Passion and Pale

I paint with shades of
Passion pumping under pale skin
And make a masterpiece of you and me

***

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Written in response to The Daily Post prompt: Pink

Featured image via Unsplash

Human, and Understanding

They’ve left me facing wall
To the left a landscape painting,
Under hard glass
reflects harsh lighting
There are no windows here

Doctors have lost their hearts
All surfaces are sterilized
No life forms allowed
No healing can happen here
The signs out front are wrong

Insides machines beep the time, and
Tubes drip cold fluid into my arms
But humiliation and fear
are what have frozen me
I have to get out!

Suddenly, the curtain pulls back
In this sterile maze
Life reaches out to life
A nurse, human, and understanding,
Has brought me warm blanket

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written in response to Daily Post Prompt: Blanket

Featured image via Steve Greer

The First Date

Based on a true story.

I shouldn’t have done this. I don’t even know what being on a date means. I’ve never done this before. It feels very grown up. She probably hasn’t either, right? No, don’t ask her. You don’t want to know yet. She’s so pretty. Say something about her hair. I’ve never known a girl with purple hair. She’s interesting. I’m so boring. Why does she even like me? Does she even like me? Act natural. Act natural. Breathe. Act natural.

Just order the food and keep talking. But don’t talk too much. Wait, have I been talking too much? Oh my God, shut up now. Give her a chance to talk. Look at the menu. Don’t act too interested but don’t act like you aren’t interested. Why did she say yes? She felt sorry for me. My heart is going to get broken. Act natural. Act natural. Relax. Act natural.

What did she say? “It’s hot in here?” I thought it was just me. Oh God, she’s taking her sweater off. She’s really beautiful. I’ve never done this before. I mean, I’ve done it before, I just haven’t done this before. A date. Do people date? This is actually nice. I wonder if she’s brought other girls here. Don’t ask her that. Don’t be jealous. Oh my god, you are jealous. Act natural. Act natural. Breathe. Act natural.

Say something. Don’t let this get awkward. Don’t be weird; you’re always so weird. Dammit, where is the food? When the food comes I can stop talking. Why is she looking at you? Did you get weird? Say something, tell a joke. Make her laugh. Wow, she’s laughing. Is she laughing because the joke was good or because it was stupid? It was stupid. She’s still laughing. I’m not that funny. It was stupid. Oh God, she just touched my leg.

Act natural. Act natural. Breathe. Act natural.

***

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Written in response to the Discover Challenge: Here and Now

Featured image via Pexels 

From Me to Me at Fourteen

Dear Me at Fourteen,

You do not know me but I know you very well.

You do not know me but you will become me one day.

I want you to know that even though life is hard right now, that even though you feel alone and hurt, know that I love you. You do not love yourself yet, that won’t come for a very long time, and not without a lot of work, but it will come.

I want you to try to have hope. I know it must seem silly to have hope in a world where things only ever go from bad to worse, but it isn’t. You must have hope. You must try to survive. I promise you there is light at the end of this very long and very dark tunnel and you cannot imagine how beautiful life will be.

There will come a time when all of this will feel like nothing more than something bad that happened to someone you once knew. The wounds will heal and there will be love and security. It seems impossible, I know, but it will come. You only need to hold on for just a few more years.

Until then, try not to be so hard on yourself. I know you are struggling to figure out what is right and whatever you choose is ok. You are only a child and those who are meant to teach you are leaving you to figure it out on your own. It’s ok, you will get there. Try to be patient with yourself, no one else will and it’s what you will need the most right now.

I know no one has told you but I want you to know that you are amazing. You are beautiful, and kind and so, so smart. More than that though, you are strong. There are so many people who would have crumbled under half the weight life has piled on you but you can handle it. You are stronger than you know, and stronger than they tell you you are.

One day, when you are all grown up you will be happy.

All you have to do is survive!

– Love always,

You at 30

This is part one, can read part two here.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

Original image via Caleb Roenigk

Why Generation Z Gives Me Hope

As I am getting older I am trying my best not to become one of those old geezers who hates the generation that comes after them. I don’t want to judge them because they’re lives are easier and they act in ways I’ll never understand. I hated being treated like I was stupid by older people, particularly by Baby-boomers. They were harsh and closed minded, for no reason, and they hated anything new and fun.

I felt like they were just stuck in their ways, slowly becoming like dinosaurs, obsolete and extinct.

