Weak

 

She is breaking her spine to love you.

Splitting vertebrae to render her spine yours.

Turning limbs in every wrong direction,

Fracturing her extremities to fit your theses.

She is dividing herself within in order to let you in.

She is piece by piece removing fallen branches

Returning the debris to her innards

So you are unable to see her dying.

Her world is curling up, so you may breathe

She is igniting forest fires.

To let you run free

She is conquering herself in private

So you are convinced you are supreme

She is demoting herself to lender

So you may take ownership of her bones.

You have taken her keys, and invaded her home.

Your capability of cradling a life form

Displayed with one minor tongue flop

Overcome with grief

she capsized-

“I am no longer weak in the knees

I am just weak.”

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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

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

home

It came to me like in a dream

It woke me gently with a whisper

A soft spoken slur of words-

Something is different about you

Your walk has a groove

And your thoughts are riotously joyful

What is it?

It’s like you’re infected or something

It’s like something has changed within you

Your internal chemistry is-

More aligned. More defined.

It’s like every move you make is a celebratory dance.

It’s like all of your poetry has a certain tinge of romance.

It’s like your puppy dog eyes are gone, and this is a deeper kind of love.

It’s like-

Everything you eat tastes better and everything you dream seems realer

And everything you read reminds you of a person and a place

And one face.

And you’re on the face of the earth, but the surface of the moon when it’s you two.

When it’s you, too.

You gaze at the sky in a different way

You think maybe God didn’t create a perfect world

Maybe he left it incomplete so you could fill it

Maybe he etched the lands and left a crater the size of two bodies.

So you could fit just right.

It’s like-

Nothing will ever be ordinary again

It’s a strange feeling being so high up in the universe

But it’s something more satisfying than certainty

It’s home.

8/1/16

Coming Clean

I have struggled for many years- unable to combine a few sentences and break the silence on the emotional pain I deal with over food and obsessive exercise. Even writing this, I am questioning myself and dismissing myself, even though I know this has been heavy on my heart for far too long.

I would say it began around eighth grade- I got really really into exercise and healthy eating and so I became a super health nut and began to work out. I ran with friends, danced a lot, and basically did a ton of cardio but without purpose other than to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I quit everything unhealthy- anything with artificial colors or flavors, candy, soda, junk food like chips, etc. over night. Once I devoted myself to my health, I never looked back. I fell in love with the feeling I would get from working out, or the pride of having a strict code of foods I would and would not eat.

As the years went on, I became more and more obsessed with living a healthy lifestyle, especially because no one around me was the same. My family has never been that into health, nor my friends. Most of the people I know eat healthy on occasion and exercise in recreational ways, but I built my days upon a fitness regime. I started following workout plans and guides and ripping out the pages of Self and Shape with the little workout guides printed. I loved it, and as I continued to learn more and more about fitness, I pushed myself harder and harder. Around high school, I was working out with a more definitive goal in mind. It was also around this time I went vegan (senior year). By then, fitness was hardly just a part of my life- it was my life. It defined me. Going vegan is the best decision I have ever made, and it definitely helped boost my confidence in my healthy lifestyle, since a balanced vegan lifestyle is the healthiest way to live and eat. I could never look back on that decision, because I do feel that veganism helped my relationship with food.

By college, I was still in this mindset. I worked out almost every single day, often doing yoga plus a workout daily, after biking or walking to class, and sometimes running on the same day. Thankfully, we have free fitness classes in our residence halls at school, so I would attend those all the time, unless something legitimately important prevented me from going. I was definitely, definitely obsessed. I often skipped club meetings or other cool campus involvements just to go to fitness classes or work out on my own. I tracked all my food and activity on my Health app on my phone, and felt like I was in control of my life. I can definitely see now that there were some unhealthy aspects to my obsession. I still continue to struggle with this to date. There is an issue- I work so hard and I run my body like a machine, yet I still never feel like it is enough. I stopped loving my workouts and started simply doing them repetitively because my self-worth is directly correlated with how active and healthy my lifestyle is. It absolutely is. I was traveling for a week and a half recently, and I had no time to work out, although it was a very active trip in general, but I still felt so guilty and like my body was not fit enough. I have always struggled with this obsession to be the best and fittest I can possibly be, and it has left me scrambling to find time to work out on days it doesn’t even make sense and I end up making myself late for something, just so I don’t feel like a worthless human being later on.

