something broke

When you hurt me, you don’t get to say you didn’t.

You don’t get to dictate how long it takes for me to “get over it.”

You don’t get to say it’s “not that big of a deal” or “you’re blowing this out of proportion.”

You can’t expect me to want to talk to you because frankly I don’t want to.

You hurt me, remember?

You put me in this position so respectfully I can do whatever the hell I want to because I had power

and confidence

and trust

but you took that away from me.

You can’t say “oops” and try to push all that back into the pockets of my soul you stole it from and pretend like nothing ever happened.

But it did.

You’re not allowed to just brush it off because I don’t allow my feelings and my self respect to just be brushed off.

Something broke between two people and you don’t get to tell me how long it takes before it’s fixed again.

unapologetic apologies

If you are in my life, I’m sorry.

You will probably be uncomfortable at some point. I’m sorry, but I am most likely going to hug you. A lot. Why? Because physical touch is something we have lost on the way from here to now. Touch is our reminder that we are still here, still breathing, still thriving. It lets us know everything is okay, everything will be okay.

If you are in my life, I’m sorry.

At some point you will probably be stomach sick of my positivity, optimism, and raw happiness. It might seem unfamiliar to you, but I wear all the facets of human existence on my sleeves and my face. I have no way of hiding it, I’m sorry. My happiness is a conscious choice, it is a contagious choice. The glass can always be half  full depending on which angle you view from.

If you are in my life, I’m sorry.

I will probably make you angry because I am going to push you out of the space you feel safe in. Please know my intentions are not to hurt you, they are to help you grow. I care about making you stronger; I want to see you succeed. I have invested in you, and I am fiercely committed to pushing you to be better. I will always hold you accountable. No matter what.

If you are in my life, I’m sorry.

Whether it’s a year, a month, or even a few minutes, I will cherish my time with you. I want to learn from you because I know our time together is limited and you have a plethora of experiences, knowledge, and stories to tell. I want to know all of it. Share this time with me, and understand my pain when we go too long apart. You add the brightness, hues, and saturation to my life.

If you are in my life, I’m sorry.

At some point you will be subjected to the silliness and goofiness that is me. Dancing is a way of life. Stupid jokes are the catharsis of smile and laughter. Pranks are my breath of fresh air. I struggle to walk the line between professional and playful and you will probably shake your head and cover your face but i. can’t. stop. This life can’t be taken too seriously. We only have this moment together, why not be unapologetically fun. Unapologetically us.

If you are in my life, I’m sorry.

I want to give you the world. I want to take you out to lunch and make you cards and cook for you. I want to give things to you, thoughtful things. And no, I don’t expect anything in return and no I don’t want you to pay me back. My world is not a system of checks and balances nor I versus you. It is we. This is how I connect us back together.

If you are in my life, I’m sorry.

I am going to love you. You may not be related to me, you may have just met me, but already, I love you. Let me shower you with love and affection because we live in a time where we can’t express this love for fear of being perceived as “weak” or “emotional”. I digress. You hold a special place in my heart and in my life and I love you for occupying it and bringing all your different colors and sounds and pictures. You need to know you set my world ablaze.

Create

Create.

This world needs creation. It is entirely too large to simply be filled with the existence of our bodies.

It needs you. It needs us to fill it with art, music, words, and dance.

It needs you to create.

When you create your attention to detail, vulnerability, and countless hours are the windows to the bold proclamation that our lives are colored and layered, remaining quiet until we peel them back to expose the weight of their power and significance.

Our lives are ablaze, burning to be expressed and shared.

Quench the thirst of the world and all its inhabitants with your overflowing emotions, eclectic thoughts, innovative ideas, radical opinions, and pouring passions.

Quench our thirst so that we may not burn together in silence but float hand in hand through the waves and currents of an ocean filled with the colors of our lives.

Connect us back together.

Without limitations

I am not afraid of you hurting me. It’s actually probably bad that I am like this. I have such a positive view of people in the world that the idea that others will hurt me does not exist in my mind. So I share myself willingly and fully. I let myself be seen. But from an evolutionary perspective- I am so screwed. I have no fear of the unknown or perception of danger, so when people do hurt me-which is a regrettably unavoidable part of this life we live- it hits twice as hard because I never even see it coming.

