When You Don’t Know What You Want

Iris
Iris

My mother used to tell me that even as a very young child,
I was in love with concept of love.
I would gather up my various stuffed animals and line them up on the couch.
One by one, I’d ask each bachelor and bachelorette what they were seeking in a partner
And I, Eastman the matchmaker, would see what I could do for them.

Nip, the orange cat with one eye, was seeking a tender feline to understand his occasional moodiness.

George, who was actually an oversized Simba-but always felt more like a George to me,
yearned for someone to go on adventures with,
Someone to lick his wounds clean when he got a little too wild.
Someone to jump over fences with.
Chase gazelle.
Basically just do some crazy lion shit together.

Nicey, the plastic lobster, who was probably the weirdest toy I had (but I loved him just a little more than the others) wanted someone to look past his giant claws and realize he was just a sweet, docile crustacean.
His name was Nicey, for crying out loud.

And I vowed, no matter how long it took, I would pair up each and every one of them.
I would not rest until romance bloomed for every tiger, bear, Barbie, and dragon in my house.

I picked up my bow, and equipped with an overwhelming amount of optimism, I shot an arrow into the hearts of them all.
All of them, except for one.

Floppy,
A delicate mouse with ears twice as big as his face.
He couldn’t ever tell me what it was he was looking for,
so eventually, I stopped asking.

And it took 18 years to realize why I never pushed him.
18 years to realize why he was the only one I couldn’t find a perfect match for.
18 years to finally understand that I’m Floppy.
With my ears a little too big, and indecisiveness about almost everything,
That I’m not sure I’ve ever really known what I want.
That I will speak so highly of romance, but run away when it gets too real.
I talk big plans and goals,
But let opportunities slip through my fingers without even trying to grasp them.
I am lost,
and found
But thankful most days that I’m even alive.
Upset when my dreams are more satisfying than real life.
I am always confused,
but find clarity in my own fucked up mind.
Floppy and I are just trying to find that thing.
The one.
The place.
The something that tells us,
Yes,
this is where you belong.
This is what you have been looking for all along.
Maybe we aren’t supposed to know what it is yet.
Maybe we never really do.
We place such pressure on ourselves to have it all figured out
When there should be no shame in being honest,
In being Floppy and saying, “I have no fucking clue what I’m looking for.”
You’re looking.
Give yourself some credit for that.

To my lost ones:
My graduates,
My dreamers,
My pessimists,
My hopefuls,
My lovers,
My broken hearted someones,

You don’t always need to know what you’re doing.
Just keep doing something.
You’re doing something.
Stay with us.
Keep staying. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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