Racing to Here

Sometimes I catch myself racing to the next thing and I think, “If I can just do this next thing I’ll be happy. If I can just push a little further.”

Yesterday I sat down with all my thoughts and made a list of everything I wanted growing up. To my surprise most of those things happened.

Of course I didn’t travel the world like I wanted. But I traveled around plenty of places I wanted to go.

And I’m no where near financially well off as I wanted but I have an apartment with my very own plant room, my own decoration style, and my very own comfort items.

I have little “peak through” areas of my place where my personality shines. My decorative plant stand, my paint spot, my writing corner, my kitchen where all the best foods are made, and my patio where I can listen to the birds in the morning.

I also have a partner who I wished for. Who listens to me, laughs with me, makes all the food with me, helps me clean, helps me with projects, holds me when I’m sad or cold, tells me how proud she is of me. I have a partner who I can watch TV with, travel, do crafts with, and improve with.

All these things I’ve been running trying to find and trying to feel like I did enough to deserve them. But I already have. I did. And not because all the work I put into my self and my surroundings.

I was born deserving of these things. I was born into worthiness, into godliness, into love, into being. I was birthed through gratitude.

I don’t need to earn anything. I just need to find ways to make this gift feel like home. And after many years I can finally say that I feel like home to me.

Now that I accept my gifts I can begin the process of bringing my gifts to others. This is gratitude.

Ay-hiy nanaskomon.

American Dream

Accepting that police reform can only be done at the level of the police is an idea created to maintain distance from America’s core beliefs. Addressing only police reform is an underestimation of the problem. It allows the public to put distance between the police and their own attitudes surrounding what is means to be a “True American.” By singling out the police it allows the public to feel exonerated by their troubling beliefs. It is a country problem that exceeds the police.

To some, challenging the police is a challenge to their own will. To open their eyes to the truth that police are a direct expression of their beliefs.

The problematic ideology was designed and disseminated to the public. It allowed Americans to believe in the concept of “The American Dream.” Americans hold onto the dream because they believe themselves worthy. Americans are taught that are limited “Dream” seats. And other people may take your seat but if you keep working hard you’ll make it. And if someone fails to achieve the dream it is blamed on the person they perceive who took “their” seat.

In doing so they create a scapegoat so they don’t have to acknowledge how their beliefs and behaviors caused them to fail. It is not their fault for not exceeding at their Dream but others. So America create groups and we define others to feel better about our own limitations.

And with that thought, those who consider themselves Americans run from lies and leave a trail of hate behind.

Much like a country that runs from its truth and leaves a trail of blood and tears behind.

To the people who keep bringing up domestic violence and abuse as reasons we should not defund the police,

Keep our names out your mouth. Don’t try to play savior here.

When the #metoo movement happened we were blamed for ruining people’s future, even after they ruined ours. When we asked police to pull up with their sirens off to collect the ex with the gun, who police refused to give us a restraining order for, police came blaring. Always trying to play savior. When police failed to pick up the ex and I couldn’t leave my house for days because the ex was watching my house, still with a gun.

When I called police because someone broke into my apartment. They asked if I typically have people over and they “forget” to lock the door, but the doorknob was hanging by its last screw.

When I called again because someone broke into my house when the lights and music were on after I drove down to the gas station. My phone was untouched and the gold ring that was stolen the first time made its way back. Police said it was unconnected and they couldn’t do anything. I stopped calling police for domestic violence issues.

Now imagine if I called and a social worker came to my apartment. The social worker helped me make a plan to leave the area and be safe. Imagine me finding a safe apartment and meeting others in a supportive group for domestic violence survivors. Imagine my apartment not getting broke into.

Imagine people believing assault survivors.

Imagine knowing all this and still believing there is not a better way than what is happening now.

Life’s funny like that

The first day I really met you was when you knocked on my door. When I opened you had a confused face, a notebook, and your planner. You didn’t wait until I said hello. Instead you ducked under my arm and sat down on my floor. “Help me plan my life. Also pick 5 clubs to go to with me.”

At this point I had met you briefly downstairs in the laundry room and ran into you once in the common area.

But I did as you said. We spent 3 hours sorting through papers and coming up with your life plan. You wrote sticky notes of times I should meet you for clubs and lunch. At one point you cried about the pressures of college. I just told you it would be okay and held your hand.

Life is weird like that.

Fast forward 2 years. You have your own apartment and I come over to study. The two weeks finals hit we were inseparable. We studied together, made gigantic plates of nachos, and slept together. In between sleepless nights we danced to our favorite songs and made art projects.

