7-1-3; it’s me

It’ll only hurt for a minute, they said. Only a minute and then you’ll be used to it.

It’s been ten years, and I’m still not used to how it feels. I’ve been numb for so long, letting my mind leave my body every time I started to

F e e l anything

My mind’s way of protecting itself from the pain

D I S T A N C I N G itself from the broken/ness.

In order to work through the trauma, you’ll have to feel it. Feel it all. Let it be.

Exist in the moment

(But first I have to survive the moment)

Ice cube

Distracting

Go for a run

How do you deal with the feelings you’ve spent years running from?

You can’t do this alone.

I know I’m opening a door but here’s my number

Text when the feelings drown out hope

Text when the voices in your head cause you to forget all you’ve learned

Text when you forget how to breathe. How to survive

Internal debate: a noun where you decide if you’re worth the text. Bother him at home?

Maybe his job;

Is his job.

Got a phone call at midnight on July 3rd. 4th of July party at church. A young woman on the brink. Talked her off the ledge.

Sometimes that’s me

Walking the ledge

Teetering the line

Dealing with pain myself

Fighting the lion smelling like antelope.

You have to feel to deal to heal.

You deserve to be here, and I’m not gonna let you tread water by yourself. I’ll be your life preserver.

Ice cube

Distract yourself

Opposite action.

For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.

For every emotion, there’s an equal and opposite emotion.

Death. Life.

Sorrow. Joy.

Panic. Peace.

I’m leaving these skill cards here because this is my safe place in this building.

Safe place

Safety

Working through tough things- t r a u m a t i c things hea/rt/break/ing things means safety net

Emotionally

Skillfully

I need to feel things in order to move past this. In order to put my past in my rearview mirror.

Sadness. Anger. Depression. Panic. Suicidal. Joy.

On a scale from 0-5, how high is the panic, the emptiness, the loneliness?

5

5 means suicidal

5 means crisis

5 means alone in a room full of people.

I have to remove the skill cards because you don’t want them there.

They look nice on my books.

If this place stops feeling like a safe place, we’ll start banging heads together.

Together.family.strength.healing.

Feelings intensely pounding like waves.

Waves

Come; g o

E b b; flow

Life. Composed of moments.

Learning to survive each one.

It’ll only hurt for a minute, they said.

A minute. A moment. It eventually passes.

I believe them now.

It’ll only hurt for a moment.

It only hurts for a moment.

Cutting yourself open when you want to be dead but will settle for feeling instead

hurts for only a moment.

Letting the feelings in when you’re trading your ghostly figure for a skeleton?

Hurts for a moment. Kills for a moment.

But in the moment between life and death,

Reach for the phone.

7-1-3, it’s me.

I know you’re shocked. I am too. But you see

Here I am

And I’m ready

Ready to take the plunge

D

I

V

E

In and feel

To heal

Remember the ice cube.

They look nice on his books.

One mindfully be present

I’m glad you reached out.

Inhale. Exhale.

I am too

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Afraid in Love

When I was in first grade, I was told that if a guy was mean to me, he liked me. I would go tell the teacher that Billy stole the ball I was playing with, and he wouldn’t give it back.

“Kaleigh,” I was told, “He likes you.”

“Sam pulled my hair.”

“He likes you.”

7 years later, I’m lying on a school bathroom floor, and I’m wondering if these guys are showing me they love me. And now I’m walking on egg shells around every guy I meet, not wanting to be loved again, because if this is how a guy tells a girl he loves her, I’d much rather be single forever.

I was taught in school how to protect myself from rape. Don’t walk alone. Don’t walk alone at night. Don’t go out at night. Keep your body hidden. Don’t give them a reason.

If the reason was turning him down when he asked me out, because he was a jerk, then yes, I gave him a reason.  Maybe I gave him a reason because I was too quiet all the time, and too loud at the wrong times. And apparently, his friends decided I was the worst and decided to punish me too. And now I’m stuck keeping it a secret because I don’t want the blaming questions.

“Why were you alone?”

“What were you wearing?”

It’s been 8 years, and I’m still getting told by some people to praise God I don’t remember it all. Let me tell you, I remember it enough to know I don’t want to remember it all.

