Category Archives: Life

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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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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I’m Writing my Novel!

I’m finally writing my book!

November is “national novel writing month” (check out NaNoWriMo they are a stellar literary nonprofit!) and I’m finally going to do it. I’m finally going to jump off the proverbial cliff, write more than just a few lines of poetry, and put down on paper this epic story that’s been living inside me for 28 years.

I’m tremendously excited and also terrified. I feel like this is it. If I can do this, if I can crank out a messy, error laden 50,000 word novel in the thirty days of November, which is my favorite month of the year, then I’ll finally have something and I can finally think of myself as a writer.

I’ve started sketching out my story/plot, which scares me and exhaust me and I’ve never done before, but I have a smile on my face the entire time because I know I’m doing what I love.

So if you see me in November, please, ask me if I’m writing. Help hold me accountable. Encourage me to keep trying, to be brave, and not to give up.

I’ll be keeping track of some big picture writing stuff each day here.

Here’s to writing, and to running blindly after your dreams.

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My own lion

I don’t wear jewelry.
Perhaps it’s because
it feels unnecessary
or like I’m flaunting something
that’s not my own good heart.
Perhaps I don’t like standing out.
Perhaps I’m scared.

Today I bought myself
a $78 dollar necklace.
It’s quite beautiful
and I do love the way it looks on me.
It makes me look thin
and fabulous,
two things I am not.

The necklace was meant
to be a reminder
to myself to be at peace,
to stand up,
to be first
to be selfish
to love.
It will be okay. I will be okay?

Today I typed into my
computer as it glowed in
the midnight air
“how to practice self love,”
like it’s a magic trick
I could teach myself overnight,
like some clown in some circus
that frightens little kids.
that runs from lions.
It doesn’t work that way.

I need to stop running from lions.
I need to be my own fucking lion.

“Rise, like lions after slumber…”

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Santa Cruz

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I think of biking around Santa Cruz and I think of you.
Wasted clouds on wasted days.
Do you say good morning to the Universe?
Do you let it kiss you as it pulls you out of bed?
Cherish those moments: the sunshine,
the cool breeze, the laughing gulls.
Cherish the freedom, the summertime, patience.

I hear wind chimes singing in the middle of the city
where they don’t belong
among the hustle and the honking
and I want to tell you about
how they bring me joy.
I want to never forget the way you kiss me.

I know everything in this life,
in this world,
in this small, full, slow, too quick existence
is temporary.
Every night the moon grows or fades,
and the sun will rise again.
But everything else,
it is here for us and me to appreciate now,
and not beyond it’s own significance in time.

I hate that I am such a damn pessimist.
Why can’t I just accept what is, and appreciate it, and not worry.

I will never be ready for the sun to set before the day wants to end.

I’m ready for the continuous awakening,
the continuous light,
the stillness, the peace,
the never ending comfort that keeps my heart beating.

Come with me to the ocean,
stand next to me
with your hand in mine
and your toes touching the sea
looking out at this great big world
that we would give anything to save.

Let the sea remind me to be hopeful,
that I alone am responsible for my happiness,
but that I can let you in too.
Let the sea remind me that it is okay to feel happy,
and it is also okay to be angsty and unsettled and restless.
That it is okay to feel and I should never apologize for that.
Let the Santa Cruz sea remind me that I must
appreciate the golden while I have it,
and strive to stay gold,
glowing like the sun hits the top of each breaking wave,
glowing like the too hot sand that burns the bottoms of your feet.

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January

WRITE EVERY DAMN DAY.
Write with whatever you have wherever you are.
Write from your heart. Write from your anxiety.
Write from your desires.
You don’t have to write well. Or good.
To hell with spelling punctuation fancy handwriting.
Write because it makes you happy
and you damn well deserve to be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy.
Write until your hands ache. Write
the truth.
Write with bravery
courage.
Write lies.
Write the past the present what you want to come.
Write to stay alive.
Write for yourself.
Write because it’s your passion. Write because
YOU ARE A WRITER.
Write because it’s all you want to do, all you want to be.
All you are.
Write.

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Truer Words

Stay golden: be the golden threads that hold
this unravelling world together. Be bright,
don’t let the weary fade you. Stay young, remember
what it was like to be carefree, to play in the mud,
to stomp in the rain, to have first kisses.
Stay true, surround yourself with those who
you feel comfortable being your true self around.
Let the gold things stay, and linger.

Be the light: be that great force that carries on
strong through the night. Be inspirational.
Let lightning stream from your fingertips, come out
your eyelashes. Be the lantern that glows
when the campfire goes out. Brighten everything.
Be the continual light for the world’s
rolled up American Spirit.

Be the crazy: feel discontened, feel abnormal,
feel everything, feel overwhelmed, feel anxiety,
feel belonging, cherish being the belonged,
feel hungry, feel passion, feel concerned,
feel curious, feel wanting more.

I am always chasing sunsets, but it is okay,
they are my sunsets. They were made for me.

I am alone, but it is okay, it is my alone.

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This is everything

I believe in God
in the holy layers of the Universe
I believe in Jack Kerouac and the Beats
the Fate that exists to get me where I am meant to exist
I believe in sweet people who are there
who tell me I am Weird.

I believe in my Father
I believe in my Mother who gave
birth to me
I believe in making mistakes
in solitude
gentle Wilderness
in going down so deep
but always crawling out.

I believe in the Good and the Bad
in making mistakes
seeking happiness
and the importance of Self.

I believe in rebirth
failure
laughter
pain
I believe in pushing yourself
I believe in Passion
in hunger
in heartbreak
in panic attacks
in dark places
and in finding the Light.

I believe in holy nights
and the even more holy sunrise:

this is Life
this is all there is
all there will ever be
this is everything.

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How to Live Better

HOW TO LIVE BETTER.

Or rather 
what I should do to enjoy life more,
to be happier,
to become the better person that I want to be:

1. SLEEP MORE. (And enjoy it)

2. RUN AND BIKE MORE. (Feel alive. Be healthy. Drink more water.)

3. BE MORE INTENTIONAL. ENJOY THE SIMPLE THINGS. APPRECIATE EVERYTHING.

4. SMILE MORE. LAUGH MORE. BE ALIVE.

5. LEARN THINGS. GROW AS A PERSON. CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY. 

6. DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE: read books, write poetry, try new recipes, cook for friends, go on long walks, explore, be with friends, drink coffee, make new friends, be creative, plan adventures, listen to old music, keep your house clean. 

7. BE BRAVE.

8. APPRECIATE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. SHOW THEM AND TELL THEM SO. Be a good friend when they need you and when they don’t.

9. ADMIT YOU HAVE FLAWS, AND BE OKAY WITH THEM.

10. BE RESPONSIBLE. Learn from your choices. 

We’ll see how this checklist shakes out. When it comes down to it, I’ve been stuck in a weird restless wanting to do something big, wanting to become a much better person, bored with the day to day drag, needing mountains and nature and fresh air and crime free streets, needing to feel safe and free, and I’m sick of it all. I know I don’t actually need to go somewhere else to become better, to be happy, and I do so much love this city and my people here, and part of me wants to leave and part of me wants to stay forever. I know I just want to and need to work on me.

Bottom line: I need to always do what is most important RIGHT NOW. “Be here now.” Trust myself and enjoy my life.

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