I had a blast telling this true(ly humiliating) story for Chatty Cathy (a monthly all-women's storytelling event) about the first time I attempted to have sex.
I am frightened
by the callings
of my heart
that soul purpose
that beats its demands
upon my palms
like, "Rise up
and follow this path,
When mostly I'd
rather swallow that
saliva, sit down
and wait for
my fate to
run its course
in the background
while I soak up
the comfort of
my cool sheets.
I do not want to
injustices of my time.
I do not want to put
a lifetime of effort
into a career of "No's."
I do not want to give up
my peace and quiet to
parent a babe.
I do not want to be
vulnerable and brave
enough to admit
my human attractions,
or let love in.
Oh, my gosh.
I do. I do, so much
want those things.
My insides demand
these things of me
and I say with such
and "One day."
I try to stall.
I'm as lazy as
I am tall.
I resist my callings.
I argue with them
before I accept them.
I resent having a voice
and a well-body sometimes.
I am ungrateful and can be
unkind to the abilities present
Because it is a responsibility.
And I am tired.
And I have no reason to be tired,
I just am. Fatigued.
And so I must daily find ways--
midst often failing--to revitalize
my energies and my motivation
to keep myself from falling horizontal
into complacent waiting for my
luck of living to run out.
I have to tell myself, "There is time."
And, "Get up."
And ask, "What do you really believe
and why?" And remind myself of the
responsibility of those beliefs and
act accordingly, and fail more, and feel
that, and still get up again to try again.
I don't always know how to do it.
I don't always try my best.
But I will always try again.
allows for an anger
that gets blinded in today's
gaze; a rage that
the confident, yet timid
can feel safely
because it requires
The past was bad,
but the bad has past.
We are awakened now.
Reaping the benefits
of our grandparent's
But, no. That is not true.
Injustice persists, and
still we sit. We say,
in hindsight with such
confidence, "The holocost
this, and slavery that, pilgrims
and Native Americans, the Japanese
the horror of those atrocities
we wear like the dated, rusty
souvenirs of our elder relations
that have been passed down--
they remain valuable in sentiment
only, as data, dates to remember;
because we do not recall
the visceral, humanity of those
tragedies, nor the hum-drum
monotony of the daily life
and times of those whose
lives like yours and mine,
assisted in allowing such
tragedies to occur,
by doing nothing.
But, lo, we have our own.
Here in 2018.
In the United States of America.
We have our own.
In the world; we have our own.
But understanding what is going on,
being informed, caring, and being outraged
is to accept responsibility for your part in
our shared existence.
To be angry is to say, "I cannot accept this, so
therefore I must take action."
And action is inconvenient, time-consuming, messy.
And there are myriad distractions
to help you look away...
to feign naive ignorance, but--
Hey, hello. I see you.
I saw you look the other way.
You caught injustice in the side of your eye,
as did I--together we both ignored it for a while
hoping others would fight that fight,
but now here we are.
And we must look at it,
at the environment our inaction has
allowed to permeate.
We have ignored it for too long.
Injustice is embedded into the DNA of the USA,
yes, but that doesn't mean we should
stop working for a cure.
Start by becoming one less symptom
of this oft-corrupt and unbalanced system
of States we hope to see one day as truly
United and for the good of all who
call its land a home.
