A Letter to the Writer in Me

Dear me,

I know that writing has consumed your mind lately and you can think of nothing else, but please, remember to actually enjoy yourself. I worry you are beginning to take it too seriously. Writing is supposed to be fun and fulfilling, not tedious and frustrating. Remember to take your time and write for yourself first. I know that your readers are important to you but trust me, they would not want you to stress over writing either.

I know that you have been feeling like a fraud. I want you to know that you are in fact a writer. I that because you feel like you have no idea what you are doing, you feel like you have no right to call yourself a writer, but you do. As long as you are writing and putting yourself out there, you are a writer. As long as you are expressing yourself genuinely and authentically you are a writer. As long as you keep your passion and never forget the way writing makes feel, you are a writer.

I want you to know I am proud of you and you are doing a good job. I know right now it seems like everything you type is crap but it’s really not. You are new to this and it takes time to get better. Remember to strive for progress, not perfection. It will be a long time before you see perfection, and maybe it will never feel like perfection, but you will always feel progress. Just keep pushing forward.

Again, remember I am proud of you. It’s not easy to do what you are doing. Never let anyone take that away from you. Never listen to the people who make fun of you or put down your efforts. You are strong and brave, you are intelligent and creative, and you are kind and caring. If all of that doesn’t add up to make you a great writer than I don’t know what does.

Dear Me prompt via The Writer’s Hub, a community blog for the participants odd the September Writing 101 course.

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My Moonlight

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.” — Allen Ginsberg

I love this quote and the idea behind it has been on my mind for awhile. I have always had this drive to find a way to tell the world what I need it to know but the words have never been fully formed in my mind. The madness is there but I am frozen and panicked, not knowing where to go or how to begin.

I have always talked openly about the ways in which I think we all need to grow. This is what I have always told myself and my friends. The ideas come out sounding random and disconnected though. In my mind they are all bound together by a common thread but I cannot see what it is exactly. That is why I am here. I am trying to find out how to say the things I need to say. And I will say them even if no one is listening. That is my purpose, I know it.

This blog is a sort of stepping stone, a way to learn to speak to the world. I am doing my best to be open and real. I am also trying to have some fun too along the way. I definitely never want to hide my madness, and my focus will always be what it is I want to say. I don’t care who is listening, but at the same time I hope someone is.

Prompt via The Daily Post: Howl at the Moon

Writing or Speaking? How Do You Communicate Best?

NaBloPoMo Prompt: How do you communicate best? Speaking or writing?

It doesn’t really matter whether I’m speaking or writing, I have trouble communicating either way. I am always trying to express myself but I have never feel like I have explained things well. I never walk away feeling like I have communicated exactly what I wanted to.

When I am talking I over explain. I talk too much and by the end of it the person listening doesn’t have any idea what I am trying to say. I get so frustrated and I often have to start my explanations all over again and try my best to keep it simple. When I keep it simple I feel like the other person hasn’t really seen things from my perspective. I want so much to be understood by other people. I think that’s why I over explain the way I do. I have to everyone everything about me and about how I feel and about why I feel the way I feel. It hurts that no one really wants to hear all that all the time. I think that’s why I write now. At least this way I can get it all out and I’m not hurt when people don’t read it. It feels good just to get it out.

When I write I communicate better but I am not a very good writer, not yet anyway. I write draft after draft and edit, edit, edit. My thoughts wander and by the end of any piece I am talking about something completely different from what I meant to talk about. I get more of my feelings out though and that feels good. I go back and rewrite it but I leave the free writing intact. The free writing is how I express myself, this blog and the edited posts are how I make myself understood to other people, bit by bit.

So I guess I need both. I need to talk to those closest to me, my girlfriend, my mother, my sisters, my few friends. They are the ones who will get me and give me the reassurance and comfort I often need. I need to write too so that I can see myself in comparison to the rest of the world. Blogging makes me feel like I’m not alone, like there are people out in the world who more than sympathize with me, they empathize. There are people who understand me in one way or another. I need that too.

So how about you? Writing or speaking, how do you communicate best?

NaBloPoMo September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters That Would be Sitting at My Lunch Table

Another Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday! This week is back to school themed, which characters would we want sitting at our lunch table?

Charles Wallace Murry, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

“Thinking I’m a moron gives people something to feel smug about,” Charles Wallace said. “Why should I disillusion them?”

― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

A five-year-old boy, whom everyone thinks is stupid but is actually a genius. He can read people like books, their thoughts and feelings. He is brave and caring and he got to travel through space and time!

Clarisse McClellan, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“You’re not like the others. I’ve seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that.”

