To the man I want to love

I give you my heart,
place it against your chest,
against your lips,
against your face,
and I ask you, and I’ll just ask you once,
to treat it with trust,
treat it with kindness,
handle it with grace:
my heart will not let you fall,
will not let you down,
will not let you tumble or drown,
it will give you no harm,
building strength upon strength,
as it holds you fast in it’s arms.

I give you my hands,
these hands,
my fingers, my toes,
my body becomes yours to steal,
to worship,
to respect:
let us take off our clothes,
our outer skin,
shed our past,
mistakes, heartbreaks,
let our vulnerability be not unknown,
let our closeness be not suspect.

I give you my lips,
they are yours,
take them,
turn them into something more,
turn them toward heaven,
turn them toward hell,
torture them and please them until all is well.

With my heart, my hands, my body,
my eyes,
my organs, my thoughts, my sorrow, my thighs,
comes love.

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The flowers you got me

The flowers you got me
that arrive a day late,
after Valentine’s Day,
may be turning brown,
withering, dying,
but my affection for you
is just starting to blossom
and will continue to grow.
Like the petals that fall
from the daisies,
I’m falling for you,
scared, slowly,
taking my time, to be sure –
but we’re never sure of anything
but the sun and the moon.
When I’m with you,
you feel like my sun
and my moon.
The freckles on your cheeks
and on your shoulders
are my daisies,
the blue in your eyes
is my sunshine sky.

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I wrote you a love poem

I may not always tell you how I feel
or say the words you want to hear
but my dear, I muster the courage
and the words
to tell you about the universe,
the half-lit moon,
the snow storm coming far too soon,
before we’ve stocked up with coffee and bread,
before the morning dawns it’s color red.
In bed, I tell you how I feel
with each grab and each caress,
with each kiss upon your tattooed chest.
I may not always have the words to tell you how I feel
or say what you want to hear,
but my dear, I want to tell you
how the sunshine reminds me of your freckled face,
how I struggle with being strong, with having grace,
how the smell of summer and sunshine
make me think of you,
and how you set off fireworks within my lungs.
There are no words in the dictionary
to describe
the feeling of being wrapped up in your arms,
those words just don’t exist,
but it feels better than a cup of tea
better than a hot shower
better than chocolate milk,
and if I could dance across the sky with you,
we’d two-step from Venus to Saturn and it’s many moons,
and I would sing a song to you
to tell you about the universe,
and the half-lit moon.

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But really…

Sometimes
when I feel so much and don’t know how to form it into thoughts,
so much I don’t know what to say,
so much I don’t know what to tell myself,
I read poetry.
I find the light and I find inspiration, I find meaning
in the passed great poets who have formed into words for me how to feel.

Bukowski wrote “We are here to laugh at the odds
and live our lives so well
that death
will tremble
to take us.”

Thanks for those words Bukowski.

May I laugh.
May death tremble.
May I tremble.
May death laugh at me.

What is your biggest fear in life?
What is it?
It’s not really an easy question to answer, is it?
We all have our cursory fears: heights, sky diving, black cats, spiders, clowns, ghosts.
Then we have our deeper fears: being mugged, raped, kidnapped, shot and murdered.
But what about those fears
that we will never say
that we never let touch our lips
that we hide so deep down they are in the bottoms of our shoes,
they are practically not even ours anymore, 
but those bottom of our shoes, never touch our lips fears are always there.
And I feel like its always going to be there. And that, that scares me.

So what is it? What is your bottom of your shoes, never touch your lips fear?

I’m not going to tell you what mine is,
because I don’t think I truly know.
Maybe one day, hopefully many many years from now
when I’m in my grave, because, no one ever pictures themselves actually dying, right?

I don’t picture myself in a terrible car crash dying of internal bleeding six years from now.
I don’t picture myself lying in a hospice bed when I’m 90, breathing out of one of those tubes stuck up my nose holding the hands of my children and my children’s children.
I don’t picture death that way – and let me be clear – death, is not what I fear. I will get to that.

