Open Letter

Chester

I could hear
all those things
you ran from
with every song
you released
living your dream

you didn’t need
to play your
albums in
reverse to hear
the taunting
of your demons

I grew up
I cradled your
songs close to
my chest
&
I knew I wasn’t
the only one

that felt numb
that watched the sun set
that wanted something
rather than nothing
to matter

I wish we could’ve found
a new palette of colors
that just weren’t a collection
of shit grey so maybe the world
wouldn’t need rose colored glasses
just so it can make another rotation
just so the fingers of the sun
could tighten it’s grip out of love
rather than anger

I hope you slipped calmly
beneath the waves when
you decided to let go
of the edge you so
desperately clung

I’m sorry that your armor broke
I’m sorry that you were the only
one who could repair it
I’m sorry that your symphony
played it’s final notes in
the middle of battle

you may have already felt
like a ghost in your final
hours but we never lost
sight of the spirit you let
spill from your eyes with
your honest lyrics
&
your highest notes

you felt the weight of
a thousand worlds for
so long that anyone
could understand
why you would
floorboard
it to insanity

you don’t need to apologize
I understand that these plans
we make can be written in blood
washed away with the mud
of uncut clouds
leaving us with more questions
of subjects we thought to be
experts on

I hope you didn’t scream at yourself
I hope you finally felt like you won
I hope you can walk to what you
always wanted when you wake up
on whatever road you travel next

I fucking care that your flickering
light went out amongst a sea
of dimmer specks,
even though
you might feel you didn’t shine
as brightly as you did
so many
used you to guide us
shining brighter
than Polaris did in
a world without the pollution
of smog traced neons

I’m sorry that you lost books
of stories when you lost track
of your scars
&
those consequential sharp
edges are wounds some of us
share as we trudge
this unmapped path

so we all continue forward
under this blanket of scars
&
we still listen to your words
hydrohelioizing your perfect
non-flickering

polarisized star

You will survive this. Every day you get out of bed, even though every bone in your body is begging to stay in bed and let the sheets swallow you up.

He broke your heart, and that isn’t a metaphor, I know you can feel you heart breaking between your ribs. You loved him and you trusted him and he didn’t even give you a real reason why. But I need you to know that nothing that you could have possibly done could give him license for the way he has treated you since leaving you.

You were together for two years, that type of relationship deserves respect even when it is over. You don’t need to defend him anymore, that isn’t your job. You’re allowed to think he is an asshole, that doesn’t mean he was an asshole the whole time; it means he has changed. You have to seperate who he was within your relationship from who he is with his friends now.

People tell you that there are plenty more fish in the sea. And I know that the thought of opening up to another person is overwhelming. Because while there may be plenty of fish in the sea, all you can see are sharks circling. Just because the one you loved turned into a shark, doesn’t mean everyone after him will be out for blood. Trust that in time your wounds will heal.

—  A letter to a heartbroken friend.
Hey. You. Stop calling your art ugly.

This has transcended “artistic pet peeve” and is now making me actually angry. Indignant, fightin’ words kind of angry.

People like your art. More importantly, somebody likes your art. Another human being out there sees your art– maybe in between reminders of ugly politics or drama, maybe in the middle of their soul-sucking job, maybe just first thing in the morning or before they go to bed– and that makes their day a little brighter. Not just because it’s cute, or it’s got nice colors, or it’s a character they like. But because you posted it. And then they see “forgive my garbage art” or “I’m sorry this is so ugly” or “ugh this sucks.” And guess what? That brings them right back down. It says– undoubtedly inadvertently, but all the same– “if you like this, you’re an idiot. This thing you look up to? It’s awful. What’s wrong with you?”

And yes, I know why people do this. It’s a defense mechanism. If I put my art down first, then nobody else will be able to. And I know whatever is causing these thoughts will not be talked away by some text post on Tumblr. I would by all means encourage talking back to those ugly, demeaning thoughts, replacing those habits with constructive ones geared towards humble improvement of craft (now’s as good a time as any to mention that all artists have doubts and struggles with their work, but there’s a difference between being your own harshest critic and being your own meanest bully). But I get that I’m not your therapist, your mom, even your friend, probably. If you want to continue to fall back into beating yourself up, I can’t stop you. But I write this in the hopes that you at least realize how it might affect other people. Because it isn’t a localized wound. It hurts your followers. It takes something they find beautiful or uplifting or resonant or inspirational and trashes it before their eyes. It’s a plague to the whole art community, and it sure as hell spreads like one.