upon the near-end of my life
do not look at me with sympathy
in your eyes, nor surprise
at my life of soul-mate-less love
for the whole of my existence
i have carried upon my back
the weight of your expectations
for my discovery of love as a loss
i have mourned every step
of my days for a love i expected to come
that did not come my way
i have shamed myself for being inadequate
i have cried, where i might have otherwise found
reason to praise; my loneliness was not defined by me, but for me
and never gave me the chance to discover all the good
that being alone has done for me
where you coupled faught and spat
hit and manipulated, contorting yourselves
into public and private personas--sure, i do
not deny some loves are healthful and strong, but
you must confess not all, or even most, last so
long as my loneliness has--and in my loneliness,
look past what you conceit of as deficits, to find
with me all the many benefits
i am free to explore every thought and interest
without courteous split; my time is my own
i sleep uninterrupted, and flirt when flirting hits
my friendships retain unlimited depths
my support is multi-sourced and not just
in one house; i dine with friends under candlelight
and where i crave, I ask; and where i spare it, i give
my love is spread communally
i live in a vulnerable state that has made me strong
there have been times of illness where i've sung a different song
but i survived, and in that survival tamed a perspective
that lends me able and willing to be paged
in others crisis'
besides, one love, nary how deep
does not keep you safe
it is always in community that we find our
most powerful strength
the married, the coupled,
these are not the first nor final aim
to attain; i am not missing a limb of life
by not losing my name
i am not half of a whole
i am whole, autonomously so
and i have lived and i have loved
in no more or less grand a way than
If I had it to begin all over, and in beginning again, found myself as the cultural and parental rear-er of my own upbringing, the fairy-tale I would instill upon my young, impressionable hopes and dreams would be much more diverse a story than I actually got. There would be no royalty, no fate, no timeline, no gender bias or sexual preference expected, no numerical limitations, no "the one," and in some of the stories, no romantic love at all. I think much of modern, and even past centuries depression and anxiety come from this grand expectation we place upon our most freshly minted lives to rise and accomplish as a task of self-success and familial pride the events of marriage and children. Often these successes aren't even presented as a challenge, just simply the next in a series of life's steps, like losing baby teeth and growing your permanents; so that the failure to succeed at these simple steps to life's ultimate door, are seen as a rejection of the very fabric of society we are all collectively tethered to. As if by failing to meet these expectations, we are letting go of the large blanket of comfort that keeps our world safe and warm. We erase the narrative stories of others throughout history who do not sate the requirements of this story we've been telling for so many ages that its tradition has replaced reality with a story we mistake for an innate morality. You do not grow up commonly reading of the writers, philosophers, artists, teachers, scientist, preachers, doctors, and leaders who never wed, who fell in love with someone of the same sex, who chose not to create off-spring, who took up residence with platonic friends... these are not America's heroes. These are not the stories we champion into Children's Literature and Disney Animation. And in the few instances where these stories have made their way into print, their lifestyles are heralded as an example of overcoming hardship, rather than legitimate existences of their own merit. Every hero who dared go against the grain, by choice or by bravely honoring their true self, must first defy the normative expectation placed upon them without their permission from birth, and know that from then on each action and word will be judged against their otherness as if they are some strange minority. In fact, however, the more I dig through history on my own, without the stern hand of public education leading my curious pursuits, the more I discover that that which we call so rare, is in fact most common. So common as to nearly be considered boring, if it had not been hushed under the rug of shame and hidden from sight for so many centuries. It's plain as day to say some never marry, that a grand, romantic, and healthy love is neither a given nor something everyone craves. To every human who has fearfully uttered to a friend, "What if it never happens for me?" And whose friend replied, "It will! Of course it will." I must say, this promise is not written in some star whose gaseous output carries every human's fate as some romantic love plot--And that's OK. The lack of this is no more an indication of some profound error of your person-hood as it is a prediction that what has been will always be. What has been can cease to be, can change on a dime--and some never have love that fulfills both sexual and personal requirements for romantic love. And some fake love with all their heart to meet this expectation and find more hurts than gains, even as their pain is praised for its normative additions to our flawed moral cause. Additionally, it's clear that homosexual love dates back as far as heterosexual love, that transgender identities join them from the start, that platonic friendships can be as sustaining and worthwhile a partnership as romantic love, that there are all different kinds of ways to move through life and that one is not more worthy than the next. In short, young self, as you grow and ponder what you crave and how to fulfill your human needs that knock at night upon your lids, erase from your ears every utterance of expectation and judgmental moral platitudes that tradition tries to throw at you. You are perfectly capable of finding for your own self the ways that calm your heart, the people, person, place, or thing that makes your heart sing, the tickling of your private sensations is your own to hone and to be felt and dealt freely (barring injuring to yourself or others and always with consent of yourself and others). As Karamo Brown stated recently about not using the term "coming out" but instead saying he "invited them in" to know his true self... understand that you may be aware of certain truths about yourself that you cannot yet invite others in to know, but that does not make them less true. Do not hide them from yourself. Your house does not cease to exist based on the false beliefs and words of others, your house stands still, and holds your contents, and you alone hold the key to invite whomever you may choose to enter. Make your own way and keep your compass set within your self--outside winds will be strong and try to sway you with hurtful lies that you must learn to tune out. I recommend headphones, daily journaling, an auto-didactic approach to knowledge and truth, an open, humble mind, daily affirmations, and lastly, that you write the stories history has swept under the rug for all to see. And if you do raise children, your own grown or others born of other mothers, that you respect their own search to find their compass and that you provide them a more widely defined version of success to aspire to, to identify with, to daydream about; one that includes examples of every variation of human that you can come up with--one that shows that true happiness is defined within, not by achieving some outwardly put-upon perspective.
