My Journey to Self-Love

It is never easy to write about your own insecurities, and yet here I am, dedicating an entire blog to them. Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe, just maybe, this might be the best thing I’ve ever decided to do. Either way, here’s the deal. Whether a thousand people read these posts, or only one, my goal still remains the same. The purpose of this blog is for me to begin my journey towards a little concept known as “self-love”. 

For those of you who don’t know me that well, and even for many of you who do, I suffer a daily struggle with my own self worth. While I understand that many people often have days where they don’t feel great about themselves, for me it’s different. Pulling myself out of bed everyday is a struggle. Seeing myself in the mirror is torture. Going out in public alone is terrifying. The point is that on most days I literally hate myself. There, I said it. Everything becomes a struggle, and while I usually have a fake smile painted onto my face, it’s almost always in response to me trying to hide my own fears and anxieties, or even to simply keep myself from breaking down into a mess of tears. 

Now, before I get any negative comments, let me go ahead and say this: no, I have not been diagnosed with any type of mental illness, depression, or anxiety disorder. However, most likely the reason for this is because I’m too scared to go and get tested. That being said, I am not trying to self diagnose myself with any kind of condition. This blog is simply a way for me to come to terms with myself and hopefully bring me to a point where I can finally look at myself in a mirror and not absolutely despise what I see.  

If you have managed to read this far, congratulations. I know my writing style can be a bit “rambly”, so I am thankful to you for sticking through it to the end. Please understand that this blog is not going to be easy for me. I’m typically the type of person who listens to everyone else’s problems rather than ever talking about her own. It’s difficult for me to open up to others, but I believe that if I try to document my journey, while also trying to come to terms with who I am and what my purpose is, then maybe I will be able to inspire someone else who struggles from similar issues to my own. 

At the end of the day, I would like to hear that someone else found some sort of inspiration from this blog; however, my main goal is to simple: I want to love myself. That concept seems foreign to me, but hopefully by the end of this journey it will feel natural. Thank you for taking the time to read this little introduction to the future of my blog, and if you continue to follow me on this journey, I hope I can inspire you while also inspiring myself. 

