Seven Years.

as words fill up the page,
i’m writing for the sake of taking up space. 
the curves and sharp angles
will never capture my true meaning. 
too scared to be myself
even in the privacy of my own skin, 
i hide in spiral notebooks
rewarded with the satisfaction,
i have fooled my opponent.

i hold onto things that need to go free; 
half filled diaries,
empty glass bottles
(useless without lids).
no longer do they bring comfort 
aside from knowing they are still here,

i crave affection 
The kind that feels like
spinning in the middle of an intersection
drenched in rain.
submerged in affection.
without a care for safety.
but i am not fearless.

i hate change that i cannot control. 
i fear being left behind
but easily do the leaving.
i broke a heart without a tear.
But cried when they broke my own.
they wouldn’t fight for me.

she breathes
and i am left breathless. 
the smell of pine and campfire
a dare in the dark,
a chance to leap

a challenge of loyalty
i fight for her.
no road no rain
but I am left spinning

i set a dream free. 
so much harder than a friend,
or the potential of a glass bottle.

i forget to write.
i find a new way to take up space.

i threw away the old spiral notebooks.

Hi, it’s been a minute. Half of this was found among memories, written in March of 2015 – the spring before I met my wife. And so the second half is a sequel of sorts. Everything that happened in the next 7 years. The epilogue.

Talk to you soon,

~ Raelee


Remission Anxiety

I cannot fathom the pursuit of one interest.

My passions and goals are not neatly typed out into steps.
I don’t have one ideal I aspire to.
I won’t be able to reference my childhood fantasies in a future acceptance speech.
I have never focused on one thing long enough to become an expert on it.
I don’t have neat categories. No aesthetic I could be the face of.
There is no single lifestyle I can be the spokes model for.
I don’t have the cutthroat ambition needed to attain some level of greatness.
I don’t have what it takes to reach career or wealth levels that would impress the people around me or the kids I went to school with.
I will not cause any envious chatter in circles of people I don’t know.
But I wanted to.

For a few years I thought acting could be my thing. I felt like it was perfect because each role is different, a new set, a new cast. But I never got far enough into the business to get a taste of that variety. The environment got toxic, and I started making choices that made me dislike myself. My health got in the way of bringing my best work to the stage. Rehearsals went long; the amount of sleep I needed to rejuvenate myself was unattainable. I wasn’t able to create the depths needed in my characters because I wasn’t willing to be any more vulnerable than I already I was. I was never comfortable taking on relationships within a show beyond a G rating – and I didn’t have the drive to find other opportunities that would have let me stay within that comfort zone.

I kept at it while it was easy and felt natural.
Once I was asked to go beyond that, I walked away.
I quit.

I’ve since realized that this happens to me a lot. I quit a lot. And it’s ironic because I consider myself a “Learner.” I love going to school, have you seen my highlighters!? I read so much that I have an instagram dedicated to books. I watch documentaries! But something about “Learner” implies a level of commitment I don’t possess. I tend to present the bare minimum of what I am capable of. I do more than what the average is, but it’s not the best I could do. I am a perfectionist who procrastinates. I let myself down, constantly. But I do not push myself to do better. I don’t know how.

In high school I hardly put effort into my homework. I did some of it the day of or copied things I knew I could do but didn’t want to do. I tested well enough and had enough jive with teachers to get extensions, and those are the only reasons that I managed to graduate with a GPA over 3.0.

I could have done better, I know that.

But I talked myself out of it, almost every time. Home wasn’t a happy place to be, and I was only ever at school or at home. If I had access to it, hadn’t grown up with health issues, or had I not gone to Narcotics Anonymous meetings every Friday for about six years, I am sure I would have gotten into addictive substances. Instead I found that reading a lot and watching movies on Netflix was another way to numb myself and make the days go by faster. For most of middle school my memories look dark and feel heavy. Happier memories are of those moments I remember thinking, “oh good, a second of lightness.”

I think I have inadvertently trained myself to be afraid. I have come to find a sense of comfort in the darkness. I fall into this pattern of working my ass off, only to end up falling off the face of the planet. I rarely feel like I can find a happy medium. I would either be up till midnight for a week straight, working on missing assignments, trying really hard in my classes, eating three meals a day, writing and singing, and keeping my room clean. Then suddenly I would crash. I would stay in bed till noon, eat junk and leave the trash on the floor of my room next to yesterday’s clothes. I would skip class physically and/or mentally.

Senior year I dropped out of my college level science and math classes because I had gotten sick (again), missed two weeks, and was too overwhelmed by all the work waiting for me when I came back. At that point, I didn’t need the classes to graduate, and it was made clear by the attitudes of the people around me that me going to a big university the next year was a non-option.
My confidence was shattered, my motivation was shot. It was November and the cold was creeping in. Instead of letting it take over, I dropped the classes.

I don’t regret that choice, because there was too much happening in all facets of my life in that moment – dropping one of the stressors was imperative and I wasn’t allowed to drop my parents. However, it created a trend I have since been trying to shut down. I have turned my poor health into a crutch. If there was ever anything I couldn’t handle, if I ever get scared or overwhelmed, all I have to do is pull out my platinum health card.

Now, technically, it is a health issue. I have only ever lied about having colds in high school. I do have a weak immune system, and at least two rare diseases. But I think the argument could be made that it is a mental health issue, and not to blame on my physical health.

In lieu of an addiction to drugs or alcohol, I have formed an addiction to being “sick” while also fearing it to the point that I’ve developed an anxiety about it.

The idea of getting severely sick again and having to quit my life again is gut wrenching and terrifying. I did it two years ago. I did it for a lot of my childhood. Having to take a step back from everything I want to accomplish and enter a world where all that is expected of me is to get well and rest – it’s awful. I can’t even feel happy about what I have achieved because once I am sick I fall behind everyone around me. I am no longer considered a player in the game.

It instantly feels like no one expects me to live, only to survive.

But gee…  that is delicious when I am healthy and feel like I am failing.

So the second I do get sick, whether it is a cold or a disease decides to relapse, I am riding that Nope Train. I forget to do anything that makes me feel good, only the things that keep me feeling bad. I forget to brush my hair. I forget to put on clean clothes. I don’t read, or take the dog out so I can get a breath of fresh air. I forget to eat real food.

For several days I am 13 again, wrapped up in cozy blankets and watching beautiful movies, lost in a daydream about what I’ll be someday when I’m older and well.

And then when I don’t need the prescriptions anymore or the sniffles ease, I am faced with the realization that – I am older, I am well. That Nope Train has been coming around for 10 years now. This game is no longer new. I can’t keep hiding.

