The Beauty of Standing Up

“I, too, sing America.”splitshire-9614

Two weeks ago I put up my new poetry page in addition to my blog posts, and this week I decided to do something special: This week I am combining them into one.

Last Saturday and Sunday, I’m sure you heard all about the Women’s March no matter where you are in the world— voices could be heard across the globe, from here in SLO to Amsterdam. Whether they were protesting for individual rights,
against our new President, or something entirely different, their words all came from the same place.

They came from the idea that this is something worth fighting for.

No matter what your political views are or how you feel about America right now, you have to admit, there is something beautiful about people from all walks of life coming together to advocate for something they believe in. In watching the news, scrolling through photos, and listening to professors mention the events in class, it brought me back to a poem I read a few weeks back that made me think about who America really is. Through the Poem a day email signup on Academy of American Poets, I came across Langston Hughes’s poem I, Too.

In the face of adversity, voices tend to rise, and I love what Hughes has to say below. Throughout the poem, we see a contrast between where those represented are to where they know
they will be in time. It’s the belief that things will change, the fight for a better stance, and a sense of belonging they deserve to find… It’s part of what makes us human.

The need to fight for what we believe we deserve.

vast oceanNot only does he say he will “grow strong”, but soon enough “They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed”.


That is the goal isn’t it? To become something better, something stronger— someone who holds the beauty others are ashamed they couldn’t see until it was too late. Because the truth is what people are fighting for, whether it is wholly universal or simply personal. What is true to us means something in our hearts and that is
always worth fighting for.

I think no matter what you believe those in the Women’s March were trying to say, Hughes ties it all together in this beautiful poem, I, Too. So without further ado, I share with you a work of art that I only wish I had come across sooner. Here’s to a more honest, stronger future, and brighter days ahead.

I, Too

By Langston Hughes

 

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,splitshire-7553

And grow strong.

 

Tomorrow,

I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”

Then.

 

Besides,

They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed—

 

I, too, am America.

 

 

Dancing in the Rain

“The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to.”

I found this quote over the summer in what is now one of my favorite books, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, owner of Shondaland and TGIT. With the return of Grey’s, Scandal, and the whole shabang next week, I found myself wondering about what it would be like to have a “Year of Yes”. Think about it, one year wherebridge-beauty you learn to say yes to all the things that you hold yourself back from (within reason). A year of allowing yourself to become so much more than you already are…

Not only would you discover the potential your life has, but you just might also manage to fall in love with yourself along the way.

These days, I’m starting to think that loving who you are might just be where it all begins— the happiness, the success, all the love and care we seek from others. It begins with loving ourselves.

Let’s say you went out to the store and bought a new pair of shoes or a hat that you liked and all your friends told you that you looked amazing in it. What’s your first reaction? Do you A. take the compliment, smile, and buy it or B. look down, say “I don’t know, I don’t think I could pull it off,” and return it to its shelf?

I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who would take option B without much though to it. Or at least I used to be. (Did you get the pun?)

Just like the President of the United States changed today, so did my mindset. In catching up with an old friend, I’m starting to realize that we cannot truly get anywhere in this life and have it mean anything to us if we don’t find a way to love who we are and where we’re are in this moment. raging-watersThink about it, we come with our successes, our flaws, and everything in between. Without them, we might get a little too boring to find the motivation to push past it all to where we want to be.

That’s part of what makes us who we are, and we have to be okay with that.

On Christmas Eve last year, I made a permanent decision in my life that will stay with me forever. One that some may view as reckless and others may see as just a “phase” or a trend. But this decision meant a lot to me.

I got a tattoo.

I got it for a lot of reasons and I will never regret a single one of them because if it’s permanent, it’s got to mean something big. Part of the decision was me saying yes to myself, to who I am and my own capabilities. The other part of it was and always will be a reminder that I am flawed, I am strong, I am loved, and I am already everything I will ever need to be for the people who matter in my life. Including myself.

Sometimes self-love means chasing the things that you want with everything you are, despite any obstacles or boundaries standing in your way. How else are we supposed to find our limits, test the waters of the world, and discover everything we are? Like Shonda said, There are no rules.

So this week, I am issuing you a challenge. Do something that scares you, dance in the rain,
take a compliment, or even just find a way to take a step in the direction towards what you want for yourself. It can be a goal to get healthy, to study a little more, spend more time with the people you love, or even just spend five minutes every night thinking about everything you did
rigcity-lightsht that day. Because this is your Year of Yes and no matter where you are at in your life, you deserve to love yourself as much as so many people around you already do.

I hope you accept my challenge and I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

One last thing, my poetry section is now up in my blog, under the tag Poetry Place! I hope you’re as excited to explore the gems the literary world has to offer with me, because this is only the beginning.

Restless Love

If there is anything I am learning to embrace, it’s that sometimes things in our lives don’t quite work out the way we want them too. This weekend I had big plans to finish my new poetry page and have the new edition up aamwriting-mettersnd running by now.

But alas, the technological world was not in my favor.

That being said, better late then never because the new poetry section of my blog is now ready to go! I am beyond excited to begin looking more into poetry, my writing, and sharing it all with you. Though I cannot tell you how often I will add new poetry, as there are some details to work out, I can tell you that big things are happening and this is just a scratch on the surface.

