How blessed I am, I cannot begin to comprehend

My life outstretched in front of me, I decided to extend my arms longer although I thought my arms had made up their mind. No farther.

I hijacked my body for hundreds of miles, although each fiber conspired to remain.

I lost everything that ever meant anything to me and found my meaning in having none of it.

I laughed at how painful it was to keep moving, and moving, and abandoning the world I had claimed previously.

Realizing, the world is not mine to claim.

I am simply its pawn.

It has claimed me and assigned me to this mission.

So if you love me, let me go far-

Let me go tell the others the heaven that awaits them

When they take that next step, and

Grasp their chance at living.

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Ode to Mary Oliver

Mary-

 I am calling out to you in the dead of night

But my voice is only a whisper compared to yours

I am breathing your truths into my bones

Until I am convinced they are my truths

How easy it is to convince myself of our lineage

When the sounds of the pines echo back at me,

Your language.

Everything around me,

Echoes back your language.

Pointing at me and hissing,

And claiming I do not belong here like you do.

These are my words,

These are the words of the achingly innocent

Convinced they are drowning.

Convinced that every strand of lyricism

Is another breath to their tired bodies

Convinced that Mary was right when she said,

“You do not have to be perfect.

You only have to be good.”

And so, I settle the four corners of my feet

Like cardinal directions in the grassy earth

Pointing me to not one way but all ways-

Pointing me to not one truth but all truths-

Pointing me to every corner with every strand of hope I will cling to

Like the human I am,

Anchoring down through my soles.

10 Reasons why I’m 19 and will never drink again

Don’t get me wrong, I used to drink alcohol. It was a good year from the summer after high school to the summer before my sophomore year in college. But I slowly started to realize I do not need nor do I want to consume alcohol or drugs in any way. There wasn’t a singular bad experience that brought me to this; just the realization that I am more me, and a better me without the façade of drugs and alcohol. Here’s why:

  1. I only really did it to conform in social settings. Party without alcohol? I’m not begging someone to go get it. Party with alcohol? I’m drinking what everyone else is. To me, this didn’t make sense. I equally am not motivated to consume alcohol in either of these situations yet in one I feel coerced into doing so simply to fit the social setting. The solution? Don’t put myself in that setting.
  2. Drinking “to get the edge off” is not a good thing. For me, drinking was a way to rid myself of the nervousness of being in settings with many people I didn’t know and probably wouldn’t hang out with under other circumstances. When you’re half-drunk you can have fun with anyone, even if they’re kind of a terrible person. This seemed appealing at first but I’ve realized I would rather have three real friendships than a billion fake friendships with people that I really have nothing in common with other than we drink together. That’s not enough to build a positive relationship, nor a meaningful social interaction. Translation? Not worth my time.
  3. Again, not worth my time. I only probably have a good 82 years left on this planet and I don’t want to waste a single more second with a hangover. Even moderate drinking isn’t worth it. You know what’s five times as fun and takes absolutely no loss of motor skills? Road tripping. Traveling. Things you probably shouldn’t do half- drunk. Although I’m young, I have far better things to be doing than wasting my time getting drunk. Do you see the world we’re living in? My time is valuable and can help others. Which brings me to…
  4. I know I’m young, and I’m “allowed to have fun” and I do have fun. I’m young but I’m not immature. The mistakes I make are honest mistakes. I don’t see the point in intentionally getting myself drunk and getting sick, and calling that my valuable youth experience. My valuable youth experiences include navigating the middle of California by myself and trying to learn as many languages as possible. I still make human errors along the way, and I am learning about life. But with intention, not in a beer bottle.
  5. I know I’m in college. I know a good majority of the kids in college consume alcohol and use drugs. Truthfully I don’t care. I am at a university to learn something that is hopefully useful for my future. I am here to become a better human and change agent. I’m not here for the parties. That’s literally $1,000s for parties. No thanks.
  6. I understand myself more deeply now. I know my desires and goals more and more each day and I am centered on these. I am so purpose- oriented that I don’t have the time nor the energy to pretend I am not. Yes, I have plenty of fun but I will not waste away my nights doing something so purposeless. I do not need to conform to others; I need to keep my eyes on my purpose.
  7. I have determined by now that I am an introvert. Expanding my social circle is not necessarily my goal right now. I have enough friends. Going to parties to blend in with the drunken crowd is at the bottom of my priority list.
  8. Alcohol isn’t healthy. Many studies show increased cancer risk even with moderate alcohol consumption. There’s added dyes, chemicals, and sugar in most drinks, and I already avoid these as it is. Plus, over time, alcohol damages your liver and other internal organs. It isn’t worth the risk.
  9. Drugs control you. I even avoid caffeine. Even a small amount can help you develop an addiction. Drugs alter your mind and perception. I am the only one who is in control of my mind and I want it to stay that way. As a yogi, I honor this and practice this. Allowing a substance to control me is dishonorable to my mind.
  10. By keeping my body free of foreign substances, I allow myself to further purify my soul. You probably didn’t think this would get so philosophical, did you? The truth is- my mind, body, and soul are near and dear to me. They are my temple. My home. I guard that shit with my LIFE. I try to live the most minimalistic and natural life I possibly can and honor what I need at any given time. If I have too many distractions, I will lose sight of this and will not be as satisfied with my life overall. I am the sole gatekeeper of this precious life.