I like to think that every time I reach this point of realization, I get better at battling it.
I come up with new ideas on fighting myself. I get better at putting limits in place:

“OK, this time, I only get to throw a pity party for one extra day after being sick”
“This time I have to write what I am frustrated about”
“This time I have to finish x amount of chores so that I push myself to move around”
“If I stay home, then this time I have to keep up with emails and I have to respond to the texts that friends send”

I am terrified and skeptical, daily.
I am scared in my own skin; I am scared of pushing myself too far, of trying too hard.
I don’t want to fail at something I want. If I get sick, then it wasn’t my fault. I never had a chance! “My health got in the way and I had no choice but to take care of myself!” If I half-ass it then I can always say, I could have done better if I tried harder. But if I give something my everything; if I go after the things that I want and dream and crave, there runs the massive risk of failing at it.

I am so scared of getting into something, and really loving it… only to have to quit.
I simply don’t trust my own remission. And as much as we say that failure is just a stepping stone, it fucking hurts and it’s severely uncomfortable.

Sure, my health doesn’t have to dictate everything in my life.
But in the past it has.
In the past it has stunted me.

Who is to say it won’t happen again?


The original version of this post was sent to The Mighty around 2am about 6 months ago, when I was in the midst of a panic attack and finishing up my associate’s degree. Recently, The Mighty has changed their publishing rules and format. Before only some entries got posted, but recently they have gotten access to a larger server and now are publishing everything. So they’ve gone back and published every previous entry they passed on as well.
As a writer, this does feel like a step back because now its just a free-for-all-social-media. But as a #spoonie, I think this is utterly fantastic because it will not only widen the scope of who publishes their stories, but also widen the scope of the type of stories.
It turns out that another version was also in my drafts here on WordPress, which is what led me to editing it and posting it today. That version was called “This One Has No Answers For You, But Many Questions For Myself.”
You can read the original version here on The Mighty’s website.

5 Tips to Help You Find Time To Read!

     I can’t count the number of times that someone has said to me “Wow, I wish I had time to read, but I’m too busy” as if somehow I am not also out here grinding through work and school. In my last post, I talked about how I am trying to be intentional. That’s an adjective I have been actively pursuing, in what I eat, how I spend my time, what media I consume, etc. I think that we get so stuck in our habits that we forget that they are habits. They are malleable, and we can change them if we don’t like them. You just have to want to make the change and work at it. I hate to be harsh, but if you really want to read, you have to make time for it. You may have to readjust your routine, and you may have to confront some of your bad habits. You may even have to give up something else to make time for it. Unless your life dramatically shifts, you aren’t going to be any less busy. In this post, I am going to break down how I find time to read, what I have given up to make time, and hopefully give you some ideas if you are struggling to find time or motivation.

    I don’t magically have more time to read than you do. I just decided one day that I missed reading and I wanted it to be present in my daily life. I was a big reader in elementary and middle school, but had lost the drive and focus sometime in the midst of high school drama. In January 2017, while stuck at home because of a compromised immune system and lack of strength, I realized that the time I was spending staring at Netflix could be better used. At that time, I DID magically have more time than you. I wasn’t working. I didn’t have much energy to clean. I wasn’t in school. I literally sat at home all day every day that I wasn’t with a doctor. But deciding to stop binge-watching Gilmore Girls again and start reading wasn’t enough work to actually make it happen. When I tried to read I found myself unfocused even through the most interesting book. I would end up on my phone, or going off to do who-knows-what. It TURNS OUT that when you don’t practice something for a while, you may not be fantastic at it when you come back. It’s almost like reading… is a skill? It’s almost like if you want something to become habit you have to… work at it?

     So, I had to teach myself how to read all over again and how to use my time efficiently. Once I did, suddenly I had plenty of time to read. I read 56 books that year, and 57 books in 2018. And I still managed to work full-time and go to school. I still had social interaction, traveled, ate full meals, and slept a full 8 hours a night. So how did I do it? Let’s explore.

Tip #1: Set a traceable GOAL:

When I first started trying to increase my reading time, I made quantity goals. For me, quantity was a way to motivate myself. Having a numerical goal meant it was easy to track how I was doing. Maybe your goal is a list of titles you want to tackle. Maybe there is an author you love you want to read all of their books. Maybe you set aside a certain amount of time every week that you have to read during. Whatever works, just set a goal. Once I had to goal, it became easier to focus because I was working towards something. Just make sure you can easily track it.

If you pick a quantity goal, there are two factors that will determine how many
books you go through:

  1. How fast you read.
  2. What you read.

I have always been a fast reader. You may read slower or faster, so it is important not to compete with someone else’s book numbers. Instead, consider what books really enjoyed in the past, and how long it took you to finish them. Then estimate how many you could get through within a year. I spent those two years rereading favorites from my childhood, or finishing teen series that I never got to finish. Youth fiction can be really well written, but they are written to be easier to comprehend (This does not mean the book is any lesser!). I also knew that I would go through them faster if they were a series with cliffhangers.

Tip #2: Find your wasted time:

I know you may not want to admit this, but you are wasting time in your day. It’s a waste when it doesn’t help you in any capacity. It doesn’t make you happy, it doesn’t further your career, it doesn’t feed you, it doesn’t heal you. For me, a lot of this time was on my phone. Growing up my phones couldn’t access the internet and none of my friends were major texters. I had SO MUCH time to read!! Now, my phone is a mini computer full of fun and distracting ways to waste my time. I could scroll for hours, and I HAVE. Those hours are better spent, don’t you think?

     I starting tracking my time spent on the phone, which is an app most smartphones have. Suddenly I was faced with exact numbers of time I spent on my phone. Even days when I was in school and at work, I somehow managed to spend an hour or two on my phone. Every time I am in line I was on my phone. Every time I was on a break at work or in class I was on my phone. Waiting for the bus? I was on my phone. Waiting around at the airport? I was on my phone. Waiting for the water to boil when cooking dinner? I was on my phone.

    Now I have been actively trying to use that time to read. I read on the bus, while waiting for the bus. I try to read during my breaks at work, and especially try to read at lunch. If I’m not too tired at night I try to read for an hour before bed. I’ve recently been waking up earlier than I need to so I can sit by my windows or on my patio and take my time with coffee and a book.

“But Raelee, I don’t use public transit!!? Of course you can
read all the time, you’re on a bus.”

OK, well you should if you can because it’s better for traffic and the environment. Not to mention I spend maybe up to an 1 hour on a bus everyday, but anyway.

