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.
Unexpected events can often spark
the flight or fight response.
Overwhelming thoughts that present
the worst to the extreme
come barging into your head when the universe
takes you down a road without
giving you a heads up before the decision is made.
In those moments, the only thing
you can control is how you react to those shifts.
I've always been someone who either
ignores the shift to process it later or panic
with uncontrollable emotions.
I'm trying to change this by beginning
to embrace meditation,
taking time to settle my thoughts
and focus on the now
instead of taking a negative thought
and running with it into the fire.
The ways in which you conduct yourself
when unplanned things occur
says a lot about how you control nerves.
Finding ways to calm
your emotions before they become heightened
is important for your mental health.
This year has felt like it has been five years at the same time it feels like it’s gone by in a blink of an eye. For America, we’ve gone through so many ups and downs that I have forgotten much of what has happened because so much happens every single day. For me personally, I’ve gone through some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows I have ever experienced in this last year.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in February. Something I knew was coming but had avoided for much of last year, besides the fact that there were some physical signs that something clearly wasn’t right. That took a while for me to process because it’s a disease you can’t physically see. Acceptance came about a month or so later. Then, in October, after having gained puffy eyes over the summer and seeing double in early fall, I was diagnosed with Grave’s. Most people cannot have both antibodies at one time.
Last week, my doctor told me that I’m a mystery because my numbers aren’t where she suspected they would be at this point. I’ve been through a lot of trials and tribulations in 2018 and unfortunately, I see this continuing into the next year; though I’m hoping it will be a little less intense. My health has been the majority of my lows this year. It’s not fun not knowing what your body is capable of and finding out long after the damage had been done is a tough pill to swallow.
However, a lot of good things have happened this year as well. I published a short film at the beginning of the year. I got TWO pieces published that I’m extremely proud of and so grateful they have found a home. The essay is about how I found writing and the ways it has helped me with my stutter. The poem is about my stutter and how what you hear is only the surface layer of who I am.
I haven’t said this online yet but I might as well share it because it’s something I’ve worked hard on and I’m very proud of. Earlier this year, I finished the first draft of a story that has the possible potential of one day being published as a book AND last month I finished a fifth draft of said story. I’m very happy with how it’s coming along.
On top of all that, a couple of weeks ago, I graduated from college with a BA in English with honors! I never thought that would happen and with everything going on this year, I thought it may not happen. But I’ve worked very hard and so, so happy with finishing my degree.
I’m sure 2019 will be full of new adventures, hardships, and possibilities. I’m excited and ready to see what the next chapter of my life will be. It will be an interesting year. Personally, it will be a big one. As a country, I’m curious to see how much of this year we will remember at this time next year. I’m hoping movements formed these last couple of years continue to speak up and fight for rights in 2019. I hope you all have a safe and great New Year!
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.
We gathered together with family and friends to remind each other how thankful we are to have the love we’re fortunate to have in our lives. Thankfulness lingers in the air days after the Thursday holiday is done. Games were played, stories were shared, and the dog stole turkey when no one was looking.
The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years are interesting because it’s a time of closure and transition. It’s the time where the calendar year is coming to a close. Where you begin to realize how fast the year has gone and how it’s almost done.
Christmas lights now light up the night. Soon a tree will be my family’s front room. Pumpkin pie is still in the fridge, slowly being consumed by me and me alone. Friends have gone home and returning to the normal routine is hard for everyone after eating more food in one weekend than most of us probably eat in an entire year.
I’m thankful for so many things that I won’t name here but those of you who know me will know how grateful I am for the love and support I have from you. Without the people in my life, I don’t know where I would be or who I would be. In the next few weeks between the holidays, take some time to look around you and remind the people you love how much you love them. Just because they know it, it’s always good to remind the people you’re close to how much you care.
Eat the pie, put up the tree, and hide the extra turkey from any dogs or cats.
I’m all about focusing on the little things. Thinking about what makes me happy has gotten me through these turbulent last few years. This time of year, in particular, is magic. There’s something about this moment when Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Christmas ads have been playing for over a month (thankfully, I love Reese Witherspoon), and the year has gone by in a blink of an eye that makes me feel different. It’s definitely a good different but I’ve been feeling this warm magical feeling more this year than I have in the past.
For those of you who know my writing know how much I love to focus on the little things. Those of you who do not know my writing, you will learn this rather quickly. I’ve written this many, many times but I feel like the more you focus on what makes you happy, the happier you will be. So, in honor of feeling these magical feelings, here’s a list of what’s making me happy right now.
Christmas music. Like a cozy blanket that comforts my soul.
Christmas lights. Light up the night as magic fills the air.
Christmas movies. Old reminders of my childhood.
Hot chocolate. Caramel. Milk. Dark.
Warm fires. Spending the afternoon reading a book with my back to the flames.
Pumpkin. Pumpkin pies. Pumpkin Spice Latte. Pumpkin tea.
Peppermint. Peppermint drinks. Candy Canes.
Thanksgiving food. Sweet Potato Something. Corn bread pudding. STUFFING! STUFFING!! STUFFING!!!!!!!!!!
Books. Three books from the Strand and one from BN.
Stories. I have yet to write. I have yet to think of.
Writing. This list with a blanket covering my legs. Thinking of an essay I could write.
Potential Oscar movies. A Star is Born. Bohemian Rhapsody. A Beautiful Boy.
Essays. Both personal and educational about people I cannot relate to.
Home. A purring, old cat. Laughter. Football on in the background.
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.