It’s been 8 years, and sometimes unexpected contact is still the worse, and sometimes it burns as if I’m holding the sun in my hands.

It’s been 8 years, and sometimes I still have to defend myself against judging glances. Because, apparently, as someone who has been blessed with two x chromosomes, instead of one, the only job I have in life is to not let myself get raped.

Hold up, let me tell you something.

My job as a female is to do whatever the heck I want to do. I am not part of the “weaker sex.” And I may not be able to bench press as much as you men, but I know how to be strong. I may have wider hips, but I have a fighter’s stance.

And I don’t want to hear these excuses about men having a voracious appetite for sex. The word appetite should only be used when talking about food. I am not food.

Sometimes my thoughts threaten to eat me alive.

But, I will not be silenced. I am a statistic, but that doesn’t define me.

Because one day in my first week of college, somebody said, “If someone hates himself so much they want to die, they’re better off dead.” And then,  “If someone gets raped, they probably deserved it.” So I told my story, and then he had the audacity to defend the other guys’ actions.

I’m pretty sure the “Bros Before Hoes,” part of the Bro Code does not apply in this situation. Because he wasn’t justified, and I didn’t provoke. I was in the wrong place in the wrong time surrounded by the wrong people. And their touch is woven into the deepest part of my skin, and 8 years later, I still get shivers down my spine. I was told no one would love me, and I believed them, until I realized I have the most amazing friends.

I was told not to get raped. They were not told how not to rape.

Guys tell one another, “You throw like a girl!” Since when is being a girl an insult? Some of the strongest people I know are women. Being a girl is not an insult.

I am not an insult. You are not an insult. I will tell my daughter she is not an insult.

I may be a girl, but I know how to fight. And so will my daughters. My sons will learn the meaning of “no.”

“No” is not “maybe.” “No” is not “convince me.”

And I will teach them both the two best things I’ve ever learned: How to love myself, despite everything. And how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again.

Because repetition forms habits.

I’ve found my voice again. So yes, I may be ‘beautiful’ or whatever, but I am so much more.

I am woman.

I am a fighter.

I am a survivor.

And I will teach my children to be the same.

I will teach my Children what love is, and what it’s not. Because you shouldn’t be afraid of love.

I’m not afraid anymore.

People Watching

I sit at my table in the library, the same spot everyday (give or take). I think I have OCD. No, wait. I know I have at least a mild case of OCD.

I tried studying in a study room, once. The library’s always so loud, which is ironic because libraries scream quiet, and sometimes silence is the loudest scream of all.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. The room in which I studied once. Just once. Because, apparently, my mind needs distractions in order to be productive, which seems contrary to function. I’ve never been normal; it’s boring, anway.

So I sit at my table in the library, and I’m not so maladjusted that I can’t be flexible. Just as long as it’s a table, and I can sit facing the door. I people watch to think. Sometimes too much I think. But people are fascinating creatures, and sometimes I wonder if people notice the same things I do.

For instance,

1. Everyone has their own unique walk.

2. The way the computers get filled up is an interesting study on human behavior. No one likes making eye contact with someone they don’t know, which is why of the 4 computers in the campus library that you can stand at to use, people use the two where their backs are to the door first. And at the computers where you sit down, four to a table, people never sit directly next to or across from someone. They always sit diagonal. Unless the other user is a friend, in which case, all rules go out the window.

3. You can tell a lot about a person from their eyes. Eyes are the windows to the soul, which is why nobody sits directly across from someone they don’t know. Nobody wants to admit the truth: we’re all hurting.

4. The way the same person acts around different people is fascinating. And terrifying. Which is real? Can the person be trusted?

5. Every person has their own unique walk.

My friend has a purposeful gait, not like a horse’s. She walks deliberately: long strides, with confidence, as if she owns the place. Head up. Shoulders tall.

I do not. My posture is meager at best, as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders, and sometimes I don’t know if I can do it all.

But then I see the people working around me: I realize we’re all the same.

There’s the girl over there who is clearly hungry trying to convince herself she is not.

There’s the guy over there trying to put on a macho face when he’s clearly falling apart inside.