As a young college student it can be awkward being one of a few that choose to not consume alcohol, but I avoid putting myself in uncomfortable settings as much as I can. I know my true friends will honor my decision. I am not condemning the consumption of alcohol for everyone; in moderation it can be okay. I can only speak for myself and what I know is that, I have many goals in this life and I am determined to do as much as I can to alleviate the societal ills in this world. Without added distractions, I am more focused, physically and mentally stronger, and have more time and energy to do this. I know now how to listen to what I need much better- and refraining from drugs and alcohol is just one of the ways I can honor that. I just encourage everyone to truly uncover their short-term and long-term intentions, and figure out what is their best path to achieving these. And honoring that fiercely.

And to the people at the party-yes, really, I’m fine with water.

Signed,

Forever D.D. (designated driver)

Another word

You open your mouth but nothing of truth comes out.

Only the regurgitated lies you have been fed, and eagerly swallowed.

It hurts to look in your eyes and imagine that we are more than strangers.

It hurts to walk when the weight of each step is so heavy,

It crushes the ground below me.

Some of us change the earth, for some the earth changes us.

It is not a daughter’s duty to convince a parent of their privilege.

Your lack of transformation comes from your stone feet.

You have never moved enough to ripple.

You have lived and you will die exactly where you were born,

Forsaking every opportunity to be better.

So when you speak to me,

Your words are colored with hypocrisy. It is difficult to resist the sorrow. The space between us. The tense unspoken truth I hold under my tongue.

It crushes me.

Disappointment is too light a word.

The beauty of breaking regime

             For as long as I can remember I have had kept track of my food and activity levels obsessively. I have structured my days around a strict schedule of eating and working out. Even if I was really active in a day, I would still have to complete an actual fitness routine at days’ end to feel okay. I have guilted myself over eating foods laden with sugar and salt, although I eat almost an entirely whole foods vegan diet.  I have trapped myself in a mentality of perfection. Perfection morally speaking, healthfully speaking, and aesthetically speaking.

                I am beginning to finally break these habits and throw my toxic thoughts off their course. In the past month, I have worked out less than I have in a very long time. That’s not saying I haven’t been active- as a new yoga teacher, I practice almost every day, and add cardio days in between. But I have ceased the constant obsession with physical activity and its visible “gains” on my body. I have also veered off the raw vegan path. It has been strange to me. As I have rejected regime, I have been confused. I have tried to make myself feel bad, but I can’t. I am too awakened these days to cry over cookies with almond milk.

That being said, I still struggle with orthorexia every day. It has taken so much mental strength and awareness to not pressure myself into keeping this routine. Instead of following a predetermined fitness routine, I have been listening to what my body needs each day and following that. As a full time college student that works two jobs and has numerous extracurricular, I need to do this. It’s not just more sensible and time- conscious. It’s for my mental health- something I have always struggled to care for and to maintain, and something I strive to better each day.

Although I am already beginning to see room for improvements, I cannot say I regret the way I have been living this past month- not obsessing over food and fitness. I am healing with time. I am learning to only adopt routines that feed my mind, body, and soul. I am learning to reject societal ideals of what is beautiful, and not hate myself for not having the abs of Instagram celebrities.

I am learning to respect myself for all of the goodness I am bringing into the world, and realize so long as I am healthy I do not need to run myself into the ground. I am learning to treat myself as I would want others to be treated- dismissing self-criticism and comparison. I have found happiness right under my nose, so it seems silly to continue to desperately strive for an ideal that just isn’t me. Deepening my journey with yoga has been a huge part of this newfound self-worth. I bow to what my body can do, and the ways in which I am capable of transforming lives simply with a change in mental attitude. The mind is everything. So I am thinking of myself as a work of art. Not meant to be dissected, but meant to be celebrated, and to provoke thought and ideas in others.

