subject line: getting out of my own way. May 17, 2015 by Hannah Brencher columbia, california Words. Words were my first love. The words I wrote in the book shoved deep in my bag, always at my fingertips. The letters I wrote to boys with blue eyes that I would shove deep in their leather jackets anonymously. The terrible poetry I wrote as a depressed teen. Words have accompanied me throughout everything that has happened to me in the last fifteen years. Until now. At twenty-four years old. I am terrified to be honest with myself. I can’t bring myself to write the truth in those pages anymore because I don’t want to believe any of it. To discover something I don’t want to know, something that will take me from the comfort of my current situation. I tingle and shake as I write this. So unsure of what I feel and who I am because I gave up that outlet. That map of words that always lead me back to my heart. When I write I often write about the hurt and I don’t want to admit that I’m hurting. For the first time in my life I am in a relationship with someone who won’t hurt me. We function. We hardly fight. He will always be there for me. But before there was him, three years ago I fell in love and it was deeper and more fulfilling than even my dreams of what I thought love would be. But it didn’t work, it couldn’t. He was broken and I had no idea I was trying to fix him until all the damage was done. And when you give yourself so much to a person like that you really do lose yourself. When that person promises you everything you’ve ever wanted, believing they can and will give it to you, and they just can’t. It’s not his fault. It’s not my fault. But that beautiful broken boy still haunts my dreams. We wrote letters. Hundreds of letters. When I pick up my pen I still want to write to him and of him. The story isn’t over inside of my helpless romantic mind. But it’s so over. And it gets easier everyday. It’s actually nice to know that what they say is true, it gets better. My new love is the opposite of him in every way. Stable, reliable. But also lacking that passion, intimacy, and romance that I’ve always dreamed about. But we fit. We talk about plans for the future and buying a house and settling down. Sometimes I feel like that’s the best thing for me. I’ve had that all consuming love and now I get to experience what maybe real love is. The one you work for. The one you keep saying yes to everyday even when you don’t feel like it. You keep trying. You keep showing up. No matter what. He’s better at this than I am. I really am learning a lot. Even though we aren’t a perfect fit, when I pick fights and wish that things were different, he always surprises me with the ways in which he heard my heart and is trying to fuel it with what I need. I know already, deep inside, that love isn’t meant to be perfect. It’s a struggle that has the most amazing rewards when you stick it out. I just wish my mind would quiet and let me enjoy what I’ve always wanted. I never wanted an all consuming love. I wanted a love with balance where I could still be a writer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. I’m free now and I wish I would just let myself be.In all honesty, I thought I would discover something much different when I let myself write. I really need to get out of my own way. That wasn’t scary at all.