The only thing that can hurt me is me. My expectations. My absence of self-withholding. My lack of the emotional protection that seems all to common these days.

So no, I am not afraid of you. I am afraid of me.

Crumbling bricks

2014 changed my life.

Reflecting back on the bumps and pits I openheartedly turn the page to a fresh new start. A new year.

2014 broke my heart. Living in a state of constant possibility and daily normalcy, I was abruptly snapped into a place of hurt and confusion almost instantly and was reminded how delicate the framework of our everyday lives was.

A single day can turn your entire world upside-down.

One singular day, out of the 365 in a year, changed my life forever.

I became fully aware of how much pain I could tolerate before I cracked. I experienced what it feels like to lose someone you assumed would always be there. This type of pain isn’t emotional, or physical, or mental. It has no state that our inept human minds can wrap around its jagged complexity. This type of pain is one that cuts into the soul to leave a scar that will last a lifetime. It has become a part of who I am, and it has entangled itself deep into the web of my life. It has changed me, but for the better.

I am a firm believer that our experiences shape the people we become and have a direct influence on our behaviors and actions. Every fall makes your outer shell a little bit harder, stronger. Every mistake makes you a little bit wiser the next time around. We rely on our past experiences to guide us forward into the unknown. This year has opened my eyes to precisely how much weight being alive in this vibrant world really has. 2014 did not damage me. In fact, it has made me a stronger person and much more aware of the world I live in today. Above everything else, it has taught me the value of words and the weight of expression. It has inspired me to share my love for others openly and frequently, not just in passing or out of habit. We are all surrounded by individuals who have truly touched our lives and have helped mold us into people we can be proud of. The art of appreciation does not have to be awkward or uncomfortable. It is taking the time to tell the ones who truly matter just how much they have impacted our growth. It is reminding our mothers just how much we love and appreciate them. It is telling our significant others that their love and support is what turned on the light in a seemingly hopeless place.  It is speaking our hearts and thrusting fresh crisp air back into our lungs that have been weighed down with the unavoidable hurt that goes along with living. Without these people, we wouldn’t be where we are. We wouldn’t be chasing our far-flung dreams without the inspiration that we could actually catch them. They are the reason for our present-day triumphs, and they will be the ones to witness our growth and prosperity. These people have changed our lives. Take the time this year to let them know just how much they mean to you. Our very tomorrow is never granted, and making the most out of each day starts with a willingness to be vulnerable with those who matter most.

Hold me close

The ones that we hold most dear to our hearts, unfortunately hold the biggest knives. But I guess that is unavoidable when you willingly choose vulnerability. You bear your very soul to the possibility of being crushed under what seems like a thousand pounds of bricks and cement blocks. But as humans, that is a risk we must be willing to take for a chance at the ultimate reward, love.

I have always been an open book. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. As I got older, I found strength in having the courage to own my struggles and my pain. Talking to others was my ultimate solace. It allowed me to work through my pain in a healthier and more manageable way. It helped me to process, out loud, to a group of people that I held close and valued. When going through dark and seemingly hopeless points in my life, I look back and am grateful that I spoke up. I let others know when I was feeling filled to the brim with emotions I had no idea how to handle. I reached out for help when I could not pull myself out of the hole that someone else had dug for me. These moments had the potential to send me running full speed down a path that I couldn’t come back. But I did not even put my shoes on.

I look at society today, observe the very ins and outs of our lives, and see exactly how easy we have made it to isolate ourselves. Being strong is now synonymous with holding your heart in and laughing in the face of pain to say “you cannot touch me.” We spend so much of our time resisting to feel and to hurt thinking that this is what truly makes us stronger. We could not be more wrong. It takes courage to accept that you are struggling and that you need empathy. You need someone to hold your hand and sit with you in this dark spot. You don’t need someone to turn on the light, because rarely can life’s problems ever be “fixed” so simplistically. What we need is compassion and understanding, even if we may never truly understand. And we won’t. To connect with others we must recognize that we will never fully understand exactly what it is they are going through, but the best thing we can do is to validate the precious emotions they trust to disclose, and to question. Because even if we may not have experienced the same things they have, we have all experienced loss. We have all experienced hurt. We all have been in a dark hole somewhere. The true beauty of connection is not understanding exactly how someone is feeling, and it is not fixing the problem. It is being able to relate a similar emotion that speaks to their heart.