Tip #3: Find your format:

Audiobooks, friend. They exist, and reading snobs might say they don’t count, but that is bullsh!t. One of my friend pairs her audiobooks with physical books. She can listen to a book on the way to school, and then read the physical book later at home. Personally, I do prefer to hold the book myself, that’s why I don’t use ebooks. But if you are not audibly challenged like me, there are plenty of audiobook subscriptions. Often times they can be cheaper than buying an actual book. Go to used bookstores and get used audio books. Libraries let you borrow audiobooks. My Bioanthropology teacher, Tony, said that he listens to audiobooks so he can adjust the speed. Even speeding up the recording slightly can dramatically cut down the time it takes to listen to a whole book. Play them while you clean your house. Listen while you cook dinner. Listen while you’re in traffic.

Tip #4: Make your routine more efficient:

I wear the same makeup everyday. I have been wearing the same general makeup for several years now. I’ve gotten pretty fast at doing it now, sometimes I even have extra time to try something new. But when I first started doing my makeup, it was messy and took forever. So what changed? Practice. Repetition. Doing it over and over. I cut out the things that I didn’t care for (mascara on my bottom lashes always messes with my glasses anyway; leave lipstick for special occasions, etc). I invested in products that helped me achieve the look I wanted. Hair oil to help with frizz, copper brushes to help with dandruff. Setting spray to keep my makeup on my face all day. Now do that with everything in your life.

    Pretty much all of my sock are grey or black. Most of my clothes are similar enough colors that I can try on six outfits in the morning and it’s still faster than it was in high school. I boil water for my oatmeal at the same time that I boil water for coffee. My travel mug is sitting next to my grounds, my lunch is leftovers from yesterday’s dinner. I always have a book in my purse and next to my bed. This means that to get ready in the morning, or for bed in the evening, I need about 30 minutes to have everything ready. If I took the time to meal prep, the rest of my week would be even faster. If B and I got a french press, making coffee would be even faster. I could shorten up my shower routine, I could shorten the time it takes me to do laundry. I want to be faster at getting the kitchen cleaned up. Speeding all those daily tasks will leave you with more time, as will cutting out the things you don’t need. Which brings me to my last tip.

Tip #5: Sacrifice something:

I am obsessive, and anxious, and I like to do everything. But often, we have to cut something out to make time for something else. I could be playing the sims right now, but I want to invest more time into my writing and my bookstagram so instead I am working on this. I could even be reading right now, but I know that I have some time later that I can read that I wouldn’t be able to use for writing. I’ve also lessened the amount of money I spend on Starbucks so I can use that extra money to buy more books. I used to spend about $10 a week on coffee, and now I can buy a book with that (sometimes even two if I find deals!). I can’t afford to spend that money on both, I had to give one of them up. I don’t have Spotify premium anymore, that extra $5-10 a month goes to reading. I don’t have photoshop anymore ($10-25 a month), I use pixlr or phone apps. I don’t go shopping much for a variety of reasons, but one fun side-effect of that is I have that time and money for books (or rent, lol). Time and money are probably the hardest things to sacrifice and compromise on when it comes to forming new habits, but I have found that they make the biggest impacts.

I hope that this gave you some inspiration to bring books into your life. I really think that there is nothing better than falling into a book. Start small, start by doubling the number of books you read last year. Read one book a month. Just make some time to read. Read the paper, read comic books, listen to audiobooks, read magazines.

Reading is said to:

  • Expand your vocabulary;
  • Stimulate the mind, slowing down the progress of Alzheimer’s or dementia;
  • Increase your capacity for empathy;
  • Reduce stress;
  • Be hella fun!

Any of these tips can be used to help you develop any habit, not just reading. I have been using similar techniques to improve my eating habits. Let me know if there are any tips that you use that I didn’t list. I’d love to try other ways!


This is written from the perspective of a lower middle class white female. What I have access to may differ to what you have access to. What I can physically do in a day may greatly differ from someone who is less able-bodied. Keep your abilities in mind, and don’t push yourself too far just because strangers on the internet have different circumstances. Find what works for you.


To Whom It May Concern,

I write to you wrapped up in the blanket my grandmother knit me, on my patio which I have furnished with my rug that Bree hates, a crate someone left behind at work, and a $10 camping chair I bought at the grocery store. I also have coffee.

This winter was terribly hard for me, as most winters are. I long for the day when I can move my family to a warmer climate, where my bones ache less often, and my mood is predictable. For a month or two I have been trying to get a new job, for as much as I love the bookstore I would like to have money for things besides rent and food. I would also like a job where there is room to grow. I want these things desperately. And that unfulfilled lust for more has not helped my mood in the least. I have also been very preoccupied with a couple other things which you will read about in a moment.

I am writing this letter to you because I have consciously realized some things about myself recently, that I felt necessary to share for a variety of reasons:

  1. Growing up I felt like I was behind everyone else because rarely are we brutally honest about our experiences with each other. (I have a lot of thoughts on this point. I do not have all the time to write about them now, but if I do I will link it here). I felt like I never knew what anyone else was thinking or experiencing. This phenomenon has made me very self-conscious. 
  2. While I consider myself a pretty open person it is very hard to admit when I am wrong, or when I am bad at something, especially if I really wanted to be right. This is not a trait unique to me, but I feel like if we talked about it, it would be easier for everyone to cope and grow. (See reason 1). So I am pushing myself to do it because of reason 3; 
  3. The best times of my life all have happened during the Summer. Not just because Summer is the best (which, it is), but because it comes around my birthday. I get very introspective around my birthday, and that combined with the warm air and bumble bees creates a sense of urgency to push myself. I am happiest when I am pushing myself. I know this and yet, for 75% of the year, I do not push myself. I hibernate. I don’t like the feeling of hibernating. The pleasure of sinking into your bed looses its magic if you’ve been in bed all day. So this is me pushing myself.

Technically these could be argued to be one big reason, but it’s my letter so I get to do whatever I want.

Here is what I have learned this winter, in no particular order.

  1. I am not a good friend. Now, this is a little more complex than that one sentence, but ultimately what I have learned is that I take so much of my own energy making sure that I am energized and healthy and safe that I have little left to give to anyone else. I use to excuse this behavior, because I have diseases and a partner and a dog. But we have the power to cultivate the lives we want. If we want to have time for our friends, we make time for our friends.
    And this is not to say that I don’t love and cherish my friendships, but rather I have realized they are no longer a top priority for me. As soon as I made this realization, I suddenly started to feel much better. We are human, we need and crave connection. But much of the connection I need I get from a select few, and I no longer feel the pressure to collect names to prove I am worth loving. Those in similar life stages, I assume, are going through similar realizations. They have partners, children, careers, dreams. They have things they want to invest time and resources into, and sometimes the friendships they have accumulated no longer are compatible.

