Daily Prompt: Transformation

some days,
it’s hard to think
about where I’ve been.
other days,
it’s all I can do to
keep the memories
from coming to
my mind.
but all days,
I remember the
transformation
I made. from young,
to slightly older,
weak to strong,
pained,
to surviving.
and thriving.
it’s not easy to
remember that,
just as it’s not easy
to forget what made me
feel so small and
insignificant
in the first place.
but I remind myself
daily –
I am not
falling apart.
I am not
going to let
them win.
I am not
someone who can
be walked over,
stepped on and
beaten down.
I am strong.
I am real.
I am thriving.
this transformation,
it wasn’t easy.
and I continue
it every day.
but I’m making it.
and damn
does it feel good.

 

via Daily Prompt: Transformation

Daily Prompt: Promises

promises.
often easier made than kept,
but when they are,
they’re magical.
I once promised my sister
I wouldn’t hurt myself
anymore,
and though I’ve broken
it several times,
I promise her again
and again that I’m done.
the good thing?
I last longer each time,
my promises being fulfilled
for more days,
more nights –
and oh how brutal the
nights can be.
we all have our dark days,
and sometimes mine
block out the sun
all together.
but these promises keep
reminding me that
there’s beauty –
and magic –
in my life, and my sister
is counting on me to
pull through.
because she knows
I can, and I just
have to remind myself
of that every day.
so I made a promise to
myself, to keep
fighting and to stay
strong. and this promise
is one that I never
intend to break,
no matter the storm clouds
that block out my sun.

via Daily Prompt: Promises

Daily Prompt: Careful

I’ve spent most of my life being cautious,
careful,
calculated.
I never once thought being carefree
could be the right way to spend some days.
but there was one day, an hour
north of Rome,
where I walked along a
cobblestone street, hopelessly
lost in a place I did not know,
searching for a beach I could
not see with an excitement
I did not expect.

it’s not often I find myself
lost, unaware of my surroundings –
and, quite frankly a little
surprised.
but this one day I wasn’t
scared or worried or anxious.
I was just carefree.
and yes, careful, always careful – no
person would ruin my day, no sun would burn
my back and no pot hole would twist
my ankle
(because lord knows that
would happen to me).

the breeze was warm and
my skin tingled with the heat,
the only sign of my exhaustion
the perspiration running down my spine –
the drip drip drip of water leaking
out a faucet
to my right pulling my gaze.
the ocean was right through those
houses – I
could see it, I could
almost feel the water on my skin,
running its hands along me
like the boy I left back home.

the cobblestone stretched on
and on. I could feel
the irritation bubbling under
my feet, traveling up my calves
– and oh how my calves burned!
I took in a deep breath,
it smelled of lilac and
my mother’s laughter,
a smile stretching across my face,
I walked a little lighter.
only a short distance
now.

at long last it unfolded in
front of me –
a sea of blue, of summer,
of peace. my bags were on the ground,
my dress a jumble on top,
and my feet were pulling me
to the water.
crystal, clear, warm. so
salty you could float. I couldn’t
remember the last time
I was so happy.

if I wasn’t careful, I
might’ve drifted out to
sea. but
I was careful. always careful.

 

via Daily Prompt: Careful

Daily Prompt: Border

I remember that first drive from my home in Salt Lake City, Utah to California. we drove to Newport Beach, where my dad’s friend owned a hotel. it was a long drive, and my brother, sister and I constantly switched between sitting and snacking in the middle seats and sleeping in the back. my parents were still married then, still happy together, and I don’t remember crossing the border from Utah to Nevada, to California. it all just happened, and we spent a week on the beach. my mother taught me to build a drip castle, and I was so excited. my dad taught me not to be afraid of the dark spots in the ocean – they’re not sharks, you see, it’s just reef.

we took several trips out to California, the rest without my mom. sometimes we drove, but as the years went on we started to fly. and then we stopped going all together. it wasn’t until I was eighteen years old that I crossed that border again. and this time, it wasn’t the same.