― Clarisse McClellan

Clarisse is a girl who who likes to take walks at night and observe the world. She is a thinker and a reader in a time when thinking and reading are against the law. She is different from everyone else. She is a free spirt. I would love to meet her.

Tyler Durden, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.”

― Tyler Durden

I don’t even know where to start. Tyler Durden’s ideas on consumerism, death, and our place in the grand scheme of the universe are very interesting to me. I would also like to know how he feels about women joining Project Mayhem.

Jonas, The Giver by Lois Lowery

“Things could change, Gabe,” Jonas went on. “Things could be different. I don’t know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors. And grandparents,” he added, staring through the dimness toward the ceiling of his sleepingroom. “And everybody would have the memories.”

“You know the memories,” he whispered, turning toward the crib.

“Gabe?”

“There could be love,” Jonas whispered.”

― Lois Lowry, The Giver

Jonas to me seemed like such a little sweetheart. He was only 11 years old but he caring and thoughtful. He wanted his friends and family to be happy. He cared for his whole community even though there were rules he didn’t agree with. When he learned more about the past and about feelings from the Giver before him he realized that there had been a price they all had paid for being so organized. He though maybe things could be different. Maybe they could have love too.

Winston Smith, 1984 by George Orwell

“Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

― Winston Smith, 1984

It’s been awhile since I’ve read 1984 but it as always been one of my favorites. Like most of the other characters I would sit down to lunch with Winston lives in a world where thinking is bad, where being different is bad, and where love does not exist. he wants things to be different though and sets out to find out why things are the way the are. It might sound weird but I would love to sit down with Winston the way he was at the end of the book. I would love to talk to him and comfort him. My heart breaks for him.

Simon, Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Simon, walking in front of Ralph, felt a flicker of incredulity—a beast with claws that scratched, that sat on a mountain-top, that left no tracks and yet was not fast enough to catch Samneric. However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human, at once heroic and sick.

― William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Simon was the only really good one on that island! He is the one who sees that the beast is really just all the bad part of ourselves. This book makes me so angry sometimes but it’s only because Simon is right. We are the evil in the world and it is because of that that things can never just be good and peaceful.

Piscine Patel, Life of Pi by Yann Martel

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways.”

― Yan Martel

A character with the nickname Pi! A character who want to explore all religions, even Atheism, a lack of religion! He grew up in a zoo, as the son of the zoo keeper, and survives being lost at sea, with a tiger! Of course I want to have lunch with him!

Mr. Wednesday, American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I told you I would tell you my names. This is what they call me. I’m called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-Eyed. I am called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, and I am Gondlir Wand-Bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows.
<p style="text-align:right"Mr. Wednesday

This book was amazing but it left me with so many questions. Questions i think Mr. Wednesday has all the answers too. I would love to sit with him and talk about the history of the world and of the gods. Maybe I would ask him to bring along Mr. Nancy, the trickster and storyteller, to make lunch a bit more interesting.

Roland Deschain, The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

“There was a boy…
There was no boy.”

— Roland

The last gunslinger, how awesome is that! Roland is a very serious man but I would have loved to meet him when he was young. When he was innocent and still training to become a gunslinger. Before his world came crashing down Roland seemed to care about his family, friends, and community. He just wanted to be a hero.

Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

After inviting all those serious characters to the table, I think I should invite along Calvin and his adorable stuffed tiger Hobbes to lighten the mood. I would love to hear them playing and wrestling. Calvin would be complaining about the food and the school work for sure. I would ask them for about their philosophies on the world and current events. They are very preceptive you know, for a five year old and a stuffed toy tiger.

So those are my invites. There were many more and it was difficult to narrow it down just to ten. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go re-read every one of these books. :)

Patience Is the Goal

NaBloPoMo Day 1: Do you find it more helpful to talk things out or to let things quietly rest?

I immediately thought of me and Chardonnay. The way we argue, they way we try to work through our issues is completely different. I like to talk about things but I also like to talk too much. I get emotional quickly and cry and all I want is for what is wrong to be fixed. I think talking it out and trying to understand each other is the best way to work anything out. Chardonnay is the type to let it go and work out her feeling within herself. The more she is made to talk the more frustrated she gets. It’s not that she never wants to talk about anything it’s just that she needs to do it in her own time. Sometimes all she wants is to say she was upset about something and have it NOT turn into a conversation.

It’s hard for us to communicate effectively sometimes. I think it is remarkable that we are able to work anything out at all considering we deal with problems completely differently. We work hard to get past our differences and find some kind of common ground. She has to try to talk and I have to listen when she says she needs a break. If she doesn’t talk then she puts up a wall between us and that affects our relationship negatively. If I don’t give her a break then I don’t make her feel comfortable to talk to me and she won’t try harder to do so.