I wonder if she knows she’s beautiful, if she’s heard it today?

I wonder if he knows he’ll be ok, if he believes that today?

The hardest thing about being a poet is that I see all these things about people. And I haven’t figured out how to say, “Hey. I don’t know if you know this, but there’s something about the way your eyes light up and meet your dimples when you solve a tough problem that reminds me there’s hope” without sounding like a creeper.

So, I people watch, and I wonder what people would say about me if it were socially acceptable to say such things.

So, I people watch.

Because sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, and in order to distract myself from this feeling in my chest of impending doom, I make up stories about the people around me.

I’m not crazy. I have problems to solve and things to figure out, and I find the best of me in other people, and also the worst. And sometimes I need a little perspective.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times, which is the best way to sum up life.

I’m really bad with small talk. The “How are you?”s and the “How about the weather?”s make me really uncomfortable. Is this a rhetorical question?

I’m better with intellectually stimulating conversations about what you think death is like, what is the meaning of all this? I think our answers to questions like these say more about us then “I’m good” ever could.

The mind is a funny place.

I think about death a lot and life. I’ve faced my own mortality by my own hand. The future terrifies me. I don’t even know what I’m doing this summer, let alone forever.

I need to take it one day at a time right now. That’s all I can handle. The world’s a big place, and I’m a small part of it.

And so I people watch. Because people fascinate me, but also terrify me, which is one of life’s great ironies.

Just like the Hulk’s secret is that he’s angry all the time, I’m afraid all the time. That’s how I survive.

I want to do big things, write a book, change the world, but I feel insignificant. The world’s a dangerous place: there’s war, violence, murder, hate, and sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.

But there’s always hope. Sunrises, sunsets, summer and winter. Life goes on.

And so will I.

And so I people watch, because everybody has a story. Stories fascinate me, and they should fascinate you, too.

Empathy goes a long way.

I write to figure things out, and I don’t know what this poem is trying to say, but I think it has to do with the confusion that’s inside me, because how do you know if you’re in love, because I think he’s kind of great.

He makes me want to eat pancakes with him, but I don’t even like pancakes. I don’t even know who ‘him’ is.

This is what goes on in my mind 24/7, and I promise I’m not crazy. I’ve just been hurt a lot, and I’m trying to heal and deal.

Because life is confusion and chaos and order and beauty and a paradox wrapped in a conundrum shrouded in mystery.

And I love every minute of it.

I am Sisyphus

Here’s the thing: I’m having a hard time.

Yes, I’ve beaten things: I’ve beaten anorexia. I said goodbye to self-harm. I survived a suicide attempt. I’ve been told that I’ve impacted so many people’s lives, but this winter’s been long and hard. It’s been cold and snowy since before Thanksgiving, and I should be used to this crazy western NY weather by now, but I’m not.

I’ve been living with Depression for 7 years, and I should be used to it by now, but I’m not. And I don’t know how to make this feeling go away: I feel like I’m drowning. I’m being suffocated by the weight of the world’s worries, and like Sisyphus, I’ve been rolling this stone up this hill for what feels like an eternity; and everytime I get to the top, I fall down again.

My knees are permanently scarred.

Somedays I’m ok, but somedays I don’t think I’ll ever be ok again. I’ve learned that these feelings come in waves. And right now, the sun has thawed the ice-caps, the ocean levels are rising, my levees have broken, and I’m drowning in all these feelings I’m feeling all at once.

People tell me, “Carpe Diem.” But sometimes the onlything I can carpe is getting out of bed, and even that sometimes stabs me in the back, like Brutus to Caesar.

Et tu, Brute?

Trebuchet.

I feel like a trebuchet is lobbing 25 tons of burning coals at my skin, and I’m catching on fire. Because I was taught ‘stop, drop, and roll’ over and over again, I thought catching on fire would be more of a problem. Maybe the concept applies to metaphorical fires, too.

Stop everything you’re doing.

Drop into bed.

Roll away into your happy place.

My happy place is in a far off land that begins, “Once upon a time.” I get lost in words, and every so often, I find myself wandering among the sign posts that point from the beginning to the end, and I’m not sure which way is up.

