My Being

My body is a battlefield. Home to the never-ending war between hope and survival; it’s a cemetery containing dashed dreams, lost hopes and broken hearts. My veins are meandering rivers; a crisscrossing map outlining every place I’ve been, illustrating every face that has sunk into the deep recesses of my memory. They carry blood that was formerly red for anger back to the heart. Though the skin around my veins is scarred, they are blue for the ocean, for sorrow, for pain. When it rains, pieces of the sky collect on my skin. No dream is too high. The shedding of my skin is akin to the falling autumn leaves and to the sunset—a fresh start, a new beginning.

My heart is a seashell; my heart beat is the waves that kiss the shore. The delicate red flesh is wrapped in the blood of loving too much, knowing too little, being and becoming. The walls are scattered with names; the atriums are filled to the brim with the little pieces of others collected along the way. Each beat is an old memory floating to the surface of my conscious—music, movies, dead pets, dead relatives, laughter, friends, and family. The memories floating through my veins collect in my chest and in my wrists, which is why I give hugs. New memories can be made, and old memories can transfer, proving that I’m alive.

Sewn into the walls of my lungs are the remnants of everything I’ve experienced, everything I’ve breathed, and everything I’ve lived. Scrawled in the leftover spaces are the notes of every breath I took, no matter how high or low its song. My lungs have been witnesses in moments that took my breath away—a flower growing in a garden of weeds, a sunset after a storm, a smile despite the cruel behavior, and by words that were read, spoken, and written.  The soles of my feet have crushed dreams; but they’ve also matched the stride of broken souls, reminding them that they are not alone as they walk this journey.

My shoulders contain the leftover pieces of what once were wings; although sometimes, my arms collect feathers, and for a moment, I believe that I am almost strong enough to fly once again. My fingers contain the touch of creating. Like windshield wipers, my eyelids have protected my eyes. But, they too have broken. My eyes become oceans as they witness the darkness of life. My knees kiss the floor during bed time prayers, they give way when I need them to stay, but they also stay strong when I want to collapse. The mending and unbending of my spine has more courage stringing through its bones than I have strength. Sometimes, that makes all the difference. My tongue has tasted the most beautiful days and the most rotten nights. It has choked on cruel words while it has spat at my own soul. Sometimes, my lips crack as my self-esteem is drawn out of them with the straw of a hurt soul. There are days when the rumbling in my tummy never goes away; there’s fat on my body to prove it.

My soul contains an angel and a devil fighting for my self-respect and worth. Sometimes my self-esteem can be measured out in teaspoons, mixed in the words I write, and still not fill up the need to believe in myself. But that’s life, and that’s me. And I wouldn’t change for anybody.

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Believe in Heartbeats

Sometimes, when I lay down at night trying to sleep, I hear my heartbeat in my ear. It’s refreshing to hear my own heartbeat, because sometimes feeling it by putting my fingers to my wrist or my chest isn’t enough. Sometimes, hearing the steady percussion of my heartbeat is the best way to convince myself I am alive. I am alive because I’ve scraped my knees on sidewalks, driveways and bedtime prayers. I’ve fallen in like and I thought I fell in love. I’ve made friends; I’ve lost friends. I remember that I comes before e in friend because things come to an end. I’ve listened to every song on my iPod and Pandora on repeat because my soul is made of music. I’ve scraped my chin after launching over handlebars. I’ve had concussions after car accidents and sledding accidents. I’ve been in the ER twice: MRIs, CAT Scans, and Ultrasounds all prove that I’m alive.

I’m alive because I’ve stepped on sidewalk cracks. I’ve dried a rose from my Grandfather’s funeral as a reminder that death and heartache is real. I’ve planted messages to others in my favorite novels with the hope that someone will fall in love with the words as I did. I’ve cried over my favorite words that are now stained with teardrops and broken hearts. I’ve found beauty in lines of poetry because beauty shouldn’t be found in the eyes of others. I’ve caught fireflies in the dark as their light reminds me that there is always hope. I’ve gazed at the stars as I’ve contemplated my place in this world. I’ve danced in the rain and have fallen asleep to its music.