    • I don’t think this is bad. I think this is natural. But geez, it is UNCOMFORTABLE. We put so much pressure into getting everything right, into always being good. And then add our “cancel culture” into the mix and suddenly you aren’t allowed to change your mind anymore. ITS TOO MUCH PRESSURE. Letting go of good people is just as okay as letting go of toxic people. We all are learning and growing and changing, and forcing friendships is just as awful as forcing romantic relationships. I have so many more thoughts to put into this. I don’t have the right words right now. But ultimately, people value commitment, and if you cannot commit to something just say so. Feelings will be hurt but in time they will find people who can commit to them. And this applies to both romantic and platonic relationships. The world will not end because you decided to walk away. 
  2. I don’t digest information as much as I thought I did. I think that this comes from my both my impatient nature and my thirst for more. I read a lot, and I listen to podcasts, and I watch documentaries – but until recently I never noticed that I don’t digest what that information really means.
    • A great example of this is my realization that salad can taste amazing. People always said that it can taste good, and I certainly never assumed they were lying. I just felt like I didn’t get it. But recently, I have been eating salad. Like full on CRAVING salad, because I learned how to make it taste good. I learned how to make it a meal. The other day I was itching to get home so I could have salad. Let me share with you my favorite salad right now; I mix two different salads together (of the soft leaf variety; I’m not into bitters or the pokey kind), I added some cooked breaded chicken strips, some avocado, lil baby tomatoes, some chopped almonds, ginger salad dressing, and finished it off – get this: with salt and pepper. WHAT? That’s right friends. Salt and pepper on salad. It’s crazy, turns out that making a salad is literally like making anything else. Did you know you can put salt and pepper on sandwiches? My life has changed. 
  3. I am learning to slow down. I have written before about how my anxiety is a racehorse. Generally it feels like everything I do is too fast. I don’t know if I am trying to beat the clock, or if it is because when I was younger I didn’t think I would last long – but god everything is too fast.
    • In particular, I have applied this to reading. My relationship with reading is complex. Growing up it was a survival tactic – I would read to escape my trauma and my depression. It was literally the number one reason I kept waking up in the morning. For a while reading was like eating and sleeping – without it I would start to crumble. It was addictive, and a dependency. I was staying up all night to finish a book because putting the book away meant acknowledging life outside the story. Not because the book was any good, but simply because it was better than living.
      Now that I can read for the sake of reading, I have had to teach myself all over again. It becomes all too tempting to fall into another world and forget the one I am in. Especially during these dark winter days. I have been learning how to take my time through books, to really digest what I am reading, and how it applies to my life, or what wisdom it can serve me. I am learning how to read what I need at the time, not just to speed through one book so I can get to the next. If I am happy and I want to stay happy, I read a happy book. If I am struggling and I want to break free of that I read a book that forces me to confront what I am struggling with. If I am sad and I want an excuse to cry I read a sad book. This means that I am currently working through 6 books at once which would previously have upset me. But I am learning to enjoy it. 
  4. My surroundings impact my perception. This can be as specific or broad as you like. For me it means that when my kitchen is messy, I treat life messy. I don’t care about how I interact with the world, I don’t smile at strangers, I don’t always think before speaking. When my clothes are clean, I am productive and happier. When my hair was last washed god knows when, I lose motivation to cook dinner for my family. When I have a thought-provoking conversation with a cherished friend, I am energized and optimistic. I have been trying to cultivate the life I want in all facets of my life, but specifically in how I surround myself. Sipping freshly brewed coffee in a clean room with the window wide open and a jar of fresh flowers on the sill instantly becomes the best part of my day. Today is my day off but I still brushed my hair and put on a pair of jeans. True, sweatpants are comfier. But jeans are fairly comfy, and they have that slight itch that keeps me from sitting still in one spot for too long.

I know that I have not been available to you, but as you can see I have been quite busy. My mental health takes up more of my time and that feels shameful, but I am working on it everyday. I will continue working on it forever I think. I am trying to accept that. I am sorry that I have been away. I am trying to come back. As the temperature rises I am shedding my layers and rediscovering who I am and what I want in life (I mean this literally and figuratively. The other day I discovered a freckle that I didn’t know I had).

If you are reading this, you clearly are someone who cares for me and my livelihood and for that I love you. I love you for many other reasons, but especially for being someone who takes time in their day to care for me. That is such a little and magnificent gift.

If you are struggling to find balance and would like some peaceful moments in life, this is your permission slip to take time for yourself. You will never be perfect, neither will I. There simply is no such thing. It is far more important to go about your life with intention and awareness. If you overextend yourself trying to fulfill everyone else in your life, this is your challenge to pause and decide if it’s worth it. This is your opportunity to decide on what you want your priorities to be and not what you think your priorities should be. This is your chance to be selfish, and to not feel ashamed of it.

Someday I will embody my own advice.

Much love to you,

Things that are helping me right now:

  • Stacey Flowers: She is a Youtuber who talks a lot about mental health, money management, and happiness. I really love her honesty a lot. Her Instagram is great too; every morning she goes live with her “morning show” and talks about being intentional and her journey to living debt free. In the evenings she posts from her gratitude walk, and lists the things she is grateful for. She also taught me how to make yummy spaghetti squash. 
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brene Brown. I only have worked my way through the first two chapters because oof, this one is not a comfy read. But I have been thinking about what she talks about and trying to apply the concepts into my own life. 
  • Fresh flowers. Whether you steal them from the cherry blossoms, or grab some cheap carnations from the grocery store, something about fresh flowers just feels so luxurious and they always make me smile. I got a $10 bouquet a couple of weeks ago and I keep carrying them with me as I go around the house. Just make sure you change out the water so they last you a long time.

  • I am trying to spend less time on social media. My issues with self-image and jealousy don’t get any better if I am spamming myself with “influencers”. However, when I am on I try to look at images that inspire me, like the feed of Kate Nelson of PlasticFreeMermaid. She is an activist and posts really great tutorials and information about the damage of plastic and visits communities all around the world to learn about how plastic impacts their lives. She is firm but never condescending, and her positivity is contagious.

I’m Bisexual.

When I first started writing this blog, it was a place for me to vent about what I was going through. I had recently been forced to drop out of school, I had to quit my job, I was in the midst of a deadly disease that was doing its best to kill me. And I wanted a place to talk about that and to have the blog as a middle man to talk to my friends, family, and community. And for the most part I had that, and writing helped me recover pieces of my self that had been buried under “I’m stuck in bed all day because i have no energy to move” depression. Once I was back on my feet and in school and then a new full time job, I didn’t need this middle man to explain my situation anymore. I was confident enough to have the difficult conversations in person.
This blog has become more of a thing I do when I want to have fun or for when I need to really talk something out with myself.