I believe in the magic of words, and I believe the best time to read poetry is 1:30 in the morning, when the world is silent, and I’m feeling everything at once.

My soul has no clock, which is why I’m writing a poem, instead of doing homework, because it’s 1:30 in the morning there, and I’m feeling everything at once.

I’ve uttered the phrase ‘help me, Jesus,’ so many times, I’m sure the phrase is tattoed on my lips 7×70 times, which is how many times I’m supposed to forgive. And I’ve forgiven more than can be expected, but this pain in my chest won’t go away.

Sometimes this pain in my chest is the only way I know I’m still alive.

A professor tokd me yesterday, “I know you’re having a hard time, but I appreciate your smile. I appreciate the way you put 100% into everything, even on days when your 100% is less than half of normal. I appreciate the way you get out of bed everyday.”

I get out of bed everyday; I show up to life, but sometimes life fails to show up for me. And sometimes the only way I know how to survive is to grab the bull by the horns, and throw myself onto its back, which makes no sense. But, I’d rather be the bull than be the flag the bull’s charging towards.

Sometimes I get tired of throwing myself out of the way of the charging bull, of the oncoming flood. Sometimes I just have to ride the waves for a while.

This is a ride I’m willing to waive, because it doesn’t have a claim on me anymore.

I’ve been living with Depression for 7 years.

Somedays it’s hard to be normal. Somedays the pain in my chest makes it hard to breathe.

Sometimes this pain in my chest is the only way I know I’m still alive.

I’ve Missed the Son.

As I’m writing this, the sun is streaming through my window. And after a long week of late nights writing papers, there’s nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon than what I’m doing now: sitting in bed, reading poetry, and writing the same.

It’s been a long, brutally cold winter here in Upstate New York, and I’ve missed the sun  and the warmth. But, I’ve mostly missed the sun. The bitter cold and the walk across campus with the blowing snow would almost be bearable if the sun shone down.

Hold on. I think I need to start this poem again.

I saw the sun today. It looked like a cross. I was reminded of the Son and where I wouldn’t be right now if it wasn’t for him. The sun illuminates the earth, and the Son (capital S-O-N) illuminates peoples’ lives. And it is good.

It’s winter right now, but days like today remind me spring is on its way. Spring reminds me of fresh life and beauty. Summer reminds me of all the dreams I have. Fall reminds me that everything beautiful has an end. But ends bring new beginnings. Winter reminds me I’m still alive even on my worst days. Because some days it’s so cold, my lungs feel like they’re on fire, but in those moments, I remember I’m still breathing.

Speaking of breathing, I have asthma, and sometimes my lungs forget how to work, especially when I laugh. After 19 years of laughing, you’d think I wouldn’t have to practice. But I do, I practice everyday. Because life is ridiculous, and sometimes I have good comebacks and snarky responses, but often they arrive 5 minutes too late. but if you ask me for a pun, I’ll be so sharp, I’ll be banned from airplanes, which is a shame. 37,000 feet in the air is beautiful.

It’s my last winter as a teenager, and I’m trying to decide if that matters or not. I work as a Receptionist on Monday mornings, but I’m not very good at small talk. I do the “how do you do’s?” and I do care whether the weather is to your liking or not, but I feel much like the spelling of awkward, which is in fact, awkward.

I’m bad at making small talk, but I’m not bad at conversation. I could talk about the complexities of life, the importance of faith, what happens after death, or any other topic that’s as deep as the ocean, for hours on end. Those are the conversations I live for, that get my blood pumping, that remind me how much passion there can be.

Soon I’ll no longer be 19. Soon I’ll be 20. I saw a poster once about “20 things you should do before you’re 20.” I haven’t done many of them. I’ve made my own list.

I miss having a child’s sense of innocence. I asked a child coming into daycare once, “What’s your favorite color?” He responded confidently, “10.” And I’ve wondered to myself since then why my favorite color can’t be 10.

Society can tell me 10’s not a color. But I can see something in 10 different ways. And besides, if you’re a graphic designer, you know colors can have a blue value of 10, red value of 8, and green value of 4. So, the kid was right in saying 10 is his favorite color.

