My body remembers feeling the pain. I wasn't supposed to feel pain. And yet, it's ingrained in my body. Something went wrong. Nothing's wrong now. And yet, I'm crying. The fear my body holds is visceral. My brain tries to calm me down. It does not work. I keep crying, I breathe. I panic. I breathe. I panic. Back and forth. Back and forth. I'm 26. I'm 12. I'm 26. I'm 12. I scream. My body's response. The memory plays. My body remembers. I'm aware of the why. My brain is calm. My brain is silent. My body shakes.
I sit in a room with my legs crossed and my hands on my knees. I’m focused on my breath, trying hard to ignore my racing thoughts. The music is relaxing and the yoga teacher is the only one who is speaking. Her presence is calming and trusting. I feel safe. I’m trying to get my mind to feel the same. Halfway through the class, my thoughts halt. I’m left with a quiet mind. It’s a very rare experience for me. After yoga, my mind remains quiet. Everything that captured my attention before class quickly washes away. My mind isn’t rushing or holding onto burdening thoughts. I’m present, I’m relaxed, I’m quiet. I don’t speak. I sit on my bed with a heating pad on my shoulder, taking refugee in these rare moments of solace within myself.
One year ago, I was in a hotel room in New York City, about to leave and take the N train from 42nd street to 23rd street to see the Flatiron building, when I got a notification on my phone from CNN. There was a breaking story on Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker. The story was by Ronan Farrow and it broke down many tricks and avenues he would take to manipulate and take advantage of women. I showed my mom the headline and she shrugged, continuing to get ready for the day. I sat down on the bed and scrolled through the story, getting chills on my arm from every account I read.
One year ago, I didn’t know the magnitude this story would have on our society. No one did. After so many years in power of Hollywood, no one knew the significant impact the fall of Harvey Weinstein would have our society. No one had seen a man fall from grace this hard and this fast. No one realized that he was the first of many who would follow in his footsteps. I was too preoccupied with seeing the Flatiron building before the remnants of Hurricane Nate rolling through New York to focus on our society breaking into two. A few hours after receiving the notification, I became overly preoccupied with trying to get home through the shitty weather.
It wasn’t until the next day when I was sitting in the hallway, waiting to go into my last class of the day that I understood how this Weinstein story hit a spark in the universe, creating an explosion of women sharing their stories. I was seeing people using the #MeToo on Twitter and Facebook. The more stories I read, the more I felt less alone while at the same time becoming angry by the fact of how common this is and how it took a hashtag for so many women to share their stories public. I was hesitant about sharing my story and after lots of trepidation, I wrote two poems about how the actions of careless boys have impacted my life.
One year has passed since #MeToo spoke to the zeitgeist in a way no one could have ever predicted. We have opened a door we can never close again. One year later, we’re listening to women’s stories and believing what they share, yet we don’t believe them enough to change the old patterns of human history.
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.
I won’t be posting a review today. Instead, I have some very exciting news. One of my essays is published!! I wrote this essay for a class in the spring of 2017. It’s about my journey to beginning to acknowledge my stutter and how that coincided with finding my passion for writing.
For almost a year, I had submitted this piece to different publications and received one rejection after another. I had gotten a DM from Z Publishing on Twitter in late April, asking if I was interested in submitting a piece for their upcoming emerging writers from Colorado anthology. I decided that this was going to be the last piece I would submit this piece to before completely rewriting it. I had submitted my essay in early May and forgot about it for about a month.
In the middle of June, I thought I didn’t get it because I hadn’t heard from them. But, by the end of the month, I got an email congratulating me on having my essay being accepted for publication. I’m still on cloud nine and can’t believe this is happening. This is only the beginning!
August 12th, 2018
I love when I’m in a place and my phone isn’t on the forefront of my mind.
This is so important for someone like me who seemingly can’t detach from the lure of always needing to be updated on who posted what and when on Instagram.
It’s an addiction I’ve been trying to control for a while. Habits that I’ve blissfully unaware of harder to acknowledge than one would assume.
Denial and ignorance take over my mind for a long time until my awareness over my routine becomes too strong to the time that falls out the window due to too much time scrolling through stranger’s photos on the app that’s different to detach from.
It’s only when I’m on my own and away from good cell coverage that I can step back and see what life is like when it doesn’t revolve around feeling the need to know who, what, when, and speculate on why.
Although, I had this feeling when walking through New York. Being out and about in the city, I barely thought about what could be happening on the addicting app. It was another view into a life where technology wasn’t sucking up the time in my day.
My goal is to get to a place where I don’t feel the need to check Instagram too many times a day when I’m in good cell coverage or have WiFi.
For now, deleting the app will have to do.
(Some of this is rambling, some of this is incoherent. I’m tired and excited to spend the day not on my phone.)
Like previous generations, millennials contain all different kinds of people.
Passionate people. Lazy people. Stupid people. Thinkers. Scientists. Writers. Makers. Creators.
Yet people, specifically the media, consistently box us together.
I saw a headline a couple of weeks ago about a teacher who said she couldn’t teach millennials because they aren’t willing to learn.
This is both untrue and unfair.
Yes, some millennials are unfocused.
Yes, some millennials are lazy.
Yes, some millennials don’t want to learn.
But making a statement specifically stating all millennials are untraceable is an insult to those of us who have gone to school and more school because we dream of doing what we love.
You can’t box hardworking young adults with lazy, entitled ones.
Old generations put the blame on us while forgetting who raised us.
This isn’t meant to be hurtful, I’m tired of being grouped with labels I cannot relate to.
Every generation has a variety of different people. Stop putting the bales on millennials. We are ALL responsible for the constructs of the society we’re currently living in and it’s important to take responsibility for all of our actions in order to teach future generations to learn from all of us.
Every generation has people who aren’t great. Just because some millennials aren’t willing to be taught doesn’t mean it applies to people born in the early 80s to the late 90s.