Posted in Poetry

My Business

We are in the business of settling

planted six feet deep with beating hearts

we earn our wages

weighed down by the dirt still being shoveled in

we wallow

and I am afraid this hole is where I will breath my last

 

We are in the business of settling

for lukewarm relationships and stale jobs

plastering a smile onto grey faces

already dead

with half our lives still left to live.

– CM

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Posted in Poetry

The Day Before Today

It was the day before today

Not yesterday because yesterdays are to close

but the day before today

a lifetime ago

When my whole body would shake

at the thought of losing you

like a leaf about to turn brown and drop

I didn’t know that the end could be so beautiful.

-CM

 

Posted in Letters to..., Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Dear World – Love, Unapologetic Me

Sixth grade English class, first day of school. I wore a purple t-shirt with two penguins printed on the chest I had so enthusiastically asked my mom for whilst school shopping. I liked penguins. The teacher told me to cover up because I was attracting too much attention. Later in private elaborating that too many of my male classmates were looking at the black and white birds displayed on my top.

This is the first time I was treated like an object to be molded rather than a human being.

My dear mother taught my sisters and I that fitting into a box was for woman too shy to be themselves. She taught us to wear the bright colors, to choose the mix matched socks, to buy daisy duke shorts and crop tops and strut them like we were made to be worshiped. My mother taught me to own my body.

Sophomore year of High School, last day of school. I was dressed in all black, walking to my waitressing job fifteen minutes from school when a middle aged man across the street whistled at me and called me sexy. When I angrily told my coworker, he told me I was asking for it. My barely developed teen body shivered as my cloths were suddenly too tight, wishing I had a blanket to wrap myself in to protect me from his stare.

We live in a world where short skirts and tight tops are seen as provocative while cat calls and labels are portrayed as normal.

Senior year, another day at work. A costumer walks in. I will never forget the red of her lips, the way her hair curled back from her face, the form of her body hugged in a black dress. The click of her heels as she approached the counter as if she was made to be there. She spoke the English language in a way that suggested it had been written all for her. When she left, the air was stale.

I promised myself that one day, I would own the room exactly the way that woman did.

Since the moment we learn to talk we woman are surrounded by voices telling us that we are not good enough. Our bodies are not thin enough. Our hair is not straight enough. Our clothes do not cover enough. Or our clothes cover too much. From the second we learn to walk we are groomed into perfect little misses, ushered into cages, taught that if we do not fit into a certain box we will not fit in anywhere.

My sixth grade teacher was a lady. Unknowingly, with only a quick instruction, she set a wheel in motion I was afraid would never stop rolling.

2019, 22 years old. I am still trying to unlearn what the world has forced down my throat since childhood by spoon feeding myself the teachings of a very wise woman. My mother. Her silent example the reason for my loud mouth and overflowing opinions.

Not every woman is lucky enough to have a mother as loud and colorful as mine. So many women are ushered into the darkness, into baggy clothes and fake smiles, believing this is the world they were meant to live in. These women sadly never get to learn what it means to exist freely in their bodies. So many women convinced there is nothing more to this life than the mold they were forced into.

I am here to help you become the woman you might have never known you even had the power to be. Wear the clothes you want. Weather those be the tight jeans and crop tops or the baggy dresses and sweaters. Cut your hair the way you want. Tell everyone exactly what you think. Open your mouth when people tell you to stay quiet.

Own every room you walk into, because this world is yours for the taking.

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Giving Up: The Best Choice I Could Have Made

“Don’t give up!” “Keep going!” “It’s all worth it!”

These are just a few of my own personal mantras. I preach these not only to myself in order to get out of bed in the morning, but also to others, when they come to me with their worries and woes, expressing how bad of a life they have. Do not give up. This will forever be my one solid grain of advice when all my other pearls of wisdom fall to the wayside. When you feel like giving up, give it one more try.

However, that’s not what today’s post is about. Today’s post is actually about exactly the opposite. Today, I plan to tell you about the one time I gave up, and why to do this day, I don’t regret that decision.

Picture this. Years of friendship. The kind of friendship people look at and say “I wish I had a friend like that”. The no boundaries kind of friend. The my house is your house and your house is my house kind of friend. Her family was my family and my family hers. Summers were always spent together. Sleepovers were plentiful, laughing until we had stitches in our sides was an almost nightly event.