The best metaphor that ever exited my mouth was, “I’ve been down that road, and it ended in a cul-de-sac of regret.” The best phrase I’ve ever heard was, “Blood is thicker than water, but maple syrup is thicker than blood.” Because I don’t like pancakes that much, but one day, I’ll meet a guy who will make me want to eat pancakes with him.

If you can string words together to make a phrase that makes me stop dead in my tracks, I applaud you. Because everyday I tell people, “that’s the best phrase I’ve ever heard.” And every time it’s true. Because I speak in book quotes and song lyrics and metaphors, because language is beautiful.

I’ve been told that my writing is beautiful, but I don’t understand how my pain can be beautiful. There’s nothing beautiful about the way I feel, which is why I’m always confused.

Do you want to know what is beautiful? The sun.

I’ve missed the sun.

It’s starting to set now, which means it’s taken me two hours to think of the words to this poem. But it’s going to take you a lot less time to forget it. I guess that means Marx was wrong. He said that the value of something is equal to the amount of time a person spent working on it.

It took me two hours to put this poem on paper, but I’ve spent 19 years writing it.

Because life is a poem, composed of metaphors, and I’ve spent 19 years interpreting its meaning, analyzing the symbols of my scars and my pain, and contemplating what on earth the poet is trying to tell me.

It’s been a long winter. But days like this, where the sun is shining and it feels like spring, I am reminded that life is beautiful.

 

Time Line

Word association time: Time line. time passing. Growing. Healing. Rebirth.

May 19, 2013. 5 years later:

I remember you like it was yesterday. I remember the time and the place because for a few moments, the clock stopped, and everything was chaos, upside, backwards. They say wrong place, wrong time. But what they mean is: be watchful of your surroundings, don’t go alone. As if that makes a difference.

Because I had every right to be there. You didn’t. If my body were the most secure apartment building on the Upper East Side, you were the best con man who lied his way into getting the security key and set up temporary residence within my walls.

But for being temporary, you left a permanent mark. You stained the walls yellow with the smoke of lies you exhaled as you destroyed my once-white walls. Because, white is the color of purity, and you made me impure? I guess. And you rewired my brain into thinking yellow walls are permanent, because no one would sell white paint to someone like me.

Unfortunately for you, my body is not an apartment building on the Upper East Side. It is a temple. And I don’t need to repaint my walls white, because I know someone whose red blood painted me gold. And I know yellow + red does not equal gold, but this guy I know defies the laws of physics, because He died and rose again (not like a zombie rises, but for real, for real, He rose).

 

June 16, 2013 3 years later:

Time heals all wounds, yes. But, time fades all scars. Remember those lies you told me? Well, apparently, repeating lies is self-destructive. Lies turn into self-hate turns into release through a razor, which does more self-harm than good.

Did you know the constellations can be mapped out on your skin? I’ve tried. I think I got to Andromeda before I realized I was Andromedone (I’m sorry. I had to. I use humor to mask some of the pain).

My body is a Temple, but I tried to destroy it, because I thought you destroyed me.

I made myself bleed, because I wanted to be my own Savior.

 

Today:

Some nights I lie in bed, and I feel nothing. Some nights I lie in bed, and I feel everything. And I don’t know which is worse.

I used to get ready for bed with the lights off, because I was only beautiful in the dark. Now, I do everything with the lights on (except for sleeping). Because a rose needs light to grow.

I told you, one day I’ll be a rose. You laughed. But you were a thorn in my side. Rose have thorns.

My Gardner wore a crown of thorns on his head so I could grow and blossom.

Guess who’s laughing now? I am.

I’ve learned out of the ashes comes beauty. And while you said I was ugly and burned my soul to the grown, God said I was beautiful and rebuilt me whole.

Because with the passing of time, I’ve healed. Chaos has become order. And no matter how many times I test gravity, I will always find my wings and fly.

Fall in Love

When you fall in love, don’t fall in love with just a person; because sometimes hearts get broken.

Instead, fall in love with life around you.

Fall in love with the way hope creeps up on you when you least expect it but need it the most.

