Collision.

Last night I dreamt of driving in the snow.

Icy roads, poor visibility, hazardous conditions.

Yet the city was silent.

The snow fell so softly its as if someone pressed pause

And I was the only one who couldn’t stop moving.

Have you ever watched a car accident in slow motion?

It’s breath taking.

 

Garden Fingers

We have hereditary green thumbs on my father’s side of the family.

My grandmother bloomed roses straight from her finger tips.

My father nurtured his vegetables with gloved hands and a wooden stool.

Even my mother’s side of the family knew something of agriculture.

Aunt Terri was the color of leather from her days in the sun.

My grandfather’s onions sprung up every year, even after he was gone.

My horticulturist brothers have seemed to carry on the tradition.

Succulents, Tomatoes, Apple Trees, and Herbs.

 

But not my mother.

No, my mother has a black thumb and a forgetful mind.

She was much better at growing children.

 

And as I try to grow these greens as well,

I feel like I’m trying to prove that I belong in this family.

My hands covered in dirt from the Earth where I buried another failure.

It’s as if I don’t deserve even hose water to wash clean.

So I keep my hands dirty to disguise these black thumbs of mine.

And I think,

Maybe I would be better off growing children.

True Life: Homebody

After reading Quiet by Susan Cain, I’ve been thinking a lot about how social media has slowly been demolishing real life social skills while simultaneously making extroversion a competitive sport.

Many introverts suffer from social phobia, or what I like to call – human nature.

Social Phobia (Or Social Anxiety Disorder): the fear of judgement. The fear of making a mistake, being embarrassed, or feeling criticized by others.

 

Everyone should take peak at this article about one woman’s week long challenge to quit social media entirely. I myself have attempted to do this as well.  I completely quit Facebook almost 2 years ago.  While I would love to say it was to reconnect with the real world, it was more to run away, to avoid my social phobias.

Living my life on Facebook (and Instagram, too – though I haven’t been able to give up those perfect little squares yet) only aggravated these fears in me.  I was constantly comparing my life profile to those around me and I would find myself embarrassed of things I had no control over.  I was embarrassed of the fact that I never left this town while so many of my peers were posting pictures and videos of their adventures abroad and beyond.  I was ashamed by the lack of passion I felt. I did not have an exciting career or desirable location. Why? Well, partly because I still have no idea what the fuck I want to do with my life, but also because I have family here that needs me. So I would get discouraged, feel inadequate, and shut down.

My fear of entering a new social situation prevented me from putting myself in situations where I would make new friends or networking connections. I had a picture of what my life was supposed to look like and what I saw on the screen in front of me didn’t even come close.  The problem was that I felt lost how to make it a reality.

So I found it was so much easier to not exist – on Facebook at least. I felt more peaceful not having to count the likes or follow the threads or admit that my life was not what I wanted it to be.  It wasn’t so much about being popular as it was about being interesting.  It was about being someone that people looked at and thought, “Wow, that’s awesome! She’s really going places.” Because the truth is that I’m not going places.  I am staying here where I feel safe.  And although I would love to be in the mountains, or be able to drive to the beach, or experience big city pride – I would quite honestly rather stay home.  I would rather be snuggled with my love, hiding from the world. I am fulfilled by the love that I feel in real life, but only when I stop paying attention to what I may or may not be missing, while the “love” from social media always made me feel desperate for more.

The Art of Climbing Trees.

The first rule is to be fearless.

Which is why she was the queen.

Why I was never very good.

I had too much caution, you see,

and I’m afraid she had none.

 

The next rule is to always look up

and sometimes out.

Look out to soak in this view of the places you already know.

But somehow you are so high that this town finally feels foreign.

So you keep looking up

trying to find the next branch.

 

The last rule is to be free.

For these trees can feel your sorrow.

But they are sturdy beneath your bare feet.

Love Lines.

I was falling in love with the wrinkles on your face.

Jealous of the laughs they have heard and the smiles they have felt.

I was jealous of the years that they knew.

How crazy – that I knew how much I loved you because of the wrinkles on your face!

They told your story and it was beautiful.

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Playback.

Rereading the words I had written, I whisper them into my coffee cup.

The recap is soft, intimate.

Like hearing someone else’s secret that’s been folded up in a note and forgotten in a box on the highest shelf of your closet.

