Am I a Fake Minimalist?

Moving back into my father’s house, I was unpacking suitcase upon suitcase. It wasn’t an extreme amount of stuff, since it could fit in my car to make the journey home, but it was enough to take me over an hour to organize. It was too much.

After downsizing my life and trying time after time again to sell and responsibly ditch my possessions, I had too much.

Was I a fake minimalist?

What is a minimalist anyways?

You apparently must buy a very small number of things from the day you start bringing things into your life. I will be twenty this year and I am still drowning in possessions.

This is a warning to everyone: stop buying stuff. You don’t need even half of what you buy.

Re-evaluate why you bring things into your life. Do you feel better when you buy things? How long does it take for that feeling to fade? Then you’re stuck with less money and more junk. More things and less space in your home, and less time since you must spend some of your time organizing and tending to your possessions.

Your possessions will possess you.

It happened to me.

I went through an emotional process of purging myself of possessions, and I still have too much. I have repeatedly had to confess my sins: my past prioritization of possessions and my past purchases from unethical businesses. The businesses I paid to enslave other humans for my benefit.

I have been disgusted and disappointed with my former, ignorant self. And I have drastically transformed my habits. Now, I only buy what I need. I shop from responsible retailers, and I promote sustainable choices to others. I try to repent for my sins, but I still have the evidence of my former self.

I have realized nothing I do now can erase my past mistakes. I will be shedding these remains for years to come, as I learn, my style evolves, and I let go. I realize I am more myself, less stressed, and can travel more easily with less stuff. I can’t erase my past mistakes, but I can make better decisions today. Now, I am extremely hesitant to purchase anything that is not a necessity. Now, I stay woke about the movement for fair labor, and I stay active in pushing for this. But still, I can do more. I can write to companies asking for better. I can use my voice to speak to mainstream companies, rather than just opting for ethical alternatives (a boycott might not always be the best solution- more on this later).

I am less concerned about the “minimalist” label, and more concerned about the role I play in the overconsumption that swallows this country whole. Now when I stumble upon my mindless purchases, I can acknowledge where I was when I made the decision to bring that item into my life. I realize how far I have come, and how healthy it is for me to keep letting go of my old possessions. When I brought these things into my life, I was trying to fill a void. Now, when I let go, I can fill that void with something more meaningful: travel, introspective time, and exploring. The less I have, the freer I am.

Heed my warning now and save yourself some heartache: stop buying so much stuff.

 

To become more aware of the impact of your consumption, visit:

Slaveryfootprint.org

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Dream House

What do you have to say for this love we built like sand castles

For the way you let my legs drape over your shoulders so that I could use our combined height

To create our dream house

For the way you stood on your tip toes and stretched your arms longer than I have ever witnessed

To build our dream house

For all of the wind and the weather and the waves we ignored to keep building and building, building

To create our dream house

What do you have to say for the fact that we chose a beach and we chose sand

To build our dream house

What do you have to say for the fact that we chose the water but we live in Michigan where it’s cold

What do you have to say for the fact that we took our separate dreams and amputated them from our bodies

To birth our dream house

What do you have to say for the fact that we let these limbs wash away

To create this dream house

What do you have to say- what do you think- what do you think about the separate realities we have attempted to merge

What do you have to say for the fact that I was building a sandy ranch on the beach and you wanted floors, and floors, you wanted a palace

What do you think about the fact that we were both working on the same house but a different dream

What do you have to say about the names I wrote in the sand, how I perfectly merged our names

How nothing ever really stays

in sand- it either blows away, or is crushed, or washes away

What do you have to say. What do you think about the fact that we have not washed away

But the floors of this dream house keep collapsing

Each gust of wind is like a spell against us

To build this dream house

What do you have to say of all the sand covered spells we cast on each other with eyes and tongues

What do you have to say of all the sand covered love we have shared in the sun

When the winter we live in has crept up slowly on our backs

And the tingle on my spine has a name written in the sand but it washed away with ours

And what do you have to say. What do you have to dream about anymore?

Now that the water has come and gone are the walls and the floors and every imaginary door

Of our dream house

sandcastle

 

Unraveling

You came to me in a dream

I saw a light and followed it like a moth without a reason

Other than it’s light. And this might

Be the sun from which I radiate

I unraveled my skin and bones to let you in

But you quickly realized blood is thicker than water

And you can’t even swim

And within this likelihood of finding hope and finding home

I lost my voice by failing to scream when I needed to the most

There are objects that felt my rage passion and desire stronger than you did.

Now my dreams are flooded with other men.

I wake up in a sweat and cry in the darkness.

No one really knows how much I am-

Unraveling

Unraveling

Unraveling

For you. To give myself to the light and not the moon. To tell myself that constellations connect stars that are millions of miles apart and there is a reason I was drawn to you. Even if I forgot it.

And there’s a reason for everything right?

And why do I feel like this, why do I charge myself with crimes I didn’t commit why am I not committed

How does one be committed

How do I keep a promise I never made?

To you. Because truly it’s true I made every single promise to me and not you because I am just that incredibly unsure of my words when I am around you. and I hold them in until I am away and can let my mind run free and play and proclaim myself a sunflower, a shining star in the night sky on her own, in her own poetry, in her own galaxy, in her own darkness. Lost in her own darkness.

And I am sorry if I didn’t spin on my head for you or turn the world upside down.

Magic does not come from me when I am numb, you took my words from me and escape was the only method of liberation. With you I feel tied down like you are my only obligation. Like I cannot even fall off the face of the earth without dealing with some sort of repercussion. Because there is a whole branch of you that is me, and to me you are leaves.

