21 Things I Wish I Knew At 21 (A Letter to My Past Self)
1. Stand up for yourself. I know you think you’re only being considerate, I know that your intentions are good, but shrinking your vast magical inner world just to fit into theirs will come with a steep price: and that price is your inner peace, the fullness of your heart, your mental health. But don’t worry love, at the end of it all you will heal and burn anew, you will rise from the ashes of your own pain, and you will burn even brighter yet. And most important of all, from then on you will be crystal clear on your high standards and boundaries.
2. That homesickness you feel, that yearning for a place where you belong, is only a reminder that you don’t yet feel at home in your own heart, in your own mind, your own body. When you do, the homesickness will vanish.
3. It’s not too late, you’re not being left behind. You must honor your own timeline, your own rhythm, and your own goals. Nobody can dictate your path, and that’s a wonderful thing.
4. Bolt at the first red flag. No, it doesn’t get better.
5. It’s called a break up because it’s broken. Stop looking back because you’re not headed that way. You’ll only be lured back in, because the things which drew you together, are still there. Recognise the dealbreakers which broke the relationship, and walk away. You’re just prolonging the inevitable.
6. You’re stronger than you can ever realise. You have a 100% survival rate. You’re a survivor, and you should be proud of that fact, instead of letting yourself be guilt-tripped by toxic people who were never in love with you, never in love with who you are, only the idea of you. Of course they were more loyal to their idea(l) of you than the actual you. See the truth of the situation as it was.
7. Get up from the table when the only thing being served is rotten. There’s no point holding on to unhealthy relationships, friendships, even family bonds. Put a distance between people that are not interested in your wellbeing.
8. It’s not b*tchy to have high standards and crystal-clear boundaries. In fact, it’s a necessity! Because the only people that get upset at you having boundaries and standards, are those that benefit from you having none.
9. Listen to your intuition, stop ignoring your gut when it’s telling you everything you need to know.
10. Stop engaging with the kind of energy and people that you know you don’t want to have in your life. There’s no debate, no conversation. When you engage, you’re allowing them space in your mind and in your heart.
11. Friendship is a two-way street. You can’t put in all the effort and expect it to magically work. When you see it’s one-sided, let go and move on. You deserve honesty, loyalty, committment and dedication, the same as you offer to others. No exceptions.
12. Actions speak louder than words. Forget about what they’re saying. Pay attention to what they do. It doesn’t matter how many times someone says they love you every day, if all they do is make you cry and break your heart. There is a disconnect there which is their problem, and not yours. You deserve better.
13. Stop clinging to an idealized past self. You’re a human being, not a painted portrait forever frozen in time. You are *YOU* as an integral self; past present and future; strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities, all in one. You are ever changing, improving, developing, and that’s okay. You’re not supposed to stay the same cookie-cut character for the rest of your life. It’s okay to change, in fact it’s how it should be. You can recreate yourself again and again, as many times as you need, until you are finally embodying your authentic self... Read more
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I think I’m in love
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you make me feel small.
it's 15 minutes past midnight and 15 minutes into tuesday but the monday blues cling my skin like the scent of your shampoo, months after you left. maybe every day is blue. who thought to call blue, blue? maybe i want it to be orange. maybe i want to be anything but the me i know how to be. maybe all i am is a collection of maybes. maybe i will see you again. maybe i will finally find the voice to say your name. it's now four minutes past fifteen minutes past midnight, and all i want to do is fall asleep because i have school at 8am today. i wish i'd remembered that i ate my aunt's coffee cake for breakfast, and drank cheap, powdery mocha before leaving the house, before i bought that latte at lunch. you were at lunch. you always said that the latte there tasted bad. maybe that's why i bought it.
I miss riding bus to school while
sleeping on a stranger's shoulder along the way,
I miss walking to malls and shops
to the school's grassy yard, library
even the our school's bathroom
that just transports you into an expensive place.
I miss watching people while waiting
cause traffic is one of the many thing in this world
that just gets worst and worst everyday.
I miss a lot of things actually,
But I don't know why
this little body of mine gets comfortable
just being inside our little house
savoring every moment I have with myself,
Guess I miss seeing the world outside
but my body tells me that I'm
already, too tired.
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If we died this morning,
would there be any way you could tell?
I look at my heart, and the people
who tell me there's luckier bones to break;
I know, I know
what you're going to say
"the heart is a muscle, actually",
I just wonder
where's the difference, honestly?
Both carry me
through things I've named before
- heatwaves, tornados, heavy rain -,
I think I'm turning to silence
with no energy left to pray,
I meant: meditate -
what's the difference
if I'm the invisible sphere
that I could call god,
or something similar,
If we died this morning,
would this be heaven or hell?
I said "til death do us part",
then it didn't, and I took that personal.
