Random

Time for a Change

It’s time to do something, make a change, go in a different direction… What should I do? Where should I go? What is my less travelled road?

What would you do? Where would you go? Share.

Poetry

Time/Awake, Part 6/Collaboration, Part 2

Borrowed this photo from eMAGINE for her post Season Finale. The photo spoke to me; it shows us what happens when we spend out time waiting on others. I wrote a similar poem a couple years ago for a piece called Chess (Right) by Xiong Xuan (excerpt of same poem at link).

*****

Once upon a time
Not so long ago really
That’s just how stories begin
We found each other
And were so enchanted
We looked forward in time
Saw all the possibilities
And with our hearts beating
In time together
We were galvanized into action
Accompanied by seemingly endless time
Now, wait, hold on
I thought…
I thought you were with me
Time is of the essence
But you are wasting time
Looking at the time
Ironically considering
all you have to do
all you have to do
all you have to do
If you could focus on my face
See the zest and vigor
And be so motivated again
Stop focusing on that face
Watching the hands going by
The hands go by
The hands go by
Don’t see me wringing my hands at you
I’m leaving, though
Time and I have things to do
Spread joy and love here
Some chaos there
Except… Wait…
I see my feet in the same place they were
I’ve been watching you
Watching the time
And in that time
you left me behind
In a place that time forgot
Wondering at the waste
Wondering at the loss
Now I realize that all this time
I was never supposed to go with you
Perhaps you knew
And were waiting for the right time
To leave me
You small-time crook
Walked off with my heart
Left memories
Now I’m watching you
Thinking on the time that was
whispering by on the wind
Tick, tock
Tick, tock
Tick, tick, tick
I was not listening
Not watching the interminable hands
Because I was following with you
Like Alice down the rabbit hole
Dreaming
Now, suddenly, I have all the time
But these hands don’t know which way to move…
Sometimes we try to recreate our pastimes
In our present
But it’s not what the future intended
Only time will tell that
Oh, the times…
They are changing

Mental Health, Poetry

Little Girl/Awake, Part 5/Collaboration, Part 1

Borrowed this photo from OraforLife for her poem The Locked Up Soul. Posting a poem I wrote that both her poem and photo reminded me of. Thank you, Ora! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

*****

Quite by accident one day
I was sitting on a bench alone
Staring into nothingness
Seemingly content
Then came this little girl
A familiar girl
She sat beside me
Prim and proper
Soft dark skin
Deep brown eyes
An angel almost
And in her presence
My soul felt more tattered
Then the clothes I was wearing
So I tried to ignore her
No
She tugged at my sleeve
I thought it would come off in her tiny hand
She posed her questions
“What is love?” she asked
Didn’t look at her.
“Love is waste,” I said
“Worthless, painful, never love.”
“What is hate?”
“Hate is the only true emotion.
What forces you to soldier on
What keeps you alive.”
“And what is life?”
I cringe.
“Life. Life is a trial.
It is agony.
It is blood outpoured
And never regained.
It is broken hearts and dreams.
Life is being here and dying.
Nothing more.”
When I finished
She was silent
I finally brought myself to look at her
To look deep into her eyes
There was sweetness there
There was hope
There was innocence
Would I destroy her
Wit the bitterness within me?
How could I speak these words?
How could I let her think these things?
And so I took her in my arms
And took her tiny hand
Held it tight
“Let me try this again,” I said
“Love is a splendid feeling
That should be given and felt
And though sometimes it hurts
We never give up on it
Hate is for the lost
Those who gave up on love
And so they choose anger
Life is not just what you see
It is only what you make it
So choose a path
Never look back
Do not be ashamed of it.”
When I finished
Her eyes were shining
She smiled
I looked at this child
This girl I used to be
The one who lives in me
I realized I had forgotten all I told her
I had forgotten what life could be
Forgotten happiness
I had only allowed myself to know
My rancid inner soul
No more
So I took her in my arms
Hugged her
Squeezed her
Until she was no longer there
Until I only held myself
I stood up then
With renewed spirit
A young girl’s hope
And a lust of long ago
I chose a path
A brand new road
I will not look back
I will not find shame

Mental Health, Poetry

Loss

Processing the finality of loss
Not in the usual way
Not by happy or accidental death
Rather, by emotional void
Unable to recognize the face
Of someone I used to know
Of someone that used to love me
Everyone says, “life changes”
It seems a petulant excuse
A way to give up, save face
A perpetual belief you’ve instilled
That you hold the halo
When it comes to being friend,
Father, mother, sister, brother
When was the last time
You looked in the mirror
Tried to understand the reflection
Of someone that you used to know
Of someone that had not walked away
Give an ear to the angels and devils
That whisper to you
The things you do not want to hear
But, need to know
Loss was avoidable once
So stuck on the potential of it were you
That you made it inevitable
Realizing this, I see
Though I feel pain
The loss is not my burden
It is yours to bear
Your self-imposed finality

Mental Health, Music

Song Depth: Heroin

I often have this song on repeat because it touches me so deeply every time I hear it. In fact, I very often have the artist, Lana Del Rey, on repeat (Honeymoon is my favorite album). Today, though, as sometimes happens, Heroin came on and I felt the tears well up in my eyes. Maybe it is the raw emotion in the song’s undertones. Maybe it is the bittersweetness of the lyrics that express both hope and regret. Maybe it was because, at that moment, I was a few minutes away from an individual therapy session and I could not only feel the song, but also feel myself in it.

