is a true mark of immaturity. Of course, it’s easier to do that with someone whom you aren’t that close with but people do it all the time. It goes against everything I stand for as the girl who only listed “confrontational” on the ”tell us about yourself” section of my roommate form.

But, there’s something to be said for having the cojones to contact someone, whether it be an ex of 2 years or a hookup of 2 weeks, to wrap things up and leave things on a solid note. I think the issue is sometimes people mistaken closure with “What if” or “let’s try this again” and that’s when ish gets ugly. But, if you’re honest with yourself and with the person, closure is awesome and often times very necessary. Without true closure, resentment and unresolved issues just fester and you’re left having to find closure within yourself (cough my ex cough.)

But, when you go into something truly hoping to just clean it up and leave it in a good place, that’s when you’ve really made that cross into adulthood.

Love freely,

tY

Somewhere, deep inside, I fear that I’ve lost the ability to get my emotions near to someone. Hoping my unwillingness to open up is a fear I’ll outrun. I’ve hidden my scars with the random nights, erasing the pain as I shut off the lights. I wonder when will I feel again? When will love be more than just thoughts that flow from my mind to my pen? I drown out the memories with meaningless sighs, obliterate the sadness with late night goodbyes…

Ode to Crushes

Alright, this isn’t really gonna be an ode because it’s 1:40am and I don’t have the patience to be metaphoric and sing songy and all that.

But, I think it’s time to pay some respect to crushes.

We as human beings do not allow ourselves to have enough crushes. I’ve decided I’m a firm believer in this. We’re too wrapped up in getting serious and getting in relationships and getting our hearts broken and getting married and doing all of that shit that you just don’t have to do until later. We’re super focused on the serious stuff and we don’t allow ourselves to just be playful and have a good time.

You should face this fact: soon enough, your life will not be quite as fun as it is now (talking to my college people…my non-college people already know this reality.) Soon enough, the days will start to blend together like one big not-so-delicious protein shake and you will need something to break up the monotony of staring at the floor of your cubicle wondering what’s on TV for that night. And, well, crushes are just one of the things that do that.

I’m not suggesting you making flirting a hobby. Ew goodness no. I am suggesting you allow yourself to be open. Stop yourself from thinking ”Ugh, I would never…” and allow your mind to go to that place where you say, “Yeah, he’s cute in that weird way.” Forget everything you learned about having “a type” and if something about someone piques your interest, roll with it. Because here’s the thing about crushes: they’re ephemeral. Just because you think someone’s attractive or he has a great smile or he looks great in a blue polo doesn’t mean you’re trying to have his babies. Doesn’t mean you’re trying to have his last name. It means that he’s attractive or he has a great smile or he looks great in a blue polo. Sometimes it’s simple. We’re the idiots walking around making it more complicated.

It’s OK to give your mind some gum and give it something to chew on while it also focuses on other things. It’s OK to give your heart an excuse to pitter patter a wee bit faster for a few days. Sometimes I feel like the Joker, looking at people like “Why so serious?” Why the fuck are you so serious? It’s OK to be playful and flirty and throw yourself into something (or onto someone) who, in a day or a week or a month, you might not give two shits about. Live a little. I promise life will only reward you for doing so.

Leaving you with my current quote of the week (yes, I write those on my white board) and some Soledad O’Brien for that ass:

“There is opportunity-and sometimes joy-in chaos and the unknown.”

Love freely,

tY