I am proud to say I have broken regime. I haven’t tracked my food or fitness so closely in over a month, and I feel great about it. Maybe I will come back to these habits at some point, but right now I know I must provide the most care to my mental health, allowing myself to not just have a strong and effective body but a strong and successful mind as well. As I discover more and more what I value in life, I veer off farther and farther from previously held ideas of perfection. I am rejecting consumerism, materialism, and excessive technology, stress, and chaos. I am clinging to kindness, truth, nature, words, self- love, and gratitude. I am grateful for what I am. I am learning to accept it.d098695bc6cca645db901833ed1b2780

Atlantis

Nothing makes sense

In my daydreams clouds are pink and the grass sways like water

Only, this is real life

In my dreams I am awake, breathing, and alive

I am striding across a territory that is not mine, and never has been

It is not my ancestors’, nor their ancestors

I am walking, waking, over my head, deep

I am wading in all that is possibility

Built upon the atrocities of the dreamers before me

The dreamers who were cut like beanstalks from the sky

Cut down, drowned out,hushed, unwritten

Who will tell their story?

Better yet, if they tell their story, bare their bones, unveil the remnants of a civilization-

Who will listen?

When I remember I stop and drop my ear to the earth and listen to the rock and roll of the earth on its axis

Muffled chanting mistaken for party music. Thievery mistaken for livelihood.

Everyone who has entitled themselves to this land has poisoned it, and for that we are guilty of not only genocide- but suicide.

You took everything. There is nothing left to make of this blue planet.

There is nothing green.

Only the sea, that washes me away in no time- reducing me to the minor, insignificant microorganism I am, shooing me, discarding me, replacing me, and erasing me.

I have never existed in a world the way it was supposed to be.

I uncover what I can in the lost world of the sea, Atlantis- moaning to be released, crying, and screeching at my feet.

Drowned, I am lost. I am nothing compared to what was here before me.

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A difference in truths

Bring these stories to our feet. Trip us and bury us in the history that has made you suffer, that has brought you down, and entrenched your people with hate and violence.

I am not a war criminal, but I am a product of the times where war crimes are a point of American pride and most of us do not even realize growing up that patriotism is built on deceit- that the acres you inhabit are not yours. They are not yours. They were never yours. This land didn’t belong to you anymore than you belonged on it, any more than anyone belonged to you or owed you a damn thing just simply for existing. Any more than you deserve the ease of normalcy in a world that can see color for its own exclusion but be color blind all at the same time.

You see, our truth is for convenience. Our truth is made of darkness, fury, and violence. Nothing about me reeks of earned establishment. Nothing within me claims to belong here.

Your truth is for light, love, and liberation. You roar with the sear of pain and the might to break this curse.

I feel your longings, and I echo them. I sing with you as I let conquer. Conquer what was stolen from you. Show us what real power looks like, and how to operate as a moral authority (something we have never achieved).

I wish I could see a fruition, I wish I could see a day of a life where we all radiate. Your shine awakens me, but I will never live up (pressure creates diamonds).

But right now, it is your story to be told. It is my time to listen. So bring them at our feet. Don’t let us forget for a second.

 

for the forgotten natives of this country, and all of those who were brought here against their will.

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the journey.. thus far

2013. I started this blog as an ode to fashion.

2016. It has evolved and transcended what I ever thought it would mean to me- it has become an oasis for my words.

An island of poetry and forbidden fruit.

Thoughts I can’t shout anywhere but in an online space.

I have grown and changed immensely and part of that was giving myself up-

giving up my pain, to be discovered by others

even if I have not amassed a large quantity

it means the moon and stars to me

that someone has found solace in my words

in my scatterings of a life, my attempt to make something of myself

my efforts in rearranging pain

to create a constellation of hope.

SO thank you-

if you have just stumbled upon my page

or have returned time and time again

Thank you for supporting my art

thank you for this space for helping

support my life’s work.

much love,

s.m.

d.n.

Each day the sun draws the curtain and brings the shade.

The clouds roll back until they are wanted again.

The sky deepens.

It’s the daylight that taunts us.

Night is calm.

Night is a waterfall of sureness.

But day always breaks and we always wake to our unknowing minds.

We always greet our unknowing face in the mirror and move our unknowing limbs out the door.

We can’t escape the daylight.

We can’t forget that time is going going going and we have an endless array of puzzles to solve and ways to evolve.

The sun always sets, even if you think it’s only 2pm but it’s really 9.

Even if you think you’ve only lived a little but you’ve lived a lot.

You forget, but the sun remembers.

The sun knows what time it departs.

Every hour it sends us a reminder.

Deeper.

Darker.

Daylight is breaking;

Night is coming.

But like fools we romanticize the night and let the day run out of sight

Like fools we let the day go right before our very eyes.

8/5/16