First Performance

I am standing upon a stage
In a dark lit room.
My eyes struggle to make out a friend
to make out one kindred soul
Among the sea of faces that belong to people who are focused in on one face….mine.
My heart is thumping.
It’s rhythmic pulse threatens to drown out the sound of my own voice.
My palms are sweating.
Each new drop of sweat makes me more aware of how nervous I am.

Keep it cool. Breathe in. Breath out.

Multiple thoughts race through my head.

How do I look? Can they see how nervous I am? Do I sound strange through this mic?

I am suddenly self-conscious.

Why am I here? What possessed me to do this? Will they understand me?

Doubt begins to rears it’s ugly head.
It is one demon that I know too well.

I pause for a moment.
Pause for a moment and size up that demon.
I decide tonight, I will take it on.

The show begins.
I speak.
I vocalize my thoughts for strangers.
The same thoughts that have kept me up at night in the privacy of my room.
I allow myself to be vulnerable to the outside.
At the same time I feel the strength and courage building up within me.
The show ends.

As I make my exit, the sense of pride I feel has nothing to do with the words that I have spoken.

The pride I experience comes from the satisfaction of winning yet another battle against one of my of strongest demons.

Victory, ladies and gentlemen, is sweet.

Frustration

Frustration is

pouring your soul onto a blank page and watching as the page absorbs all your vulnerabilities and presents them for anyone who might stumble upon them to see.

doing this with the hope that one other person might see the inner workings of your soul and relate to them because she recognizes that her soul would look similar on paper.

realizing that very few people will ever see your soul, and even fewer will be able to relate to it.

emptying yourself on to that page, despite this realization because at least–at least–a blank page will receive you.

Silent Suffering

She opens her eyes wide trying to un-see that vivid image.

She fights back against the sickening and aggressive thought that has made its way to her mind.

Gone. Four letters.
G-O-N-E.

She crumbles. A mass of mixed emotions.

Confusion. Anger. Sadness. Loneliness. Desperation. Hopelessness. Shock. Doubt. Disbelief.

There are far too many words to describe how she feels, but not one in particular that will explain this.

An emotion so deep, so powerful it threatens to shatter her–an explosion from within.

How? Why? Why? WHY?

“I don’t believe you!” “It can’t be true!” “You’re a liar!” “This isn’t real!”

In fact, it is not real. But it feels like it.

And with every inch of her being she feels a pain so bitter, she’s convinced it’s real.

Time is of the essence. All of a sudden she realizes just how much he means to her.

Gone. Four letters.
G-O-N-E.

She thanks God that it was only a dream but recognizes that THIS is her worst nightmare.

Gone. Four letters.
G-O-N-E.

Four letters.

Nevertheless, as she takes a shaky breath and wishes away that feeling, she realizes that all it takes is the substitution of three letters–

L to G.
I to O.
F to N.
E remains E.

–three letters, and everything that matters to her in this life can be snatched away from her just as quickly as it was given to her.

She stares into the blackness that is her bedroom–two o’clock on a Monday morning–and realizes just how fragile life really is.

The Balancing Act

For all the years that I have lived on this earth, I still have not managed to figure out the exact science behind finding balance.

Well it has been exactly two weeks and three days since my last post on this blog. THAT in itself speaks volumes about the current state of my affairs.

I suppose now this is the part where I ought to explain—with the utmost level of detail—why I have failed to keep up with this journal of my life. But honestly, I don’t have the motivation or desire to. Also, since it is mine (hee hee), I can take whatever actions I deem necessary or pleasant regarding this blog. Thus, my plan of action is to not go into further detail regarding the exact events that have discombobulated my sense of balance in general.

What I do wish to discuss is this notion of balance.

This morning, as I made my way to work, I decided to try something a little out of the ordinary and slightly juvenile in nature. As I walked towards my office, rather than walk on the sidewalk, I chose to teeter along the edge of it for as long as I could. To be honest, this was not initially a conscious decision. I started walking on the edge of the sidewalk because I was running late for work and there were two girls in front of me walking at a pretty relaxed pace. Furthermore, I did not want to walk on the grass, so that my shoes would not get muddy. Therefore, my options were the street or the edge; I chose the edge.

