And I have dawned these great dark seas and jungles before
They have long come for me. I have twisted in their wrath and shook in their cold as the sweat of their toxins ran down my brow
You who seeks to protect me while destroying me, what are you truly seeking?
For your paranoia has made you a fool. A tyrant, yeast in its palm.
Calling yourself holy while riddled with holes seeping poison.
I am the keeper of this forest of green. My winds are strong, the brown of my dirt is beastly, and the shake of my ground is earth shattering.
So, who are you to call upon my land? You bring your dented sword to fight the poachers while simultaneously leading them straight to my centers.
Sometimes you want so much to be the keeper, to be the wrath of good, to be the honest gallant, but find that while fighting these hard battles and stepping with agony through each field, that you are the villain you’ve been running from.
So, step aside and let this evil you bring with you come for me. Kneel while they tear me flesh from flesh. Turn away your head while gnash my teeth away.
Let. Them. Come.
For they know who I am.
I have spent much in solitude in preparation for your treachery.
My heart guarded with the thickest of water from the deepest and darkest seas.
If I fall in defeat, you will still be there kneeling, and you and your army will be swallowed by my earth. You will drown in the water of my roots and in turn, revive me again.
And there I shall be in my forest of green yet again, with you beneath my beastly brown, and sentenced to a lifetime of earthquakes beneath my worn feet.
I feel as though there are a lot of forms of heartbreak one can feel in their time on this Earth. And I feel that way rather a life last 100 years, or if it’s cut short right in its prime. Some experience every form of it. And those are the people that hold the most truth and strength. However, unresolved, those are also the people that go on to cause great suffering around them. And on the opposite end, there are those who have been through each heartache, did the work to heal, and allow themselves to give fully again to experience the fullness of something. And if they ever cross paths with the first version and connect in absolute, it can be disastrous.
This world can hold so much sadness. However, one of the saddest to witness or experience, especially close to home, is to witness and/or experience someone that is so much of a dreamer, that they can no longer see clearly.
I flip back through notes, years’ worth, even one as recent as my very dark birthday. He spoke of hoping and praying to see and experience all of the adventures that were being written about amongst us. It makes me feel sorry for him reading it now. Because the secret part that I could always see and held knowledge of was the blissful fact that writing down those adventurous plans, were always part of the adventure.
Each and every word penned down, a grin on the face; those poetic verbiages, were part of the greatest adventure. And in that sense, knowing now, he missed them all. He missed our greatest adventures.
While he was dreaming of other lives, other adventures, even with other people, here I sat, penning down adventures of a lifetime. Bringing them to life, I penned down a manifesto. I was living every moment of bliss we were building and had built. Both by living them, and by poetic penmanship. I sat there fulfilled. You? Sad that one could miss every single one daydreaming of something better.
When enough isn’t enough, we miss the best parts of our lives.
And now? Well now, I grow old content and fulfilled. Because adventures, I have lived them. The greatest ones.
I also get to be the saddest. Because for years, I thought I was living out these adventures with the greatest of all soulmates. And now, I am slammed with a realization that I travelled miles and mountains with a ghost. A phantom man ran his hands through my hair. A phantom shivered up my spine as he shook my world.
I flew in the clouds as I hallucinated the greatest love of all time.
I feel pain for your soul. We get one life gifted to us by mother nature’s womb. As I grow content in the gray that forms in my sweet and worn scalp, you wrinkle in regret. Too much time living in your own needs of protection have robbed you and cost you all of the incredible journeys that were right in front of you.
They weren’t enough. For you. And now, they have come to pass and haunt you. Fantasy smoke has cleared, and bones aren’t as sturdy as they once were. Thrown aside when not benefiting you, all of the things and people left in your wake dust off and come to view you like a museum piece as they live on.
And when and if this ends, I will leave fulfilled. Because heaven knows, I lived every single second of every single one of the greatest journeys of my life.
Isn’t it crazy that it’s in our lowest moments that we tend to reflect on who we are. We especially do this when we are alone. For myself, that is the majority of the time. I spend 95% of my time alone, and it has been this way for most of my life. For each season of my life, through infatuations, abuse, laughter, embarrassments, friendships, milestones, I suffered through and embraced each lesson mostly alone.
Each year was trial and error. Mostly error if I am being honest. Clumsy and bratty, angry and fierce, and yet, a part of me severely fragile and soft. Like a two-sided mountain, yearning to be seen, to be climbed, and to be heard.
For as long as I can remember, I could close my eyes and swear I could hear the most soothing music notes playing even when the room was completely silent. A magical gift I always thought, I could hear a song for every single moment throughout each and every season. And when no one was looking, I would stand on my stage and dance and sing. I would stage a performance as if each one were my last. I could see every face in the crowd, all shocked at this untouchable spirit.
It is true that sometimes, a dream is just simply an avenue to escape moments. Dreaming can replace the sadness one feels under any moon. It can take you to the only safe place you may know in times of fright. I feel that these were definitely my safe place moments. I feel that these moments can also mold each and every path you will take on this small planet.
I am the first to admit that now, I perform more stern and fierce than ever. It seems as though the further the dream gets away from me, the more I perform to hold onto it. Some weeks, I perform so much that I spend more of my day in the performance than I do in actual reality. I like to believe that when I pass on one day, I will go to my greatest performance permanently. I sometimes dream by writing my best work in my head when I need to focus my mind in a crowded and nerve wracking moment. These are the moments where you think, “darn it, I wish I would have brought a paper and pen with me.” I can get lost in a floor tile in a waiting room. And I can even envision myself standing in front of me guiding me and giving me calming advice for that moment. Some might say that makes me crazy, but we all have our own ways of coping.