I have dealt with this for so long. I decided I wanted to come clean, and tell my story to someone-anyone who would listen. Recently I was raw for two weeks. I was inspired to go raw by all the raw vegans I know. I felt great doing it and truly believed I had reached the pinnacle of perfect healthfulness. After doing some research though, I discovered that eating raw can be very dangerous, because it doesn’t include as many varieties of foods as it should. It is also very dangerous mentally, because the people who made the diet demonize ridiculous foods that no one should cut out from their life- like nuts, seeds, and avocado. While it may be right for some people, I don’t think it is for me. My mindset was out of control on a raw diet. I felt so incredibly healthy just eating raw fruits and veggies, and I will say my energy felt great and I was not bloated, but I do not believe I was getting adequate nutrition, and I too started demonizing anything that wasn’t a raw fruit or veggie. I didn’t eat bread for two weeks, and I wasn’t sure if I ever would again. (I have.) I do this a lot. I have been vegan a year and a half, and at this point, it’s almost too easy to find vegan treats anywhere. I got to the point where I felt I was consuming too many sweets, so I cut them out completely. I did a month without added sugar, and I have kept with it. While many of my behaviors are points of pride for me, I can also recognize that I am someone who can very, very easily fall into a trap with my healthy lifestyle- every time I think I have achieved perfection, but I somehow veer off that path, I lose my mind.

I love to talk about working out and healthy eating partly because I want people to admire my physique. I want all of my hard work to be noticed. I look in the mirror and I like what I see most of the time. I am notoriously obsessed with my abs, and when my stomach is bloated I get so distraught. I want to be toned and fit and trim, and I want to be known for being fit. I guess I have defined myself by my fitness for so long that I get offended when people are surprised I’m so into working out. Just because I don’t have giant guns doesn’t mean I am not incredibly strong and physically adept. I feel like when others (especially sexist jerks who think I can’t lift heavy objects) don’t notice my athleticism, it’s really a personal blow. I don’t know what I would do if I hadn’t worked hard to have a fit body. It really is a huge part of my life and my identity, and this is both a positive and a negative thing. It is positive because I know I will always be devoted to living a long, healthy, and happy life, but it is also negative because it has caused immense emotional pain when I feel I don’t live up to the standards I set for myself. Basically, fitness will always be a part of me, but I am just trying to not make it all of me.

After realizing I was dealing with emotional distress every time I felt I ate something I shouldn’t have or missed a chance to work out, I researched what I was going through. It turns out there is a name for it- orthorexia, obsession with healthy eating and exercise. I read the stories of many others who have struggled trying to balance the positive and negative sides to being obsessed with personal fitness, and I wanted to cry and shout from the rooftops. I felt like my pain was validated, like it was something real and tangible and mine to own. Now, I don’t like to go throwing around names of disorders just to gain sympathy; that is something I will never do, but I am so glad I was able to recognize within me something potentially dangerous. Orthorexia is closely linked to anorexia. I distinctly remember times in my life where I did purposefully starve myself, or feel so guilty from eating something that I so badly wanted to induce vomiting. My mother survived anorexia when she was around my age, and that is a treatment process I never want to have to go through. I probably do not have the worst case of orthorexia ever, but I am so glad I see the red flags now, which may have potentially saved me from a lifetime of even more pain and suffering.

