For some people, who they love
takes time to figure out.
They are taught by social constructs
that liking someone of the same sex is different.
As a kid, you don't want to be seen as different,
you want to fit in with your peers as best you can.
So you mask who you are for a version of yourself
who manipulates their perspective
to match how you see everyone else.
It's a protection mechanism,
keeping yourself safe during
uncertain times (aka: the teenage years).
It's only as an adult do you
begin to unlearn the lies
that have been defining your own
perspective your whole life.
Lies can make you believe
things that aren't true while
feelings you tried to suppress
tell you who you really are.
You learn that it's okay
to stand out instead of following the crowd.
The opinion you have of yourself is more important
than other people's opinions of you.
You learn that most people aren't "normal"
and telling yourself the truth
of who you are is more liberating
than you ever could have imagined
the day you put on the mask.
When the sun disappears
behind a long flow
of stratus clouds,
heat on cold nights
in late May.
Snow falls twice
in two days,
the green grass
against the roads
the winter air
lingering in spring.
The purple tulip arrived a week ago
and will not leave. I glare at it through
a mirror reflection, trying to comprehend
how it might have appeared at this time
eight days ago. No one warned me
I would receive a tulip. Everyone I ask
doesn't seem to have an answer on
where it came from or why it's here.
The bright purple faded a bit within
a few hours of appearing. The purple
stem now has some red in it. It's too soon
to say what this plant is or if it means
anything at all.
The earth is alive again,
the smells of recently bloomed flowers
linger thru the afternoon air.
It will fade by summer,
but at this moment, they're wild.
Life never sits still,
it's constantly moving, whether you like it or not.
It's our jobs as humans are to evolve with the times.
Move forward instead of back,
focusing on the past will only repeat history.
Learn from their mistakes instead of making them again.
Smile as the sun sets later in the day.
The colors on earth and in the sky reflect hope.
Hope that change will come one day.
Hope that things won't stay the same.
Admire the beauty, keep moving forward.
Before I say hello,
what will happen.
I will stutter.
the string of words
that will flow
out of my mouth,
there will be a bump.
This is okay.
won’t kill my flow.
A big bump
that causes me
to use a trick
won’t stop me
is that I share
I speak for
speak for me.
I continue to learn
how to navigate
the strong waters
when there’s an uptick
in my stutter.
How I approach
conversations has shifted.
I have gained
I never could
I still say
what I want
but I may not
ramble on the way
I once did
when I was comfortable
with the stutter I knew.
For things have shifted
and that’s okay,
It’s apart of stuttering,
nothing is certain.
"We will just wait," my doctor reassures me at the end of another long visit.
The limited resources I have to aid my symptoms
cause more damage than improvement.
So I accept what I cannot change
and wait for change to occur.
I just got my vision back after months of fuzziness,
oh what it's like to see clearly, such a wonderful thing.
With new glasses, my vision is close to what it was
before it drifted away without saying goodbye.
I accept this knowing my vision will likely shift
once again within the next few months.
As I wait for time to go by, I thank modern medicine
for relieving me from my personal hell for the moment.
These obstacles I face have no solution or cure,
the only thing I have on my side is time.
In time, this disease will pass thru my body
and one day it will become a memory.
There's no telling when that will happen,
every person who has this is completely different.
One year, two years, will eventually
blend together in my depths of my mind.
My mother waits longer than she had anticipated for me to walk back thru the door I entered half an hour ago. Whenever she’s left in the waiting room, nothing good comes from it.
The first time, I lost three wrong teeth. I was twelve. “You’re old enough to go back by yourself,” she told me. When I was in the chair, the dentist told me they were taking out my expander, something I wasn’t aware of. But I was too young to be my only advocate. I tried to speak up but I was told I was incorrect. I didn’t question it and assumed everyone in the room was on my side.
This time, I learned yet another thing is wrong with my eyes. I’m twenty-five. When the eye doctor, whom I had never met before, came in to talk to me and do more testing, I felt like an adult since my mom didn’t come back with me like she always does, which felt kind of strange.
I like a second pair of ears when it comes to doctor situations. Casual check ups at dermatologists and dentists, I can do on my own. But when it comes to appointments where some part of my body is being looked at more seriously, such as lungs, eyes, or thyroid, I prefer to have someone else in the room to hear what the doctor is saying, someone who has my best interest at heart.
But there I was, sitting in an examination room, taking tests and speaking with new doctors and nurses, being my own advocate. While waiting in-between tests, without a phone or book (I left them with my mom), I reflect on what she said when I left. “You can do this on your own,” she told me. This surprised me. I had presumed she would come back with me like she always does. Later, I would learn that she had assumed I would be back out after testing, ten minutes tops.
I have been to enough of these doctors in the last couple of months to know that I get placed in an exam room after testing. I guess I am old enough to do this on my own. Why wouldn’t I be? I was able to communicate just fine. It just feels weird not to have my mom back here. It feels even weirder with nothing to do to pass the time. I stare at the screen in the mirror that I can’t read. Letters appear fuzzy. My eyes hate me.
The nurse takes me to another room for additional imaging and I begin to plot a plan to get my water bottle and maybe get my mom back here with me. As the nurse is getting the test set up, I ask if when we’re finished, I can go and get my water from my mom. She says that’s perfectly fine and I stare at a blinding light four times because the first two times didn’t get a good look at my eyes.
When I go and grab my water bottle, my mom asks me what’s going on, I’ve been gone for thirty minute. I say I’ve been having tests done and motion her to come with me. I’m surprised she’s been wondering where I’ve been. Though, whatever the miscommunication was quickly gets pushed aside as I introduce my mom to the eye doctor and we’re told I have Keratoconus. As soon as we’re told why this is, the possible treatments, and the process of monitoring the disease, we’re sent on our way.
“Why does something bad always happen when you go back by yourself?” My mom jokes with me as we leave. I can’t help but laugh myself. It’s ironic how these things happen when my mom sends me off own my own. And it’s surreal to be told yet another thing is wrong with my eyes. To be honest, I’m still processing all of it.