Fall in love with the way the seasons change and how the world keeps going on.

Fall in love with the autumn causes trees to shed their leaves, sending leaves and petals fluttering in its breath.

Fall in love with the way winter turns everything around you to ice; how it holds misplaced leaves captive in their frozen, glass tomb.

Fall in love with the breath of spring as it melts the world around you, ushering in new colors in its wake.

Fall in love with the way summer sings its song to the tune of crickets and laughter, crackling fires and the boom of thunder.

Fall in love with music that makes you believe in magic.

Listen to it over and over again as it weaves its way into your soul, becoming a part of you with every note.

Fall in love with old couples who have been together forever. Their wrinkles a road map of their journey together.

Fall in love with the way the moon and the stars turn the dark sky into a beautiful masterpiece.

Even the darkest things are capable of being beautiful.

Fall in love with the lone candle sitting patiently in the window of your far away home, like a beacon it will guide you back always.

Fall in love with the way your bruised kneecaps cushion your fall, with the space between your rib cage that will be full one day, with the way your pulse echoes at the hollow of your wrist—reminding you that you are alive.

Fall in love with the way that your heart quickens its stride at the sight of a boy whose song harmonizes with yours, of a little girl who refuses to give up on dreams that are bigger than she is, of a person who has been knocked down over and over again, but somehow always finds the strength to stand.

Fall in love with the way oceans talk to you through seashells, with the way the sky and the land don’t meet, there is always a horizon.

Fall in love with the way light streams in through your window, because today is a new beginning.

Fall in love with the way baby birds learn to fly; shaking off bad dreams like downy feathers.

Fall in love with gravity as it holds us together, but fall in love with the idea of flying.

No dream is too high.

Fall in love with the way broken hallelujahs sing out from all around you, marvel at how they are transformed into beautiful melodies.

Fall in love with hellos and goodbyes, with the way eyes can ask so much.

Fall in love with the way the train track never ends. It’s on a journey to find itself and somehow manages to always miss itself.

Fall in love with the way a tombstone can say so much with so few words.

Fall in love with a book; make it your favorite, read its story over and over again.

That new book smell of paper and ink will never go away, but will always be there, dancing at the end of your fingertips.

You can tell a lot from fingertips and hands if you pay careful attention.

Fall in love with the rain and the tears. Fall in love with you, because you are beautiful.

Fall in love with stories and write your own on your journeys.

Fall in love with things that don’t make sense, dream in colors that don’t exist, create a world that will one day be.

Fall in love with your shadow, with your reflection; because it will always find you again.

 Fall in love with the wispy clouds on a clear summer day.

Fall in love with something new every day.

Fall in love with the eye his eyes light up when he smiles.

Fall in love with the way she captures the beauty of life with words.

Fall in love with the way her eyes fill with wonder.

Fall in love with the way she is clumsy but graceful at the same time.

Fall in love with everything.

Transform “I love you” into “I love your everything.”

Beautiful, love

I want to write something beautiful; something that will leave you absolutely mesmerized. Something that will bring tears to your eyes as your throat begins to choke up, which causes your breath to leave your lungs as quickly as it came; I want to write something that will leave you absolutely speechless, render you incapable of forming words, leaving you totally dumbfounded.

But this isn’t it.

This is a misinterpreted love letter that is saturated with the tears of a love once lost, a love not yet known; it is dripping with the leftover drops of despair and pain, a hope once lost, a prayer now found—hanging out to dry on the clothesline of my heart, blowing gently in the wind of the whispers of my soul.

Beautiful, love.

This is a love letter being written one letter at a time as the pieces of my soul come together, allowing me to find myself one breath, one step, one heartbeat at a time; because with each heartbeat the lost pieces of my soul, that were given in little bits to everyone I ever met, find their way back to me.

Beautiful, love.

Thisis a love letter being etched into the earth with every step I take on this journey called life, serving as a reminder of where I’ve been and where I intend to go; it’s been washed down the sewers with the rain, reminding me that every day is a new beginning.

Beautiful, love.