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Beautiful

“It’s a girl!” exclaimed the doctor with a smile as she pointed to the sepia toned lump on the monitor screen. I smiled too, shifting uncomfortably as she continued to press the cold transducer over my swollen stomach. Flash forward. My husband gripped my hand tightly as we walked out of the office, photos in hand.
A girl. I was going to have a girl.
The gender reveal party came and went with congrats, hugs, and tears of joy. Baby showers were held, corny games were played, and soon, diapers, bottles, and hoards of pink clothing began piling up in what would soon become the nursery. I refused to paint her room pink, to put her in a gender stereotyped room. Flash forward. We finally decided on light grey walls with teal polka-dotted accents.
Happy. Everyone was so happy.
As my stomach grew larger, I made more frequent trips to the bathroom. Pickles dipped in peanut butter became my new favorite food, and my husband was making constant late night trips to Walmart in an attempt to feed my crazy cravings. During the day I would sit on the porch looking out across the yard, watching as my neighbor’s daughters played tea party with their dolls and teddy bears. Flash forward. My mind began to wonder. My heart started to worry.
A girl. I was having a girl.
While preparations were being made, the due date drew nearer. Everyone was excited. Everyone was ready. Yet my mind still wondered. As my belly grew larger, my fear grew stronger. I was going to have a little girl. A girl! But what does that mean? What makes a girl, well…a girl? Flashback. Twelve year old me stands in front of a mirror staring down at my flat chest, hoping that at any moment breasts will magically appear. A single tear slips from my dark brown eyes and slides down my acne scarred face.
What makes a girl, well….a girl?
Is it her love of pink? Her well manicured nails? Her perfect hair? Or is it simply the fact that she was assigned a girl from birth? These questions plagued my mind as I began to remember my own childhood and what it was like to grow up as a girl. Flashback. Seven year old me stares down at my pretty blue church dress. It’s stained with red mud and dirt from a long afternoon spent making mud pies and rolling down hills. My furious mother looks at me sternly and says, “playing in the mud is not ladylike.” I avoid her eyes and stare shamefully at my dirt encrusted white shoes.
I never had been a very girly girl.
Growing up with two brothers had made me tough. I wrestled with them, played cowboys and Indians with them, and was never afraid to get dirty. My hair was usually chopped short and tied back away from my mud streaked face. My mother tried so desperately to instill in me her love of pink and all things girly, but my tom-boyish behavior continued all the way up until middle school. Flashback. I’m running to the girls bathroom, tears threatening to spill from the corners of my eyes, as a group of older girls chants at me from behind. “Tomboy, tomboy, you’re an ugly tomboy!” As I step into the stall, the hot tears begin to fall.
Middle school changes people.
It was a tough three years. My confidence in myself quickly faded, and I began to retreat away from the harsh reality known as middle school. I grew out my hair, painted my nails, and tried everything in my power to fit in with other girls. I started to talk like them, dress like them, act like them, until I had lost all sense of who I truly was. Flashback. Fourteen year old me stands looking in the mirror, makeup of all sorts spread awkwardly across the counter. In my mind, a soundtrack of insults begins to play. “Only filthy girls get pimples.” “Do you ever even wash your face?” “You look so gross!” “Thank God I don’t have acne.” The bright red acne scars soon disappear as I begin to smother my face with concealer for the first time.
I had so many worries.
Here I was, nine months pregnant and nearing the day in which I would meet my little girl for the first time. I wanted to be excited, I truly did. But I was so afraid, afraid of what she would have to go through, afraid of the bullies, the tears, and the heartache she would have to face. How would she be able to handle all of it? How could I help her in a world that was so cruel, in a society that rates women based on their beauty? I worried and I worried until…
Flash forward.
I peer down at the sleepy-eyed little girl cradled tenderly in my arms. Her eyes sparkle and, for the first time in a long time, I feel truly happy. She wraps her tiny little hand around my pale finger and lets out a small sigh.
“You’re beautiful,” I whisper as she drifts off to sleep. “You’re so beautiful.”

Earliest Memories

My eyes opened. I was completely and totally shrouded in darkness. Fear struck my heart as I reached out, searching for something, anything, to hold on to. In my mind, the monsters began to form. They growled from beneath my “big girl” bed and snarled from inside my closet. My heart was racing and my palms began to sweat. I could feel the railing that surrounded my bed, protecting me from their reach, but my fear grew stronger and stronger. I felt the sobs rising up through my throat until I released them with a vicious scream! My wailing continued until the light flicked on and the soothing voice I had come to know so well enveloped me in warmth and love.

Writing is Hard

Sometimes writing is hard.

You sit down at your desk, laptop on, Microsoft Word open, and you slowly place your fingers on the keys.

“Okay,” you say to yourself. “Let’s write something good.”

Now if only it were that easy.

The seconds fly by. Seconds turn to minutes, which turn into hours, until you finally shut your computer and stand up with a sad sigh. Another day spent staring at a blank computer screen.

Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the magic? Why can’t words just appear on the page and inspire any and everyone who reads them?

If only writing were that simple.

Sometimes, writing is hard.

But one day, something magical DOES happen.

You sit down at that same desk with your same old laptop, Microsoft word open, and you write. You write and you write and then you write some more! Words turn to sentences which turn to paragraphs that go on to fill pages!

And as the seconds turn into hours, you finally stand up with a satisfied smile and think to yourself, “THIS is what I live for. This is why I write.”

Sometimes all it takes is one day, but sometimes it will take years.

All you need is little time and a whole lot of patience.

Sometimes writing is hard. But that will never mean that it is not worth it.

The “not-so-simple” simple poem

Why can’t poetry sometimes be simple? Why can’t it simply say what it means and mean what it simply says? Why must there always be some hidden meaning behind it that one must discover through deep thought and contemplation?
This is a poem. 
It’s not a hard poem. 

It’s not a message in disguise.

It is simply a poem about a simple poem. 

