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Instagram: @gina_clingan Some of my other writings can be found on thoughtcatalog

In another Universe, I never met him. I have never encountered his laughter or his smile. I have no idea what he looks like walking away. I have never heard his thinking noise or experienced the wrath of his stance with one hand on his hip. In this other Universe, my standards of humanity are still low. Consequently, I am probably still dating the wrong guy right now. I am still forcing smiles and faking laughter, among other things, and I don’t even realize all that I am depriving myself of. In this other Universe, I don’t even know that…

I don’t expect you to miss me

I don’t expect you to think of me on the days when you sort through laundry, looking for something clean to wear, and you pull one of my favorite pieces of your wardrobe an over your head. I don’t expect you to notice the way your nipple pokes through the thin material of that one baseball shirt, or laugh about it like we did on the day I pointed it out and you tried to cover it up. …

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

They say that depression comes in many forms. With you, I found it manifested in the brightest smile I’d ever seen.

Pretending to be positive all of the time isn’t healthy. You should honor and validate your emotions as you feel them. It’s okay to have resting bitch face, or look mean. It’s okay to not be the life of the party. It’s okay to be sad, or let people see what you’re going through. It’s okay to ask for help.

Sometimes a smile is like putting a band aid on an infection. People can’t see the gross stuff that’s…

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

I Never wanted to be this person
who became paralyzed
with grief
for someone who walked away.

I never wanted to allow anyone
to have this much power over me;
to leave me
stunned and aching
on the ground
after they pulled the rug
we had woven together
out from beneath me.

Tailbone and ego bruised,
I have spent the last few months
and unraveling
the threads you left behind,
trying to understand
what they were made of,
or why
they weren’t strong enough.

I misinterpreted the pattern
we had been working on.

You take screenshots of your favorite text conversations as far back as your phone will allow. You print them out. You put the photos in a box, and you put the box in a place where you don’t have to look at it unless you want to. You delete the original conversations from your phone. Just because you’re not ready to let go, doesn’t mean you have to carry him with you.

You block his number so you can stop staring at your phone 1000 times a day and wonder if you finally crossed his mind. …

Photo by Andreea Chidu on Unsplash

Why do people live so close to volcanoes?
Because their soil grows the most beautiful flowers.

Maybe people forget what the volcanoes are capable of, with their consistent churning, just begging to erupt on all that is holy. Maybe people become so enamored of living in the presence of such immaculate potential for growth, that they forget the equally astonishing potential for destruction; they forget their own place among the possible casualties. Maybe, over time, they begin to trust that the volcano would never do anything to harm them.

From a young age, we are taught not to play with…

Gina Clingan

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