Ty was the first, and the foundational piece of my heart. I didn’t know how to love, value, or trust people when I met him. He taught me how valuable I was, and he let me go when he saw that I couldn’t do the same for him. I wish I could’ve loved him how he loved me. He was so honest, so careful, so protective of his heart, and of mine. Even when my heart lashed out and didn’t deserve that level of truth, or guarding. He gave me the shelter from my own storm. I only wish he hadn’t gotten caught in it. I was a tornado with no eye when he met me. A destructive earth force that had no calm to my center. I only saw my destruction in hindsight. He was the beginning of me taking preventative measures. He was the beginning of me looking before I stepped, and convicting myself for causing others pain. He showed me that I didn’t have to hurt people because I was hurt. He showed me how to access my pain and use it as strength. He was the beginning of the new me’s entirety. I don’t know if that’s the correct terminology. But I don’t care. He let me be powerful and taught me to be weak, he pushed me to my edge and worked out anger that had been tangled in my soul for years. He stayed through his own martyrdom to chip away at the most rustic parts of my weathered heart.
I don’t know where he is now. I’m not the kind of girl to Facebook stalk him or check in on his Instagram, in fact only last week did I see that he no longer followed me on Instagram. I don’t know how long ago that happened. The first song I ever wrote about ty was “Little Girl Again”. It was about the purity of what I had found with him. He gave me butterflies and he had no intentions, just faith; belief in a God’s world. The lyrics were,
“when times were simple,
and love ran deep,
and i never questioned what was spoken to me,
i could trust you, and you could trust me
so we’d tell our secrets that we knew we would keep,
you make me feel like there’s no dead ends; you make me feel like I’m a little girl, again”.
I never had any intentions of only being his friend. In case I left anyone uncertain of that, let me be clear. I knew the potential I had to love him from the second I knew him, and everything else was fear. I was so scared of him but so determined to see what we could be. I used to be embarrassed about how things went down, but nah. I loved him, and I always knew I would. The first time we held hands was behind stage during a Wizard of Oz play, in which we were both flying monkeys because we didn’t try out for real parts. (HAHAHAHA) I had so much fun with him during that show… that I didn’t care how it made me look. He was a sophomore and i was a senior and I wish I could explain it better but I can’t. I saw something in him, that I knew was powerful. But i was completely there before it was. I can’t explain it. I saw something in him… a future. Even if it wasn’t one that involved me. And I had arrived at the end before he could even see the journey. Not that anyone was wrong or right, just off.
The first time things went south with us was when I kissed his best friend. As a 22 year old looking back, it’s like I’m staring at the tv screaming “KORI NOOOOOO” but the 18 year old me was much more selfish and impulsive. Ty tried to act like it was fine. But when I saw him in person, after I made his best friend tell him, I could tell he had cried. I only made the best friend tell because I would want it to come from my best friend in reverse. However, I’ve found that one good deed doesn’t make up for a greater and worser one. Ty was broken, and I don’t remember a time I felt more guilty or regretful. I didn’t mean to hurt him. I just couldn’t sit there in the feelings that I had and let them happen. Feelings used to terrify me anywhere outside of writing music. I think subconsciously i wanted him to push me away. I was looking for the easiest way out mentally, but my heart latched on to him the second I was free to go. Ty told me that he didn’t want to lose our friendship and conversations but that it would take a while for him to get over. We had a lot of talks about it. I still can’t believe he stuck with me through that. I, then, wrote a song called “Queen for a Day”. The lyrics were,
“if I were queen for a day, my first act would be to send you away
but there’s no ocean you could cross that would ever be enough
if I were queen for a day, I’d put you behind iron gates
but there’s no wall that I could build that would ever be enough
id surround you with armies that man could not defeat
but there’s no sword or shield or guard that could ever save you from me”.
I was a time bomb through out our entire relationship. Trying to figure out how to fit myself into the destiny I saw in him. Eventually it was too much. I broke his heart and he broke mine, and I kept trying to fix it like someone trying to glue back a one of a kind pottery piece with Elmer’s glue. I wrote more and better songs about him than I have about anyone. Past the times that I said things just to hurt him, betrayed him, devalued him, and was too much for him, he stuck through it with me as my best friend. But I never wanted to be his best friend. I pulled him closer and did everything I could to get him to see me in the light that he once had, and sometimes I almost thought he did. I fell in love with him in the fall of 2014. In November of that year, after a long discussion, he told me not to wait for him. I ran to the bathroom and threw up. I had been fighting Vietnam. What was I working so hard for? I wasn’t even sure we would be together. But i was. I wasn’t even sure he’d be everything I saw in him. But i was. And he had changed his mind about me. I couldn’t technically be upset, we were just friends. I knew how I felt, and I expected that that would mean something for both of us. But he had to protect himself, that time. We did what we needed to do to stay safe from each other and because of who we are and how we went about that, and how different the things were that hurt us, we just continued to break each other. I was too intense for a lot of it. But I don’t regret loving hard once I knew I loved him. That’s who I am.
The night he told me not to wait, I wrote a song called “Submissive Soldier”. The lyrics were,
“I see it all now, as clear as the wind, it would’ve never been simple
I should’ve known better than to wait for something that I knew could never be simple
i fought at the front of battle lines, risking my life
I put all my scars and selfish fears to the side
a submissive soldier to never ask why
or what I was fighting for”.
After I broke his heart, I sacrificed my heart to martyrdom for love hoping it’d make up for what I’d done. But taking down my walls and giving everything freely wasn’t the answer. I regret nothing that happened between us. I learned a lot from loving freely and screwing up royally. But i was fighting a losing battle, and, worse, i was fighting it alone. Submissive Soldier is probably still one of my best songs. I wrote it in my best friends college dorm common area at four am because I couldn’t sleep after Ty broke my heart that night. It took me about thirty minutes and there was rain pouring on all the windows of the common room. It couldn’t have been more perfect. No song has ever structured itself so easily. It’s one of my only ones that doesn’t rhyme, but it sounds right. I felt it so strongly, and that song pushed itself out of me like a volcanic eruption. I played it for a producer a few days ago, and then stood up and had to lean on a wall. It still hurts.
Every time that I’ve gone through something with a boy, I’ve been grateful for the music I got out of it. But I want everyone to understand that it’s not easy to feel the things that push me to write. Writing is easy. But being pushed and pulled and defeated into feeling the things that make me write is very painful. What I couldn’t see, was MY destiny that it was all getting me ready for. Each of my songs has a story behind them, and often, a name. I’m going to be publishing pieces every week explaining a different chapter in my life, and how boys/men have been assets to my art and taught me the good and bad things about love and myself. More importantly though, I’m going to be explaining how that got me to this place of being okay with any relationship’s fate because I’m so confident in having myself to fall back on. Stay tuned for Ty Pt. 2: coming next Tuesday.