Now before I launch into this reflection, I’d like to note that most times when I’m going about my day, I don’t really absorb the lessons I’m learning right away. That is the point of reflection. As I commence this monologue about the beauty of walking on the edge of a sidewalk, I am going to admit that I just got this revelation two minutes ago. (I generally start my blogs with a title idea—based upon what, I am not even sure–and just spill words on my computer screen as thoughts hit the conscious and analytic side of my brain).

So here goes!

 Let me rewind to myself this morning at 7:54 am, rushing to get to work at 8:00 am:

  • I am frazzled. I’m running late.
  • I am somewhat irritated. I snoozed my alarm and did not get my work from the night before done.
  • I am unobservant. My headphones are in. My music is up. I’m blocking the world out.
  • I am hurrying. I’m still running late.
  • I am slightly chipper. The weather is cool and the gray skies—oddly enough—lift my moods today.
  • I am impatient. I am now stuck walking behind two girls who probably do not have anywhere to go.

At this point, I examined my options: grass, street, sidewalk. I proceeded to make one of those split second judgments that the mind is so great at and made my way to the edge. This is where my frame of mind changed.

All of a sudden, I wasn’t listening to the music (although it was playing). I wasn’t focused on the girls that were still crawling along on the sidewalk. I wasn’t even concerned about the work I had to do or the fact that I was running late. Rather, I was focused on walking.

One foot in front of the other. I repeated this to myself. As I made my way along the edge, the thought came to mind that I was practicing the age old ritual of five-year olds. That thought alone made me smile. In that moment, I was so aware of the path that I was walking on. Why? I had to be. If I fell off, the truck making its way toward me might suddenly come into contact with an unexpected object (my body). I noticed the cracks in the pavement. I noticed both the narrowness of the path and how I still managed to have enough room to maneuver comfortably. Near the end of my sidewalk adventure, I began to teeter slightly losing my balance. I wondered to myself what those in the vicinity who happened to see me teetering along would think, and then I smiled again—probably it is too early to be drunk.

Overall, my experiment/adventure/whatever you wish to call it ended in about 2 minutes. The lesson that I have uncovered from this as I am now reflecting will last longer than that—I hope.

From my short endeavor, I have determined that to have balance, I must first choose a path. Once that path is decided, I must take whatever time is necessary to reach the end. I must be deliberate in my action. I must be aware of my surroundings and the obstacles that may interfere with my path. I must be willing to accept that at any point in time, I may fall of the path or struggle to stay upright, but as long as I maintain composure and reclaim my position, I will be fine. I must be willing to make the most of each time I stumble or fall. Rather than be upset or embarrassed because other people may see me fall, I must embrace the fact that I am not perfect with dignity. I must recognize that despite the critiques of observers, the path I walk is mine alone and that the judgments of naysayers and ridiculers is inconsequential. I must be willing to change my approach or even my direction if necessity warrants it. I must be able to understand the seriousness of my decision to follow said path, but I must also be able to make light of every moment I have to follow that path. Then, and ONLY THEN, will I be able to find balance and happiness.

This morning as I walked along the edge of the sidewalk, I was happy. I was truly happy.

I still have many more years to live (God willing) before I can claim that I have unraveled the precise science of finding balance. For now, I have a theory. This theory shall be called the sidewalk theory, and at this moment in time, I will utilize it until I see that it does not work anymore.

That should do for now.

Peace.

~ T

Hypersensitivity

This post is part of a continued effort to challenge my writing and thought processes–inspired by prompts from The Daily Post. Today’s daily prompt is Super Sensitive.

In considering the senses that I have, I believe that the most important one is often overlooked by most people. This sense is not one of the five that we have all learned in primary schooling. The sense that I most value is that of being aware of yourself and those around you. This sense is crucial in day to day interactions. Given the choice between heightening that sense and losing another sense, I would choose to lose the sense of sight. I believe that it does not take the eyes to perceive the human condition–although the eyes play a very handy role.

With my sense of touch and my sense of hearing, I could relate to others at a quite intimate level without ever having to see them. I would not sacrifice my sense of smell and taste though because I am selfish and love food too much.

Inspiration

Inspiration is
Watching him get up this morning and choosing to face the day, despite the fact that he didn’t really want to.

The two of you had talked about it at length yesterday. He was not looking forward to all that he had ahead of him today. Nevertheless, he got up. You watched him say goodbye. He was going to do it.