I ran along the equator and found the place
where I complained about breaking my pride
and wearing grief like a medal;
there's no way you can redeem yourself
if you're honest from the start,
weird commitment -
lie and say nothing matters
so no one gets the idea
of using your pain against you.
If we died this morning,
would I have lost some things about myself;
for example: obsessive personality traits.
I always eat the broken cookies first,
just spent an hour sorting the apps on my screen,
apologize to people that my bathroom's not clean
because there's hair in the shower you can't even see,
and there's more in my bed, I suppose,
here we are, painfully human;
I know, I know -
If we died this morning,
could I be vulnerable?
With my flaws splayed on the floor
- we've been there before -
but I look now, and my eyes tear
cause I didn't expect
to tell myself it's okay
time and time again.
Lost terrorists in the streets
have found their homes now,
they're just not quite sure
on whether there's a wrong way
to style and decorate
their very first place.
If we died this morning,
this time I might visit
my own funeral.
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In the silent meadows, I look up into the palms of the stars,
where the dust settles after the final firework
my hands feel cold and it isn’t even morning
is this what belief feels like? the persistence of the candle light?
the warmth of the fireplace? where marshmallows turn into wine?
it has been so long
it has been a different time
i remember the carnival of cars on the highway
the networks of roads all intersecting,
the hours spent travelling, in the routine of the past,
where now I stand in the evening blue,
thinking of where i once flew.
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A writer is a writer before the connections and the
handshakes and the pre-planned interviews.
Before the standing ovations of fancy suits who
know better than you. Before the numbers and
widely agreed upon reviews.
Before the “follows'' and the “likes” from the
Genius is what you have after the fact. Tall is what
you are when they put you on their pedestal, give
you something shiny to hang on your wall.
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Man like monster With
A mouth as a spinning wheel of hands/
Prey between teeth
One game of chess away from losing my
Mind/biting my head off
Man like wolf bleeding between gums
Man looking like both survival and the gun between it.
Boy looking like boy in mans body
Another poem about failing in love with dangerous people
Failing to see how they resemble every single red light you’ve ignored
On the plane
In the car to the airport
My blood cold, my gut sucker punched into submission
Could feel the well of grief somewhere inside of me
Like I would just
And never hit the bottom
A penny in a well makes a sound
The penny inside me finally drops
And I crack like a mule at the whip
Like birds at dawn or spring
Staying up so late I never dream
The part of the puzzle I get wrong is; fitting everything inside out and calling it beautiful/
He tries to put it back together but I tie his hands back with my tongue
Call it a game/
One where I’m safest where there are no hands
To hold me to my promises
Love me into submission
My failed potential
The shame that filled every corner of my body
How it grew till it could not fit anymore
The year of empty
How it became a larger and hungrier thing,
Larger than the men in my nightmares.
The silver we couldn’t melt, whispers over a fever and forehead.
When adults are talking you pretend you don’t understand
But you keep secrets locked up inside yourself
I still dream of war
Have never been on a battle ground.
They call it generational trauma ,
You don’t know the hand holding the gun to my head
What the trigger is made out of is my own flesh and blood
There are things I can’t speak of
Things I will not say but this:
I was wearing a ruffled blue top with a unicorn logo and jeans
I didn’t have any hair down there
Then I did
I liked how it felt and then I didn’t
There is no place inside of me that can hold these two truths and not split wide open
Like a smile
Like a wound
Like the rabbit finally caught up
In the mouth of the thing.
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RAGE RAGE. STRUGGLE AS THE MOTH DOES . KNAW YOUR ARM OFF BEFORE YOU ACCEPT THE TRAP. KNOW ONLY HUNGER. KNOW ONLY FEAR.
And to be myself
Is the most beautiful thing i can be.
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16. He wasn’t just a bridge standing tall in the middle of the storm. He was the sunlight driving away the rain and the clouds and the darkness.
Stars can't shine without darkness
"stars cant shine without darkness"
they told her
and so she believed
but over time everything went darker.
the world seemed foggy and grayish.
time passed by
"it's going to get easier"
but where was the light?
after years of waiting
she realized that maybe,
she wasn't meant to be a star,
maybe she wasn't to live in light,
that maybe she shall stay in the dark forever.
as she spoke those words aloud,
she turned silver to red,
the warm water surrounding her
and finally she saw the light.
as she faded away
she spoke her last words
"I am a star, I can see now."
but it was too late,
in the end the darkness conquered the light.
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the letting go:
a prohibition, an execution, a need
akin to the same letting go that prevents ghosts from, yknow,
instead allows, yknow,
ghosts: what a great representation
of unresolved emotion;
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A Little Bitter
Today's story was brought you you by Jennifer! Darling, thank you so much for all your support!