Us Millennials are different though. I thought of us like version 2.0. We are smart and long for a kinder more open and forgiving world. We wanted to enjoy life and took no pride in struggling. We wanted to work smarter, not harder. We hated anyone who felt like “authority” and didn’t believe in the pecking order. We also demanded that we could express ourselves and our individuality in all aspects of our lives and rejected most social norms.

Basically, we were awesome!

But we are getting old, we are all getting into our 30s now. We are no longer the generation everyone is watching and talking about. Now everyone is looking at Generation Z, watching and waiting to see what they will do. I am among those who have been watching and luckily one of their members happens to be close to me, my littlest sister, who was born in 2000.

Watching the way she interacts with the world and listening to her thoughts on life has at times made me shake my head in disappointment and disbelief, but there have been other times when she has filled me with hope for the future.

For one, this generation seems to be more diverse than any generation that came before it. For one, more of them identify as non-white. My generation, the Millennials, are about 59.8% Caucasian, 18.5% Hispanic; 14.2%black; 4.3% are Asian; and 3.2% are mixed race or other. Estimates put them at 55% Caucasian, 24% Hispanic, 14% African-American, 4% Asian, and 4% mixed race or other. A record low for Caucasians,

I hope this means more of them are growing up aware of the racism and oppression that still exists in this country, and I hope they will grow up to change it. In all honesty just taking a look at some of the posts on Tumblr or Twitter about race and race relations shows me that this generation is very aware of the uglier aspects of this country’s history and they want to see some big changes, now!

In addition, more of them identify as gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, trans gender, genderqueer, and a whole host of other labels. They have more ways to identify themselves then I thought were possible. I had no idea that there were so many ways a person could be attracted to another person.

I admit, at first I was resistant. I didn’t get why everyone had to have these labels. My generation had rejected labels in favor of a “it’s none of your business, I’ll do what I want” attitude. But young people these days seem to want to shout to everyone who they are, and they are precise with their wording.

There are words for who you are attracted to sexually, and who you are attracted to romantically. There are words for one gender or the other, or both genders, or neither genders, or a third gender. There are words for your biological sex, your gender identity, and for your gender expression. I won’t pretend I know all of them, and even if I did new ones pop into existence everyday.

This generation is determined to label all the ways in which a human can be and love.

With that diversity comes a very inclusive attitude. Again, and scroll through Tumblr will show you that these kids will not tolerate bullying or hateful language of any kind. They will attack swiftly and in great numbers over hate speech, ignorance, or refusal to use the correct labels and language. If you even look like you might oppress someone with your language you could be targeted.

Basically, if you are white, heterosexual, and you identify with the gender you were assigned at birth, you should be careful with your words.

Another thing I am loving about Generation Z is their ability to monetize everything. They have been dubbed the “entrepreneurial generation” and I think they have earned it. These kids are a lot better at branding themselves and using the internet to turn that brand into a living then us Millenials were.

My little sister is always talking to me about new celebrities that she likes and I never know who the hell she is talking about. This is because being famous means something a lot different now then it did to us old folks. Now you don’t have to be on TV or star in a movie to be famous. Now you just have to record funny videos, or write inspirational tweets, or reblog all the best stuff to get followers/fans. Get over a certain amount and BAM, you are famous.

What confused me the most was the devotion my little sister had to these people. She loves these “YouTubers” more than I or anyone I know loves any band or actor. I later realized that was because “internet celebrities” are more accessible to their fans. The internet gives them an easy way to interact with their fans and make them feel included in their success.

It’s brilliant!

Not only that but these kids have learned to make a product, t-shirts, crafts, art, and more, into a business using services such as Etsy, Facebook, and Twitter to sell their wares, and they are doing it without a college education. In fact I think more than any generation before Generation Z rejects higher education. THey see it as an unesessary waste of time and money and instead opt to go right into working for themselves.

So yeah, these kids might not know what it’s like to struggle, and they might be spoiled, and they might not be able to do anything without their phones, but they are going to be ok. I know this because there are so many of them who have inspired me and made me think about things a little differently. Maybe us Millenials don’t have it figured out after all. Maybe there was still room for improvement.

All I know for sure is that we have to get on board or we will become like dinosaurs ourselves, obsolete and extinct.

Prompt via The Daily Post – Generation XYZ

Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?

Image via https://flic.kr/p/aZbzgi