But I picture death as having already died. I see myself, pale skin, closed eyes, lying in a silver coffin,
with my arms folded on top of my chest,
and God I hope that whoever dresses me for my burial
puts me in a really hot dress and heels.
And when I picture death, when I see that bright light shining around me,
because God, I hope there’s a God
because if there’s not then what’s all this trying for, god,
and when I picture death, I imagine
an opening of the curtains, a Ringling Brothers Circus, revealing of all the questions, all the decisions I ever or never made,

all the things I lost,
all the people I lost, displayed there, right in front of me.
In front of my cold dead face, in hot red dress and heels.
I imagine that is when I face my greatest fear, I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16 years old. I was sure there was something wrong with me, but really, I don’t think there was.
I was just like all the other girls.
I didn’t have sex until I was 21. I was sure there was something wrong with me, but really, I don’t think there was.
I was just like all the other girls.
Now I’m 28 years old and I have never told a man that I love him. I’m sure there is something wrong with me, but really, I don’t think there is, I wrote this resolution to my self: start 2017 strong, start everyday strong. I’m 28 years old and I have never told a man that I love him. I’m sure there is something wrong with me, but really, I don’t think there is. I am not ashamed. I am not afraid. I am empowered inspired and strong. I have never told a man that I love him. Sometimes I am sure there is something wrong with me, but really, I am not like all the other girls. 


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Kindness is brave.

I have an idea.

Kindness is brave. Honesty is brave.

Today I texted someone:

“Thank you for accepting me for me. And for being okay with me speaking my mind and sharing my feelings. It is so frustrating that people today still get annoyed or afraid or angry when a lady is brave or ballsy or has good ideas or accomplishes something. That frustrates me to no end…”

I should NEVER have to apologize for being kind or being honest. I shouldn’t have to be afraid of what people will think.

Yesterday I gave the man I’m dating a present for his birthday. It was a tea kettle. With a box of his favorite tea. And a small frame with his two New Year’s Resolutions framed inside it, resolutions he had shared with me and written through emails earlier in the New Year.

His response to my birthday gift was: “You’re too kind.”

Well, I say that’s bullshit. I say the world doesn’t have high enough standards for kindness. I say the world needs to be more kind. Because being kind, especially as a woman and especially these days, is socially perceived as weak, inferior, or embarrassing.

But what we if we flipped that judgement on it’s head. What if to be kind was to be brave. What if to be honest, to share your feelings, to tell the people you care about the truth, what if that was to be brave.

I have an idea to start something. It’ll start small (but what if it grows?!).

I could start by taking some of the following actions:
-Creating a website that will have resources, inspiration, and art that showcase the bravery of kindness;
-Creating an instagram account that will visually share these resources, art an photos, reminding people in their every day lives that kindness is brave;
-Designing small poster prints to give out/sell;
-Enlisting artists and friends to make public, urban art;
-Hosting small events such as discussions, speakers, story sharing, and nights of inspiration;
-Printing stickers to give out to spread the word;
-And designing and screen printing t-shirts and sweatshirts for friends/to sell.

I see this as being a hobby, a way to fulfill my #yearofkindness that 2017 is becoming, realizing that I mean both kindness to myself and kindness to others.

I want this whole city to think about what it means to be kind, why it’s so challenging, why so many people aren’t, and why so many people are afraid of it. I want to challenge this city to be kind, because kindness is brave.

What if all bad things that ever were and ever are and ever will be is simply just a lack of kindness…

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Advice to my Self in the New Year:

Start 2017 strong.
Start every day strong.
Be yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to others.
Stand up for yourself.
Say what you want to say.
Have courage.
Fight for what you want.
Be brave.
Be gentle.
Be real.
Stop being afraid and trust yourself.
You will be okay.
Let others in.
Wash the dishes.
Don’t apologize for feeling.
Be okay with being by yourself.
Create your own happiness.
Take care of yourself.
Learn new things.
Don’t let yourself down.
Create.
Write.
Read.
Prioritize the things that make you happy.
And above all, be your best self.
You can be the person you want to be.

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Lost cat

If I’m going to let you in
you better show up.
If I’m going to lower this guard
you better put down all your weapons.
If I’m going to expose my heart
you better be gentle.

This fear is like a little lost cat
who can’t find it’s way home,
who’s hungry and cold and miserable.
This anxiety is how all the kids
on the little league team feel
when the worst batter is up to bat
and they already have two outs
and the score is tied
and it’s the eight inning.
This impatience is like a sailing vessel
in the 19th century
before modern navigational technology
with its wanting mates scanning the horizon
desperately.