Socially, most of the time, I am crippled, even though the inner me wants so badly to have good people in my life. I get nervous and in my head and sometimes, I convince myself that no one likes me and I will never fit in, which I definitely know is not true the majority of the time. It’s an insecurity I have always dealt with. I begin to speed talk when I am trying to socialize. Sometimes I’ll even divulge way too much information in the first conversation. I have even sometimes, without thinking, became a chameleon and agreed with everything they said, or mimicked their behavior to merely fit in. Not used to talking to people, or even more so, people talking to me, I have to jump myself across from me quite often to fan the anxiety off of my face. And it doesn’t hurt that I and the other me are frankly, very good at funny faces, or if someone is being rude, I’ll even go as far as imagining myself thumping them in the nose. Ha Ha. Probably shouldn’t have admitted that part.
I can write a whole life for you with a single stroke of a pencil having never left the very chair I am sitting in. And I can go on any adventure I want by merely peering out of a window. An extraordinary adventure of the most beautiful kind. The adventure of the mind. I can be anyone I want to be, and go anywhere I choose to roam.
These unique parts of me are so special. I hold onto them with every fiber of my being because things get so tough, and things get so scary. Most people lose their sense of imagination in their childhood. They grow up and forget what it is to dream in color. Everything becomes so black and white and mundane. I don’t want to lose this part of me ever, even as I am approaching 40.
What are some of the ways that you cope?
And what are some of the behaviors you have held onto since childhood?
Do you have trouble connecting socially, and if so, do you have tools in your brain that you use to maneuver your way through each situation?
And I demand the chance to protect my health and my body.
I owe it to my very being to find love for my own self first, to set an example for those
that will come after me.
I demand happiness and to push any obstacle out of my way to accomplish that.
I demand respect. The kind I have both earned for myself, and the kind that just naturally
comes from being birthed a human and woman.
I demand love. The kind I deserve and can also provide. The kind of love that changes
how I view everything in this big world. The kind that I can be myself with.
I demand a place in this world. For myself and for my family, and I stand ready to fight
I demand understanding. Understanding that if I portray a thought process different than yours, you will not shake it in me. An understanding that as you stare into my eyes and sense an emptiness, you know not the measures of things I have been through, nor that I am battling as we exchange looks. An understanding that possibly in that moment, I am hanging on by the last thread that I have more than likely graciously borrowed from someone who felt generous enough to offer it up to me.
I demand self-worth. A world that acknowledges my beauty as a woman, my strength as a mother, and my value as a fellow human.
I demand unapologetic boundaries. Last and definitely not least, I ultimately place my mental health, my wellbeing, my self-love, and the care of my children above all and everything. If at any time, or in any place, any of these become threatened or weighted down, I reserve the right to distance myself, children, and soul from the weight.
I demand my demands to be met. And if they are not, I demand a removal of the obstacle.
Oh lover, I have looked into the eyes of pure bliss and pleasure. I met you in secret, in the fields of weed flowers where we rolled around, temporarily forgetting the world. I feel no pain in this meeting while you stroke two fingers down my back.
Pushing my hair behind my ears, you trigger chill bumps that shiver up my spine the same way they shivered up my spine years ago. When you are apart from me, I envision the next time we will meet and my clothes will peel from my skin.
Tell me you’ll meet me here again tomorrow where our eyes can meet once more.
I can’t fathom any second of my world if you are not in it. Every adventure we embark on is a dream in which I check off of my list.
Pull your body as close to mine as is humanly possible. Press your lips so firmly against mine, that I need to come up for air.
Build this life with me climbing each and every mountain together.
Make love to me as if it will be the last time, each time.
I remember each and every field we’ve walked in, each path we’ve discovered, and envision the limitless life that can be ahead of us.
I would smile walking with you in a hurricane, laughing as we run from the rain. This life we are building is exciting and fills me with hope. A hope I have never experienced before. When I say I love you, it’s a feeling I can’t explain. It’s a word I have never used in the way I am using it for you.
When I am speaking of you and I say family, it is new because it is a family feeling that I have never had with anyone else. It means future, a finality, eternal.
I will adventure with you til the end of my days as long as you remember to meet me in the fields when things get tough. As long as your hand is in mine while we walk or crawl through the hard journeys. I’ll hold you up when you need strength, and take care of you like you deserve, because you fulfil these same loves in my life.
I love you. I love us. And I love this life we are building. And if we ever get separated, you will know where to find me…….
but only to sledgehammer them away with breaths of unfathomable strength.
Unleash the beast within you,
lying dormant in wait for you to believe in the gifts that you yourself hold the power to.
The weights of this world have nothing on a beautiful,
Take that power,
face the demons in your mind,
and those standing in the vicinity of you,
and say the word that will send them to their final resting place…
When I wrote this, I had no idea it would become a mantra that I would find myself reading back to myself time and time again. I actually wrote it to encourage and empower a girlfriend of mine. It’s crazy how, as writers, sometimes we can write things that are meant for others, and the individual piece ends up changing our own worlds.
It is true as women, we haven’t always felt as though we are at the top of the food chain. At times, just based on our genders, we are shoved aside, not picked or not first pick for the careers that we are the most qualified for, ignored by majorities under the assumption that we are dumb, underestimated on a daily basis, and largely just expected, even in 2021, to simply pop out children and stand in the kitchen.
Ladies, retribution is in a firm, brave, and courageous flip of your hair. A stance of a warrior. A sway of a big, beautiful, wide set of thick-woman hips strolling down this path with a strong mission. We don’t always recognize the power that lies within us. It is there. Waiting for us to grab it and use it. Waiting for us to own it.
I will always wear my scars like a beautiful lipstick. Smooth in color, strength in a smile, and unstoppably confident knowing that at any given time, I could power up, look myself in the mirror, and know that even in a battle for one, I am the lion who comes out last.