the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

Today, my shit literally just broke.

Bee ButlerComment

When I first moved to SoCal (2012, failed relationship, treatment at Monte Nido, blahblahblahhhh) a friend of mine moved here, too. The moves were in no way intertwined, nor did we even acknowledge each other's cross-country treks - they just happened to occur almost simultaneously. Like me, she moved here for a guy, and like me, that relationship ended.

Unlike me, she kept her ass out here for a long time without him, and only recently moved back to the town we both grew up in.

Also unlike me? Her online presence is one of positivity, buddhist sayings, a zen tone, forward momentum, and all other manner of hope that I keep seeing and feeling shitty about, because I'm not there.

Today I broke down and said fuck all this, dude, how are you doing this?! And this is what she replied (via messenger, with some parts redacted to protect her privacy, in case she wants that):

"Hey bee! Good to hear from you. I sure miss California. Every day I think about going back. (Going for a visit soon!) but after (redacted) and I broke up I spent most of (redacted) getting drunk and partying and going from guy to guy to feel validated and worth something. My lease was coming up and I made a gut decision to move home, although it killed me. I was just being a waitress and not doing any work in my field, although I got my esthetics license out there in late (redacted). Especially after things fell apart with (redacted), I felt so lost. I had lost my backbone and my support system. Although he stopped being that for me in the middle of (redacted). He always had a way of putting me down, making me feel like I was never good enough and would never meet his expectations. So I moved in with my best friend and tried healing in a way that we all know doesn't work and is self destructive. Anyway, I felt I needed to be grounded and have a routine and have the support from my family, and (redacted) and I hadn't ended things clean and he was still my best friend and I kept this false hope that he would want me back. (Like I'd be lucky enough). So at the beginning of this year I made a hard love decision for myself and moved home after deciding two weeks before to do so. And what did I have? I had spent all my time building up another person for success and when he left I felt as if I was nothing, had nothing. So I left. I said goodbye to him and cut contact cold turkey with him. And I was heartbroken and devastated. But I came home, and set my mind up. I AM GOOD ENOUGH. And I just decided I never wanted to feel like that again. So I make a choice. Every moment, in every situation, I make a choice. It's hard sometimes because when I tell you I make a choice every moment, I really mean that. I drive past our old spots here, and I tell myself out loud "NO!". No one is in charge of my happiness but me. I can choose to replay the happy times and murder my heart and my willpower, or I can choose to think about positive things. I have a family that welcomed me back with loving arms, I have my health, I have my few true friends that truly love me. I take everything day by day. I rarely drink alcohol, I eat well, I go to the gym. I've put myself first. I'm working on me because me is all I have. I have written on my mirror in my bathroom "you are HERE. What can you do today?". I get down because I miss California so much but you have to grow where you are planted. I choose to be happy. I don't get mad about situations, the situations are as they are. They won't change, but my attitude can. Right now I'm just focusing on my short term goals. I can't look farther than that, or worry about tomorrow. I make daily goals. If that goal is to clean my room and get a full tank of gas... Good for me! I'm doing what I can, where I can, and I try to uplift others. It's all a choice. Every moment you are arriving in the moment you are in, and you have a chance every second to make a change. It means a lot that you've noticed that change in me because I'm trying so hard, but sometimes I still get down and feel like I'm not good enough. I'm glad it's of some help to know you're not alone in your struggle. I think we get caught up with how everyone's life looks so perfect online but it's not. I spend the majority of my time working. I still work at (redacted) here in Dallas, but I now do (redacted), which I love. Your life is definitely not ruined, but I can understand how you feel that way sometimes because I do too. I'll wake up here in my parents house and I think to myself "what have I done?!" But before I even get out of bed I consciously make my choice. And I set my goals for the day. Work, gym, laundry. Maybe my goal is to clean out my car or vaccuum my room. It may seem small and insignificant but these little things make me feel accomplished and help me set up for my week. It's hard to look at the big picture, if I did I would surely fail. All you have is today. That's it. What can you do today, the only day your ever going to have of this day, to move closer toward the direction you want to go? Today I'm putting 20 dollars in savings and paying 100 bucks off my credit card. I picked up my birth control (not that I need it girl trust me lol), got a full tank of gas and got my nails done. All after a lunch shift at (redacted). Tonight? I'm about to make a healthy dinner, deep clean my room, run 2 miles on the treadmill and take a bubble bath. It's what I can do today to make my tomorrow easier, and get a step closer to being healthy and debt free. It's the little things. *virtual hug*"

Holy. Shit.

See that? That right there? That is the attitude I so desperately wanted but couldn't find, because in my mind, she was just happy because her brain was making serotonin and mine wasn't. But that isn't true. She's making this happen through sheer force of will, repetitive action, focus, small goals, and literally saying things out loud to remind herself where she needs to be.

Let me tell you, I spent my life wishing I had her life. Once I realized she'd moved here, I still wished that. When she moved back, I wished that. But today, I realized, you know what? I HAVE MY LIFE. This is the one I get. Not hers, mine. And if I want it to work out for me, I have to take her advice (which I am incredibly grateful for) and move forward.


Thank you, you awesome femme fatale, you. 
I am so glad that I know you (and so grateful that you were open, vulnerable and willing to show me that you're just a human being like I am). I'm sorry I put you on a crazy pedestal, and I appreciate your words.


Until I have another revelation or awesome conversation of note,