Under Pressure

“Under Pressure” Pencil. 2000. (I covered up a section to avoid identifying a person.)

Being a mother is stressful. So is being a wife. And being a woman in general. I try so hard to be good at my many jobs and wear many hats, but most of the time I feel like I’m juggling and the joke’s on me because I can’t juggle. I put a lot of pressure on myself.

I’ve wanted to be married and be a mom for as long as I can remember. When I was in high school, I dreamed of falling in love, getting married, and having children right away. I couldn’t imagine not having children soon after getting married because I didn’t think I would be able to maintain enough conversation with a guy who would choose to be with me. I was so clueless. It sounds silly now because my favorite person to talk to is my husband, and only about half of our conversations are about our children. Continue reading “Under Pressure”

Scars

“Scars” Free Verse, New Poetry, 8-4-16

Some nights when I can’t sleep
My mind wanders back to another time
Where the heartache must have happened
To someone else, someone I never knew.

I want to go back sometimes
Maybe to right the wrongs
Or do things differently.
The memories still have power over me.

I hate that I’m still reminded of you
After so many years and wasted tears.
I wish I could take them all back.
It was my youth I allowed stolen.

I gave you myself because I loved you.
I managed to survive the pain of loss,
But then you came back
And almost destroyed what was left of me.

When I let you break my heart again
It was my fault, and yours too.
Do I regret loving you? No.
Do I wish things had ended differently?

Maybe. No. Not really.
I locked away the hurt, pushed it down.
The scars from you are healing,
But still bleed sometimes.

I want to see a shooting star,
Without thinking of our first kiss.
I want back the passion I had then
To share with someone who loves me.

Late at night when I can’t sleep
And words come flowing out of me
I want back that piece of my soul,
The one I gave to you.

I’m a fraud who’s lost part of herself
Along the way. I have to get it back.
I can’t take back my youth
Or the time and tears spent.

I try to hide my scars
But they resurface.
I can’t erase the memories
So I must write over them.

-Brandi Easterling Collins

My love history and why I never wrote about my husband until now

Let me warn you: This post is long.

Something my husband and I talked about before he helped me launch this website was the fact that I wrote a lot of material about someone I loved before I met him. I was worried that what I wrote a long time ago would hurt my husband, something I would never do intentionally. Now my husband, Jonathan, is very blunt, as anyone who knows him will tell you. He told me specifically that he is not threatened by my past because it made me who I am—the woman he loves. We talked about my past and his while we were getting to know each other.

So, how did we meet? Jonathan was working as a night building manager at Arkansas Tech in the Student Services Center. I was a student working on a practicum during the summer. Just to clear up any ethical issues: I was a graduate student, 22 years old, almost 23, and Jonathan was 25. He was not my supervisor. I’ll admit, I thought he was cute when I first saw him, but given my track record and a recent broken relationship that ended a friendship, (another story—see below) I figured Jonathan was taken. Well, he wasn’t.

Continue reading “My love history and why I never wrote about my husband until now”