For some reason, I haven’t written poetry in a while. I think it’s because things have been so stressful, and the chaos of it all makes me feel utterly disconnected from myself. Writing in general keeps me sane, but writing poetry especially keeps me sane. Isn’t that the way of things, though? When things are stressful and you most need to do your self-care things, you end up shoving them aside because “there’s no time”.
On the other hand, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I can muster up a poem just so that I can write an inspiring blog post. Read the title, people: attempting authenticity. So instead I’m just going to say that whatever it is right now that’s holding you back, whatever it is that’s making you feel disconnected from yourself and out of touch with the things you used to be entwined with, don’t overthink it. Just be. Struggling in water doesn’t make you swim, you know?
So be patient, and don’t waste energy worrying. You’ll find your way back to yourself soon enough. ❤
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It’s 2 a.m.
I’ve been waking up between 2 and 4 a.m. for quite a while now, and then I’m awake awake. My dad has had this issue for decades, so I’m dealing with it the same way he does: I get up and work. Lying awake in the dark, staring at the ceiling and trying anything and everything to get back to sleep, only serves to make my stress worse.
I guess this is the life of an indie author. It’s the life of the self-employed. It’s the life of the non-profit worker (which I am as well, so it’s a double dose). So when you read a book, or decide to support an indie business, or donate to a charity or NGO, look at the words on the page and realize that many of them were probably written by a stress-fueled, tired insomniac who is crazy enough to follow their dreams, even when it means being a cliche (ahem: starving artist).
Doing what you love is not as romantic as it sounds. Let’s not pretend it’s all being a hipster in a trendy coffee shop, wearing cute glasses and cheerily typing away on your Apple computer.
But you know, I wouldn’t trade this for anything, including the 2 a.m. days (which are most of them). And hey. Sometimes it is being a cutie in a coffee shop. A broke cutie, but still.
Well, this is it, my love. Maybe I’ll be back again someday to study, but I doubt it. I looked forward to it for so long and with so much excitement, and I can’t believe it’s already over. It all started with an intense wish to get to know you, and a crazy decision to only apply to you and no other universities. It has been full of learning, personal growth, language nerdage, hardships, and victories. Over the last five years, you have challenged me in every way, stretched me in every way, and it kind of feels like you tried to kill me a few times, but ultimately I came out of it stronger and braver than I was. So thank you.
I really will miss you. I am not one of those people who is ready to leave. I’m only leaving because I have to, and if I could, I would have stayed. Yes, you have some serious flaws, but I’m going to be optimistic and hope that you will work on them.
Stay beautiful, with your trees and your cobblestones and the ivy covered walls I’ve always loved so much. Maybe I’ll see you again.
What are you here to do? Are you here to make money? Are you here to make friends?
Are you here to crawl or run? What’s your cause? What’s your purpose? Is it worthy of eternity? Is there an eternity?
Are you here to crawl or run? Will you run so you’ve got nothing left, so the sweat is soaking your face? Will you run and try to beat the wind, the speed of light? You’ll run to cure cancer, but will you run to cure death?
Are you here to crawl or to run? Will your legacy be apathy or making waves? Will you cast a pebble into the lake, knowing that’s how waves begin, or will you say ‘they’re just ripples’? Why are you here? Will you be known as the one who wasted time, or the one who fought a battle?
Will you do instead of try? Will you run? Will you run?
We forget so quickly that we’re human. We want to be machines who can smoothly and efficiently get up early, work, clean, and go to sleep again. Like robots. Like clocks, just ticking away the time. We forget that we have beating hearts and rushing blood and souls that need desperately to breathe. It goes against the way the world works to take time to be still and calm. To take time to rest. To take time to breathe life back into yourself, and more importantly, to have Life breathed back into you by the One who made us the way we are.
When you’re busy and tired – breathe. When you feel like you just can’t anymore – breathe. When you feel lost and confused and overwhelmed – breathe. Do the thing that makes no sense. That is what it means to love yourself, and if you can’t love yourself, you’re not going to be able to really love other people. The whole “love your neighbor as yourself” thing is a coin with two sides, and we like to ignore the second part.
So today, breathe. Just breathe.