Self-Love

Self-love isn’t about achieving self-perfection. It’s about recognizing your flaws and yet loving yourself anyways. It’s the ability to look in a mirror and not hate your rolls or thick thighs or that one patch of hair that never seems to lay flat. It’s being able to see yourself in a new light, one that highlights your inner beauty and incredible strengths. Self-love is the understanding that even in your lowest moments, you are still beautiful. And while this may be a difficult concept to fully grasp, it is one that I will strive for every day in every moment I’m alive. We must learn to love ourselves rather than rely on the world to do it for us because if that is the case, we will always be sorely disappointed. 

Advertisements

Rain

When the rain begins to fall, and the skies begin to darken, I think about my own mind. Depression threatens to intrude upon my happiness like the looming clouds threaten to choke out the light of the sun. The rain falls from the sky like tear drops down my cheeks as the last remaining rays of light slowly disappear. But then, something magical happens. The rain falls and falls, bringing with it sadness, but something else as well. There’s hope. Hope that the day will become brighter again. Hope that tomorrow will be better. Hope that this rain will wash away all of the cobwebs from your soul and give you a new sense of life, feeling, and belonging. And as you look outside your window, you realize that it is all true. The rain washes away all of the dust, pollen, and grime that cakes the world outside. But when the rain stops falling, and the clouds go away, don’t think about the mud that’s left behind. Rather, look upwards towards the sky as the sun begins to shine once more. A rainbow will appear even after the worst storm as a reminder that things will get better. They always get better. And as the flowers begin to soak in all the nutrients from their freshly watered soil, remember that growing is a process. Rain makes the flowers grow stronger, just like tears make the heart grow fonder. 

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.”

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.