I had a slow work day, so I had some time to gaze internally for a bit and think about who I am, how I live, who I want to be and how I want to live. I have felt some sense of "floating off" from reality lately coupled with some prolonged depressive periods, and what I have been doing in my work to come back from that is journal my daily events to track patterns of thought. This has proved grounding, but I feel that in order to move forward I need to really understand what my core values are.
What I mean by Core Values is that these are the things I believe to be true, and the standards I vow to hold myself to---while recognizing they are not universal values and I cannot expect these of others, only demand them of myself. Yet, these are value that, if I had the ability to invent humans from scratch, I would instill on every model of human.
Core Values (a working draft):
I then started to write "deserve"--as in, "deserve to be treated with..."--but stopped because I think that is the wrong word. I don't think it's about deserving anything. Desert implies that we earned something, that something is owed to us for some action. That's not really what I believe. I think regardless of actions committed, regardless of any and all things, all living things should be treated with respect and kindness. That is what I believe to be true and right, above all. So, this is core value number one.
Now, what precisely do I mean by "respect" and "kindness"? What are the exact borders and required actions for those words? Words, beautiful though they may be, are merely a mirage until we clearly articulate and accept the responsibility of the implied commitments we are promising when we say things.
*Respect: For this word, what I require of myself towards all livings things, is that I always obtain consent, when in doubt and where possible, before touching or asking about personal things. I respect others autonomy and ownership of their bodies and their lives. I take their words as honest communication. I start from the assumption that what they tell me is being told without malcontent and is accurate from their perspective. I respect their body, their space, their personal belongings, their words, their past, their hearts, and their hurts. I do not purposely cross these boundaries without their willing consent. I meet all living things as an equal and attempt to treat all not merely as I would want to be treated (for I have my own personal preferences that I cannot assume onto others who have their own based on their own lives), but I treat all with the same respect for their body, soul, mind, space, and time. And if I accidentally step over those boundaries, I own the hurt and damage caused and make amends to the best of my ability in a way appropriate for that particular being. In other words, Respect also means "do no harm."
*Kindness: For this word, the dictionary defines it as being of a "sympathetic or helpful nature" of a "forbearing (*patient, restrained) nature" to give "relief or pleasure." For myself, what I require of my kindness towards all living things is to lead my interactions with others from a place of "how can I understand?" and "how can I help?" It requires blinding myself to the assumptions that follow all the ways we label ourselves and others as humans. It requires a loss of generalizations on any type of person. It requires all person-hood be met with the same kindness and respect.
Now, for self-protection, I would like to add into this definition that just because I believe all living things are to be treated with respect and kindness, does not mean I am required to go out of my way to proactively deliver kindness and respect to others. It also does not mean that I, personally, am required to forgo my own safety when someone else is not respecting my being to provide them kindness first. What it does mean--taking an example of the incident in the grocery store parking lot where a man followed me trying to get me to let him fix my car and when I asked him to leave me alone he said, "What--do you think I'm going to rape you? No offense but your not pretty enough to rape." Taking this incident where I did not feel safe and was not being treated with respect or kindness. I did not forgo my safety to stop and see how I could help this man, how I could understand this man, how I could provide relief for this man. And I also believe I handled it in the best way I could--by stating I was not interested and wished to be left alone. So, while all living things are to be treated with respect and kindness, perhaps the subtitle of this core value is that it should not be done at the expense of personal safety. It should also be acknowledged and understood by me that just because I approach others with respect and kindness does not mean that they owe me anything in return, or that they are capable of, at that moment in their life, for whatever reason, extending the same back to me.