I don’t really pay attention to my follower number, but I checked it before I wrote this up and it’s around 400 or so. First off, thank you. I don’t want to focus on the number, but I do feel honored any time I see a new follower. But also, I see that number and I think, “You know, that’s quite a reach. That’s a lot of people.” But then I forget the people and I think of the somebody. I think, “Odds are this will reach somebody out there. Odds are it’ll piss somebody off, too, but I’ll take that one person it reaches.” I think that’s a good way to view your art, too. Yes, somebody out there might beat you to the punch and call your art ugly. It sucks, it stings, I know that from experience. But it’s not the end of the world, and it doesn’t change a thing about the people who have found beauty of any kind in your art.

If you can’t for the life of you see the value in your own art, value the somebody who does.

I’m not perfect, I know this. But you aren’t either. For that, I love you even more! I’m gonna apologize ahead of time for being annoying and clingy sometimes, hell I’m so stubborn sometimes I’ll probably piss you off. But I promise when I’m wrong, I will always admit it, apologize and learn from it. I know you can’t be happy 24/7, that’d be emotionally exhausting. But I promise I’ll try my hardest to make sure whenever you can be, I’ll help make it happen. I promise I’ll always listen to whatever you say, and I’ll remember the little things like your favorite flower, your pet peeves, the way you take your coffee- hot, cold, black, light and sweet, all of that. I’ll remember the big things, your dreams, your fears, what keeps you up at night when you can’t sleep, all of that too. I promise you will be my one and only, I’m not here for games, when I’m about you I am so about you. Hell I’m probably obsessed w you, taking pictures of you all the time, sending you good morning texts every morning, and showing you off whenever I can. I promise I’ll buy you flowers, not too often that way they don’t have as much meaning, and not “not too often” where you feel I don’t care. I won’t get them when we fight because I’d never want you to associate them with something bad. I will buy you flowers because you love flowers, and I love you. Most importantly, I promise to be here. Through thick and thin, days will get rough but I would rather fight with you than love with another. If you need someone at 3am when you can’t sleep and you’re feeling lost and you hate your life, I will be there for you. I promise you’ll never be “too much” to me. I will be there for you on days where you can’t bring yourself to get out of bed if you’re too depressed to move or do anything. And I will be there at 2pm when the sun is shining and you are out smelling the fresh air and loving your life. I won’t love you any less on your bad days, but I promise I’ll love you more on those days because you’ll need it most.
—  letter to my future girlfriend
An Open Letter to Leigh Bardugo

Hello, Leigh ( @lbardugo )! It’s your friendly-neighborhood Baillie! 

I wanted to address the presents I’ve been giving (maybe shoving?) your way. While it’s been fun for me to create things that you (and whatever authors I end up latching on to) might enjoy–someone I volunteered with yesterday at the festival warned me to stop because you were probably uncomfortable with the gifts. 

And it broke my heart.

A little background on why I started giving you gifts: 

The last time I tried to give a friend a present, a personalized and signed copy of Vampire Academy, she accepted with a “Nice! I’ll add it to my collection!” And while I know she meant no harm–instead, meaning to make a joke about how many copies of tVA she had–it kind of made me recoil. It was a present that took hours of action (and standing in line) and a bit of planning to make sure we could get her this present. And my gesture was brushed aside.

I’ve enjoyed giving presents to friends for years and since then I stopped. Which is heartbreaking since I also feel inclined to stop keeping in contact with my friends because, in my mind, this brushoff is some sort of rejection. Even now making friends at my university is kept at a no-present policy so I don’t scare anybody off.

So I turned to authors because I figured they deserve presents and goodies after writing so much and I know I appreciate them to the moon and back. And I know some authors have to deal with mean people a lot and sometimes just need something nice.