But today I need the comfort of the screen between us, because I have to talk about something difficult. And this isn’t like my long-lost coat story, or when I came clean about being a morning person – where at the end it’s been a silly dramatic post. This time it’s serious, and if you’re reading this, I really hope that you can hear me and fully digest what I have to say.

I am a bisexual. I have loved two boys, and one girl. I don’t know if I will deeply love another, or whether they will be a boy or a girl, but I do know that I loved those boys very much, and I love this girl more than I’ve loved anyone.

The summer I came out as not-heterosexual, I came out because I started dating this girl. I don’t know when I would have come out if I hadn’t met her, but I met her and I knew I needed to know her. Apparently she needed to know me too and so I came out.

And it was really scary.

But it wasn’t fear of how my family might react. I grew up in a home with a mother who was daring and brave and preached openness and exploration. I knew that she wouldn’t mind in the least. And so she was the first person I told, and we cried together on the phone out of love and respect and relief and it was beautiful.

No, I wasn’t worried about mom, I was worried about how my friends would react.

I live in the Pacific Northwest. We are known for being liberal coffee snobs, running around with too much hair, too many opinions, a lot of Gay, and poor interpersonal skills.  At the time I was contemplating my sexuality, I was working at a camp where we had (privately, on our breaks, semi-jokingly) calculated that at least 40% of staff were out and openly queer and at least 15% were closeted or oblivious. That proportion was pretty typical over the past three years of working for camp, and I had made many gay/queer friends. But in that time they had addressed me and treated me like I was straight.
I was an ally in their eyes.
And that was fine, but I also had absorbed the jokes they made about straight girls who experiment, or the torment of falling for a straight girl, or what a lesbian should look like, and what is gay and what isn’t. At the time, it was intimidating. At the time I didn’t know what they genuinely believed,  what was a joke, or what was a remark masking their insecurities.
They were my only IN to an entire community, and so far it looked like they didn’t want someone who looked like me.

A week before I told B. I liked her, and thus a week before I came out, I was sitting on my bunk chatting with coworkers and somehow the conversation got steered to who we thought was gay at camp. This is INCREDIBLY common. It is one of the few environments that is so saturated with Gay, that everyone gets way too excited. I asked why in the past three years no one had asked me if I was gay, and my cabin-mate laughed and said,  “Raelee, we know you aren’t gay because – ”

Lets just pause for a second – I think it would be important for me to tell you that up until this point I had only started dating in the past year. The two boys from before had happened that year when I was 19-20, and there was no dating in high school (there was a date or two, but they were as innocent as can be). There had been crushes, there had been flirting, but ultimately there had been nothing until the year before that summer. I knew myself, I knew I wasn’t ready or willing to give anything a go until I was ready. But I had known my camp friends for three years, before any dating and they had never once asked me if I was straight or not. Straight people are not unique in their heternormative thinking. Gay people do it too. Its how most of us were raised, it is a part of Western culture. Not assuming someone is straight takes a lot of time and homework that I am only now getting better at and I’ve been working on it for four years. But back then, I assumed that my friends, so deeply involved in the queer community, would be naturals at it. I hadn’t yet learned the reality that everything takes time and practice. I assumed that they could read it in my eyes that I had been questioning myself since I was 16, I thought they could smell the gay on me.
I thought gaydar was a real thing, dammit! I didn’t realize that it is developed by depending on stereotypes.

Ok let’s resume:

She told me I couldn’t be gay because I wore too much pink and liked Taylor Swift, and that, “no self-respecting lesbian would listen to Taylor Swift.”
That is the direct quote.
I know for a fact that was what she said because it echoed for days and I wrote about in a diary, and I cried about it on the phone. Those two things supposedly took away my queerness. And looking back now, I know that’s not what she intended. And I still know her and she has learned and grown so much, and by the end of the summer she apologized. But in that moment, it was a punch to the gut.

But the bigger reason that it hurt was not because I felt left out or misunderstood, it was because her instinctual response was to assume that a girl who was gay couldn’t like boys, and couldn’t be feminine.

And that was what I had been telling myself for years.

“Well, I don’t like girls that way because I like make up.”
“I’ve had all these crushes on boys for years, maybe I just think she’s pretty and smells nice because I look up to her/I’m being supportive/I’m being compassionate.”
“I can’t be gay because I don’t like covering everything in rainbow, isn’t that what they all do?”
“I can’t be gay because I like having nice painted nails/I like pink/ I have long hair/ I don’t like queer movies/”
“I can’t be gay because I don’t do this/I don’t look like that/”

It would be a while before I was able to get over those things. It took a year or so into my relationship with B. to really start feeling comfortable with my frilly and pink self. And I still battle with silly inner arguments about if I am presenting too feminine or not feminine enough. And its easy to throw those insecurities away when they aren’t yours, but for me they are much harder to conquer.

Everyone’s sexuality and romantic history is their own to share.
It is not owed to anyone, and it should not be assumed by anyone.

I don’t care what age, what gender, how they dress, who they have dated before. It is never your place to tell someone who they are. We have created an environment that makes people afraid to be themselves, one where they think they can’t change their mind about their opinions or lifestyle without getting judged for it. And what do we gain from that? What do we gain by continuing this tradition? Aren’t we just holding each other and ourselves back from our full potential?

I am a bisexual. I have loved two boys, and one girl. I don’t know if I will deeply love another person or whether they will be a boy or a girl; but I do know that it is none of your business until I say otherwise, and that my sexuality is only a small part of who I am as a person.


Logged Out October

We need to take a break, social media, I’m not sorry about it.

     I don’t know if you have picked up on it yet, but I have a lot of interests. I’ve done theater, interior design, I read a lot, I like pop culture and fashion, I have a million writing ideas that I am scared of forgetting, I have two jobs, I am in school, I was trying to learn how to play the ukulele, and I am also trying to start relearning french. I also try to maintain strong relationships with friends and family. I’ve been trying to learn to meal prep, I’m learning about financials and boosting ones credit report. I’m trying to move and find my first apartment, I have more than a casual interest in the Sims. I love tv and movies and podcasts. And I have reached the point where I want too many things and I want to know too many things. I have been broken by my own curiosity.

     In theory, I claim to balance all of these things as well as my delicate health. But the reality is that I get so overwhelmed by all that I want to do, I end up doing nothing but wallowing in misery because I can only multitask so much and so often. I have found myself getting bored with books because I am distracted by ten others I want to read. I’ve been getting bored in classes because I have such restless energy I can’t even focus. And then there is the anxiety that I get from realizing ALL of this, that I get even more overwhelmed – I have to find a way to chill out, essentially.