Poems can have meaning without the use of fancy words that no one understands. 
Poems can give hope and peace and joy without having to be picked apart in a literature class. 

This poem is simple.

So what can be taken from such a simple poem?
Simply this: don’t feel as though you cannot write poetry just because you don’t have a large and confusing vocabulary or can’t write in a style such as Poe or Dickinson. 

Poetry should come from your heart and if what you have to say is simple, then simply say it. No extra words or confusing lines are needed.  

So simply speaking, this is a simple poem about a simple poem, and yet surprisingly, there’s still something not so simple about it.  

Beauty

There is beauty in everything! Don’t you agree?

There is beauty in everything!

Just look and see!

From the sky that is blue,

To the grass that is green;

The world is so beautiful, 

So peaceful and serene. 

There is beauty in everything,
No matter how small. 

There is beauty in everything,

Even things quite tall!

From the mountains so high,

To the valleys down below, 

From the tallest of trees,

To the buds beginning to grow. 

Look all around you! 
And then you soon shall see,

That everything is beautiful,

Including you! and even me. 

A Broken Love

The innocence of love is gone,

Your heart is now in two

For the one in which you loved so dear

Has said that he doesn’t love you.

You feel as if you’ll fall apart,

You wonder what went wrong,

 And all the while your heart cries out

A sad and lonesome song.

You wish for the love

That you knew as a child,

One that was sweet,

Meek, innocent, and mild.

But don’t give up hope

For tomorrow’s a new day.

Your love will come back

Sweeter than a fresh bouquet.

A Childlike Love

A childlike love is like no other.

It’s beautiful and true.

It’s sweet and soft and fresh,

Just like the morning dew.

This love is a gentle one,

Delicate, like a flower.

A love like this is refreshing,

Like a gentle rain shower.

There’s beauty in a love like this.

No hearts will need repair

For when you love with a love like this,

Every heart will be treated with care.

So stay young little ones,

For soon a day shall come

When love will be a scary thing

And something you’ll run from.

A Trip to Trinity

(Inspired by The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer)

A Trip to Trinity

By Lindsey Plemmons

Our story begins in the town of Dublin,

Where we find our ten characters all a shufflin’.

The tour bus to the library has arrived,

And all of the passengers pack inside.

To the Trinity College Library they all will go.

Oh what wonders they will bestow!

These unlikely passengers have gathered together,

And are soon all seated on seats of leather.

Although they are all somewhat different,

They’ve come to Dublin with a similar interest.

The library holds many wonders unknown,

And all of their minds will surely be blown.

The tiny tour bus is packed nice and tight,

As the passengers prepare for an interesting sight.

Sitting near the front is a high class scholar,

An educated man who will do anything for a dollar.

Dr. Hinkle is this man’s professional title,

But to friends and family he goes by Michael.

He’s snooty and rude and strives for attention.

He’ll do whatever it takes just to get mentioned.

Back home he is known for his awards and his trophies,

But to be quite honest he is awfully lonely.

Not many people like him because he’s so rude,

This constantly puts him in a very bad mood.

Although he is educated and smart as can be,

His stone cold hard is absent of all glee.

His journey has brought him to Ireland because

He wants to gain knowledge to earn more applause.

Across the row from our snooty scholar,

Sits a young Irish enthusiast named Dr. Strahler.

She has recently graduated with a major in Irish Studies,

And now she is traveling to further her discoveries.

She seeks neither fortune nor fame,

And does not really care about broadcasting her name.

All she truly cares about is furthering her studies.

She never really wants to brag to her buddies.

To visit this library was her biggest goal.

She felt as though this trip would make her whole.

Her excitement is evident in the way that she smiles.

Her heart is joyous like that of a child’s.

To grow in her knowledge is all that she wanted.

She does not believe that her wisdom should be flaunted.

Sitting behind Dr. Strahler is Professor Peek.

His personality is dreadfully bleak.

As a professor at Mars Hill University,

He teaches a course on cultural diversity.

His students find him very bland and boring.

He constantly gets on to them for their snoring.