And now picture this. A falling out. Not a big fight, a sudden episode, a burst of anger. No, a slow and steady drift that started before either of us even noticed the crack. Days drifted into weeks, weeks into months, until one day we looked back and hadn’t spoken in nearly a year. Life gets busy. People have their own lives. So I’d reach out. She’d reach out. We’d both send a couple messages here and there. We would hang out when we could. The drift continued.

It was only a few months ago when I thought about the big question: Should I give up? It seemed like such a huge thing, such an important friendship to just wash down the drain. But still, each ignored message, each hasty reply, each awkward forced conversation, the question popped back into my mind. Would giving up really be the worst thing?

Some days I wish we had fought. Some days I wish one of us had broken the others heart, because then at least there would be someone to blame. Here, there is just pointing fingers when we both have dirty hands.

I finally made the decision early one morning over my cup of coffee. It was an exceptionally beautiful day. The morning was crisp, the birds were chirping. I never sit on my porch early in the morning, but this particular morning, I decided to. Wrapped in a throw blanket, my hair piled high on top of my head, my limbs still waking up, it came to me at first as a whisper. The thoughts weren’t concrete yet, and so I pushed them aside. But as the sun got higher in the sky, so did the thoughts grow louder in my head until I couldn’t shut them out anymore.

And so the messages stopped. I stopped scrolling up to reread old messages. I stopped digging through my search history to find something relevant to just “bring up” to start conversation. I stopped forcing myself to make something of the past a part of my future. I gave up trying to force something to work that just didn’t seem to want to work.

Giving up is such an ugly phrase. We tend to pair it with dark thoughts, with failure and death. Maybe sometimes giving up means new beginnings. Maybe sometimes giving up doesn’t mean you failed at all, but that you succeeded. Maybe sometimes parts of your past aren’t meant to exist in this moment.

Our friendship was beautiful. We existed for one another when neither of us had someone else to turn to. But people change. Life moves forward. Life also has a tricky way of bringing things back to us that we thought we’d let go.

Giving up meant I no longer had to worry about being the one to message first. Giving up meant I could focus on relationships that were flourishing, rather than watering those that maybe needed a break. Giving up meant resting at a time when I had been doing everything but, trying to keep an old flame flickering.

I write all of this only to let you know that it is okay to give up every now and again. Not on the bigger things. Never on yourself or your dreams or your own life. Never on those things. But sometimes giving up is the only way to see the bigger picture. Sometimes giving up allows you to take a step back and evaluate the situation from the outside.

Now to wrap up my story, because I am sure some of you are wondering. Some of you are probably even shaking your head. “Such a shame,” you’re probably thinking. “Years of friendship just gone.” I don’t see it that way.

I have outstretched arms for this woman and I always will. My home with always be her home. If she fell on her butt and needed some cash to get by, my money would be her money. My ear will always be ready to listen. I still want to be a part of her daughter’s life. I still want to grow old with her. I still want her to be my maid of honor whenever I do get married. Just because she is not part of my now does not mean she can’t be a part of my future. I will always love her in a way I’m not sure I’ll ever love anyone else. Because in a way, she was my first true love. Before either of us knew what romantic love was, when we only really knew we loved our parents and siblings, we grew to rely on each other and we grew together. That’s not something I will ever forget or take for granted, nor would I ever want to. The blunt truth though is that we are on different paths now. We are living different stories and that’s a good thing.

I gave up only to allow room for growth. I gave up only to allow the universe to do her thing. Because she really does have a way of knowing what is best for you.

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Getting What you Want: A Leap of Faith

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I am a firm believer that hard work is the number one ingredient in getting what you want. Without hard work, dreams remain just that; dreams. Instilled in me since childhood has been this grit – a willingness to put forward every ounce of my energy into my desired outcome. However, I am also a firm believer that the second ingredient will always be faith. Let’s rewind.

I have had many people call me crazy when I tell them that I moved to Connecticut (four hours away from any family or friends) with only the money I had saved and no job lined up. I have had people look at me like I was stupid, questioning why anyone would do something so ridiculous. However, in the moment, the decision to move without any real plan was just a complete leap of faith. And I had no doubts that it would work out.

Similarly, a few years back my best friend and I made the drive from Vermont to Mississippi just the two of us, stopping at hotels along the way on a week long adventure. People asked why we didn’t fly. People asked why our parents would allow us to make this journey alone – we were almost twenty at the time, but looking back, it was risky. In the moment though, we set off with our suitcases in my friends Honda CRV, and took to the road with no doubts that we would do nothing but have the time of our lives.