So without further ado, here is the first poem I am sharing with you all to kick off the new blog edition of my site, Poetry Place. Welcome to the beginning something beautiful.

 

Restless Love

 

As I lay my head to rest

Instead I rest with

Thoughts of you heart-700141_1920

Running course through my body 

In everything

You do

Like the way I watch you smile 

You are the only

One who

Showed me how to fall in love 

Some days I wish

I never knew

Yes We Can

Back at Cal Poly this week, things have been both busy and slow at the same time. Sometimes I wonder how tquiethat can be, how the clock seems to keep moving while we’re standing in place, and yet when we look back, things are already changing. This week brought us to President Obama’s final speech to our nation as POTUS, asking us to hold onto the faith and the belief that we can. I don’t know how these eight years passed so quickly, but it has been an honor to grow up watching such a gracious and well-spoken president. In his final words, I was reminded of the capabilities we all have to seize the moments we are given and to take the changes we want to see into our own hands.

These are our lives, this is our time. So why not make it worth something?

In light of this, I want to emphasize the word “our” in that sentence. As much as I love to focus on my family and my friends, I think that it’s important to remember that we come first in our lives. If we are looking for change, for something better, we have to looksunset mountains.jpgtowards ourselves first. Because no one else is going to do it for us.

In looking at myself this week, I have decided to focus more on my writing and what I want my future to look like— I’m making the change I want to see in my own life and I am so excited to share it with you all. To kick start that, here is the first poem that will be featured on the poetry section of my site that will be up this weekend. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen it already, but it you haven’t then here it is! I hope you like it and I would love to hear any thoughts you have about the poem.

 

Restless Love

 

As I lay my head to rest

Instead I rest with

Thoughts of you

 

Running course through my body

In everythingdaisies.jpg

You do

 

Like the way I watch you smile

You are the only

One who

 

Showed me how to fall in love

Some days I wish


I never knew

 

 

Much love to all of my readers and I cannot wait to see what these next few months hold for all of us

 

Let’s talk Resolutions

Have you ever looked at your life, who  you are and where you’re headed, and not quite liked what you saw? I know I have, I think we’ve all been there, whether it was getting into college, finding a new job, or facing the uncertainty of the future. Sometime in the past, we have all been there before.

But this is a new year isn’t it? This is our chance.

This is your blank slate.

I’m a dreamer, I’m sure you all know that by now. But I am also a daughter, a student, a musician, a sister, a writer, and far more things than I can list here. I am not defined by any one thing, but I am driven by a dream— to reach all the goals I have ever had, one way or another. I have spent the past few years saying that I want to be a writer, that I want to write a book and make music. College was always a part of my future, just like I always knew I would do something with literature. Last year, I did self-publish a book of poems. It was a huge accomplishment for me, I know that.

Yet, somehow, I still know I can do so much more.

Being home for the past two and a half weeks has given me a chance to take a step back and really take a look at who I am, who I’ve been, and who I want to be. I am a student first, and a dreamer second; that is the smart way to live this life right? But what if, as of this moment, they are one in the same? As a student I am working towards my dreams and as a dreamer, I will study what I love until there seems to be nothing left to learn.

Then, I will study something else.

Because that is what I am making this year about, this is my resolution for myself and for everyone out there who believes in who they can be: If you want something, there is no time like the present, go chase it. If you want to paint, grab a canvas and get going! If you want to be a cook, pick up a cookbook one of these days and try it out! Though I am not saying that we can all reach everything we had ever wanted, I am saying that if we open ourselves up, we might realize that the little triumphs and the little steps towards those dreams may be all we needed to reach the satisfaction we are looking for.

It helps to realize that having everything is about the same as being okay with only having a few things that mean everything to us. When it comes to my dreams of writing and music, there is a long road ahead of me that I can change the path of any day I want. Because when it comes down to it, this is my life and I am in charge of my own happiness.

Aren’t we all?

Sometimes I think we forget that it is our own job to create a balance in our lives— it can’t be all work and no play nor can it be all play and no work. There must be an equal balance. Within that equality, it’s important to remember that our happiness and satisfaction is our own responsibility. Life’s too short to spend it wishing for some other path to go on or another direction.

Make your own path.

No matter what is going on, I would like to believe that there is always a way to be okay with where we are at in our lives, whether we have a hold of the things we want or we simply have love and good people around us to make it all right.  One way or another, we are all headed to some future that we cannot see and it is important to realize that we are often capable of more than we know.

Maybe you are on a journey  into something new, or maybe you are reaching the end of that last adventure, taking a look back to realize how far you have come from who you used to be. Whoever you may be and wherever you may be at this very moment, know that you are capable of reaching those aspirations you hope for and that happiness you are searching for. We all have the power to get there, it just takes a little insight to realize that we might be closer to it all than we know.

You can say that 2016 was for dreaming, for that first taste of what I want my future to be. But for each and every person reading this, make 2017 about making yourself the best version of who you can be and not stopping until you do. Because you deserve that much, I think we all do.

This is a new year, and it is your chance to paint this blank slate with the colors of your dreams, leave no white space untouched because this is your chance, you’ve got 359 days left.

Make it count.

P.S. I will be adding a poetry section to my blog for both my writing and other literature that I find along my journey! Be on the lookout for it and welcome to the new year.