Prompt: Pride of Place with a little angst
Tilly knew she shouldn’t be worried, but there was a man in the castle who gave her pause.
Oh, not because of anything he said or did to her. In fact, as far as she knew, he had no idea she even existed. No, this man was a different sort of concern.
He had come for Atteila, and could be loudly heard proclaiming his intent to wed the Royal Jewel to anyone who would listen.
More importantly, he was a prince in his own right, the younger brother to a powerful kind. A marriage to him would bring advantages that were difficult to refuse.
And he was handsome. So handsome half the castle, men and women alike, were sighing over him.
Tilly couldn’t help but look at him on the rare occasion he was in sight of the kitchens or she happened to be outside as he went past. He was smug, and rightly so. He had every advantage, and he knew it. His goal was a simple one, in his mind. All he had to do was make Atteila fall in love with him, or at least, accept his proposal.
He was a smart match. After months of evenings spent with Atteila, Tilly understood more about royal politics than she ever expected. She knew that Prince Hanver was exactly the kind of person that Atteila’s father wanted her to wed.
And when it really came down to it, even Atteila had to bow to the wishes of her king.
Just the thought of losing her to this man, this strutting peacock who only saw her beautiful, brave, strong Atteila as something to be possessed… it was more than Tilly could bear.
As always, she made up trays of treats for Atteila, but for the last week, she couldn’t bring herself to carry them up into the royal wing. It was safer, she thought, if she made it easy for Atteila. If she didn’t insist on her slight claim over the princess’s heart. After all, Tilly was just a cook. She didn’t have anything to offer a princess except pastries.
“Haven’t seen the princess around much,” Coppa said, finally accustomed to having Atteila around, learning from Tilly or tentatively gossiping with the maids as she found her feet among them. It was a change for all of them, seeing the most beautiful woman in the world, their princess, helping to peel potatoes and trading filthy limericks for bawdy jokes. “She alright?”
“Royal company,” Tilly said, since she didn’t really want to talk about it at all, but also knew that Coppa wasn’t about to go away until they talked about it, at least a little. “She can’t be sneaking down to the kitchens to see a cook when there’s a prince in the castle.”
“Never stopped her before.”
“Her father wasn’t considering a marriage before.”
And there it was. The heart of the problem. Tilly couldn’t say a thing about the stupid prince. He seemed like a decent sort, for a prince, even if he was a peacock. He would probably treat Atteila well, and probably wouldn’t have a problem with being a prince-consort, not a king. Tilly had no place getting between Atteila and her duty as a princess.
Coppa made a small sound of understanding. They all knew the stories of the people who were stupid enough to fall in love with nobility. Sooner or later, there was a choice to be made.
“Message for you.”
Whatever Tilly might have said died in her throat at the sight of the stone-faced footman. He proffered the letter to her, and Tilly took it numbly. He nodded once and left without another word, pride clearly offended to have been sent down to the kitchens with a message for a cook. There was only one person who could sent a footman wherever she liked. Tilly didn’t need to open the letter to know it was from Atteila.
“Good luck,” Coppa murmured as Tilly dusted her hands off on her apron and cracked open the seal to read her letter.
“I miss you,” the letter said simply. There was no signature, and the wax seal bore no mark, but Tilly knew Atteila’s crisp handwriting well. Her heart broke at the simple words. It was a request, although Atteila certainly could have commanded her, and she would have had to reply. This, however, this was a plea. The kind that Atteila would never make to anyone she couldn’t trust completely.
Her work was mostly done, pastries baked, custards cooling in the ice chest. She could spare a few hours before supper. After all, who would protest a summons from the princess herself?
“I’ll be back in a bit,” she told Coppa, who nodded, only a little dubious of her poor judgement. Tilly couldn’t blame him. “Keep an eye on Miri, yeah? I think she’s been inching pastries when I’m not looking.”
“I’ll watch for it. Go on. Pass on our greetings if you get the chance.”
There was nothing more to be said, so Tilly stopped at her room to scrub the flour from her hands and face, and change into a clean dress that wasn’t stained with the day’s labors. Once she was presentable, she stopped back into the kitchen for Atteila’s tray of goodies, lovingly prepared as always, and headed up through the castle. The footmen knew her, knew that she was permitted up here in open view, but she felt the weight of their stares anyway. Most days, she could ignore them. Today, those stares threatened to make her stumble.
Atteila’s door opened barely a moment after her knock, and she was suddenly confronted with the face of the woman who held her heart.
“I wondered if you would come,” Atteila said hesitantly as she let Tilly in and closed the door behind her. “I didn’t… has something happened? You’ve been avoiding me all week.”
There were a dozen questions hidden in her voice, and a plea, as well, as desperate as the one in Tilly’s pocket. How strange, Tilly thought, and set the tray on the table without meeting Atteila’s eyes. How strange to be the one to see the truth, when Atteila was usually the clever one between them.