I could explain to you several other instances in which I jumped without seeing the ground. With every single one, I would not be where I am today had I not taken that leap.

It is terrifying. Admittedly, it can be the scariest thing you will ever do. But it is also extremely important in getting what you want.

There is no secret recipe. No short cut to success. But if you work hard and believe in your actions, effort and faith will always pay off.

I am not here to say that you will not eventually leap and land on your behind. More than once I have tried and failed. But it’s in the getting back up where you win. It’s in the failing and always jumping again that you succeed.

Take the risk. Jump when you can’t see the ground, step when you don’t see the stairs, dive when you don’t know the depth – you will be rewarded. There is no success in safety. Always, it lives in the unknown.

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

I Dropped Out of College: Why it is the best decision I ever made

This past weekend marked what should have been my college graduation. Class of 2019. I still get the Facebook group notifications even though I dropped out of college two years ago. My feed has been flooded the past few days with pictures of my friends in cap and gowns, and I can’t help but feel if just for a second, that I should be in those pictures with them. When I first felt that throb in my chest, that guilt and jealousy, I found myself quickly rewinding and checking myself because the simple truth is, dropping out of college when I did was the best thing for me.

Not for one second do I regret my decision to leave school. I was at the top of my classes, I was getting straight A’s on every project, on every assignment, I was the person to beat. But I was miserable. I was working a full time job, juggling a long distance relationship, trying to convince myself that I was happy studying a major I had no interest in. I was appeasing the system that had placed me in higher education, and I was miserable.

Do not get me wrong here. I think College is very important. I think any person who has dedicated their time and energy to getting a higher education is strong and beautiful and wonderful, and should be very proud of themselves. I am not here to bash anyone who has made that choice; they are very admirable and extremely necessary in society.

All of that though does not change that college was simply not for me. I am a happier, stronger, and still very well educated person today because I dropped out of college.

Let me explain.

I did not go to college because I had a passion for something. I went to college because that is what everyone was telling me to do. Teachers, advisers, family members, friends – almost every person in my life convinced me college was the best option. At times it seemed college was the only option. Coming from a small town, to some people, not going to college is much like a death sentence.

Still, college was not for me.

There are people who when I tell them my story, tell me I picked the wrong major. It would have been better for me if I’d picked a different major. I picked the wrong college. It would have been different for me had I picked a different college. I disagree with all of these statements. It wasn’t the majors fault. It wasn’t the college’s fault. It was all on me.

I studied hard. I got good grades. I had amazing professors. I learned plenty. I didn’t fail at college by any means. But I was a terrible human being during those two years. I was miserable. I got up every morning dreading life no matter what I had planned for the day. I knew I was going to have to sit in class and pretend to enjoy the lectures I was sitting through. I sat next to people with fire in their bellies, people so passionate about the subject that they would stand to answer questions and I remember thinking – “give me some of that fire”. I remember just wanting to feel something, but that’s not how it works.

The day I dropped out of college, the only thing I remember feeling was relief. I expected to feel anger at myself for quitting. I expected to feel ashamed of myself. I expected to feel regret or fear looking at the loans I was still going to have to pay off. But no. All I felt was relief. And to this day, all I have ever truly felt about my decision to drop out of college is relief.

I have no idea where I am going to end up. I may go back to college one day. I may decide never to go back. But at this point in my life, I have a job. I pay my own bills. I am doing something I love to do. I have plans for the next couple of years. I am happy. And above all, I am not ashamed of the choices I made to get here.

Going to college is a choice so many people make, and for so many people, it is absolutely the right decision. Also though, there are plenty of people who choose not to and still live abundant lives and are no less a member of society than those that have a degree.

I will end this post by saying simply this: be you. Choose what makes you happy. Do what makes you happy. As long as your bills are getting paid, you aren’t breaking any laws, you aren’t hurting anyone else, and you are happy, then who should be a judge of what is right in your life but yourself?

Posted in Poetry

When You Died I Read

When my world fell apart I went to the bookstore.

I went to the bookstore because there I am a stranger.

The aisles are just hallways and each person is just a traveler.

I went to the bookstore because the pages on the shelves

hold more stories than I ever will so within those pieces of paper

They must know greater heartbreak than what I am feeling

and there is a comfort in that

knowing that in this bookstore as I pass each title

I am not alone.

When my world crashed around me

I didn’t buy anything at the bookstore.

I wasn’t there to exchange paper for paper –

I ran my fingers down the spines of each bound cover I could never have

and I thought of your face.

