By now, I’ve already deleted and rewritten this post twice. Saved a draft. Closed the window. Saved a draft again.
It’s difficult by any means, online or in person, to admit you’ve been depressed. That you’ve thought about suicide. Especially in a society that may stigmatize you (“You’re crazy.”), or champion denial (“Don’t be a wimp, and suck it up.”). It’s so easy to call someone weak when you…
Right now I wonder, if there is a student of the world who has decided to close her books.
Who, when she was in college, floated down her river of words as she rode one verse into another, and another. Who, when her heart was broken, sobbed stanzas at her keyboard, intermittently tossing tissues towards a basket to the rhythm of a minor-keyed song. Someone who lost sleep because of the colors that ran through her head. (Pinks from May. Greens from December. Reds from June. And Blues from October.) She planted seeds in notebooks and scraps and reminders. And while the water she poured was unfiltered, sprouts broke through paper and blossomed into the shadows of a poorly lit room.
I wonder because I worry. And I wait. For if she chooses to bury pens beneath her bed tonight, I feel that I too—one piece at a time—will have been defeated. So instead, I pray. That her fingers might graze the edge of a binding, only to find them flipping to a dog-ear page. It’s lovely to learn, despite cubicles, deadlines, and bills. Even more lovely is your right to live.
Yeah you. You deserve to be happy.
And I’m not just saying that to be a f*cking inspirational Hallmark card. I sincerely mean it. Maybe because today, I realized that it took me some of my teenage years, and all of my twenties to really *GET* it. I deserve to be happy, and you deserve to be happy. Simple as that.
Now that I’m x-number of years away from being thirty. Now that I’ve seen, heard, and experienced some truly horrific things, I know that I am (have always been, actually) in control. I am finally understanding myself as a writer, artist and human being. Beyond the angst and self-deprecation. Between the afternoon dreams and late night poetry, this is who I am, and I deserve the joy that comes from accepting it. You do too, my friend.
I’m passing along a free token of advice. Insert it into any game, and press play. Beat the bad guys. Use a power-up. Get to the final stage, and whoop the boss’ ass. Then guess what? If you lose, try again. Because this token gives you endless lives, endless moments to keep fighting little minions of insecurity that might bite and eat away at your “health.” Don’t give up, I repeat, do not give up.
The trees around my parents’ house have matured over the years. I pull into their driveway, and watch a group of teenage girls walk by, sporting trends I’m honestly no longer hip to. As a lit cigarette rotates from one girl to the next, I realize this is not the neighborhood I grew up in. These are not the girls I grew up with.
Although a few neighbors, like my ma and pops, have chosen to…
when i was younger, it was anger, frustration, and volatility. now that i’m older, i strive—i struggle—for love, acceptance, and balance.
of course, negativity can be used as fuel for art. but the real challenge (at least for me) was discovering a new, less self-destructive form of energy. (a “solar” option versus fossil, if you will.)
continuing to create from “positive vibes” was much harder than i thought it would be. i didn’t find myself vigorously tapping on the keyboard because so-and-so did this or so-and-so happened. over time, i learned how to deal with problems without pointing a finger, or deconstructing myself into a huge “why-must-i-be-so-foolish” pile of bricks.
it was time to be less introspective. when the flames subsided, and a cool wind blew away ashes of my past, i picked up parts of myself that could never be destroyed: dignity; self-respect; quotes from my mother; lessons from my sister; a Rolodex of people who cared. i folded them into a security blanket, and moved on. i stopped digging holes into my brain to find myself. and while it could be useful, i learned it could also leave behind craters you might never fill, or labyrinths you might never escape. getting lost in yourself can be a very dangerous thing unless you have the tools to navigate. (unless you have the tools to navigate) it was time for a neo-soul search. [insert jill scott - “golden” lyrics here]
i made a promise to myself that i would learn how to experience. i would collect moments the way a solar panel collects sunshine, and although daylight might be scarce, i could always cling onto the warmth i had until the next sunrise. i would walk away from self-isolation and reach out to others, because energy without movement is “sayang.” #waste
i gave myself the right to be happy. i gave myself the [joyous] right to create.
intervital said: Hey there manang! I was tagged to ask my favorite followers to share 5 things that they like/love about themselves. So if you're up to it, share! :)
Hi, cuz! Cool. I haven’t posted in awhile but sure why not?
1) I love that I can laugh at myself. It’s the best thing ever. Life kind of sucks without this quality. So, if you can’t do the same, I suggest you work on that ASAP.
2) I like my virgin, never-been-dyed hair. Not that I’m against coloring it though. I’m just lazy. Lol
3) I like that I’ve kept a journal or some sort of blog since I was 8 or 9. I can go back and read about my obsession with Justin Timberlake; or how I thought it was the end of the world when my mom wouldn’t let me go to Six Flags with my friends. Good times.
4) I love that I can apologize or accept an apology, and move on. I mean, it might take awhile but I know it’s always necessary. Grudges, contempt and all that baggage: I took a cue from Ms. Badu, and “let it go.”
5) I like my smile. And I think EVERYONE should like their own smiles, you know? As the famous Greek philosopher, Buddy the Elf, said “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” (Except when the Bulls lose or someone eats my leftovers. Frowns for days, homie. Frowns. For. Days.)
When I wrote this piece, I was…
Broken. The word has such a negative connotation that sometimes, it makes you cringe. (Broken bones. Broken relationship. Broken family.) When I sat down to write “Risen,” I felt the need to change that. Because although…