Needed Love vs. Wanted Love

Not all love is equal.
I spent a year and eight months in a relationship with someone I loved dearly – but the love that was there was misguided. It wasn’t healthy. It was off-key and headed for all the wrong directions and based on so many things that love shouldn’t be based on, and overall… it was wrong. It was wrong to drag it out for so long.
I’m sure plenty of people face the same sort of circumstances. Loving someone for the wrong reasons, or staying for the wrong reasons, regretting so much time spent in a haze now that you can finally see clearly – I never thought twice about it. I was so sure that this relationship was where I was meant to be, so content with my own perception of destiny and my own fears of being alone that I forced something together that didn’t really even fit that well to begin with.

I cut off pieces of me to fit in with them. And this occurs to many people. This is because that I needed to be in love. I needed them to be in love with me. Regardless of what kind of relationship it was and how it affected us and the people around us, I needed it. We both did. And it was a catastrophe.
Love shouldn’t be based in need. I was lonely – a series of events and misguided choices had led me to a place where I shouldn’t have been and where I felt immensely out-of-place. I felt different and alone and like I was going to spend three years of my life stuck with just myself for company. I was depressed and anxiety ridden and a mess.
Then I met them. They were depressed and anxiety ridden and mess. We came together under the same sort of false understandings of destiny and how we thought life to work. We bonded over similar interests, including mental illness. We became close, and eventually we started dating – because they liked me, and I was lonely. And I was so happy to have someone who actually liked me and wanted to be with me, I jumped on it regardless of whether or not I truly felt like I wanted to be with them.
I needed that relationship dearly. I needed them. Over time, I do feel like I developed a wanting for them – I do think I valued the relationship as more than just an escape and self validation. But that feeling was frequently fleeting, and when it was just myself sitting alone and thinking about why I was there – I knew it was because I couldn’t bring myself to go anywhere else.

I was scared. I didn’t want to be alone again. I didn’t feel like I had many friends, I felt like I wasn’t noticed, I felt like I was just a mess relying on someone else who was also a mess to keep me company.
That wasn’t right, I realize now. It wasn’t right to keep something going for so long when I knew from almost the beginning what it was. But I cared for them, and I didn’t want to lose their friendship, and I didn’t want them to be alone either – so it made sense to just stay wallowing together.

Needed love accomplishes nothing. It creates nothing. It doesn’t build people or lets them grow – instead, it keeps them stagnant and complacent with whatever was going to come, and it makes them comfortable. So comfortable in what they have, that they don’t want to lose that sense of control for fear of spinning out of it.

Wanted love, on the other hand…
After I ended that relationship, I was content with my being alone. I enjoyed it, even. I liked the freedom. I liked the concept of being myself, not myself plus someone.
I truly felt like I would’ve been like that for a while. Because I truly was content being with just myself. And I felt like I had grown from that alone – and I knew I had made the right choice.

But there was someone who I had known for a while who came along – someone who I would’ve never guessed I would’ve ended up with. I enjoyed them. I enjoyed their company. I enjoyed who they were and what we were and for a while we were just… I have no clue. But my point is, is that eventually it grew into a relationship that I really wanted to be in.
I didn’t need it. If it didn’t happen, that was fine. I just enjoyed them so much and I liked them more than anybody and I wanted to be with them.

I feel content, in that section of my life. I find myself loving them in a way that I didn’t quite understand before. I want to love them, and I do, and it’s truly the best relationship I’ve ever had the pleasure of being in. And with the way it’s going, I hope it sticks around for a long time.  It seems like we want it to.
And I’m glad I have the opportunity.

I feel like I’ve grown quite a bit. I feel like I’ve found myself a bit more than I did before. I feel more content simply being myself and going through life as myself. Trying to fake it through may feel fine for a little while, but after a bit it’s just gonna drag you down. It’s okay to need time – just don’t try to lie to yourself about your intentions.
Relationships that are built on the desire to be with one another first and foremost, like I’ve finally found – I think it really helps. And at the end of the day, you really should be with someone you want to be with. Someone that builds up who you are, makes you into a better version of yourself than you were before, and really just makes life a joy to live in.
Destiny may or may not be real.
But there are things right before our eyes for us if we just take the time to look around.