*A final, difficult note regarding Respect & Kindness: Gossip, generalizations, and name-calling are rarely productive and always violate this rule. I understand that sometimes it feels like a relief to call, for example, President #45 or his supporters derogatory remarks. And certainly President #45 is quick to use them himself towards others. But what does this accomplish? Nothing productive. I am allowing myself to criticize policy and back it up with reasons and site facts. To vote--a must. To have discussions with others where I meet them first as a human who deserves respect and kindness, not as a democrat or republican, or any other label. This is hard. This is very, very hard. This is nearly impossible sometimes--and in those times, perhaps the best, most productive thing I can do is simply to walk away. But also, I honestly feel we, as a society, have made it too easy to divide ourselves into "us" vs. "them" thinking, and completely taken out the critical discussions that must exist to unite the two on some, if not all grounds. I am not delusional--I do not believe it is possible for the entire world to suddenly adopt a new way of thinking and communicating with each other, but for myself--the only one I can control--I must require this of myself. It is what I believe is the right way to approach discourse. After-all, before any of us were republicans or democrats, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc. before it all, we were humans. And I must fight to remember the humanity in my fellow humans of all kinds through it all. I will require that of myself.
Generalizations are popular these days and while I am "generally" (haha) against them, I do feel they have served a purpose in making it known that a disproportion number of women face harassment and abuse by men, a disproportionate number of black people face abuse by police, etc. These generalizations rose by countless individual stories piling on top of each other and a growing frustration by the hurt parties and communities of these actions that these maltreatment's were being silenced and swept under rugs for far too long. The use of these generalizations was to bring attention to the disproportionate injustices in a way that could no longer be ignored due to the "bad seed" argument and alluded instead to a systemic problem that was far-reaching. In this way, I feel generalizations have been productive, but I fear that the more comfortable people get in making generalizations, the more we will become divisive and less productive at actually solving the issues that the generalizations helped bring to light. I understand the benefit, but I am cautious of the risk of closing off the much needed lines of communication to actually enable change, rather than a simple chastisement and decent into fear and chaos.
As an example: If a kid does something wrong... something he has seen his brothers do and get away with, his friends do and get away with, something he is learning is not only okay but expected of him as a kid. And one day his Mother catches him and spanks him and shames him and grounds him for a week, without explaining what he did wrong, trying to understand why he did it and working together to find better ways to deal with those situations. Is that kid going to understand what he did wrong and not want to do it again? Or is he going to internalize that negative response, bitter because he was shamed for doing something others got away with, that he felt he was doing merely to "fit in"... Is he going to lash out? Become a better liar? Sneakier? Ideally all parents and caregivers help their kids learn right and wrong by teaching through exploring the "why's" but in reality, this is not something I can reasonably assume is taught for a multitude of reasons. So, whether I like it or not, whether it is fair to me or not, sometimes, if I really do want change, I will have to teach those lessons, explain those why's. I can't just call someone a name and block them--I mean, I can, and sometimes I certainly even should block them (safety first!), but I can't assume everyone has even a basic understanding of how to put themselves in someone else's shoes and see things from another perspective. That would be nice, but in my experience it frustratingly isn't reality. I vow not to make generalizations and to speak up in teachable moments.