And I am devoid of hope and there isn’t a fire in me now because I tried to clear my mind out to love you. I folded in my limbs and made myself compact so if you ran me over I wouldn’t be crushed, I could still walk again. Remember I gave my spine to you. there is nothing to break. Don’t try there’s no use

And is it wrong to say I could never protect you?

And if there was a bullet I wouldn’t let you

Save me. There is no saving a woman who is her own hero, her own lifeblood, who breathes fire, and can expand and contract herself when needed. I contracted myself but you never see it

Your eyes are pointed downwards and you are encumbered with yourself. I am a world to you, but I am not your world. Love comes in waves, but is no ocean. When I found the source I thought it was never-ending, but it really was just accumulation from a storm. There isn’t enough clean drinking water for all of us

Each day I bend my back over to look at the world, burn holes in my eyes to withstand the collective pain of humanity. I ache for others, and repair myself-

You ache for yourself and I will never be able to accept your lack of investment in the living of others. I carry their weight on my back.

But I do not want to carry yours much longer. I am weary from the long winding road and I have much time ahead.

This vision had prospects but lost itself midway. Neither of us wanted to get wet we just dipped our toes in and I wanted to be fearless but I don’t think that you are ready to release yourself like I have

You cling to your bones like your name is engraved in them

I lost my skin years ago

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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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

Alive and living

How silly it is

You once defined yourself

By numbers-

The total on your paycheck

The pounds on your scale

The years you have not yet surrendered

To the ever-present shadow of mortality.

How silly it is

You once praised yourself

For being one step closer

To retirement- to the end of a lifelong dream

To make a name for yourself

But you have sacrificed that

So you could build a savings

And die a boring, lonesome death

How silly it is

That your object of fascination is you

That you’ve spent each year

In the same house

In the same corner of the world

And left the rest unseen and untouched.

How silly it is

That you never questioned

The American Dream

That you never realized

Living paycheck to paycheck

You are bound to the bills

And there is no such word as “free.”

How silly it is

You enslaved yourself to your employer

And imprisoned yourself inside a single building

Filled with meaningless objects

That cost more than an interstate road trip.

How silly it is

You starved yourself

To work

But then you realized

You can’t eat money

And when you look under a microscope

A blank void stares back at you

It’s all the same.

How silly it is

You dropped that cap of yours

On the same pillow every night

Cocooned in the same blanket

Hiding out in the same bed

In the same room of the same house

Hoping time would stand still

So you could just get enough sleep

To function

 To run yourself like a machine

Day after day

How silly it is

You never harnessed your potential

You never woke up an hour early

To live an hour more

You never read those 300 books

You kept collecting, dust

You never took that one trip

Never even got your passport

Never took a day to just explore

How silly it is

You detached living from life

You doubted every unique thought

Burst creativity like bubbles

Cleared your mind and hushed your longings

Just so you could listen to the cars drive by.

How silly

You never became an artist or a poet

You sold your passion

For enough to make this month’s rent

You dug a hole in your yard

Under the shade of a tree

You buried your coffin and left it empty

You realized each second

You were getting closer to death

And sealed your fate like a suicide bomber

You were ready to go

If it meant one less day

Working under someone else

How silly

You never worked for yourself

You never played like a child

You became an adult and instantly died

You instantly killed yourself

Told yourself you don’t need a suitcase

There’s not much out there, anyways.

Told yourself- it’s okay to just scrape by

It’s okay to never prosper

To never watch the sunrise

In anticipation of the coming day

To never bow your head

In appreciation, to kiss the earth

So everyone can share the joy

Of how happy you are to be alive

You compromised your values

To become a robot

You branded a few digits onto your skull

Hoping we would get the message

The only thing you ever looked ahead to

Were STOP signs and traffic lights

You went to bed early

And woke up late

So you didn’t have to fill the empty spaces

You convinced yourself there were none

You kept a shovel under your pillow

To remind you of your grave

You were blind to the beauty in the every day

But I refuse to live this way

What is settling down

If not putting an expiration date

On your years?

I want to cry out of happiness

I want to only stop to take it all in

I want to make this entire earth

My home

And my job- to serve everyone on it

I want to rise at dawn

And paint the sky with my toothbrush

I want to walk through the gardens

So I can see my heart in bloom

I want to use the wind as a guide

And head in whichever direction I sway

I want to honor the ones who put me here

By making the most of today.

I will not surrender my humanity

For comfort and convenience

I will not carve out my innards

Just so there is less weight to carry around

I will not step in line

With the others

And march towards the end

I will do all I can to live

And prosper

And change lives

I will use my fiery soul

To put an end to this nonsense

And the earth

Will never lose its glow again.

6/21/16

The New Length

Gone are the days where belly tops and tight mini skirts serve as the epitome of sexy. The 90’s have passed, and so have more recent times, where fashionistas found themselves baring whole leg for all occasions. The new length for skirts, that has won approval from fashion bloggers, insiders, starlets, and the cosmopolitan busy woman, is the midi. Falling slightly below the knees, this cut allows for an alluring peek of leg, while still maintaining that chic fantasy of clothes that don’t look like they’ve been painted on. Another term is the “full skirt”, which refers to the volume the garment embodies. They’re fun, they’re flirty, and ever-so fashion-forward- and that’s why they’re everywhere. As an appreciator of coy beauty and addict of cool fashion, I can’t wait to buy into this new look and go  short , err, “midi”.

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