One night we were so sleep deprived you knelt next to my chair and refused to stop staring at me until I walked you to bed. You fell asleep in my arms that night and every night after during those finals.

Fast forward another 2 years and we are in grad school. We got apartments close to each other. We spent what time we could with each other. You left college for a job and forgot to leave your new number.

Life is funny like that.

Happiness

The weirdest part of growing up that no one ever talks about is this constant pressure to be happy.

This constant threat that if you are not completely put together in your later 20s that you are a failure.

The thought that your mental health should be perfect. You should have a perfect diet. With a perfect exercise routine. A perfect job. Traveling schedule. Perfect conscious.

Its exhausting always trying to be perfect. To be sane. To be this image.

I don’t know a single person that has it figured out.

We are all spinning around on this planet wondering what we are doing wrong. Exhausted.

The weirdest thing is not being allowed to say “there are times I am not OK.”

We just don’t have to be.

My life

For the longest time I thought I needed something, someone, anything.

I keep searching for something, anything, to make me feel at peace.

Like this life means something.

And sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes life is just pain and thats okay.

I will continue searching for myself and my own peace in this world.

I didn’t have that growing up and I clung to whatever gave me peace.

Without realizing I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. I don’t have to downplay the pain I feel. The love I didn’t receive. And maybe that’s why I love myself so much.

I have myself always. I always held myself in the absence of others. And I will continue to do so.

This body is so strong. These eyes have seen so much. This blood has carried me further than anyone ever could.

I am my own best friend, my own referee, my own cheerleader. And I’ll never stop believing in myself.

I am enough. No matter how many times I have to remind myself.

I am always enough.

Unheard

I was breed in chaos. But I will not let it take me.

I have a lot of anxiety about life. It’s not the anxiety surrounding money, jobs, career path, house, etc.

It’s small things. Like floor boards creaking at night. The sound of someone clearing their throat. Someone quietly eating dinner without looking up. The sound of yelling. The dark.

It’s a shock to my system. A shiver down my spine.

It’s the language of chaos. The language of the unheard.

Abused children speak a langauge you can never learn. It stays with them years after the trauma has been ripped away.

If you want to heal your children, don’t put them in chaos to begin with.

Artist and their Creations

Paint me in, paint me strong. Paint me like the St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo show them. The world forgot what beauty is. How it is carved into the skin by the man that holds his knife and judgments so close to the medium.

Picasso paint me into your blue scenes so I can finally understand how it feels to be shut off, to be cold, and to only live in one color.

Monet, paint me that same sunrise from 1872. You must have longed to see the sun be brought up to that ocean.

Donatello, make me into a burning David, but this time remove the hat, open my eyes, and bleed with me. I want water pouring out of my pores. I want fluid movements that earn for a pull from the tourists that seem to think I am but a precious metal. Make my hands lonely, make them reach out, and make them unfulfilled like every man and woman still searching for their worth in this world.

Neruda, paint me wordless into your poetry. Create me into the forest of your lost love and read to me of your sweet sorrows.

Rembrandt make me into the storm of 1633 in the Sea of Galilee, because I know all too well the pain of being destructive to others and most importantly to myself.

Munch, create the same shocked face of the Scream onto ever man and woman who screams for everyone to love them only to realize that they do not love themselves.

Vermeer, I appreciate your work on the pearl in the girl’s ear. But the mere idea that the pearl was worth more than her body ever was, makes me shutter. Who are we? We have always been awful.

Da Vinci, I admire your work creating the vocal point of compassion, love, and understanding into your work of the last supper. It astounds me that you gave your life to represent a selfless being only to have the followers fall apart at the seam because we cannot get over judging people by the color of their beliefs, outward appearance, and lack of social class. We do not lend a hand because we are afraid of the disease we can catch from others who are not like us. Ugliness is not a disease you can catch that you do not already have. We are all filthy, just in different aspects.

And Van Gogh, paint me into the stars so I can look down on the world and finally understand why we move so fast. As if there is something we are moving closer to but never really touching.

Finally, mother, hold me. Hold me and speak slowly into these damaged ears. Tell me I am beautiful and worth something more than a wife. Tell me I am more than a lower half and promise me, promise me you will never leave. Because I can always go into the minds of artists but you are the greatest creator I have ever met. You never sold me to any museum and you never boasted I was the best child in the world. But you loved me endless and you told me I was one of your beautiful creations.