I remember the pain, but somehow it doesn’t feel like my own.

I pause for a moment, wondering if this is even my story to tell.

 

It was a Summer Night.

Who wants to run until the sun goes out?  

Well, I’d like to too, but for now we’ll have to settle for the campfire.  

We’ll run around like lost boys and pretend we’ll never grow up.  

Meanwhile, the flames will turn to embers and the only thing left to hope for will be a golden brown marshmallow for the perfect s’more.  

Oblivious to the setting sun, we will laugh with the crickets.  

But at the end of the night it will be dark and we will be alone.  

So I ask you, when we are left with only the ashes, how do we decide where to put them?

 


I wrote that a month after my father died.

I was 17 and I had no idea how deep that really was.

Memorial Day: A Day to Remember.

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When we woke the next morning, the whole room smelled of the beach. Your skin was still soaked from the sun and my lips felt cool against the heat of your shoulder.  My tongue could taste every wave you didn’t catch because your arms were too busy holding me instead. Sleepy smiles and closed eyes, sun drunk from the day before. Swimming in these sheets as if we were still weightless in the water, high on happiness and fresh air. Remembering yesterday, when the sand in your beard and sun screen on your nose matched my knotted hair and bee sting perfectly.  We got lost on the ride home, but the detour was beautiful.  From the passenger seat, I watched as you found the right roads and I remember thinking: You make it so goddamn easy to love this much. To want to give this much. To want to pour myself into you until I’m soaked into your skin as well. 

13.1

“She believed she could, so she did.”

– R.S. Grey

I ran through a thunderstorm just to prove that I could.

I ran through months of gyms, tracks, and trails.

I ran through knee pain, exhaustion, and fear of failure.

I ran through broken hearts,

for broken hearts.

But today, I ran for me.

DXA2 – 2016

Uncomfortable start.

Claustrophobic.

Too confident in my pace.

As if I were only running a mile.

Instincts took over as I raced ahead of the crowd, away from the people.

When it finally thinned, I was alone and struggling.

My heart rate was too high.

My morale was too low.

Overcast, overgrown, only pavement to run on.

What the hell did I get myself into?

More hills than anticipated,

less space than expected.

We barely just made it to 3 miles.

But at least I had the trees:

 

“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.”

—Hal Borland

My heart may be patient and my legs may be strong,

but my head was not in this race.

So I ran for the trees.

For the trees that my Dad chopped down at our cottage.

For the trees that Lexi used to climb as a kid.

For the trees that gave us shade when he told me goodbye that day in the park.

 

By mile 6, my legs had passed the baton to my mind and let it run instead.

It raced from the past to the future and back to the present.

Forgetting my body and remembering why I chose to run again in the first place.

Forgetting the runners beside me, ahead, and behind.

Forgetting who wasn’t waiting at the finish line.

 

Around mile 9, I remembered as my legs began to shake.

Burning toes, aching feet.

Air so thick I could taste every breeze.

It was then that the thunder cracked.

It was then that the downpour washed cheers of relief over all of us.

Shoes instantly soaked as the heat and humidity lifted.

I welcomed the cold water on my face with open arms and a smile.

Four miles to go and I could finally breathe.

Four miles to go and I finally believed –

I got this.

I motherfucking got this.

 

The last stretch was a blur.

Mostly puddles and deep breaths.

One mile to go and my rally girl cheered.

Driving me on to finish with a smile.

With time to spare and no one to hold.

It didn’t matter.

Because today, I ran for me and I made it.

 

Home and held.

Happy and dry.

But there was still water on my face.

Yes, I was proud beyond belief that I not only finished, but I surpassed my goal.

I was proud that I didn’t give up. No, I didn’t quit this time.

But mostly, I was proud to finally have something to be proud of that wasn’t just surviving a tragedy.

I had tears in my eyes because I know he would have loved this.

 

He was at every track meet, every cross country race.

He picked me up from every practice with a Gatorade and granola bar

and we drove home with my feet airing out the car window.

 

I stopped running a year before I lost my dad.

He never told me, but his disappointment was palpable.

I was his pride. I was his joy. Just ask my brothers.

I didn’t run again until after he died.

I’m always trying to make up for lost time.

 

It breaks my heart to know how proud he would have been.

So proud that I could still hear his voice as I crossed the finish line.

 

 

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