An ever-changing world

I want to grow

I want to bloom

I want to look back on this time

and think of how much I’ve changed

for the better

and be proud of myself

I’ve always been growing

I’ll always be changing

I’ll always be looking back on the past

with a hint of nostalgia

and a wave of pride

because I’m always growing

and I’m always changing

and I used to think I would stop changing 

when I reach a certain age

but I don’t think that’s how it goes.

You learn new things

you find new hobbies

you find new things to talk about 

with strangers and with close friends.

I think it’s beautiful

how the world is always changing around us

and we’re changing, too.

if ever there comes a day

where I stop growing, stop changing

I hope it is my last

because if I can’t change with the world

then I can’t change the world.

.. Lauren Hayden ..

Needs

I’ve been at my worst

I’ve been at my best

I’ve stood face to face with anger

and I’ve given in and I’ve given up

but I’m done stewing.

Now when I come face to face

with anger or despair

I’ll ask if it needs a cup of tea

or maybe more sleep tonight.

I want to believe

that these bad thoughts aren’t real

but they are,

they’re just poorly communicated needs

I just have to ask them what they are.

I’m sorry I disappear from time to time

it’s nothing against you

I’m just bad at remembering to talk.

It’s something that’s been a constant since I was a child

and I’m not sure it’ll ever go away.

I get in these moods

they’re not necessarily depressions

though maybe they once were;

they’re like riding the subway late at night

when you’re the only one on the train

and you don’t feel lonely,

you’re just there

and you’re sort of tired,

but you still have enough energy to make yourself dinner when you get home-

at least something filling, if not a full meal.

It’s not a cry for help

and I’m certainly not lonely

but I want you to know I’m still here

I’m just less

I guess

It was a Tuesday in July

I fell deep in love

while July was in full swing

with humidity and heat waves

and there I was, falling for someone like all the cliches

and it really was all the cliches.

It’s everything you dreamed about

before your standards were lowered

by all your horrendous exes

and you were eventually soured on relationships.

Then you meet someone so perfect

you thought they could only ever exist in books and movies

but they’re real

and they look at you

like you’re the exact same thing to them.

to an old friend: a letter I’ll never send

I remember getting mad at you for things you couldn’t control. I was so naive back then and so were you. I remember when you told me you couldn’t be there for me and I took it personal. I realized later that it wasn’t personal, but the way you treated me made it feel like it was. I was an afterthought in your day, and you could never care for me the way I needed. The way anyone needed. I was an inconvenience to you, and you taught me to keep my feelings to myself. Yet another thing I’m unlearning.

You were never an inconvenience to me, and that’s what made me bitter for a while. I cared for you, I cared for our friends. I was bad at showing it, sure, but you couldn’t deny the love was there. Or maybe you could, you always had this picture of me in your head. But it wasn’t me, it was someone else. Someone that looked like me but acted on their rage. Like I was out to get you. And maybe that wasn’t my fault, maybe that was your own inner demons telling you I was bad for you. Either way, we parted ways and I know it was for the best, but I can’t deny I miss it.

I don’t miss much, but I miss it. I don’t miss the arguments, I don’t miss the gaslighting, I don’t miss pushing the blame. But I miss the jokes, I miss the closeness. I’ve been alone so long; I can’t remember what it feels like to know someone else cares. I imagine it feels warm. I imagine it feels like a blanket that just came out of the dryer. I imagine it feels like the sun against my skin in the summer, and the wind against my face as I’m driving.

This isn’t a love letter; I don’t want you back. I don’t want any of our old friends back. I just want you to know I’m not angry anymore.

I want to be brave for you

I want to smile when it rains

I want to answer when you call.

I don’t want to live in fear,

it’ll be the death of me

but where do we go from here?

I’m trying,

but I’m tired of trying

and getting no results.

I want to be brave

like I was when I was ten.

I want to feel the wind against my skin

and not cower away.

I want to feel

again

I’m done with this complacency,

this everlasting loneliness.

it’s like they turned the lights out

and I can’t find the switch.

I want to be brave

for myself

so I can say I beat the demons in my head

I don’t want to be brave

for anyone else

because if I’m doing this for you

and you leave

what’s left to fight for?

I want to be strong

for myself

so I can look back

and smile when it rains.

my life is not meant to make you comfortable

I started to realize why people come out

it’s not because they want to be brave

it’s not because they want to be a shining light

it’s because they’re angry

at the injustice being thrown upon them

and the words ignorant people speak

not directly at them

but meant for them-

they hurt

and they anger us

until we finally speak out

and in my 23 years

I’ve barely seen change

for the trans community

and people are so openly saying

we don’t exist

we’re just confused

but we are here

and we’re not going away

despite what makes you uncomfortable

my life is not meant to make you comfortable

the world won’t matter

I have fallen in love before

and it’ll likely happen again

I just hope the next time

it’ll be with your wit

or your smile

or your hair.

If I fall in love again

I want it to matter

more than it did

when I fell for someone

who didn’t love me back.

I want you to love me

I want to matter to you

I want to hear you say my name

lovingly

as we watch our favorite show.

Because the world won’t matter

until you say my name.