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…
it’s much harder to forget something you love [to do] than accept it. because it’ll just be there waiting like a month-old voice mail. you’ll see the flashing reminder every day but pretend not to care. “it’s a telemarketer. an ex. a drunk call. a butt dial.” whatever. you’ll act like the message is irrelevant. you’ll act like there’s nothing left to be said or heard because you have moved on in life, and after another week it will be “auto-deleted” anyway… Only it isn’t.
At least, not in your own memory bank.
It lingers. Just to tease you of what could be or better yet, what should be. You are afraid to be swayed, to be convinced that this thing—this utterly important and singular thing—can never be left to fade away in the digital space that is your phone (or wherever voice mails exist). You are afraid to remember how it isn’t even a “thing” at all.
But in this age of smart phones (and hopefully smarter people), it is far too simple to press 1:
"New Message…" You hear a familiar voice (a familiar calling), and for every moment you’ve waited to listen, your heart wrenches out a drop of hesitation. You realize that each second you’ve waited was one you failed to live. (Dramatic, I know.) All it takes is one more, “Hello” for you to drown in something bigger than yourself. Your world has capsized into an ocean full of deliberate beauty, no longer confined to a retched boat of wooden walls and desks, and bills, and bills, and bills—have I mentioned bills?
All it takes is one more “Hello” for you to reunite with the part of yourself you’ve tried to neglect. You won’t need a flashing reminder anymore.
(when i see corny sh*t on twitter, i retreat to tumblr… and vice versa.)