Most of our arguments seems to be about petty things. I often wonder if most of our fights have to do with much bigger issues than what we think we are arguing about. I read a post on Zen Habits awhile back titled “How To Make a Marriage Work“. In the post Leo talks about how “most disputes and other conversations are about two things: do you care about me, and can I trust you.”. I think this is true for me and Chardonnay. Everything is about those two things. Having accepted that I have tried harder to let her know that whatever it is she is upset about, she can trust me and I do care. I try my best to let her know that that is what I need too.

I used to think that my way was the right way. I used to think that talking everything out right away was what everyone should be doing. I admit I judged Chardonnay harshly for not being able to communicate the way I did. One day I realized I had been wrong. Everyone deals with things in their own way and Chardonnay needs to time to process her feelings. When she is ready to talk she can tell me exactly how she feels and what she needs from me. I may talk about my feelings right away but often times I am so mixed up and emotional I may not know exactly how I feel or what I need.

So I guess both ways are right. We are both right, we are just different. We still have arguments, every couple does, but things are getting better. We just have to be patience with each other. That is the goal now, patience.

NaBloPoMo September 2014

If We Were Having Coffee #2

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that today, I feel good. Me and Chardonnay have had a great weekend. Friday we started watching last season of True Blood, we also had margaritas. Saturday we went to brunch with Chardonnay’s parents. We tried out a new place we’ve been wanting to go to called Punch Bowl Social. We were actually thinking about having our wedding reception there and this was a good excuse to go look at the place. We liked it a lot. The food was good and the place looked nice. It’s got the industrial look we love and with the arcade games and bowling lanes would make it perfect. After brunch we went shopping. We were already off of Broadway which means I had to go to my favorite store, Ironwood. We checked out a couple of other stores and bought us each new shirts.

Then we went home and got lazy. We watched more True Blood and I took a nap. I got up and around 7 started getting ready. We went to new a new movie theater that I had heard so many great things about, the Alamo Drafthouse. We watched an old vampire movie called Near Death and we liked it. They gave us free fangs and gooey blood candy and we ordered cocktails and loaded fries and hot wings. It really was a lot of fun. So much so that I think we will make brunch and shopping and movies at the Alamo Drafthouse a monthly thing.

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that I haven’t seen my father for his birthday yet and I feel bad about it. His birthday was on the 15th of August and I told him we would get together but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I have done other things but seeing him I have to admit is not yet a priority for me. I want it to be but doing the work is more than I guess I am willing to do. I feel bad about that but I am just being honest.

I would also tell you that I am enjoying blogging but I have found I have less time for it than I thought I did. I am trying my best to make the time. I even signed up for NaBloPoMo AKA National Blog Posting Month for the month of September. I hope to do it again in November too! This month’s theme is healing and I think I need that. I have a feeling this blog is going to turn out to be a lot more personal than I originally thought and I think healing is a good place to start.

I am taking social media a lot more seriously too now. Twitter is now the first place I go to find out whats going on in the world. The events going on in Ferguson have affected me deeply and Twitter is the only place to get up to the minute news on what is happening there. I wish I could have been there to protest with those brave people. I hope the nation doesn’t forget.

The events in Ferguson have also brought up a lot of complicated feeling I have about race and racism. I am biracial and in my family everything has to do with the fact that I am mixed. I am always too white or too black. I don’t fit in anywhere, accept for with my siblings, all of whom are mixed too. Both on the internet and in the real world though I feel excluded from talks about race. I am told that because I am light-skinned I have privilege and I don’t understand what it is like to be black. I admit in a way they are right, but they are also wrong. Maybe I will write about it some other time, about how my whole life has revolved around being biracial.

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that I am still feeling a little bit down. I would tell you not to worry about me though. I would tell you that I am going to be ok, I just get down sometimes. Depression is just a part of who I am and I fear it always will be but I have learned to cope with it. I know that I have so much to be grateful for and I am luckier than most. I know that I have people who care about me and love me and that is something to keep fighting for. I won’t give up or give in. I will keep pushing toward living a happier and healthier life, and I hope that you are doing the same.

Bedside Plants and the Morning Sun

I am no photographer. I don’t own a camera. I take all my pictures from my Galaxy S4 and they are all pretty crappy. the pictures have always been just for me and here and there get added to my Instagram account. I want to start sharing images form my life here. I want everyone to see what I see. I admit there is not much interestingness around me but it is my life and I love it so I’m going to share it anyway.