Every day is different living with orthorexia. Typically, I keep a very strict eating schedule- one I have probably thought of the day before or hours earlier, and workout for up to two hours. Once I start working out, I don’t want to stop. I often do squats and ab exercises in the bathroom and shower just because any idle moment I have I feel obligated to use in my physical benefit. If I ever get fat, it will be my own fault. The saddest thing is I have allowed that to be my worst fear. Not starving, not throwing up, not fainting, not being infertile because my body has been in starvation mode for years. My worst fear has been getting fat. It is highly impossible to get fat with the way I eat and live, but I feel like even one day without working out is risking it. I often slap myself out of absurd ideas like this, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel guilty lying in bed at night. I constantly wrestle with my own mind- is it okay to not work out today? I need sleep- isn’t that important to my health too? I am trying so hard to not be superficially focused on the benefits to my outward appearance, and remember that my incredibly active lifestyle is keeping me alive longer. That should be the real goal. I want to meet my grandchildren. I want to be a thriving old woman, but this won’t happen if I don’t start treating my body like the temple it is.

I am not a machine. I cannot wake up and grind every single day without an ounce of passion. I need to bring the love and the fun back to my fitness regime. I need to be more proud of my ability to stick with something so crucial to life than my body. I need to stop becoming obsessed over gains in certain areas of the body, and I need to stop putting fitness first, meaning don’t turn down plans with someone just to work out. I need to love myself, truly, wholly, and unconditionally. No matter if I look in the mirror and my stomach is bloated because I ate some God forbid bread. I need to remember that healthy habits become unhealthy the second your mindset turns toxic. I can’t have this toxic mindset anymore. I need to cherish my life and my strong body and the blessing it is that I am a mobile person, and even have the ability to work out without abandon. I am unlearning bad behaviors and relearning new ones every day. I am learning not to beat myself up over eating a cookie or bread, or skipping a day of working out. I was incredibly tired today and did not work out. I went to work, I read, and I napped. I listened to what my body needed, and I fulfilled its wishes. And to me, that is worth a heck of a lot more than a workout I would have thrown only half of myself into. Whatever I do deserves the whole of me. I deserve the whole of me.

Orthorexia resources:

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/orthorexia-nervosa

http://www.orthorexia.com/

 

80/20

I think I need some space

I think I need some time to reconsider the love I have for myself

I think I need to reconsider my love and imagine what it would be like if I replaced the love for myself with love for you and love for love and hope in love and actually believing that I can love something other than myself.

And actually believing in something other than my own two feet on this journey.

And actually taking another journey besides my own, and actually going anywhere other than where I want to venture.

And actually listening to something other than seashells and bird calls for me to travel onward.

And actually beginning something without complete and utter faith it will work out.

And it works out just fine.

And I’ll be just fine I just need some time

I just need to reconsider the time I give to myself and divide it up into little bits of time for you and I

I need to give my time to you and I need to give my love to you

I need to give up holding onto this love like a dog with a bone that thinks it will never get another bone again

I need to stop thinking if I die tomorrow at least I learned to love myself at least I made plans for myself at least I made plans

At least for one second I made eye contact with another human being that I claimed to love but never showed it because I had fear that he would dump my love into the river and it would pollute the oceans and murder thousands of innocent sea lives.

One innocent life on land I have managed to ruin because I never gave enough of myself for it to grow

I wanted to water you with whatever was left over after my tongue drowned and I felt hydrated enough to run five marathons while you stood on the side and watched me.

You stood on the side and watched me and cheered me on and I just thought to myself- I have never seen a smile look so artificial even in all of this natural light why am I the only thing glowing in this natural light

Why do we stand in this mirror together but I can only see myself and your skin looks blue from all the life I sucked out of you

And I look so sun kissed and happy and proud of all the places I have been recently and all the wonderful acts of kindness I am bringing into the world but I have given too much I have given my bones there is nothing left to give you