2. Safety First!
This core value is born out of the idea that I cannot take care of others if I am in crisis. If I am on fire, physically or emotionally, I cannot put anyone else's fires out. I have to save myself first. In this respect, the "Safety First" core value is more than just simply about attending to my own crisis moments first, but also about maintaining my well-being. In other words, don't just run your car until it's out of gas and you're stranded on the side of the road (or in line at Sonic, LOL) and have to flag down assistance. I need to be regularly checking in with myself and my own well-being. If I am getting low, I need to be proactive about taking care of myself. Even if I am physically healthy and mentally healthy, I can have harmful beliefs I may not be aware of, so I need to learn to spot check for blinders. As a white American woman who grew up in the conservative Bible belt in a fairly healthy, loving home...I have a lot of blinders I have had to shed and many more to shed. I have to actively seek out other points of view to expand the ways I can understand other points of view, empathize, not cause more harm and hopefully be able to help others. If I am not in a good place, I am not going to be able to do that. I am not going to be able to be that self-aware, that self-less, and that proactive if I am existing in survivor mode. Which is actually also important to keep in mind if I am in a teaching moment with someone who is not treating me with respect or kindness, who is determined to see me as a label of something rather than a fellow human...keep in mind, they may be in survivor mode. They may not be able to, in that moment, see beyond a rage that at its core is rooted in something much deeper and more dire than whatever moment I think I am in with them. In this case, if I cannot help them, if they will not let me help them with their fire, the kindest and most respectful thing I may be able to do is to walk away and let them find the help they can accept in someone else. I could not help that man in the parking lot, who if taken respectfully at his word, needed work so badly he was desperately following people in a parking lot, without putting myself into a potentially unsafe situation, and he could not accept my boundaries, so I had to get away and hope that someone else could attend to him in a way that was safe for them both.
3. Just because I do not understand something, does not mean it's bad or wrong.
I am not the authority on all living things and lives. My experiences and personal preferences are simply the starting point to which I relate to people, not the standard by which I judge people, or the end point of what I am capable of appreciating or learning more about. If something is not endangering or hurting someone, it is not my place to speak negatively about it. This includes the way people present themselves, the way they live and love, the beliefs they hold, the work they make and words they say. Every time I have a snap judgement on someone, I will work to repeat this value to myself as a reminder that I am not the authority, that no one gains by my judgement, that in fact we all lose when we judge someone else's lives instead of seeking to understand them, or if that is not possible for whatever reason, simply carrying on to focus on the things that bring joy and productive growth.
4. I am responsible for expressing my feelings and teaching others how best to love me.
So much pain in my life is my own responsibility and that is hard to accept. I feel hurt about things people have done or not done and I hold them responsible for that pain... when I never even expressed it to the person or gave them the opportunity and tools to learn how to love me in the ways that impact me most. I cannot expect that anyone else knows what I am feeling or thinking. I am responsible for expressing those internal things. I do no one any favors by "sucking it up" and "moving on" while secretly holding onto small slights that slowly snowball internally into much larger conflicts. It is not loving to deny others my whole self for the sake of trying to protect them from any discomfort. This is probably the hardest value for me accept and to actualize in my life. My default is to tuck in any negative emotions I have and tend to the needs of others, but what am I actually accomplishing when I do this? Teaching myself and my loved ones that I do not value my feelings and they shouldn't either? That I am OK with being treated in ways they may not even realize are harmful to me? They love me, I have to tell myself this, they love me and do not want to hurt me, so the kind and respectful thing to do is for me to tell them when they hurt me so they learn what hurts me. It would be easier if we were all hurt by the same things, if we all had the same wounds, if we all knew where the bombs were located...but life is not that easy. We are all different, we all hurt in different spots, we all have different injuries and we have to learn these about each other in order to care for each other. And the way we learn this about each other, is by communicating it to each other. I am responsible for expressing my feelings. And in order to do so, I must first be responsible for learning to how to value my feelings and the space they take up in my relationships. This is scary to me. I fear that if I say someone has hurt me, that simply saying that will hurt that person and that will be my fault and that person will walk out of my life. This is why I hide my feelings, but I do not believe that is healthy or even kind to those who really do love me and are capable of loving and respecting me in a healthy way. I must work to actualize this value.
I am sure my core values will evolve and find new additions. I hope they do. But for now, I will start here. I will vow to these and hold myself accountable.
Meet Me Here
This is a vision
of what I hope to be,
It was in the way
that you sat
that told me
ready for conversation
your legs sat
the edges of
your head bowed
your eyes at attention
studied in constant motion
you were here
all of you
ready to speak and to listen
ready to go deep
armed with laughter
with empathetic tears
with ears that were
connected to your heart
you spoke carefully
you asked questions
voracious to know others
thirsty to understand how it
happy to lend your tales to
this grand experiment
open with your shame as with your joy
with your successes as with your failure
with your hopes as with your fears
you proved both validating mirror
and challenging, aspirational professor
friend, shoulder, lover
younger and younger while
older and older
laughed like no other
took the pulse of the day
and quickened or slowed it
in a grand dance that grew our
mutual understanding of how to
be human with other humans
we were present
most of all, above all else
we sat present
with each other
swaying, distracting thoughts
we met eye to eye
heart to heart
cherished the chance to
hear, to hold, to heal
This has been a vision
of what I hope to be,
to be present for.