“Prince Hanver is a good man,” she said glumly, resigned to having a conversation she would have preferred to avoid. A broken heart was bad. Having to explainher broken heart to the woman she loved was far, far worse. “He’s respectful to the girls, treats his horses well, and doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body. Not much brain, either, but he’s so pretty that probably doesn’t matter much.”
Understanding washed over Atteila, so clear that Tilly could see it in the brilliant blue of her eyes and the way her lips parted in a silent oh.
And then she took two steps forward, cupped Tilly’s face between her soft palms, and kissed her like she meant to make up for all the missed kisses of the last week in a single go. Tilly, always at the mercy of her beloved princess, couldn’t help but kiss her back, desperate for this one last taste of her love.
“I am not marrying Hanver,” Atteila whispered when the need for air forced them apart. There were tears in her eyes, but a tentative smile graced her lips, her lip-color smudged from a baker’s dozen kisses. It took Tilly a moment to gather up her mind, but hope, tiny and fragile, bloomed in her heart when Atteila’s words made it through. “I told my father that I will rule alone or not at all. I will have no man at my side, no matter how fine his prospects.”
“You can do that?” Tilly asked in stunned wonder. Atteila stroked a delicate finger over Tilly’s braids and kissed her again, slow and sweet. “The whole castle knows he’s here for you.”
“My heart is taken completely,” Atteila whispered to her, their foreheads pressed together. “You must know how dearly I love you, my sweet lady. You ask nothing of me, and I find myself desperate to give you everything in return.”
The look in her eyes was one that Tilly knew suddenly, completely, would never be seen anyone else. There was no mask. No crystal perfection. No elegance. Just Atteila, hoping that Tilly loved her back.
“I love you,” she whispered between kisses to Atteila’s lips, her fingers tangled with her princess’s and clasped tight. “I love you so much that the thought of losing you wrecked me. Can you forgive me for not trusting you?”
“There is nothing to forgive,” Atteila hurried to tell her, now smiling as she pulled Tilly closer still. “But I would have you stay, if you can. I have missed you this last week, and I cannot bring myself to let you far from my side just yet.”
Pride of Place :
Orange Bubbles (Subscriber Only!)
In Hot Water(Subscriber Only!)
Under Orange Blossoms
A Little Bitter (NEW)
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When rain creeps in from the north-facing mountains sometimes in the fog I see ghosts tugging at shadows. Surges of dripping silhouettes asking me if the life that runs through my organs is worth the sufferings, the hitches in my breath.
The truth is on blue days I doubt the weight of my lungs, waking up to the smell of peppermint soap and eucalyptus plants. I am so tired, my bones too thin to assemble themselves in a way that doesn't creak when I walk.
My poems are tied upon my hands like snare knots, synched around my fingers in nooses of thorn-covered vines. I have tried to write through the grief but it always comes back to me, as sure as the waves that make the ground tremble under my muddy converse, spray falling on my face in salt dust and omens of other shores, other lives.
I promise, god, if you grant me the solace to write until my hands are nothing but worn rocks on an alaskan shore I will stop looking over my shoulder for the howling I hear in my sleep.
When I leave this cliff I will be more than my wet cheeks, my drownings. I will live as the shooting stars that imitate sparklers among the wet meadows, crushing their petals of sangria rouge under feet that are sure of the gravity acting upon them.
I will never again flinch at the sound of thunder, certain that I possess a louder roar within me than I do a whimper. I will snuff out candles with my bare hands and eat tart cherries raw off the tree.
I will sleep through each sunrise to wake with unswollen eyes, and when the mending falls upon me like unstitched silk I will remember it was created not from the days of devouring anguish, but from the small moments of stillness, sherpa fleece, viola strings, pressed periwinkles. Amen.
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I've become a bit obsessed with finding someone to be with recently.
Unhealthy I think.
I think it's just because I want to fuck
A woman, to cum inside her.
I want to lick her out and make her cum
Several times all over my fingers;
I was always good at that.
And then just lay in a heap on the bed,
Breathing heavily, having a cigarette
And then licking her out again.
A shallow creature I am sometimes.
I don’t like
emotions with me
into my sleep
there with me
I will just
at the ceiling
to befall me
only it never quite
the morning does
All writing belongs to me.
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Peace is woven into the fabric of time, into the fabric of existence. It surrounds us at all times, all we have to do is unbecome all that we are not, and ease into our inner being. That is when we return to our natural state of deep stillness… of peace.
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(v.) to wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery.
- Origin Old English
“Just once, I don’t want to fight. I want to be fought for”
“My past is an armor I can’t take off, no matter how many times you tell me the war is over”
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