What a beautiful thing you are – they are –

so far gone from me yet within finger tip distance.

I could flip through your pages but I will never get the chance

to read your novel.

 

-CM

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Find Your Fight

You have a reason to live. I don’t know what it is, and since we are having this conversation, I am willing to bet you don’t know either. But I promise you, there is one. I know you feel like there is no point. Your life has been so dark for so long, and fighting has gotten beyond tiring. Your soul is tired, your body is tired, and giving up is so much easier. Believe me, I get it. But you have fought so hard for so long, giving up would just mean throwing all of that away…wouldn’t it?

So please, listen to me. Sit down, and give me just five minutes of your time.

I need you to find your fight. I know you are tired. I know you have been fighting for what seems like forever. But I need you to find the one reason to never stop fighting. I promise you, you have one. I know you have lost sight of it. But it is there – you just have to find it again.

For me, my fight started off as my parents. When my battle with depression and suicidal thoughts began, I had to search for my fight. And what I found was my parents. They didn’t deserve to lose a daughter. They had given up so much of themselves, so much time, energy and love went into making me – they didn’t deserve to lose all of that. It didn’t matter how much pain I was in – I had no right to put them through it too. I had to fight for them.

My second battle came a couple years later, and this time, though my love for my parents had in no way lessened, my fight wasn’t there anymore. I searched there first, thinking this time it would be easy, because I knew where my fight was hiding. However, depression is never that easy. This time, it took many therapy sessions and medications (that didn’t work for me) to find my fight. And this time my fight was with my sisters. Turns out, they had been keeping it safe for me the whole time. My sisters and I have always been a package deal. You get one, you get all three. We have always had each other’s backs, we have always done everything we can together – you can’t break us up. I had no right to put an end to that without asking them first. And the Lord knows if I had asked, they would have tackled me to the ground and not let me up until I had promised to keep fighting. So I chose to stay. For them. No matter how hard it was, no matter how much it hurt, my little sister didn’t deserve to lose a big sister and my big sister didn’t deserve to lose a little sister.

Now, years later, I thankfully haven’t had another battle yet. But I have already found my fight. My fight lies in the tiny hands of my nearly one year old niece, beautiful blue eyes and tiny body, but amazing soul. My fight lies in the little girl who blows kisses and tickles you, the little girl who gives hugs when she can see you are sad but doesn’t know why. I would do anything for this little girl, anything at all, and that includes finding whatever tiny bit of fight is left inside of me and making it last forever, because fighting for her will always be worth it.

Find your fight. And when you do, use it. Don’t stop fighting. It will be hard. I’m not going to lie and say it will be easy. Even when you have a reason to fight, the fighting doesn’t just magically end. But it will give you a push. And it will be worth it.

-CM

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Falling In Love Early

I found my soulmate long before I even knew what romance was. Funny isn’t it? You’re just playing in the backyard with a person who laughs at the same things as you, comforting a person who cries when you cry, and all of a sudden you can’t imagine your life without them. I met my soulmate before I could even walk or talk. That’s the thing about a true soulmate. They often aren’t even romantic at all. They’ve seen you through it all. They were the one person who stayed when everyone else left. They believed in you when you didn’t even believe in yourself. They are much more than a best friend. Sure, we can simplify it and call it that, but this bond deserves a title much larger than that. You can’t really know it until you feel it, this connection that crosses boundaries. It’s almost as if you become mind readers. You know what they are going to say before they say it. You know they are in trouble before they call you. You know to message them before your phone even goes off. You can be thousands of miles apart, and you still know the exact moment that they need you. It’s almost supernatural, and that’s why it deserves a much bigger title. Sure, you’ll meet many people you love after them. You’ll fall in love and get married. You’ll have other friends. But your soulmate will always be your soulmate. No one can replace them.

-CM

Posted in Poetry

Seasonal Happiness

Sometimes I wish I lived in a tropical paradise so that

every year as the ground begins to freeze

maybe my heart and body would have a chance.

They tell me it’s seasonal depression as the snow begins to fall

and so does my stomach but I think I would prefer to call it

seasonal happiness for me who gets

maybe two good months of easy smiles

and forces them through heartbreak the other ten.

My heart loves the Holiday spirit but my body hates the cold

my body loves the hot chocolate and festive music but my heart hates

the forced nameless sadness that makes itself home in my chest.

They tell me it’s normal and that it will pass

but for twenty one years I have lived every day

waiting for it to pass.

Maybe next year this seasonal happiness will stay.

 

-CM