     Growing up, my mother restricted my computer and tv time. And even then, when I was on the computer I was playing math and grammar games. I felt like I had the most brilliant imagination, playing with my barbies until I was 16. I spent hours reading anything I could get my hands on, even really big hard books, even if I didn’t actually understand what I was reading. Now days I get bored so fast that I have to force myself to keep dense books on my radar. It’s something I feel ashamed about. I want to go to school forever! I want to spend my days talking and learning surrounded by other academics. I want to tackle difficult literature and learn about the great academics before me. But I can’t do that if I can’t even get through biographies about people I admire. What good is it to read stacks of books, if I wasn’t once challenged?

     For the past week I have allowed my phone to track how often I am on it. Even though I carry a book with me everywhere, I have noticed that if I am in line anywhere, or waiting for a bus – or even waiting for someone while they run to the bathroom – I pull out my phone immediately. I didn’t even have a phone with internet access until 4 years ago, so this habit where I spend all spare time scrolling is a new one. I am hoping that because it is so new that I can easily break it. In the past week I have spent an average of 2.5 hours every day on my phone. I will say that a lot of that was while multitasking, because I watch shows when I put laundry away or cooking, and I watch shows on my phone while I play games on my computer. With that in mind, I am honestly surprised that the average time wasn’t higher. But that is still two and a half hours I could have been doing something else. 

     Don’t get me wrong, I love the ease of social media. I love that I can hear an interview with my favorite Egyptologist a mere hour after she gives it, and that I can hear interesting people write or talk about their lives and perspectives. Those stories are really important to me. They help me relate to the people around me and help me form my own opinions on things. But I also know that I am not spending 2.5 hours everyday partaking in that. A lot of that time is being spammed with ads for foods and lifestyle trends that I don’t need or have interest in. A lot of that time is spent reading comments written by people I don’t know who aren’t doing anything proactive but are very angry. A chunk of that 2.5 hours is spent locked in my echo chamber.

     For the month of October I am removing Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, and all the games from my phone. I am logging out of them on my computer. I am going to train myself to stop reaching for my phone for those few minutes I am waiting somewhere and learn to stand there waiting doing nothing or reading the book in my purse. My phone will be to stay in contact with people and to take photos. I am allowed to post to my blog page on FB if I write something – but otherwise you won’t see me until November.

      As much as I love being a part of the community that I have created here, I want to be able to look back and recognize accomplishments that I made, not just articles I shared on Facebook. I’m excited to get lost in my books and my classes. I’m excited to let myself be flooded with writing ideas. I’m excited to daydream again, and to get bored and not have a safety net waiting in my pocket. I’m excited to meet my imagination again. I’m just really excited.


Pirates Vs. Ninjas

Only one can win, but who?


Pirate or ninja? This question has spurned lively debates in cyberculture, to the point that now it is a debate in mainstream channels and even has an abbreviation: PvN. There is argument over when the initial argument started, but the powerful responses have created video games, board games, books, massive lists on the internet, even plot points on television. The arguments on both sides are intricate and carry the strength of the characters themselves, but nevertheless the question remains; who would win a fight to the death? Who is left standing in the center of the ring? A Pirate? Or a Ninja?

Choose Your Fighter:


    There have been active bands of pirates for centuries. Some of the earliest pirates were the Sea People in the mediterranean region during mid 14 century BC. Privateers were pirates that sailed under the protection of a crown (wayofpirates). Corsairs were Muslim naval soldiers who ravaged the shores of the Mediterranean, and also was the term used for privateers in the 17th century who went rogue. Buccaneers is the term used for 17th century Caribbean pirates known for their conflicts with Spanish ships, going “extinct” around 1697 after a truce between France and Spain.

    One strength that the pirates have that ninjas lack, is diversity. There have been famous female pirates, such as Anne Bonny; Mary Reed; and my favorite female pirate, the Irish Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. There have been famous pirates of color such as Ching Shih, who was Chinese AND a woman. There are multiple accounts of black crew, but often those reports are of the men being captured and sold into slavery. One exception is that of Black Caesar who ended up working with Blackbeard. There are even some historians who believe that there were entire communities of gay pirates in Tortuga (eco-action). Pirates had a form of marriage called, “Matelotage” which was a “civil partnership between two male pirates.” (Harlow). Historians assume that these partnerships were both for romantic and in financial interests. One of the most famous pirates, Dread Pirate Roberts, was reported to have a relationship with a surgeon named George Wilson. The French government, in hopes of breaking up the homosexual couples, sent female prostitutes and minor criminals to the island. However, instead of breaking up the matelotage pairings, the men welcomed the women into their groups, often settling into married polyamorous groups of three. Some of the pirate groups are even seen as having a form of health insurance (Harlow). This emphasis on the skills of a person and not their social identity is a significant attribute to pirate culture.

Ninja (Shinobi):

    While there are plenty of real world examples of historical pirates, ninjas have few historical records. It is thought that this is due to the unfortunate habit of past historians who paid little attention to lower class citizens (Turnbull). Pop culture has dubbed the Ninja as the ultimate silent fighter. They can walk on water, they can become invisible at will, they are stealthy and sly, the prominent character in any action packed story set in Japan. Likely you think of a crouching or flying figure dressed all in black, complete with a face mask so all you can see are their piercing eyes. In reality, that is not what they looked like at all.

    They were trained from a very young age, sometimes entire villages were set up to be shinobi training camps. They were trained in the art of warfare, but in a contrasting style to that of the noble samurai. Samurai were trained in a much more structured style, complete with rules and a sense of dignity. The shinobi were trained in stealthy espionage with skills in sabotage. This style of fighting, combined with their financially poor background, is thought to be why samurai looked down on shinobi. The depiction of the figure in black is grossly inaccurate, and goes against the very style of fighting that they used. To be stealthy and blend in one would not walk around in all black with their face covered up! Historians believe that more than likely, they would have dressed as normal civilians. The shinobi were covert agents, and while they were looked down on by their samurai counterparts, they were fundamental on the battlefield.

    The tangle of myth and truth is not just due to the disregard for recording the history of lower class people, but also to the secretive nature that makes a ninja a successful fighter. In order to dupe your enemy, they can not be told how you train or what tactics you use. As consequence, some interesting tales have been spun about the reclusive characters. A pop culture favorite is that of female ninja Mochizuki Chiyome, who was said to have learned the skills of the shinobi growing up in a training village. Later she rescued and taught other young women the skills, while under the guise of training them as altar maidens (Shinobi Exchange). As she accumulated more and more pupils, they were also taught the skills of a geisha, to be an actress, and a seductress. Chiyome is one of the only female ninjas in mainstream media, and although the story was quickly disputed by Katsuya Yoshimaru, an expert of the Edo period, it’s still fun to imagine that a woman like Chiyome did exist.

