Category Archives: story

Poem: Slept With a Stranger

Last night I slept with a stranger.

I wasn’t pressured or forced against my will,
but his pill instilled such a natural high.
And still,
he took his precious time
to approach me out of curiosity
and ask all the right questions.
I showed reciprocity
with some hesitations and no expectations.

To my surprise,
he was attentive to my sensations,
evoking warmth and euphoria to alleviate my frustrations.
Persistent pulsations (in),
patient exhalations (out);
an emotional and sensual orchestration throughout.

A word was never spoken between he and I,
but his myths, legends, and mysteries reflected blue hues in my eyes. (So deep.)
Miles beneath his surface,
I imagined his darkest secrets;
Some funny, some sad,
others hidden how he saw fit.
Who was I to judge, you know?
We’ve all got skeletons in our closet.
And rib cages make for perfect coat hangers when your subconscious drowns your logic.

It was pretty ironic, though,
the way that he teased me on the surface;
we both knew that staying was never really his (or my) intended purpose.
But for the moment,
neither of us cared…
..whether we got lost while the moon just stared.
The time we shared
and the energy in the air,
I swear it lead to a new beginning,
the beginning of another day..

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The ocean is such a beautiful stranger.

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Wordle Me.

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I took some of the most recent pieces that I wrote and put them into a Wordle..

The words that appear to be the biggest were the words that I used most prominently throughout my writing — more often than not to describe myself, my experiences, and my surroundings. The words that appear in a smaller font were used less frequently when talking about these same (physical and figurative) objects. When I did this, it was interesting to me that the bigger words all seemed optimistic and accurate precursors to the next chapter of my life; the smaller words were more pessimistic and sort of stuck in the past. This little exercise made me smile. It made me feel at peace with what I have walked away from, and excited to embrace the new experiences that are awaiting. I am going…to keep writing my story. This feels good..

Video

Pork Chops are NOT Karate Chops

As if depression could be remedied by anything found in a first aid kit..

It’s hard to explain to people who have never known it themselves…feeling lost, buried between cushions of experiences and expectations; feeling so much that they feel so little; numb to disappointment and the dominos of pain.

It’s not easy…none of it is. Losing your voice amongst life’s white noise is the saddest part of all. Sometimes we just need someone to pay attention to what we are saying when we don’t know how to say it. We need just one person to listen…and care..

Kudos to Shane Koyczan for sharing his spoken word poem, and to the entire creative team that produced this short film, for offering a voice to all of those who are or that have experienced depression.

Pork chops are not karate chops. Don’t underestimate the underdog. If you or someone you know might be suffering from depression, please, get help.

 

Storytelling

What makes for a good story?

Is it the relationships that mend and break? The mystery that yields suspense? What about the soundtrack that plays along in the background? Are all stories worth telling? If not, are they stories at all?

If we all come from different backgrounds, beliefs, families, environments and experiences, it would seem that opportunities to learn from people nearly always exist in one form or another – whether the lessons are interesting on the surface or not. So, why are some people so close-minded to other peoples’ stories? Why do they sometimes choose to neglect their own?

I think that people have the tendency to live outwardly — seeing what other people do and responding with behaviors that reflect what society might expect of them rather than the thoughts and emotions that they experience from within. The concept itself may seem obvious at first — trying to fit in with the “cool” kids — but if everyone acts and does the same things then the opportunities to stand out and learn from one another lessen dramatically.

I had an interesting conversation with a coworker earlier this week….He is a middle-aged, homosexual German man living in Frankfurt; I am a 23 year old, single, heterosexual, jewish female living in the States. We have walked extremely different ways of life, which is intriguing to me, but it seemed difficult for him to accept…and not for the reasons that you might think.

Although trying to maintain some of my own mystery, I did start to tell him about my story — my family, hardships, love lost; the twists and turns that helped me lose myself to ultimately find myself. I was openly expressing what a bad person I thought I was as an adolescent because of the experiences that I had had growing up. Toward the end of the conversation, all he had to say was that he was somewhat envious and wished that he had a story like mine; if life had kicked him in the ass harder, he would be been more motivated to do and experience more, become more successful.

I thought he was kidding. I mean…I wouldn’t wish my story upon anyone. That’s like gluing together broken glass and expecting it to shine as bright as a new bottle. Then again, broken glass makes for a beautiful mosaic. I have come to appreciate all of my broken pieces; each scar representing only small chapters of my story. I love what they have helped me become, and for that I am grateful.

When my coworker said he was jealous of me, I guess I was just taken aback because I thought he sounded more interesting on paper…or at least that he would have experienced more than I have. He then explained that his family was always supportive of his sexual orientation and it was just never made into a big deal, so he never really had to experience prejudice, malice, or truly trying experiences. Obstacles and hardships are really relative to each individual, but my coworker was adamant that he hadn’t undergone what he thought would make for a proper, interesting story.

He continued to say that after hearing some of what I have gone through, he wished that his story was as much of a page-turner as mine. At the same time, he internally felt guilty for wanting the people close to him, as well as his circumstances, to challenge him more instead of appreciating the path that he says they made easy for him.

I know that he didn’t tell me all of his story. I don’t know what was true and what wasn’t, but the conversation with my coworker made me realize something…that maybe the question isn’t whether or not some stories are worth telling; rather, it might be: What have you learned from your story? Or maybe: How has your story shaped you?

If you are reading the same chapter over and over again, you won’t be able to write the next chapter to your story…Perhaps the most exciting page hasn’t been lived yet. THAT in itself is something to be grateful for. Take the time to reflect inwardly so that you can share your energy outwardly. You never know who you might reach and help, whose narrative you might become a major part of.

Always tell your story.

One Year Ago Today…

Today makes one year – 365 flashbacks – since I walked away from my totaled ’09 black on black Nissan Altima without a single scratch on my body. I remember, at the time, feeling like I was in a really bad dream; now, when I try to dream, too often the projector in my mind shows the crash on repeat.

Too often, while my eyes remain closed, my heart moves like a hummingbird’s wings in my chest. My hands clench for mercy with cloth and a prayer between each knuckle. A single bead of sweat races a tear down the side of my cheek as salt blankets my neck to my tailbone. The melody of my breath grows staccato until my subconscious finally retrieves me from inception. Few can attest to this, but if – within the past year – we’ve ever spent the night together, and I woke up shaking in your arms, now you know why.

I AM alive…

…But one year ago today, I almost lost this priviledge.

I think that there were too many contributing factors that day that played a role in the consequences. I certainly played mine — rushing to get to work, answering calls and emails, all while trying to read news updates about candle vigils happening that evening in memory of the 5th anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. The moment itself happened at the speed of light, but isolated thoughts prolonged the seconds in between. I remember thinking: Is this really happening? There’s no way that my time on this Earth is near complete. There’s too many things that I still need to do, experiences that I need to have, and people who I need to say “I love you” to.

My will to live overpowered my fear of death that day. I didn’t make a big deal about it outwardly because I was trying to understand the emotions going on within first; less of the why am I here, more of the how I made it here. It took some time, but clarity eventually came:

Having the opportunity to live, breathe and love makes the bad dreams well worth it. If anything, they keep me in check and serve as a reminder to always appreciate what I have, and to always go after what I want.

One year ago today, I received a blessing disguised as an obstacle. In three days (April 19, 2013), I will turn 23 years old. I AM, humbly thankful.