subject line: not empty. not full.


topeka, kansas

It’s a weird feeling to wake up in the morning and feel full. And not in the “No, thank you, I’m not hungry for breakfast right now,” full, but the “Despite the everyday nuisances, my heart and my soul are full” full. I think I have gotten used to that feeling of not being full. I don’t want to say “empty” because I’ve been down that road 5 years in the past - where you are left lying on your dorm room floor at midnight, calling your best friend to come save you because you have no idea how or why you just downed that entire bottle of pills, and thinking “Oh my God.” That. That is empty. I just haven’t been “full.” My day-to-day life is brimming with promise, and I truly enjoy the mundane, the trivial, the bizarre, and the unexpected just the same. The time crunch. The risk. The exhaustion when I finally get home. It’s all exactly what I wanted. And yet, there is no fullness.

I met someone 5 months ago. She started to bring my emotional, physical, and spiritual tank back to “full.” I would wake up in the morning and stick my iPhone into that empty water glass in my bathroom and crank up the trashy pop and classic rock while I showered. I would look forward to every minute of the day because it seemed to hold promise. My heart was once shattered, and every little shard of that heart used to wrench itself into my being. Now my comfort zone was being shattered, and I was sweeping it up like the sawdust in my Granddad’s old wood shop when I was six.

It’s funny and sick how we retreat back to the feelings we know best. I haven’t known “full” for so long that it has started to feel unsafe, toxic, dangerous. Over the course of a 12 day hiatus necessitated by work responsibilities, I morphed back into the proverbial half-glass. Half full? Half empty? Doubts: Where are we? Who am I to you? Am I reading this wrong? Will you drop me completely if I confess my true feelings? Despite all the evidence to the contrary, my mind cannot accept that fact that this could be something good. We could be the real deal. We could be just friends for the rest of our lives, and that would be okay too. Truly, it would be okay. Instead, I stare at my ceiling at night and wonder how I could ever put myself in a situation like this: You like her. If you confess, she will shatter you too. And you are running out of time.

I miss feeling full. And I hate being scared of being full. The months of feeling full were just enough to get me hooked, and more than enough to terrify me. So, to take a chance or not? To pour my heart out and trust that it’s enough, or to sink back into “normal?” Decisions.