I’ll be the first one to admit that my obsession with you increased tenfold when I ended up with SoC at SDCC (and I actually cried walking away from the Fierce Reads booth). Actually–I walk away from almost every interaction with you about to cry because I’m always in such complete and utter awe of your presence. The more I hear you talk at signings and at panels and even just on twitter– it’s more and more clear that you’re a fantastic and amazing person. 

And by no means do I want to make you uncomfortable with my presents.

But please, please, please let me know if it makes you uncomfortable or you truly want me to stop. I just had never stopped to even consider your side of things. 

It makes me feel incredibly selfish.

My Best Regards, 

Baillie 

P.S. 

To Better Explain your gift basket from YallWest: 

Blue Eyeshadow + Red/Gold Lipstick= Wonder Woman inspired Makeup

Fan: I thought I would get to you sooner and that it might help with the heat

Eyelashes: They Reminded me of Six of Crows

Justice League Stickers: I gave the same ones to Marie Lu. Just DC related.

Other Stickers: They were cute? 

Glow Sticks: Some events just need glowsticks

Why losing a best friend can hurt the same or ever worse than any romantic relationship

Sometimes the bond between the two of you is stronger than words can describe
She was my ride or die
We were always together and when we weren’t it didn’t feel right

Friendships usually last longer than most romantic relationships and you aren’t told that friendships end as well
I never saw us parting because we were two peas in a pod
We were basically sisters and family doesn’t quit on eachother
But that’s the thing
We didn’t
We just faded
We grew in two separate directions that sometimes have cross streets
But that’s not enough
I want to grow on our own but have every cross street possible
I don’t want our roads to be parallel
I want them to come back together at some point
I miss you so much and I hope you miss me too

A lot of times you can get over a breakup because the relationship wasn’t that long or you can convince yourself that they were a horrible person deep down
But we all know our former best friend was the best freaking person to walk the planet
That’s why we loved them so much

So thank you, my former best friend, for showing me what it means to be a great person. For showing me how to love other people as much as I love my family. If you ever see this please know you can always call me. Because family is forever.

—  An open letter to my former(ex) best friend

Dear Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch,

Your fans stand with you.

Whether the Current War comes out this Thanksgiving or in 2018, I can say with complete certainty that we are incredibly proud to be your fans. You spoke up against Weinstein when people with less on the line have remained silent.

Your integrity, your ability to be articulate when facing the incomprehensible, is astonishing.

So if by some miracle you see this, know that we are 100% behind you.

And if you are concerned about the negative affects of the movie’s release being delayed on the movie or on your career, let me put your mind at ease.

Your talent speaks for itself. But if you really are worried, I can launch a campaign (at your request) to start conversations regarding your statement and the movie, and the monstrous actions and allegations that are surfacing.

Mr. C, your sense of responsibility and willingness to use your platform to address real issues will carry you forward, always.

With love and respect,

Me

an open letter to you,

i didn’t know this would happen. like i really genuinely did not expect this. us. this was one of them wild fantasies my mind would make up late at night when i was a little to tired to be up but a little too awake to sleep. but it happened, oh dear lord, it’s happening. i don’t know how to express this - it’s surreal like everything leads up to this and it’s beautiful. us. you. you are beautiful, oh my you’re a work of art. i honestly don’t know how i got so lucky. you kissed me today. right on the cheek but it kind of missed and hit my jaw and we both laughed and then i stared into your eyes for a little longer than i realised i was and you kissed me again. this is surreal. you. you’re surreal - all my dreams put into a living human and given to me. i love you.

—  sunshxnequote-s
(sorry for inactiveness lately my loves x)
I know you’ve been hurt too much by people around you, your last relationships were disasters. It sincerely makes me upset that anyone would want to hurt you in any way. You’re this radiant warmth beautifully contagious person who I want nothing more than to see be happy and succeed in life, knowing your worth. You are beautiful inside and out and I’m sorry they have made you feel anything less. I know you’ve been hurt but I hope I can show you that I don’t want to be and I will try my hardest not to be someone who will ever cause you pain. I’m not perfect, I will say the wrong thing or annoy you, but that’s as far as it will go. I want nothing more than to see you smile and make you laugh everyday, you deserve that. I want to support you, especially on the rough nights when everything hurts and all you want to do is cry. If you need kind words and someone to hold you when you cry, I can be that. If you want nothing but to have me there to sit in silence, I will be there. I can be your best friend, and your rock. Whatever you need, I will try my best to be. You deserve good things and I want to be one of them.
—  You never have to apologize for being who you are anymore, that’s who I fell for