I’m alive because I’ve been afraid as I’ve realized my fears and phobias. There are days when I’m high as a cloud, and there are days when I’m as low as Death Valley. I’ve been at sea level, too, as I tread water. I’ve written and doodled until all my pens were out of ink and all my notebooks were full. I’ve used Chapstick until it was empty. I’ve made music until my fingers cramped up and my wrists were numb. I’ve clapped for myself when no one else would because I am capable of doing great things. I’ve compared the color of my bruises to the color of the sky at sunset. I’ve seen the sun rise as the birds collect their feathers to revive their dignity as they begin to sing their melodies. I’ve inspected baby birds closely as they take flight for the first time because, one day, when I collect enough feathers, I will fly with them.

I’m alive because I dream in vibrant colors that don’t have a place in this world, and I’ve dreamed about things that will never exist. I’ve run until my lungs struggle to breathe, until my legs have forgotten how to work. I’m alive because I believe in the power of words, and because my mind is never at rest. I’m alive because sometimes my heart beats too fast to fall asleep. I’ve worried about tomorrow, and I’ve wanted to change the past. I’ve fallen asleep on road trips, and I’ve been awake long enough to hear complete silence. I’ve cut open my skin with hate until blood trickles out of my veins made of my being, and I’ve stitched it all together with the needles of hope and faith. I’ve whispered to the wind as it carries my secrets and dreams to the next wishful ear.

I’m alive because I’ve been destroyed by fire from secondhand words, and I’ve been rebuilt by left-over, secondhand hope. I’ve written words on my bones because my voice will be around long after I’m gone. I’ve spoken foreign languages until the words became second nature to my brain. I’ve realized that the love of a family is strong enough to withstand the corroding winds of time. There are scars throughout my soul that spin tales of my struggles. These are the same scars that show that I’ve survived.

I’m alive because the steady beat of the bass in my headphones reminds me of my own heartbeat. Somebody once told me you could hear the ocean in shells even if you are hundreds of miles away. The same can be said of the string that connects hearts despite the miles and years that separate them.

Distorted Reality

 

My handwriting is miniscule, like size 6 font. I like to pretend that it makes my words invisible. I like to believe that, somehow, by using microscopic letters, my words will only be mine—impossible to be used against me.

My self-esteem isn’t that high.

I am my own worst enemy and worst critic. Rusty car doors are symbols of my insecurities. I believe in fairy tale love way more than I should, which causes me to fall in love way too easily. I think people should fall in love during the small moments. What’s more revealing than what happens when they think no oneis watching? The way they are lost in thought, turn the page of a book, absent-mindedly scratching an invisible itch, smiling at a remembered moment are the most beautiful moments.

I believe that the eyes are the windows to the soul; but I believe that mine reveal so much more. I believe that smiling is the best way to trick you into being happy. I have been told I have a nice smile.  I have also been told that I need to smile more.

I read too much. I fall in love with fictional characters as I am transported to another world, living vicariously through my favorite characters.

I believe that everybody deserves a shot, and that everybody is capable of doing something great.

I think that when I’m in love, or am nervous, my stomach sacrifices a butterfly to my mouth as I embarrass myself.

I trust too easily. And sometimes the monsters that used to be under my bed manifest themselves in people around me. I believe empty promises, kind words, and pretty faces as they offer a hand. I take it too quickly, without turning their palm over to see if they have claws.

When I look at faucets, my face bends and reflects at seemingly impossible angles. By the time it once again reaches my retina, it is contorted and distorted beyond recognition. This faucet is where my image of myself comes from.

Smooth mirrors reflect back exactly what is.

My self-esteem isn’t that high. I think I look at faucets too often.