Inspiration is
Knowing that on the other side of the world, your better half is dealing with the same kind of turmoil you have faced over the course of the last week, yet he has decided to face it with courage. Not because he wants to, but because he promised to do it for you. He promised to do it for us.

Inspiration is
Having a ten minute conversation where very few words were exchanged, but realizing at the end of it all you really let yourself go over the last few days. You lost sight of the shore where your goals lie. You let yourself be swept away by one excuse after another. You nearly drowned in the depths of doubt. He saved you. He threw you a life vest disguised as a moment of determination and firm resolve.

So you’re laying in bed. You’re about to fall asleep. You close your eyes to the tears streaming down your cheeks. You feel a flame burning in your chest.

These tears are not sad ones. That flame is not a malicious one that threatens to consume you. The tears are of joy. That fire is your will being resolved.

You are prepared to face the week ahead of you now.

Why?
Because of inspiration.
Because of him.

Food for the Thought

Thus far ibreakfastn my college career, I have found that in college the most valuable life lessons you’ll learn are discovered outside of the classroom. I’m  only three weeks into my sophomore year of college, and already I’ve learned a few valuable lessons.

One of the first lessons I’ve learned is that solitude is not always a terrible state. I’ve always been able to enjoy time alone, as long as that alone time is within the confines of my room–a private space. Where I’ve struggled to embrace being alone is outside those safe walls of “my space” and within the boundless sphere of public space.Well believe me, when you’re in a new environment where you have few friends, you learn how to be alone.

Transferring to a different college has put in a situation where, as of now, I’ve yet to form many substantial or even superficial friendships. Most of the time, I am forced to go about my daily routine alone. The thought would usually be daunting to me, but as of late, I am beginning to embrace being alone–not lonely–but alone.

This morning, as I sat to breakfast on my own (turns out the dining hall is the space where I often find myself alone), a few thoughts crossed my mind. These thoughts I have realized are miniature lessons that are surely food for thought.

The first thought regarded my stark sense of awareness that I was indeed alone, as I often find myself when having breakfast. But more significantly, I noticed that I was completely comfortable with being alone. Not once did I feel left out or isolated from those around. In fact, as I silently observed the atmosphere around me, I felt that I was so in touch with everything going on around me–despite being so separate from it all. I am growing fond of solitude because in that state I find a strange sense of solidarity with myself and the world around me. That thought alone fueled further thoughts.

The second lesson I’ve learned is that of peace. This semester I’m taking eighteen credit hours, working eighteen to twenty hours a week on top of that, staying involved in various activities on campus, attempting to find a balance between my academic life and social life, while also maintaining a long distance relationship. Needless to say, my time is taxed. There are moments where I feel like I’m teetering on the fine line between sanity and a full meltdown. Yet, sitting down and enjoying breakfast this morning, I realized that somehow in the hectic state that is my life, I have found a deep sense of peace. Especially in those moments when I take the time to slow down, breathe, and just be. Slow down. Breathe. Just be.

Peace can be found even in the most strenuous moments when I take the time to just let go of all tensions and thoughts and be present in each moment. This brings me to the last lesson I discovered over a bowl of fruit this morning.

The last lesson I realized, while enjoying breakfast, was simply that I need to take the time to live each moment –whatever that moment may be with all its joys or sorrows. The idea is not that I will always be happy in every moment, but that I ought to appreciate each moment for the value that it has. After all, the fact that I am alive and able to experience a moment at all in and off itself should bring me enough joy to get through whatever that moment may offer to me.

At the end of it all, my breakfast only lasted ten minutes. To be honest, it felt like an eternity. The lessons I reflected upon though for those ten minutes can afford me a lifetime of happiness.

A Little Twist

I recently (one day ago) subscribed to the the blog the Daily Post. From what I can garner, this blog serves as an inspiration blog for writers, poets, photographers, artists, and everyday people who want to challenge themselves with writing. Well, since being a writer/philosopher is one of my dreams, I’m going to take it upon myself to attempt to complete as many writings as I deem appropriate based on the ideas that are posted to this neat blog. Definitely check it out if you are interested in doing the same or are just in need of inspiration.