An Open Letter to the boy I first loved

I still have visions of you and I waking up together, sometimes I have dreams so clear that when I wake up I have to still remind myself that it wasn’t real..
I still have flashes of you in the front seat of my car with your hands intertwined in mine.
Its been a year since we broke up, since you decided what you felt for me wasn’t enough to still be with me. Its been a year and everything still feels the same. I still feel the same.
I look at you and all I can feel is this overwhelming rush of love. So much love. So much damn love that I don’t understand how it still wasn’t enough.
People say that first love never goes away, that you just learn to live with it. I don’t think I’ll ever learn to live with the feeling of knowing you are never going to be here the same way you were a year ago.
I don’t know how to live with the fact that we loved each other once and that you were here once but now its just me doing all the loving and you are no longer here to receive it.
I  guess what I really want to say is I wish I told you how deeply I felt everything for you when I had the chance to, but I really don’t think that would of made a difference.
I think I could of been everything and you still wouldn’t of changed your mind because the truth is you ended things before you even gave them a chance to start and its hard to live with that.
Its hard to accept the fact that I never even really had you.
that you were never actually mine.. that we were never even really together.
I don’t think you ever truly loved me, and thats hard, its hard to admit that sometimes people can make you fall in love but you cannot do the same to them, sometimes what you feel for them will never be enough to make them feel it back. And thats what it was with us and thats hard to realize. Its hard to relive those memories knowing what I know now because instead of seeing happiness and laughs and love all I see now is me looking at you as if you created the entire universe, and you, not even glancing at me, you, always looking for something more, something better.

I started writing this letter for closure, but I think I knew that I could never get closure, I wrote it to tell you that I still love you, that I will always love you. I wrote it in hopes to get some type of emotion back from you but I think we both know thats unrealistic.
I know its over. I knew it was over from the minute we kissed. I knew how this would end all along but I just wanted to be wrong. I could deny it all  i want, and you could deny it all you want but the feeling was there from the beginning, the feeling that this was going to be one sided, and maybe you even tried to convince yourself differently for a bit, and maybe I even fell for it for a bit but our ending was never a shock. it was anticipated, just like our beginning.

—  I hope you think of me on nights you can’t sleep
An open letter to those who unwaveringly hate Victoria Chase:

If you think that Victoria is evil or (as I’ve often seen) deserved to be sacrificed or hurt in LiS, you obviously…

1.) don’t understand what a three-dimensional character (or possibly even person) is or are unwilling to reconcile flaws with potential causes for said flaws.

2.) have absolutely zero idea what growing up in an emotionally neglectful/abusive household under unreasonable expectations can do to a child’s sense of self-worth, emotional development, and mental health.

3.) don’t understand the spectrum of behavioral responses that one can have to a low sense of self-worth and/or perfectionism.

4.) didn’t find or put together the clues that are available in LiS about Victoria’s family history.

5.) didn’t warn Victoria about Nathan or watch a playthrough where someone did, thereby missing all of her dialogue in the Dark Room.

6.) don’t see the vulnerability and desperation for validation/praise that her family never gave her in her dialogue during BtS.

7.) forget that she was 18 in LiS and 16 in BtS, thereby probably not understanding the extent of what her behavior could cause prior to Kate, after which (especially when talking to Max in the Dark Room) she shows genuine sorrow and remorse.

If you haven’t considered any of these or have and decided that it didn’t matter because Victoria Chase Is A Bitch™, I don’t want to see shit from you about Victoria “deserving” to die until you do. (Frankly, that’s a fucked up judgement to make anyway.)

To Andrea:

Yes, you did teach your daughter to be polite, maybe overly so. And a lot of people have taken advantage of that. However, you also taught your daughter to have courage and to do what’s right, even if it’s difficult. Please don’t ever question how you raised your daughter. She is our role model. And she’s amazing enough to be our role model because she has YOU as an amazing role model. Your daughter is someone that you can always be proud of. Thank you so much for speaking up and standing by your daughter during this difficult time.