    Modern devotees to the art of the shinobi, known as ninjitsu, liken ninjas to modern day military Seals, and black ops forces. Some even believe that there are training camps active today. Some have even set up camps themselves in hopes of mastering the true balance and art of ninjutsu, proving that the mystique of the ninja still has many years to come.

The Fight:

    Among the pirates, the strongest would be the buccaneers. While they were not long lived, they were stronger than the average pirate due to their strong large armies. However, it would be unfair to have a ninja to fight a whole army of pirates and expect to get answers as to who would win. Being outnumbered would not give accurate results. It also wouldn’t be fair if the fight informal, as the shinobi would have a major advantage in a surprise attack. A fair fight between the two worlds would have one representative each in the ring. They may use their preferred weapons, and so to have honor, they would not fight to the death, but rather spar until one winner was conclusive. The typical weapons of a pirate in hand to hand combat would be a gun or a sword, with a wide range between the two. Some preferred small knives to the traditionally longer swords. Some used rifles instead of pistols. Ninjas usually used katanas or weapons that are thrown, stereotypically portrayed as throwing stars but they also used picts or axes. Assuming that both parties are using a sword (katana for the ninja) the winner would be decided by personal endurance and swordsmanship. If fighting with pistols and throwing stars the winner would be the most agile or precise. Say the fight were between a pistol and a katana, the ninja would have to be incredibly resourceful and agile. However that is the strength of the ninja, their agility. If the fight wer between a pirate with a sword and a ninja throwing weapons, the pirate would require creativity and agility which truly would be decided by how much rum they had had that day.

Grand Finale:

    Both Ninjas and Pirates have strengths and weaknesses, as we have seen. Deciding on one winner has plague the internet because the truth is that there is no single true champion. Both lifestyles are specialized in their strengths, and the two fighters could be considered polar opposites. The loud swashbuckling hero of a pirate is an equal opponent of the quiet masters of disguise that are the shinobi, and each have a high chance of success – the deciding factor is the nature of the fight itself.

Works Cited:

Boissoneault, Lorraine. “The Swashbuckling History of Women Pirates.”, Smithsonian Institution, 12 Apr. 2017,

“Pirate Utopias (Do or Die).” Thinking Like a Mountain by Aldo Leopold – Wolves and Deforestation, 2003,

“History of Piracy List.” Real Pirates – Facts about Real and Fictional Pirates,

Harlow, Kristance. “10 Things You Know About Pirates That Are Wrong.” Listverse, Listverse, 7 July 2014,

Holloway, April. “Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland.” Ancient Origins, Ancient Origins,

“Ninjutsu History and Ninja Weapons for the Modern Shinobi.” Shinobi Exchange | Ninjutsu,

“Ninja (Shinobi) – Secret Assassins.” Military History Monthly, Military History Monthly, 25 Apr. 2014,

“Pirates Fact and Legend.” Pirate Women | Women Pirates | Mary Read,

Seabrook, Andrea. “Pirates vs. Ninjas: Which Side Are You On?” NPR, NPR, 7 July 2006,

Silver, Curtis. “Great Geek Debates: Pirates vs. Ninja.” Wired, Conde Nast, 9 Sept. 2009,

Turnbull, Stephen (2003), Ninja AD 1460–1650, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84176-525-9

This was written as my final for my last college english class! How exciting? Most of the students picked really depressing topics like rent controversy and economics and I wanted NONE of that. I also didn’t really care much for one fighter over the other which is why there is no ultimate winner at the end. I wanted something silly and to research something historical. I hope you enjoyed it!



I wish I had been playing on my phone

I wish I had been playing on my phone.

A woman dressed nicely is not reason enough to shout.
It is not reason enough to hoist yourself out of your window,
leaning out into the sun,
while driving down a busy road…

Hey girlie! Looking good!

I wish I were vapid. So that I may think that it was a compliment.
Or at the very least, I wish I were selfless so that my first instinct is to understand and appreciate your intentions.

I wish I hadn’t worn these shoes. These beautiful painful shoes. I love to look down and see them shining back at me. But maybe if I hadn’t worn them, if I hadn’t been boosted up 4 inches to the sun, maybe you wouldn’t have noticed me.

I wish I hadn’t taken that path home. I could have walked the quieter street. The one that never serves to trucks like yours. I could have walked home in silence, enjoying the sun and flowers and the city skyline like I was before you said what you said.

I wish that I hadn’t been told my whole life to carry mace and to have my keys ready to poke out eyeballs.
I wish my mother wasn’t nervous every time I said I would be walking home late.
I wish I didn’t tell my friends to call me when they get home, and wonder if this will be the last time I see them.
I wish I didn’t start looking for any possible escape the minute a man is spotted walking towards or behind me.

I wish that we didn’t live in a world that rapes 1,270,000 women per year.
I wish that we didn’t live in a world where 1 in 2 transgender people are sexually assaulted or abused in their lifetime.

I wish I wasn’t scared.

I wish I had been playing on my phone.
Because maybe then I wouldn’t have heard you at all.


Since 1998, 17.7 million women and 2.78 men have been victims of attempted or completed rape. 21% of transgender, genderqueer, and/or nonconforming college students have been sexually assaulted. At the time that I wrote this, I didn’t find a cumulative number for the transgender, genderqueer, and/or nonconforming community. 80,600 inmates are estimated to be sexually assaulted each year, 60% of those assaults are by jail/prison staff.
You can read more for yourself in a couple places. Try googling Rape statistics and look for a .org who lists their sources. I started with, I also looked at the OVC’s website.
You can also donate funds to help victims of sexual assault to a variety of places, but personally I refer you back up to the link for RAINN because their website is easy to navigate and they provide a variety of options in terms of contributing.
Here is a link to find your local women’s shelter in the Seattle area if you have resources and time to volunteer. And this is the link to The Trevor Project, they focus on helping LGBT youth.


In all I found all this information in under an hour. It is ridiculously easy to find information, so if you feel uninformed or out of the loop, take some time to educate yourself, and read testimonials, talk to the women around you, read the studies if you are still lost on why CATCALLING IS DISGUSTING. Kthnx, bye.

I Watched An Episode of the Original COSMOS with Carl Sagan and Got All Riled Up At Midnight.