– Brandon, 2:24 PM

Behind the Curtain

Scream a song of rain and water
Reach out to me from beyond the ocean
Call my name and preach your devotion
To the man behind the curtain
Restore that lost faith that you had in me
But never truly be certain
That this is where you want to be

Scream out, a song of flame and iron
Leave me to drown
And as I go under
Read from the gospel
Of that deadly belief
That there is more beyond the horizon
Then what your eyes can see
And that you’ll make your way up there
By giving up on me

I never preached my innocence
I never tried to plead against my fate
I quietly laid there – always content to wait
I could admit I was wrong and that’s more than can be said for you
Hiding behind the thin pages
Of some ancient, mistranslated text
Take my life
But leave me the rest
I’ll meet you again, someday
Fighting against the ocean’s tide
My prayers won’t ever be answered;
But at least neither will yours

And I’ll find comfort in that,
As I wash up on that dark shore
That as much as you want faith
Beyond the sea, behind the horizon  –
For you, there is nothing more.

One Day We’ll All Be Found

Sometimes, it isn’t a matter of not knowing where I’m going, it’s just a matter of how I’m going to get there. I occasionally will look at where I am in life and wonder how the hell I got there – but I figure that if I am here and I’m alive and well than this must be where I am meant to stay. And that’s difficult, sometimes, if it differs from where I thought I’d be. I look around and see people and I think that they have such a good hold on their life. It seems like all these faces around me know what they want to do and how to get there and they’re just following the map down the road to their desired destination. I’m sure they too have issues and worries and fears – but from the outside, it’s scary to be in a place of struggle and uncertainty when your friends and peers seem to have such a grasp on where they want to be.

Here, at nearly twenty years old, I didn’t think I’d look like this. I didn’t think I’d dress like this. I didn’t think I’d be into the things I’m into. I didn’t think I would be at the job I’m at, have the friends I have, be in the relationship I’m in… and the thing is, I didn’t think a lot of this merely six months ago. I was a vastly different person just last year and while I enjoy where I am – I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever been in, I’m healthy and look better than ever, I have more opportunity than I probably ever have – what’s frightening is the fact that I have no clue how I got here.
I feel like I don’t remember a second of the journey.
I feel like I was sitting in my head while life played out and I didn’t have a hand in it.

But, maybe that’s alright. It’s probably for the best. Had I gotten involved, I probably would’ve fucked it up. I would have taken one wrong turn, followed the directions of the wrong sign and somehow ended up in the middle of the Pacific ocean. I am grateful to be where I am. I just wish I could set autopilot on, go to sleep for a little bit, and wake up in my fully fledged and realized life, that way I wouldn’t have to worry about where I’m going.

Everyone worries about destiny. I think that’s what it boils down too – and whether you believe in a set destiny or you believe in free will, you have to realize that at the end of your life you will have made one set of decisions. You will have gone down a path and might not even know about the alternatives. There is a destination for us all, and while we choose where it lies, we WILL end up there – at the foot of our graves. And as I’ve stated, I do believe that things occur the way they should. I believe that any disorder will be ironed out and the universe has a way of getting where it wants to go and putting us on a path it thinks we should go. That gives me some solace – having a bit of faith in this great vacuum we all live in.

One day, we’ll all be found. No longer lost, just hanging around.

 Here I stand, worried and concerned and screaming into the vacuum itself. But even though I’m scared, I know that I have a destination. I’m not driving down an endless road, there’s a place up ahead – however far – where I am supposed to be. It’s tiring, and stressful, but despite everything I know that one day we’ll all be found.
And when that day comes, when we stand out and look up at sky and realize that we have finally reached that destination, I hope that it brings us contentment. I hope we find joy in it. I hope that we will be there, no longer lost, and the fact that we’ve made it overwhelms us emotion – because there is no better place to be.

– Brandon, 1:14 PM


I’ve been gone for far too long
Nothing in my arms but my Bible
and these old songs
that I would sing to you
Forgive my transgressions
and I’ll try to forgive you too
Like summer never ended
and you never left town
because there was nothing left to do


You always wanted to change
Leave the soft fields
Throw off your familiar shape
Never to forget where we were
or where we came
Just stuck between a draught
and a never ending rain
Our world was small
The mountains were traveled and seas had been explored
but I had you
So I never once yearned for more


The roads are still unpaved
Just dust and stone
and the unshakable feeling of being all alone
There’s nothing left for us anymore.
I’ve been walking for so long –
my head and my back stay so sore.
Lord, have mercy on this regretful soul –
this sentimental fool.
He knows I never once stopped thinking about you
I’ve been around a time or two
Yet my mind has never strayed.


