If I knew how to write poems, I would write about the ways you never protected me, the ways you said you loved me but never showed me, and the ways you broke me down again and again and again. If I knew how to string words together like a song, I would sing of the ways that you stole my childhood, suffocated the person I wanted to be, and manipulated my perception of truth. If I knew how, I would scream the story over and over and over again until my vocal chords gave up and it was just scratchy noise because then maybe I could forget. Maybe if I were able to sing or write rhymes or even learn to yell about my pain it would come out like vomit and I wouldn't have to feel it any longer and I wouldn't have to drown any longer and I wouldn't have to crack any deeper and any other possible metaphor for sadness and pain and brokenness you can think of because that is what I feel. Deep down under the layers I've built you've broken me so deeply and all I want is to rid of the pain you've caused because I am better and I am stronger than you have ever believed me to be. Your nastiness spreads like weeds, your manipulation haunts like a ghost, and your words echo in my head like an empty room.
When it comes to the new year, I'm all about goal setting. I take my life, separate it into little compartments, and set goals for each aspect. I've always done this in my head, get very serious about it in the beginning of the year, and then by the middle of the year I'm not focused, interested, or am just way too sidetracked to go back and think about it. I'm just living life in the moment. This past year passed way too quickly and although I accomplished A LOT - not everything was what I had initially planned to put my energy into. (Not to say plans can't change, but they should change with intention.)
So, here I am. January 2. Time to set some goals to look back on, to reference throughout the year, and move forward with all year long. Here's a long laundry list of my generalized goals.
2017 has held many ups and downs. This year held joy unimaginable and some sorrows we did not expect. Some anger with the world we expected, some kindness from the world we also did not expect. I'm trying to focus on the good, the learning, the new - and plan ahead for next year. Here's a peak into the past year of life.
I know that time is always moving. People, things, places, are forever changing. But recently I've felt an ache in my heart for the way things are moving. There's a sense of success or adulthood that I feel I need to be achieving recently. There's friends buying homes, getting promoted, finding passions, having babies. And I can't stop thinking about the change.
I was never taught that my physical self was beautiful. I often heard –"That shirt is cut too low." "That skirt is too short." "Those jeans are too tight." and on and on. Growing up the first years of my life in a family that was independent fundamental baptist, followed by strict christianity, there was always a sentiment of "your body is a temple". But it only seemed applicable to what I could not do - don't have sex before marriage, don't cause others to lust, don't get tattoos...I could go on. My body was not something to be celebrated.
One of my favorite parts about summertime is grilling. I will gladly take any excuse to not turn on the oven in our house that lacks air conditioning. (Not to mention how incredibly fast this meal is to make!) Taylor and Katie have come over a couple of times and made this tzatziki, grilled chicken & pita, veggie salad meal. It's now one of my favorite meals of all time. Check out the recipe below.
When I was young, I always imagined that adulthood would be a string of grand adventures and deep, deep emotions. As I've grown older, I've realized that that is not always true. Life fluctuates, and when those deep emotions do happen, I should hold onto them with fierce attentiveness and presence. Our annual camping trip is always one of those times for me.
I met Taylor in 2009, I was 14, teeth full of braces, sopping wet hair in our friend Steph's kitchen when we first met. That night Taylor shared a story from his childhood, and as I sat and listened to him share, choking through tears, I realized I had never known such vulnerability and honesty. Those are the words that I would use to describe Taylor- honest, and unafraid of vulnerability. Through the years he has fought for me in the ugliest situations, has cried with me through the hardest moments of my life, and has given me more laughter and joy than many people I know. Somehow, no matter how dumb, we always laugh at the same jokes.
Nights become restless in the heat of the just beginning summer. It's only June and the weeks have been filled with 90+ degree days and we cannot find rest. Ian tosses and turns next to me and I can't stand it, so I'm up and reading a book. I text an old friend and don't get a reply and start to wonder what I'm holding onto. I get caught up in my head and my eyes are just dancing across the pages but I'm not reading anymore.