     See, I really wanted to like Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, but after just watching an episode for my astronomy class, and hearing the tone and language he uses to dismiss astrology and how pretentiously he refers to scientific history… it was infuriating.
“[Kepler] preferred the hard truth to his dearest delusions”
     What I love about modern anthropology and the teachers I have had, is they put so much emphasis on human variation. How variation is fundamental in our survival, and how we should respect each other’s perspectives. And I’m grateful that anthropology heavily influences my lens when studying the other sciences. I feel that I am better at seeing the whole picture form varying perspectives, rather than shitting on people who see the world differently. My professors have put emphasis on the idea that science is always ready to be proved wrong with a better, stronger theory. That we don’t, and won’t, ever know everything. That there is always room for another idea.
     At one point in this episode Sagan literally says “it’s possible to figure things out. We can do science. And with it we can improve our lives” right after talking about how if the planets dictate our lives, then “explain twins! and I nearly turned the damn thing off. For one thing, he literally only referenced pop culture astrology, and for another thing he did that crummy manipulation-of-information thing that people do, where they are like “So and so from this movement can’t even agree” which is just so shitty. Like, I’m not out here distrusting all Christians just because some crazy loud ones say I deserve to die because I like a girl in a *gasp* non-platonic way.

The script was so loaded with arrogance that it surprisingly helped me understand the ongoing stereotype of Science Bros who laugh at people who put energy into religion. If this is the kind of media that they grew up consuming, OF course they think they are better than everyone else because they can do hard math problems and quote old white guys. No wonder there are such aggressive conversations about science and faith.  They have been fed this idea of “us vs. them” for so long and never thought to fight against it because *ScIeNcE* is meant to be set in stone and completely accurate. Science Bros think that they are honoring their fallen heroes who were ostracized for speaking against the church.

     But that was in a time when we didn’t have the luxury of mass communication. It was in a time when education wasn’t easily accessible by the average Joe. And I think that there is this idea that because more of us can access education now, that everyone will take the time to learn everything. But there are enormous amounts of people who just aren’t interested for one reason or another. And that’s OK. What has made us strong and successful as humans is our ability to teach and share information. Seriously. We can teach each other ways to accomplish goals, and we can record that and build upon that knowledge.

And we need to keep that in mind as we go about our lives. No one person can fight every issue. No one person can learn every perspective. But if we build a foundation in our society out of compassion and put more emphasis on community, the knowledge we gain is more likely to be heard and welcomed. No one loves to learn if they are forced into it. Learning must come from willfulness. Shoving perspectives down people’s throats will only create more resistance.

     I’m not an incredibly spiritual person. I don’t have a god or an energy that I put time into. And I’ve barely scratched the surface in academia. But I am not arrogant to assume I will know everything about how the universe works, and I urge every science thinking mind to leave room in your imagination to be wrong. The only reason science is where it is today is because great (wealthy) minds risked sounding crazy and experimented with how they saw the world. Many of the people that hold to great esteem turned out to be very wrong. And many of their discoveries led to incredible amounts of damage (I see you racism). Science is not perfect (lol Ptolemy), and it does not make you “better” than someone who doesn’t keep up with it. It simply means that you see the world a different way. 
Everyone is right in their own minds. It’s important that we don’t let those perceived notions cause harm to our neighbors and loved ones. It is important that we maintain some level of compassion.


File this post under “posts I didn’t proofread because it was midnight”

     With all this being said, I do want to clarify, you can think someone is nuts and still respect them. Flat Earther’s that were spoken to in this interview done by Buzzfeed said that they couldn’t think of what our purpose on Earth would be if it were round. If it was flat, then that means that we were placed here, and that means someone is looking out for us. For them, a Flat Earth is a source of faith, and it helps them navigate the difficult world that we live in. I can respect that. I disagree, but I also don’t need to tell every single Flat Earther that they are wrong and stupid, because that is not compassionate and it really doesn’t solve anything. Human’s generally like having a purpose. We aren’t good at being lazy, not really. 

     And to use a more touchy example, I don’t hate people who are homophobic. I’m a bisexual, And while I am scared of people who give a shit about someone else’s love life, I do not hate them. And I do not need them to like me or accept me or even agree with me. They can think that it’s unnatural, they can refuse to give me a wedding cake, they can think I’m going to hell. That’s fine, that’s within their perspective. In my opinion, I don’t really care if a business turns me away cause I’m gay. If they want to lose business because of who I am sleeping with, then that’s their money lost. However the GOVERNMENT should not be allowed to do that. 

     For me, the issue comes from when people hurt others simply because they are different. When you actively seek out and hurt people just because they live differently than you and you are scared, you are awful and I hate you. You don’t want me in your private domain? We have no issue. You want to control people and play with their lives? We have some big issues. 
I’m gonna go sleep now. 

Push Through The Fear

Over the past years I have been teaching myself to be happy.
To steady myself when I start to get too frustrated or mean.
To look around and see what’s there.
To remind myself that our short lives are full of long days, and that I get to decide what each one looks like.
It’s not been easy.
Sometimes it feels totally stupid.
But more often than not it feels good, and addictive.

I’m a very scared person. I am scared of anything and everything. Of how my body moves, how my voice sounds, what I love, what I hate. I’m scared of what people think of me, and more scared that they think nothing at all. I’m scared of how little time I have, or that I’ll have too much time and realize I wasted all of it. I’m scared my loved ones will leave me. I’m scared my dog will die sooner than later. I’m scared that I’m stupid.I’m scared that I am entirely selfish. I’m scared that I’ve invented all my personality aspects to seem more interesting. I’m scared that I don’t know who I really am.

Every bold action I take, I was talked into by my braver heart. Every time I speak up I was manipulated into it by my bravado. Every lipstick color was dared. Every blog post was goaded into existence. It’s easy to love yourself, it’s harder to love yourself back.

I’ve been pushing myself to spin.
To take a bow. To skip.
I’ve encouraged my shadow to dance,
her arms high above her head.

I’m teaching myself to embrace raindrops, to smile at birds and leaves and clouds.
To wave to children, to nod at each pedestrian,
to thank every bus driver, every barista, every customer,
every door held open – even when they don’t look back.

To leap over puddles simply to fly.
Take up the space.
Stretching up and out; leaning forward, bending back.
Gasp out loud and let the air fill my lungs.

To listen fully, learning to wait before asking questions. Savoring each individual bite. This is food someone made, this is food that the Earth grew. To feel those raw vocal cords from singing too loud; side pains from laughing too hard. To actually laugh and feel it fill me up enough to loosen the knot in my stomach.

Knock me over with wind. I’ll wade into the water up to my ankles. Walk leisurely through that rare sunbeam. Let my hands reach out and feel the dew. Let condensation fog my glasses. Filling cupped palms with cold water. Embrace my skin.

Every habit has to be practiced before it’s formed. I’ll get there.
Patience & Practice