Will you meet me in this place?
estranged, so strange: a father, now a stranger, named
don't get to
say my name
you know me
had the pleasure
you knew me
as I started
but not who
don't know you
I met you
in the middle
of who you'd be
but I cannot
say your name
nor the name we
call those whose genetics
we both stopped counting days
between when we stopped calling
and in the absense
of those words uttered
in the silence and
empty space of a relationship
two people exist
as close as can be
yet never farther apart
Father: his coordinates, unknown
His DNA, embedded in my
Sometimes I think I was meant
to be a fish, but
at the last minute
some wires got crossed
and I came out human
I dry out easily and quickly
Harshly--my body elicits a storm
of suffocating dryness
My swallows are filled with sand
My eyes audibly crack when I wake
I take baths like a runner struggling for air
Drown my eyes in drops
Drink water as if it were my job
but still--I run out
It has been an unknowable
amount of time now
that I have been in a period of
prolonged, abnormally low
of my spirit feeling full
I am good at disassociating
from myself and reality
I can do it for many lengths of time
But then wake to find
I do not recognize myself
I reset to an old image
and then am shocked
when I see it no longer
I have been low
and dry for so long
I need to do something
Even artificial rain
It will have to
Here are some drops...
I have consistently,
throughout my life,
fought for the reality
of my most sacred dreams
and that takes a lot of courage, vision,
follow-through and dedication.
I have survived the loss and rejection
of a parent, and family unit,
and while imperfect, I have constantly
worked to find my way to forgiveness and
love and growth through this loss.
I have been open to being wrong
in my world view, to learning new information
and let it change me. This takes
I have many times over
worked to build up fellow humans
joy, self-esteem and well-being
by freely giving time, talent, and words
for their benefit.
As much as I fail and fall into
depression and drought,
I always keep trying to overcome,
to stimulate my own motivation and
take care of myself.
I'm smarter than I give myself credit for
and I have continued to pursue new
knowledge as I've grown, becoming
an enthusiastic autodidact, despite my
lack of traditional education or degrees.
I am resourceful and inventive
with creativity in spades. This is a
gift that often embarrasses me,
and is hard for me to claim with pride or to
acknowledge its worth...nevertheless, I keep
putting it out there. I keep trying to claim
the acceptance of these gifts as gifts in the world,
even as it makes me deeply uncomfortable.
I am capable of being
very funny. I have made an audience
of hundreds laugh.
I am a very good
I always try to give
everyone the benefit of the doubt,
to see other people's point of view,
I forgive easily and quickly--something
that I have had to work at doing.
I have turned
other humans "on."
I have elicited a romantic
response in other humans.
I am worthy of love,
respect, affection, honesty,
The absence of my ability
to believe that any of these
things are true, does not render
them false. And the acceptance that
all these things are true, does not
negate all negative impairments of
We are all full of pros and cons.
The best you can aim for is the acknowledgement
of both, and consistently work towards not just self-betterment,
but the betterment of skills that add to
the betterment of this world.
This year I have dedicated myself
to learning what it means to be an
advocate, to take responsibility for
a problem I did not create, that does not
impact my life, but that afflicts my community
and that I have the capacity to help improve.
Subject: am i depressed? is this a problem i need to solve? or can i just take a nap and wait it out?
i asked myself
to be as depressed
as i am
to really feel it
and accept it
to wave the white flag
here i am
at work today
my co-worker talked about
a recent day she stayed home
from work with her sick dog
and how it was beautiful weather that day
but she was so depressed about the dog
she closed the blinds and
took a nap
i thought, huh
that's every day
am i depressed?
i hadn't really thought of it
because i find not thinking of things
renders them more acceptable
and you tend to believe things are fine
which is helpful in not feeling
not-fine, i find
anyway, i've been eating a lot
not sleeping and then sleeping a lot
mostly, just constantly horizontal in bed
or longing to be
in the semi-dark, alone
it's not bad, though
like, it feels good
it's a relief
how can that be depression?