Today’s Daily Prompt: “What a Twist”

Often times people think of a twist as a drastic change in the expected course of events. A twist, therefore, must be a blatant adjustment to the direction things seemed to have been headed. I usually would think about a twist in this sense; however, for the purpose of stepping outside of my comfort zone, I’m going to imagine that a twist is actually a minute change of details that often goes unnoticed until the grand effects are felt at a later time. With that frame of mind, I’m forced to ask myself what are some recent twists that have played out in the drama that is my life?

I wouldn’t say that my life is extraordinary. I’ve lived the life of your average, middle-class individual. Gone to the right school. Lived in the right neighborhood. I’m studying the right thing.

The plan has always been to get the right kind of job. Meet the right kind of guy. Have the right kind of family. One might view my story as mundane. Nevertheless, I believe that my story–especially in the last year and a half–holds more twists than a person examining it may initially perceive, even if that person is myself. 

Over a year ago the first minute twist made its way into my life in the form of a six-foot, blue-eyed, brown-haired, shy boy with a story to tell. Our chance encounter reads like one of those sappy chick flicks that I’ve watched one too many times.

The night I told my friend I’d met a guy who had me head over-heels, I had little to no idea how a few hours of preparing and serving sandwiches at a homeless shelter would transform into one of the most involved and most intimate relationships that I have ever had with anyone–romantic or otherwise. Little did I know that he would alter my whole life plan. Believe me when I say he sure screwed around with THE order.

Before I get into how such a seemingly innocent crush turned into a life-altering phenomenon, I have to explain that I am and will always be a control freak. Pause. I don’t mean that I have a desire to rule the world, but I do want to rule my life. From a young age I have made life plans out the wazoo–only modifying them slightly to fit my new interests and passions. As of two years ago, I could tell you what I would be doing five years from now. As of today, I have not a single clue–and the weird thing is that fact doesn’t scare me as much as it would have say a year ago.

You see before this handsome creature decided to enter my life, I had determined that I would be a child advocacy lawyer, working to protect the rights of battered and defenseless children throughout the whole of America (only to find that one class during my first semester of my freshman year of college would completely change that plan as well). I was going to work my butt off, earn my bachelors in Child Psychology (with a 4.0 of course–a 3.7 at worse), go on to a law school with a strong program in child and family law, graduate at the top of my class with a JD, and proceed to serve the throngs of helpless children until the day I would stumble upon Mr. Right. At the point where Mr. Right would enter the equation, I would have already been a few years into my career and have enough money to consider settling down and having a family. He would propose to me, and we would have a beautiful ceremony, an enchanting honeymoon, and 4-5 kids later, and a few college graduations and grandkids later, we (Mr. Right and I) would retire to a nice house where we could continue to pursue our passions in peace.

Maybe it’s God’s sense of humor. I can see Him chuckling to Himself and whoever is keeping Him company saying, “Oh, she thinks she has plans”.

Whatever the case may be, in enters Mr. Now with his charm, intellect, and wit, with his ability to understand me with all my glorious oddities and quirks, with his power of calming the anal retentive tendencies I have, with the uncanny gift of being able to make me second guess everything I thought I ever “knew”; suddenly–without me being able to comprehend what happened–all my plans have been shaken up, and today I stand a clueless girl. 

Clueless as to where I will be in five years (On the other side of the globe?!?!?!?). Clueless as to what I will be doing (of course I “know” it will be law). Clueless but nevertheless content knowing that for now, I still have Mr. Now.

Because for once in her life Ms. All Must be According to THE Plan does not really have a coherent plan.

And that my dear friends is a twist.

 

When Inspiration Strikes

I really ought to be studying for my quiz tomorrow, but I can’t help but feel a sudden rush of inspiration. When I started this blog a day ago, I had the intent of only creating a space where I could explore my different dreams. But this thought just occurred to me. Well it was more of a question: “What is the point of this?”

Don’t worry! I’m not doubting my judgement in creating this blog (not yet anyways)! I was just considering the purpose of this blog. Well if the purpose is to explore my dreams, what better way to explore your dreams than to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and try things you would not try ordinarily?

I now realize this is more about merely dabbling in different forms of expression, this is actually a valiant (though initially subconscious effort) to force myself to work at those things, which I claim are important to me. So with a new vision in mind..I shall carry on blogworld!!