I have nothing left to give but this fleshy outer core

You can have the remains of this apple I bit into fifty times and hated the taste every time you can have whatever is left at the bottom of the bag you can have whatever I don’t need to keep running my motor you can have my extra batteries you can have my extra seat in the car but you can’t have my seat you can’t drive you never learned no one ever taught you to be a man on your own that’s why you need everything I have left over that’s why you dig through my trash just to survive and I look away but let it happen every time

It’s good to know that someone puts to use what I don’t need to survive it’s good to know that you don’t need my consent to love me you can just love me and I will tell you when to stop I will tell you when I am getting close and you can let the rest of your love create a steady stream that flows into the river all day long and poisons the frogs

You poisoned the frogs and you didn’t even ask me if I wanted to help you

You didn’t even ask me if I had ever poisoned a frog I think you figure since I am so full of venom I must have only ever poisoned one man and that man is you

I think you figured me out by week two and you realized I would either be the best thing that ever happened to you or the worst but either way at least I will change you at least I will get you off of your lazy ass and have you do something for once at least I made you care about someone else’s life but your own at least you cared about me even if I never cared for you the same way or the same amount back

At least you had an outlet for all of your pent up anger and resentment not towards me but towards your other sins and the other sirens that lured you in with their majestic hair that just barely covered their private parts

At least I let you see me and I allowed your eyes to worship my body like I was an ancient greek statue of a mermaid that washed ashore

At least we swam at least we were able to drink our own poison in big gulps at least we were able to drink the poison and get a little bit of water in our ears at least I cleared my throat one last time before the last time

At least we kissed in the metaphorical not literal rain at least we went on a few adventures at least people gave us double takes every day because our skin tones are on opposite ends of the spectrum

Maybe these walls have been closing in the whole time.

Maybe I have done this on purpose maybe I locked the door so you couldn’t escape and I made sure this home was built with the intention to kill with the intention that nobody makes it out alive maybe I told you in love nobody makes it out alive so just accept your fate and kiss me dear kiss me until the lights go out and all the bodies sing their praise for our lives for my life and all of the wonderful magnificent things I did for the human race and how we never ran a race together but if we did you would have crossed the finish line first

And I would have stopped halfway through to save the frogs from our poison

And you would have looked back and seen me encompassed in this noble task and realized god was with me that day on that race track and all the eyes were watching me with complete and utter love and adoration and you realized I was better off without another cup to fill that I had given too much of myself to give to you.

And you looked back one last time and kept running.

Here’s to together, and here’s to apart

You are alive in me.

You are alive like a sparrow in the trees

Leaving me alone and taking all of my fertility for yourself

I cannot see the cypresses from here

I can only see your deep brown eyes

I can only see your chocolate skin

And imagine baking pies with your sugar

I can only imagine what real love feels like

I can only begin to suspect you have a natural inclination

To love me, and to love all things.

To love all things, without me.

I love all things

I stretch my arms and legs as far as they can go

And I have limbs in both hemispheres

You have limbs in both hemispheres

You begin to span the universe and galaxy ways

But I tell you to stop.

I drown in your eyes like you said you could in mine

I drown in your eyes and your smooth talk and your sweet skin

But when my teeth sink into your flesh it’s only bitter

It’s nothing like I imagined nothing is like I imagined

Nothing is like the world I was promised growing up

I drew a picture of the world and nothing was accurate

Not a single thing was accurate- I had no idea what I was doing

I dove into geography like I did this love

Instead of making a whole cake

I made a slice and thought we could split it

I thought we could split this love

I thought the earth was big enough for four footprints

I laughed at the notion of ever returning

I thought we could split this love into two even halves

I split this love I am responsible for the splinters

I am responsible for the crushing of this love

I am responsible for this I am responsible for the imprint my body makes on your bed