This is a love letter that is not yet written, but being created with every passing glance, every longing stare; because we have not met, yet. It will be created slowly, being sewn together delicately as our souls become one; this moment will be magical, just as falling in love is magical. Fairy tales and pixie dust will not compare. When this moment happens, I will be ready; but for now, I wait.

Beautiful, love.

This is a love letter that will withstand the test of time; because as an extension of my soul, it is written on my bones, which will one day become the earth waiting to be found by a future wandering soul. This is a love letter written to no one in particular—not to you, and not to me—to the world does it belong.

Beautiful, love.

This is a love letter that is being written and rewritten in the sand as the waves change the landscape of the land; but, I don’t worry about the tide. I wait for it to come; because rewriting means changing, and changing means growing. And that’s what I want to do: I want to change and grow and learn with the seasons.

I am scared of being; that is why I am becoming.

 

Dear 5 Year Old Me*

Don’t let anybody tell you to color inside the lines, because nothing’s perfect–no matter how hard something may try to be.

Keep eating the paste that everybody tells you not to eat in Kindergarten. For one day you’ll taste the words of cruelty and hate that people are ready to dish out on a hot platter. They are ready to serve you the leftovers that somebody fed them.

Rock that Superhero cape, because one day, you’ll realize that you can’t save everybody on your own. There’s just too much hurt in this big world for one person to heal.

When you fall down and scrape you knee, put a band-aid on it. Some day, a band-aid won’t be big enough to cover the pain.

When someone makes you cry, run and tell Daddy; because when you’re 5, he can fix everything. Someday, he won’t be able to fix everything, though he’ll certainly try.

Keep thinking that boys have cooties, because broken hearts are hard to heal.

Keep making up rules when playing games. One day, you’ll realize you don’t always get your way, and sometimes the odds are NOT in your favor.

Don’t be scared of the monster under your bed; for one day you’ll realize that the monster is inside you, trying to tear you down.

Don’t be afraid to climb that tree, dive off that board, try something new. You’ll look back someday and regret the chances you never took.

Cherish the moments you have, because life goes by way too fast to sit back and watch it fly by.

Lessons are always learned.

Being “cool” does not exist. It’s just something people make up to make you feel inferior.

There is no such thing as eating too much candy–unless you get a stomachache.

If duct tape, superglue, or WD-40 can’t fix it, it’s useless.

You’re never too old to have a Teddy Bear, especially when you need a friend who cares.

The storm must come before the rainbow.

Everything you need to know to live life fully, you learn in Kindergarten.

You are more than what people tell you that you are. Trust me, I know.

Sincerely,

A 17 year old you.

P.S. You think you want to grow up now, but you don’t. When you grow up, there’s too much work and not enough time to play.

*Originally this was a Spoken Word Poem I wrote entitled, “Letter To My 5 Year Old Self.”
 
This song has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but it is my favorite at the moment, so here you go!
 

Spoken

I’ve fallen in love….. with Spoken Word Poetry. Over April Break, I discovered the magic that is Spoken Word. Since then, I have been hooked. Spoken Word is different from your average poetry in that it is meant to be told like a story.It’s poetry meant to be performed.

And now I have a confession to make. The main reason I love Spoken Word is because my two favorite things come together: Poetry and Theater. They came together and had a magical baby.

There’s something wonderful about the way words can flow of your tongue, make you feel emotion. The words come alive (not that regular poetry doesn’t do that, but there’s something about the way poetry can be performed to have a whole audience on the edge of their seats). The great thing is that Spoken Word does not have to be in typical poetry form. In can be written however the writer likes. The meaning comes from the words themselves and with the way it is said–the pauses, the inflection, the volume, conviction, the rhythm, all the techniques actors use on stage when performing their lines.

I have this deep seeded belief that poetry should be heard, stories should be told. What better way to do that than to put a story in poetry form and perform it. I also have the belief that everybody should have a voice, and those that know how to use their’s should use it to help those who don’t. Spoken Word, and Poetry in general, is capable of this.

Two of my favorite poets are Phi Kaye, and Sarah Kay. They have inspired me like I’ve never been inspired before. So, I’m going to share with you one of my favorites.

(I apologize for the lack of inspiration in this post, but I needed to post something. So this is what you get).