• Melissa Miller

I can’t sleep

It happens now and again.

I am startled awake from dreams of things that couldn’t be. My mind trying to understand what went wrong. Haunting me with images from the past, the dreams remind me of who I once was. Who I don’t know any longer.

Many teens go through an identity crisis of sorts. Me? I didn’t. I knew who I was. That is, until that life left me. I had a plan since I was a child with what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to be an actress, give feeling to the world. When the acting bug finally left me, a previous version of Melissa did, too. I am but the shell of memories, now.

I lay in bed thinking of all the people from previous versions of my life. Those I loved, those who were my friends, those who loved me. I think back in hurt. Pain filling my chest as I reminisce on what could’ve been, or what was, before some cosmic event changed the course of our lives. Why do I still think of these things?

It’s hard to find a new version of yourself. Especially when you walk the earth alone. There’s no one waiting for me to call, there’s no one expecting to visit on the weekend. I float through the rut I have created for myself and wonder how I became this way. As I still try to find time to somehow be greatful for the situation I loathe. It hasn’t become easier; if anything life becomes more difficult with each passing moment. I do my best to tread the waves the earth begins to toss at me. I have become a better swimmer.

I completely believe everything in this life happens for a reason. I try to figure those reasons out in tough times, reminding myself something good must be able to come of this. Unfortunately, it’s been more counts of me trying to stay smiling while the universe does its best to see how much more I can take. I can’t say I’m depressed right now; I’m really not. A mixture of tired, nostalgia, dehydration, and repetitiveness, is far more accurate.

I am still looking for work. Trying to move out of Las Vegas with every fiber of my being. Time is moving far faster than I’d appreciate. I blink and weeks go by without me doing much. I far prefer being at work. Work keeps me distracted. Work makes me feel needed. My resume is fantastic for my chosen career path; companies are just hesitant about someone looking to relocate. I understand that. I don’t really appreciate it-but I understand it. Just need to find the right company willing to take a chance on me. I will be the best employee this company could ever ask for. I promise them that.

In all honesty, I promise every person I run into the best version of myself I can give at the time. Some days better than others. Maybe that’s why I lay awake in bed, with memories of those who left. I gave them the best version of myself and they didn’t appreciate me. Maybe it’s just a lack of confidence after years in the entertainment world. Either way, it doesn’t really matter.

I am looking to find a new Melissa. Like a butterfly waiting to spring from a cocoon. My caterpillar days are long over, and the molding process has begun. Taking a life I used to know, redesigning it, and making that pain beautiful.

I just hope I emerge as a butterfly and not a moth.

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