I am late on it but I took this photo to go with last weeks Photo Challenge. The challenge was to “experiment with light and capture a silhouette”. I tried all week to think of an interesting way to capture a silhouette but I am no photographer and I couldn’t think of anything.

Then this morning I rolled over to see the sun lighting up the curtains behind my orchid and aloe plants. Well, it’s not really a curtain, it’s just an old sheet we cut up that does the job just fine. The plants are sitting on an old ironing thingy with cloth bags underneath for laundry we keep next to the bed. It has a towel on it because the old iron board cover is ruined and so now we iron on the towel. The cat likes to sit up there sometimes too, to sunbathe, and the towel is often covered in gray fur.

The orchid Chardonnay bought me for my birthday. The flower spike was very big, about half my height! And some of the flowers were almost as big as my hand. It flowered for a long time and I took care not to over water it and I fertilized it too. I did sunburn it on accident once when I forgot it outside. It has recovered but the leaves don’t look so good. I cut the spike a few weeks ago after all the flowers had shriveled up and fallen off. I am hoping it is healthy enough to flower again.

The aloe plant is the second aloe plant I’ve owned. The first one, bought a year ago, died and horrible death. I think I used the wrong potting mix and the pot didn’t drain either. Chardonnay bought me this one a couple months ago and I am trying my best to keep it alive. It doesn’t look like its dying yet but it isn’t growing either, and looking at it yesterday I think one of the leaves is turning a bit brown. I hope it lives.

I like the way the photo looks. The sheet lets a soft light into the room which is nice. After I am done writing here I’m going to go tie it up though, to let the full morning sun in on my plants, and the cat, and on Chardonnay, who is still in bed. It’s time for everyone to wake up :)

A Manifesto for Self-Love

I will talk to myself like I would someone I love. I will remember that I am a human being, and as such I will make mistakes. I will remember that making mistakes does not mean I am a bad person or unworthy of love. I will remember to take time to recover from my mistakes and forgive myself.

I will not compare myself to others. I am unique and have many strengths. I will take pride in my accomplishments and character, they stand on their own without the need for comparison. I will stay positive and grateful for everything I have, everything I am, and everything I and have done. Failing to do so will only lead to bitterness and suffering and I love myself to much to do that to myself.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”

― C. JoyBell C.

I will love my mind. I will strive to always grow and learn. I am intelligent and that will not waste or take for granted. I will try new things and meet new people because that is the only way to grow and learn about the world around me. I will be my own cheerleader. I will encourage and push myself because I know I can be great.

I will accept myself for who I am. I will be authentic in everything I say and do. I will stay true to myself and remember that I am made up of many parts, all of which are to be loved and accepted. I will allow myself to feel my full range of emotion and never deny nor belittle any part of myself.

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

― Charles Chaplin

I will love my body even when society tells me I should hate it. I will never engage in negative self-talk about my body just because it is “what women do”. I will remember that this is the only body I will ever own, and I will honor and respect it. I will remember that the images I see on TV and in magazines are not true representations of what women should or do look like. I will not push myself to look like the women I see on TV and in magazines. I will remember that trying do so is unrealistic and sets me up for shame and failure.

I will love my body enough to take care of it. I will strive to be healthy and only put good, natural things into my body so that it can function and heal itself. I will remember that my health directly affects my mood and energy levels throughout the day. I will remember that my body cannot go on forever and I must maintain it in order to live a long, happy, and healthy life.

“The human body is the best work of art.”

― Jess C. Scott

I will surround myself with people who love me too. I will surround myself with people who are positive and encouraging. I will voice my feelings and needs to those around me so that they have a chance to make things right when our relationship has suffered. I will also be open to listening to other people’s feelings and needs so that I make efforts to preserve the relationships that I value.

I will not allow toxic people into my life. I will not allow others to put me down or put negative thoughts into my head. I will remember the saying “misery loves company” and I will not engage with people who’s only goal is to bring me down.

“Protect your space and circle. Invest in people who you know will feed you just as much goodness as you do them.”

― Alexandra Elle

Above all else I will remember that self love is always a work in progress. I know I will make mistakes and fall back into old habits. I know self-love requires constant effort and vigilance. I know that the way I feel about myself directly affect my relationship, my work, and my mental and physical self. I know that the way to find true happiness is through acceptance and love for myself. I will be present and ever aware of my thoughts and actions. Every morning when I wake up, I will look myself in the mirror and I will tell myself I am beautiful and perfect, even in my imperfection. I will then conduct myself accordingly throughout the day.

Weekly Writing Challenge – Manifesto