In class all he does is drone on and on,

His students will agree that he’s not very fun.

Like Hinkle and Strahler, he’s come to gain knowledge.

He wants to be a better teacher at the college.

Knowledge, however, will not fix his style.

His students will never find him to be worthwhile.

Although he is a teacher, he’s not very good.

What good is a teacher if you can’t be understood?

Near the middle of the bus sits a girl with red hair.

Her eyes are dark blue and her skin is quite fair.

Oversized glasses sit upon her freckled nose.

Her sparkly flip-flops reveal her pink painted toes.

She claims to be a nerd, who loves to read books,

But all she really cares about is having good looks.

Her name is Christina; she’s cute as can be,

But reading is not her specialty.

Not once has she read a book cover to cover.

Yet, she likes to pretend that she is a book lover.

The glasses she wears do not have real lenses.

She only wears them to attract more attention.

Why has she come to Dublin, you may wonder?

She was invited to go by her book nerdy mother.

Sitting next to Christina is her mother Alexis,

Who is reading a book on her bright green Nexus.

She’s a booklover at heart who loves to read.

If she could, she would, read in her sleep.

The lenses in her glasses are real as can be,

For if she didn’t have them, then she could not see.

The sweater she wears is plain and gray;

Her hair is pinned up with lots of hair spray.

The glasses she wears are simple and sleek,

Not like her daughter’s, the “wannabe geek”.

She invited her daughter to go on this trip

In hopes of giving her a small little hint

Of what it truly means to be in love with books,

And that life is not just about a person’s good looks.

One row over from our friend and her daughter,

Sits Ms. Brach, the librarian, sipping her water.

Similar to Alexis, she is reading a book.

She’ll read anything that has a good hook.

Recently widowed, she wanted to get away;

She’s hoping that this trip will take the pain away.

A simple woman of about sixty years old,

She hopes to find books with stories untold.

She sits alone for she is quite shy.

She would rather read than tell a stranger hi.

Her eyes are dark brown and her hair has turned to gray,

But nothing can take her sense of adventure away.

This trip to Trinity has been her life’s dream,

And her happiness is evident in the way her smile beams.

Sitting in the back, away from the others,

Is a handsome, healthy and insanely happy couple.

With their arms interlocked and their fingers intertwined,

This cute little couple is annoying mankind.

They kiss, they coddle, and their baby talk is overused.

Their public displays of affection can be considered quite rude.

However, their behavior can only be deemed fair

For they were just married and love is in the air.

Mr. Malory is a construction worker who builds nice homes;

Too bad he cannot afford to actually live in one.

Mrs. Mallory is a hairdresser at a beauty salon

But her paycheck isn’t enough for her to live on.

Together they gathered every penny they had

To take this trip, but their savings were quite sad.

So they rallied up their friends for sympathy and cash,

And soon they had built up quite a large stash.

So here they are together on their honeymoon in Ireland,

While Mrs. Malory sports her teeny, tiny diamond.

Giving them a funny look while glancing down the row,

Marcus Mann turns his head to avoid their show.

A man of twenty-five, he’s living day to day

Because his “career” is currently on delay.

An artist he is, or so he believes,

His art can be quite difficult to perceive.

He sells his art to people on the streets

And hopes one day to be a part of the elites.

Although he is not very good, he believes he is great,

And thinks that he is following his fate.

He has come to Dublin with one simple goal;

He hopes that this trip will help make him whole.

His grandfather Sheldon has invited him along,

And he hopes that he’ll find a place to belong.

Grandfather Sheldon is clever as can be,

But he didn’t finish school past the age of three.

From a poor family, he was born and raised,

But his wisdom and wit are something to be praised.

His luck was changed when he entered a contest.

He gave the answer to a simple request.

A trip he was awarded to the town of Dublin,

This experience overall had been quite humblin’.

He decided to invite his grandson along,

Because he never got to see him, so what could go wrong?

He was exited for this trip because he had never been

Out of his own country with neither family nor friends.

So together they all went on this tour bus to Trinity,

Oh what wonderful sights they all soon shall see.