I drove away from my life with my mom and sister, thirteen hours of open road ahead of us in a car packed to the brim with books, clothes, random decorations I couldn’t leave behind and my bike. I’ve always wished I was as dedicated a biker as my mom. there was one time in sixth grade I road the marathon course with her – and I was so proud of myself. mostly because I felt like I was just being like her. but that’s beside the point.

the border between Utah and Nevada, Nevada and California, it felt different this time. it wasn’t just a sign we passed that I barely opened my eyes enough to pay attention to. it was a step into a new life, a new me. with each mile we drove, I felt farther from pain, and closer to peace. and the best part was having my mom and sister by my side. by the time we reached San Diego, I had cried out all I could, and laughed out all I needed, and I finally felt that there was a difference in my life.

borders aren’t meant to hold you back. they’re meant to be crossed, to be pushed and to be explored. I wouldn’t be where I am today without crossing that border. I wouldn’t be who I am today without pushing my own. I wouldn’t know what I want to do today without exploring the many borders around me. if you take one thing from this post, take this: don’t let a border hold you back. explore, live, create. and don’t forget to love every minute of it.

via Daily Prompt: Border

Daily Prompt: Realize

realize: to grasp or understand clearly.

but you told me you cared.
and I spent months holding on to that –
but what does it really mean?
you’re not clear
you’re not near
I don’t know how to hold on to
something that I can’t feel.
you’re out of reach and simple
words every few weeks keep me
holding on to something
that I still can’t feel.
explain this to me:
how can you care and not
show it?

realize: to make real; give reality to (a hope, fear, plan, etc.)

this journey I’m taking,
I made it real.
I took the step for me,
and it took me away from you –
but only in distance, and
only for a short time.
life is so long – yet so short –
and we have so much time
but not for this bullshit.
I’ve made real my hopes and
I’ve pushed away my fears, but
that doesn’t mean you
won’t give up on me,
no matter how much I hold on.

realize: to bring vividly to the mind

picture this:
I love you.
picture this:
it hurts.
you may be trying
to protect your own heart
but you’re breaking mine
in the process,
and I want you to picture it.
I want you to know what
you’re doing, because
in the long run you’re really
just hurting yourself too.
picture this:
I love you.
and I don’t want to
but I can’t stop.

via Daily Prompt: Realize

do you think about me like i think about you?

it’s difficult, being here, thousands of miles away from you, across an ocean full of the memories we didn’t have time to create. 

we’re both lucky, blessed to be where we are and going where we’re going,

but it all seems pointless without the thing that everyone spends their life searching for –

what we found those last few weeks before we traveled different ways for a year. 

it’s been six months and it feels like eternity and the worst part is not hearing from you,

not knowing what runs through your mind and what keeps you going, 

what distracts you when you’re sad and if you ever think about me. 

dream of me. miss me. 

a few messages here and there isn’t enough, and the next eight, nine, ten months seem impossible

and i don’t know what to do. so

do you think about me like i think about you? 

reading this book

i’m sitting here and i’m reading this book and
i’m trying not to think about you but it’s not working.
kelsey sprained her ankle and
she has a check up today so i only
have about twenty more minutes to
read.

i think i want curry for dinner
but i also want to look at your smile and
i can’t very well focus on my food while
i’m staring into the ocean
now can i?

it’s only tuesday
the sun is high in the sky
and somewhere in the lines of
reading these stories
i lost track of the words and replayed
your image in my mind.

ten more minutes
maybe i can focus for a little bit longer
maybe i can control my mind
but then again maybe i can’t
as i think about that song you played –
what was it? oh yeah,
smile by mikky ekko –  that one time
in your car as we
drove down the 5 on the way to my
mom’s house for dinner

tchaikovsky is playing through my headphones
and i can usually focus on
my reading with the cello in the
background but today it isn’t
really working

i’m picking at the thread coming loose
on this chair.
the sun is shining through the window at
just the right angle so there’s a beam
in my eye and it’s distracting –
i’m reading this book.
with your crooked smile and soft skin.

my phone vibrates in my pocket
and i set this book aside
to read the message on my screen –
tyler says he wants to meet for dinner tonight.
he reminds me of van gogh in the way that
he looks at the world but
he’s not missing an ear.
i put my phone away

and i try to focus on the words
on the page blurring past my eyes
too quickly.