that thing that's supposed to make you feel sad
maybe it's not
what it is
is a bottomless lethergy
an inability to focus
or to physically animate my body
what it is
is piled dishes
and un-walked dogs
and waves of guilt
and not talking for long bouts of time
and putting things off
i don't want to talk
i don't want to be with people
i don't want to be seen
i don't want to exist in the world
(not die) just not have a body
or brain for a while--hang them up like
a winter coat in the back of the closet
i just want this bubble i've built
of blankets and warm-bodied dogs
snuggled against me
a dark, cool room
with stories to be consumed for all the rest of time
and endless food and potential for rest
then, in bouts and bursts
i eventually always get myself motivated into action
i do the things needed to be done
and either do them because they need it bad enough
or because i finally feel the urge to do them
and then i give--i give all of myself, my talents, my time and more
i give it all away for free a lot
work without sleep around the clock
it comes off as easy
it's not, it's compulsive
i can't stop until it's done
it bothers me like a kick in the groin
a swollen mosquito bite itching under the skin
i have to finish and i can't stop until i do
i give everything
i ask for nothing, often, in return
because i want to give
i want to make happiness for others
because i want them to think good things of me
to help them see good things in themselves
because i enjoy the work
because creating gives me purpose and joy
because i don't believe i deserve to ask for anything back
because i don't believe in my worth enough to speak on its behalf
and then i get spent
and i droop and dwindle into
the bed-puddle of a being that
stays put and watches TV
and pretends not to "be"
and feels like crying
feels it like a pimple pressing against a swollen surface
feels it in the throat, a scream
that never comes
i'm not depressed
no, i'm inactive
i'm in a stasis
waiting for the next wave
the next phase of my creative cicle
when i will feel brave and bold and full again
ready to give again
and then i will give again until i am empty again
and maybe one day i will be given to without asking
and maybe one day i will be brave enough to ask
and maybe one day i will be given to
and filled up
and i wonder (and i doubt)
if that will help keep me full longer
or if i will still run out just as quick
but be richer
"rich" is such an empty word to me
i know money only as a need i work to meet
with hourly jobs because i fear homelessness and hunger
but not as an aspiration or validation of my creative work
still, do i not deserve financial validation for my work?
probably...but i'm too exhausted to explore the ins and outs
of that now
so, just shut up (me)
let me be,
though i am
i'll find my way to solid again
i'll figure it out
just not now
now i need to rest
i need to rest until i can cry out loud
until i can stand up
until i can speak
until i can bare to be seen
until i can hoist up my flesh and bones
and spirit into a form that can actively
now? nap s
1. "I'm in AWE of you."
2. "Have we been talking for that long?"
3. "I like watching you when you don't know I'm watching you. Drinking wine, walking across the room. That's how I know I'm in love with you. I could watch you brush your teeth and it's the best thing ever."
4. "I'm wet."
5. "This is what we're doing: We're falling in love."
6. "I can't wait until tomorrow. Let's meet up tonight."
7. "I can see myself beaming with pride saying, "That's my wife."
8. "I feel so embarrassed about last night. I'm so sorry. Take as much space as you need."
9. "It's stupid to be upset about this."
"No, you're valid. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings."
10. "Can I just say, when you're on the phone saying the phrase, "I'm gonna let you go" ...you're making it sound like you're doing me a favor, when really what you're saying is, "I need to leave for my own personal reasons." You know what I mean?"
11. "Is that what you need from me right now?
12. "I'm sorry I'm such a mess right now."
13. "Maybe we should take a break?"
14. "I don't want to be with anyone else."
15. "Can we call the breakup off? I know it was my idea, but it stinks. It's no good and it's awful, and I love you."
16. "I think this is for the best. I just need some space for me."
17. "I don't know how anyone gets through this. It hurts too much."
19. "Hey. I just wanted to see how you are doing. I love seeing your facebook posts. I hope we can be friends."
20. "Honestly? I'm so over it now, I hardly remember what all the fuss was about."
Actress & Writer living in Springfield, MO who also enjoys photography, art, editing, music, languages, and time travel.