Listen here: https://youtu.be/KA1dUubMjQ0

Now read the rest:

How do you feel right now? Music and lyrics have different interpretations and it is important to listen with one’s whole self. This one makes me think of my battle with mental health, a battle I am currently in the bloody midst of. I consider “heroin” a metaphor for just about any struggle anyone could be enduring. In my case, it’s keeping my mind right. “Writing in blood on my walls and shit.” It made me think: How much time do we spend waiting, refusing to change, or both?

There are some people that will deny they ever have any sort of problem. They’re not awake. Everyone has something. The rest of us are in a perpetual, internal battle. Did I make the right career choice? Did I fall in love with the right person? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? Are therapy and medication the only means by which I can be happy? Can I overcome addiction?

My question to you, and to myself: Are you ready to stop, assess, and possibly take a risk? “It’s hard to leave when absolutely nothing’s clear.” So, how much time has gone by before we realize that we’re about to retire from a job we never enjoyed? That we were with and tried to love someone for all the wrong reasons and wrapped that thread around our fingers because we feared our individuality? That we’ve focused on our internal mediocrity and never let shine our full potential, the gems we refuse to find in ourselves? How long did we wait to get help, if we ever did?

“The facts of life make it hard to dream.” As a result, many of us fail to know our own self-worth. We, myself included, are beaten down by depression, anxiety and our worst enemy: ourselves. People always talk about romanticized views through rosy-colored glasses. Have some of us romanticized ourselves? It could be that, in our audaciousness, we fail to see how we are toxic to ourselves in others. It could also be that we recognize our toxicity, our troubles, or simply just that we need help with something, but we’re afraid to tell or ask.

Mental health and substance abuse still have strong social stigmas associated with them. We often do not get the help we need because we’re afraid of the repercussions or judgment of others. People seem to think it’s easy to just be happy, cheer up. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sick of it.”

But you know what? Who gives a shit what people think? I suffer from depression. I suffer from anxiety. I have a little OCD in the mix there. “Don’t know what it is that makes my head get crazy.” I currently attend both individual and group therapy. Finally, at 32, I recognize the level of courage it takes to admit you have a problem, seek help, and make a change. It does not make me delicate. It does not make me week. I’m switching out “heroin” for “marzipan” and it’s a struggle, but I can do it.

So whether it’s finding what gives me fulfillment in life or my career, recognizing my accomplishments, or making the difficult choices and taking a risk, I can overcome this. “Makes me think that I can change all my evil ways and shit.”

I need you, though. Not to fix me or treat me like I’m fragile. Just sometimes say, “Hey, Lauren… How are you?” I might “tell you everything’s ok.” That might be the truth. I might be lying.

In either case, I’m glad you asked.

“I hope that I come back one day to tell you that I’ve really changed.”

Books, Movies, Music, Poetry, Random

Life is Like a Tolkien Novel

I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.” – Frodo, The Return of the King, where he leaves Sam blubbering as Sam is so wont to do.

Change is needed.

I tried dying my hair blue, but that just made it look black. Needed more. So, I shaved off the sides and dyed the tips nutmeg.

I have several tattoos, three of them quotes:

1) “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien (Got it in Elvish, though, ’cause duh.)

2) “Oh, the places you’ll go!” – Dr. Seuss (Ever read that book as an adult? It’ll tear asunder your allusions and make you crawl into a corner in the fetal position while contemplating your life.)

3) “Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland in search of our better selves?” – The First History Man, who isn’t actually a real man, but he’s quoted in the end credits of Mad Max: Fury Road (Existential, nihilistic, deep.)

Today, I added three more…

4) “Why do we fall?” – Thomas Wayne, later quoted by Alfred J. Pennyworth (If you’re still confused, it’s from The Dark Knight Trilogy. Thank you, Mr. Nolan.)

5) “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver (To see grasshoppers like never before, read the full poem, “The Summer Day.”)

6) “May all that has been reduced to noise in you become music again.” – David Teems (I actually saw this quote left behind on a whiteboard when attending group therapy. I already have music on my ankle and it seemed like a sign from the universe.)

See the pattern? I refuse to get, “I refuse to sink,” inked on me, but I embrace the sentiment.

Life’s a journey. The winds are changing. It’s time for Mary Poppins to leave the Shire.

Go do something.