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My open hands

Everything around me is falling down,
sleepily,
and facing crisp death,
heads turned upward toward the moon,
toward the heavens,
to the universe,
but my broken pieces
have come back to life,
have made me whole. I am wide awake
watching death
with a smile.
I want to touch each delicate piece
of death with grace,
graze them with my fingertips
and my lips,
brush up against them with my chest.
See how death sparkles,
see how it shines,
but I still don’t want it,
I will still let it’s confetti pieces
fall toward the ground from my open hands.

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What if I can’t be the light

Lately I’ve not been who I want to be.

This year has been challenging in so many ways: a tough relationship with I man that I cared for deeply and had much in common with, but we were up against his drinking problem, a general lack of long-term chemistry for us both, and my inability to trust; my insomnia; healthy weight loss followed by gaining it all back; yet again losing myself in a relationship and thus losing sight of what’s important to me; an all around personal lack of self trust and self love; a diagnosis of anxiety and being medicated on Zoloft for it, which may or may not be related to a scary amount of hair loss and thinning; my closest friends moving thousands of miles away; the struggle to balance being kind and having grace with speaking up for myself and being myself, and the fear that perhaps I’m not as kind as I thought; weekly physical therapy appointments for far too long costing more than I can easily afford to try and fix the knots in my back, ulnar nerve entrapment in my elbow, and a labral tear in my shoulder; growing pains and growing frustration at work; the realization that my parents are growing old and deteriorating in health; fear of being a woman in a city and country where sexual harassment is rampant and where our own human rights as women feel jeopardized; and the feeling that I am letting myself down, over and over and over again.

I so desperately want to be kind, to trust myself, to believe that I am enough, to be able to love and trust a man, to not be terrified of the possibility of heartbreak, to truly believe that I will be okay, to be able to deal with my anxiety, to be able to sleep at night, to do what I say I’m going to do, to not be living paycheck to paycheck so that I can pay my bills on time and pay off my credit card debt, to not let others down, to be a loving and caring friend, to grow, to eat healthy and exercise, to be smart, to challenge myself and not fear failure, to write, to finish my novel, to travel, to find my soul, to feel at peace with myself, to enjoy time alone with myself without feeling lonely, to run fast after my dreams, to try spoken word on a stage in public, to excel at my job, to be a good example for others, to help those in need, to be happy, to do the things that I love doing, and to be the light.

My life is a complete mess right now and with all I feel I’m up against, I don’t know where to start or how to do it. It seems exhausting, and what if I don’t succeed?

What if I can’t be the light?

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I am enough

Sunday.

This week, I am going to choose to be happy. I am committing, now, to making a choice or a decision or doing something special and particular once a day for the next five days that *I* want to do and that will make *me* happy. This is a practice in self care, in self love, in trusting myself, being okay with myself, and being proud of myself. This is a practice in being the best me. This is accountability to myself. This is learning and growing. This is being strong. This is me living life. This is me learning to cherish myself. This is me teaching myself that I am enough. 

Each day, I’ll update this post with what I did to choose to be happy that day:

Monday. It made me happy to me kind to the other people in my life, and I challenged myself and put myself out there by going to a write-in for National Novel Writing Month and meeting new people. The healthy beet salad I had for dinner also made my happy – it was delicious!

Tuesday. What a day. Election Day. I got to vote for our country’s first female presidential nominee. It was a powerful and beautiful feeling that filled me with joy. I also did a short run and it felt good to be active in the sunshine and in short sleeves in November.

Wednesday. It was hard to be happy this day and I cried many times. I got very angry, and not only at the election. But seeing how much my friends and the people in my life were there for me and for each other, seeing how the women – and some of the men too – that I know where banding together, standing up strong for what they believe, and offering to help others – that gave me hope and made me find happiness in all the sadness.

Thursday. Good conversation with new close friends, the kind of conversation where the hours just melt away and it feels like no time at all. 

Friday. Doing new things, and doing things you always wanted to do. Being there for your friends and being a good friend. Walking, strolling, and saying hello to people. 

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