I may have forgotten my psalms
Maybe I stopped saying my prayers
And though my faith has been steady
it hasn’t been fair.
I waited around
And you were never there.


The leaves turn to orange
Night comes quicker still
I’m still a sinner, I know –
I never seemed to get my fill
But I’ll keep straight – constant, like I do
And I’ll walk these dusty roads
For it isn’t just my weary head
That’s waiting there for you

Are You Happy? – 2017

For the vast majority of my life, I’ve suffered from clinical depression. I remember being about eight years old and writing in a journal, and in it I wrote something along the lines of “I’ve been feeling really sad, lately, though I don’t know why. I shouldn’t be sad, because nothing really bad is going on. At least I don’t have that medical sadness.”

I meant clinical depression. Boy, was I in for a ride. I knew as that creeping shadow of sadness moved in, there wasn’t a reason, it just occurred. It didn’t care how my life was going, what was going on, how I was – it just hit me senselessly and beat me until I couldn’t stand up.
Back then, I remember who I was – I was a nerdy little kid, pudgy, and I wore glasses. I had a couple of friends, but I was vastly unpopular. This continued throughout middle school and much into high school with small differences here and there. I thought no one liked me – any friends I had, I thought they talked to me out of pity. I thought I was good at nothing – any thing I enjoyed doing, I thought it was terrible. I thought I was destined for a life of being unhappy. A life of mediocrity. As time went on, I didn’t enjoy being with people. Or with myself. I didn’t do anything. I was me, and that was not something I particularly enjoyed being.

In eighth grade, after some stuff went down, I got diagnosed with my depression and was put on medication. I took it for about two-three years, then once the huge rain cloud dissipated, I stopped because I didn’t want to be a zombie – not sad, but not happy. A slave to my own head. High school was not much better for me – I was in band, which I didn’t fit into and failed to gain many friends. I, once again, found myself with few friends and few things that I enjoyed.
I was left on my own.

But something happened. Partially junior year and into senior year, things changed – I got into theatre, and found that I was good at it. I was getting friends. People enjoyed me and my company. I was, in such a strange twist of events, becoming popular to certain degrees. I was cast as the lead in that year’s musical, and I had a whole group of people who I could truly call friends.
I felt like I was home.

But here’s the kicker – was I happy? Was I happy? I asked myself that. I thought long and hard, and I began to realize that I wasn’t good at this. I got my roles by chance and sheer luck. When people told me I was good, they were lying to make me feel better. No one enjoyed my company. I had interjected myself in and they dealt with it. People didn’t like me – they tolerated me. And it would be better if I just shut up and finished the year and got out, for my sake and everyone else’s.

It came for me again. And was I happy? No. Had I ever been? I wasn’t sure. Maybe it was just a guise. Who knows.

And so here I stand with the thought in my head, lingering – Am I happy? Are you happy? Why? I’ve tried to enter 2017 with the mantra that the universe unfolds the way it should. I’ve tried to sit back and let things happen but that’s hard to do when you so desperately want to control it. I want to reach in and make things happen the way I want, but every time I do that, it just turns out worse. No matter how I change myself to somehow be like everyone else, it seems like I’m getting pulled further away.

Now, am I just delusional?
That’s what I worry about.
But what does a person need to do to truly feel that sense of happiness? Not a fleeting spark of emotion that comes with an experience. Not the happiness that comes from someone’s touch. I mean the happiness that comes with standing alone with yourself and being able to smile without thinking about it.

I’ll be twenty this year. I don’t know where I’m going, and I’m confused as to where I’ve been. I don’t have much faith in myself and I can’t bring myself to put my faith in a god to work it all out for me. So much has happened in the past two years, and my life has completely changed. There’s a lot that’s been good, but there’s a lot of bad there and I struggle not to focus on the shit that’s happened.

Here’s 2017. We’re ten days in. I’m ready and prepared and despite my fears and the thoughts that tell me to pull back, I’m gonna try to move forward. I’m going to continue to write. I’m going to build myself up. I’m going to be something I want to be and I will not be afraid to let that be my face. I will tear down the masks and try to be what I want to be for the first year of my life. Planting flowers so this year can bloom.
Here it is. Here we go.
Good luck.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 3:46 PM