I am responsible for these stained sheets

I brought you here and offered you life

I offered you love

I gave you nothing more

Your stomach was empty and it always has been

You have always been empty

And I have never been able to open my mouth

And make noises when I need to

I have never been able to shake this guilt

I have never filled you up

All I ever did was remind you how you resent loneliness

And you cry when our palms unite

I cry when your hand leaves mine

I cry when you escape and I know you’ve been wanting to for a long while

I cry as you breathe in and out in and out faster and faster

And I feel every single heartbeat of yours and I know why it’s fast

And I brought this for you, please take it so your heartbeat slows

I don’t want to lose this flower

My plant is finally starting to flower

I don’t want it to burst before it becomes something beautiful

I don’t want to ruin it with my eyes

I don’t want to cut my tongue when I try to kiss its daggers

I don’t want to be tempted to harm myself on this plant

I don’t want life from this vegetation I have lived my whole life in isolation and you think I will stop now?

Do you think now is a good time to cut the rope?

Do you think I can drop you down this mountain and your eyes won’t shut forever?

Do you think you could open your eyes one more time

Just one more time

One more time for me

Let me know that you were once a living breathing organism

You have windows on your face and they are so reflective I can see myself

I can see myself and I hate it because I look like a disaster

I look like I came to seek revenge for all the hope you filled me with

For those wicked seeds you made me plant

You made me garden because you thought I believed in growth over sustenance

You thought I was okay with starving for a few months

You thought I could survive off of your nutrients

You thought sucking you through a straw was everything but a bitter delusion

You never saw the truth you never saw anything but your own round flat nose that mushes against my face

You never felt anything but a fierce grip you never gripped anything but my daggers

You never hid them from me you kept everything in plain sight

You wanted me to know if one of us dies it’s only our own damn fault

It’s only your own damn fault no one told you to climb Mount Everest

No one told you to become anything but ordinary

You rented these cemetery plots you knew we would die you knew I was dying

At a faster rate than the slow rate of everyone else

You thought I was dying and you were right

You thought I was dying because I kept losing my hair and sleep because every time I tried to close my eyes all I could see was your face lost in mine looking to me for guidance like a map of the world but the only continent I ever truly understood was myself. I made a key so you could navigate my poles more easily but you couldn’t read. You couldn’t read because your mama never taught you and my mama taught me way too much about this house and not enough about this world. And not enough about love and what to do when your lover is a panther and you feel estranged while making love. And you feel like you need another soft body next to yours and you feel like this might not be the body you need you might just need two of you. You might just need two of you you might just need to work on yourself for a while and come back to this place and kiss your memories and laugh infinitely and laugh and cry and never stop laughing because the hearts of two lovers don’t stop beating.

Once they establish the same rhythm they don’t stop beating they don’t stop beating they never stop beating

They only open one of their eyes every once in a while to make sure the other one is still breathing they only open their arms out wide so they can make love to the clouds and fall asleep happy and dead and happy and alive and never wake up because we are stuck in this dream together we are stuck in this dream and I’m not sure I ever want to get out if it means I have to spend less time loving myself and worshipping the body god gave me and realizing my soul was intricately and lovingly made for me and it fits me like a warm winter sweater it fits me like the ocean around the world I fit myself but I don’t know if I fit you

I don’t know if I’m ready for this but you are always ready

So I bury my head and bow to the both of us I bow to the both of me

In our love there are two of me and none of you and I resent the pain I will cause us but for now let’s savor our independence

Let’s savor everything about love we ever hated.

Let’s savor everything the galaxies have left behind for us that we can use to build a fort against the others and the screaming, crawling world that always seems to wait on our heels to pounce.

Going 23 mph on a bike

 

Going 23 MPH on a bike

Feels like you’re flying

Everything else in the world is false

Everything dissolves into the green

Of the trees and the blue

Of the sky

And you think your life

Will just be moving forward

From now on

Progressing, pedaling towards

Something actually attainable

It’s so much simpler

Going 23 MPH down a hill

On your bicycle

Smiling ear to ear like a child

Laughing and cheering like you’re wild

Wild for the weightless sensation

Wild for the loving embrace of nature

Frozen in time

All you can think is-

Never let me go.

6/13/16

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