Underneath the surface of your skin
lies truths about yourself
that you refuse to acknowledge exist.
Character flaws, irrational fears,
bad habits, annoyances, troubles letting go,
many more I can think of
that make up who you are.
We all want to be the reliable
narrators of our own stories
but we're the worst narrators,
especially it comes to ourselves.
We're biased and only want to
focus on the things that make us look good.
Instagram profiles and Facebook feeds
only highlight the best parts of our lives
because no one wants to share
what's really happening on
the other side of the screen.
Fake smiles are never genuine,
photographing to get likes
takes away from your actual life.
This trend has become an epidemic
in our society, everyone loves the
highlight reel and loathes stories
longer than six words or 280 characters.
Taking everything we see as we scroll
on social media with a large
grain of salt is a good first step.
Building awareness of your own story
by acknowledging the truths underneath
the surface of your skin is the first step
to changing your own biased of who you are.
You will never be a reliable narrator,
but you can be more accepting of who you
actually are instead of who you want to be.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
As a country, on this day,
we must remember the steps
that have been taken in order
for us to move forward.
No matter how we get there,
we can't move back into the past,
we can't let harmful rhetoric
divide us even more.
They want us to focus
on our differences to the point
where our similiarities don't matter.
What we can bond over
will be the foundation we need
to progress into the future
instead of sinking back
into the past.
Let the markers in time,
fictional entertainment from decades ago,
mirrors in thoughts that predicted
where we are now
be the motivation to continue
working towards a hopeful future.
I watch my cat watch the tv, every time a dog comes on the screen, his pupils get big, I wonder what goes through his mind, what must he be thinking, is the time he fell out the window from the second floor playing in his head, what is a cat’s memory, does he remember the season where he could go outside, can he tell when the night arrives sooner in the day, I try to read his mind, my thoughts come up with options but no conclusions, he will always be a mystery to me, the night is slowly beginning to be pushed back in the day, the new year has flipped forward once more, these thoughts have no home in my head, they come and go in one moment to the next, the ones I captured in this post are ones that come back from long ago, they only appear when I’m grasping for inspiration to write anything, what to write when I have no prompt, nothing to say, avoiding writing something that I’ll give into eventually, I have these thoughts to share with you, the lingering surface thoughts that mask the layered ones, my cat is on the couch beside me, sleeping, afraid of the dog who is staying with us, the dog who encouraged him to fall out the window, with only a small tree to ease his fall, the dog is calm but my cat shakes like a leaf in my arms and hisses at her like he’s facing his worst nightmare when she’s near, he’s purring now, the tv is paused, exhaustion crashes into me like a wave, but I know if I swim now, I will just end up floating on the surface, lost in my thoughts, staring up at the sky that’s fading into the night.
I don’t know why we continually
repeat ourselves as if the people we’re talking to
haven’t already heard a thousand times before.
We’re a broken record on repeat trying
to convince ourselves what we’re saying
must be true because we’re saying them
the exact same way, refusing to put
the words in any other order.
We continue spinning
even when one of us gets dizzy.
What we see and what we know
are two different concepts.
We don’t claim to know anything
but this back and forth is continuing
like one of us will share something
to make this reality stop rotating.
I have nothing to add anymore,
my stutter has gone silent to the listeners
and I’m not even sure why I’m still here
when I know what has led me to the place
where I can forget the time and space
of what is meant to be getting something done.
I’m done running away from what I cannot change,
from what needs to be arranged. I feel like
I’m beginning to go insane. So I’m jumping ship
to free myself from this horrid habit that has
morphed and shifted one too many times.
Leave me be, I’ll find my way without a boat,
just leave me here to float. The rocking of the waves
is a much needed change from the blurred
reality I’ve known too well. I need to trust
in my own vision instead of relying
on another story that has already
been written. I need to create my own
stories instead filling my mind
with speculation of realities that
will only exist in my imagination.
When they don’t like something
they kick you out and throw away the key.
When they don’t like you
they call you a bad person because of your qualities.
When things bad things happen
supporters will rally around you.
When freedom of speech is tested
the people will fight back by calling out the wrongs.
Lies are now seen as a perfectly
good option for speaking your mind.
We teach kids that lying is bad
and yet, we have our government hiding the truth.
We have social media platforms
covering up their mistakes instead of making them right.
Thinking about themselves first
and the customers, citizens of earth, second.
When did spreading falsehoods become acceptable?
When did we look the other way to red flags?
When did we become the adults we tell our children not to be?
When did lies become another word for truth?
When will adults be held accountable for what they say?
This is not normal.
This time we’re living in isn’t the norm.
Don’t get used to it.
Don’t become desensitized.
When lies become truth,
keep calling out the lie.
Nebraska feels longer than Iowa
and Iowa felt like forever
while I was fast asleep.
I watch the miles drop
as I fly by green signs on the
highway traveling west.
Listening to a podcast,
my father sleeping in the passenger seat,
I wonder how long it will take
until I see something new.
Green fields and pastures filled
with cows, semi trucks too large
to fit on the road.
75 mph for almost two hours,
no stopping or terrible weather,
I watch the low clouds drift east as
I slowly wish to be lost in a dream.