Regret and Redemption – today is Independence Day


Sitting on the floor I call my makeshift bed that I share with a man I honestly can’t understand sometimes, listening to sappy emo long-haired guitar-playing best friend songs. I HATE THIS FEELING, FUCKING HATE IT.

I was okay, I really was, but something inside me snapped and I’m remembering what it’s like to not be a poser and be myself. I miss myself. I miss Dashboard late at night, I miss Allen in the mornings, I miss guitars and the xylophone at lunch and I miss knowing I’m loved. Damn, that sounds ungrateful. No, I know Adam loves me. To an extent. I know he loves me when I’m abiding and quiet and not so Shannon. I think I hate this man.


I’m a bitch. I’m on the verge of tears because “Hands Down” is on and I miss Allen so much at this exact moment that it’s tearing me up inside. I just hate to realize that he’s not my best friend anymore.


(One week after saying goodbye at graduation.)



Let me be completely honest here. I never should have come back to Waterford. I knew I took a risk when I went back to old stomping grounds. Allen lingers everywhere. In my memories, in the corner of my eye, in the bottom of my heart, and in the lonely spaces between hating Adam and just not loving him anymore. I tell myself it’s all okay, I don’t talk to him anymore and haven’t seen him face to face in over a year now. But with every sharp word or splintered feeling, all of the hurt Adam makes me feel is fantasized away by thoughts of Allen knocking on my door to reclaim what once was (and always will be) his.

No, that’s not fair to say. (It’s my hurt feelings talking again) Allen is probably nothing like he used to be. But fuck, at least he GOT me. He never asked me to be anyone else, never expected anything more from me than what he, himself, could give. That was fair. At least Allen was honest. He didn’t love me and told me so.



(One week before our timelines crossed again.)







I will never cease to amaze myself with my pride. Or perhaps, my stubbornness – whether it be to my advantage or not. I cannot believe how ridiculously high I held my chin during those years, and it gives me pause to remember how low I managed to dig myself while continuing to look up. I tried – oh my God, did I try, and I prayed – oh my God, did I pray. (Thank you, Linda Perry.) My marriage was in need of revolution, and my life was in need of being caught before I let myself go to the wind.


Take it all away – except now, I have reasons to stay. I always knew there was a reason, and even though the entirety of it has not revealed itself to me as of yet, I find traces of it in the curve of Rory’s cheeks, and the brush of my fair ginger lover’s beard against my neck in the mornings. I find it in the twinkle of Maddie’s eyes and in Jenna’s laughter and uniqueness. I find it in the simple content I had chased after so wildly in those lost years.

Today, I celebrate three years of being reclaimed. I celebrate the occasion of my flinging open of my soul’s doors – my independence day.


There should be fireworks.


Nobody actually believes that Prince Charming is going to show up and take you away from the bad man and the crumbling ivory tower. But I did,


and he did.


And I thank every star I wished upon to make him mine, that he is.


Today, I am so glad, and so grateful.


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