A Seat At the Table

I don’t know if I have exhausted the topic of happiness. I was doing some reading on writer’s block and the author thought it came down to fear – being afraid to write something and pushing through the fear, breaking it down.

I know I’m afraid of a few things. But in that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a dream I had last night.

In this dream, I knew myself and knew how much I was worth as a human being. It was simple and profound as I saw all of the roads that opened up to me because of it. I was worth more than to just be a memory. I was worthy to be given a chance, to be heard, to be cherished and loved. In that dream, I didn’t see myself as a burden. I didn’t see myself as unlovable, I didn’t see myself as unworthy of…anything. I had a shot equal to anyone else to get what I wanted. I was not guaranteed what I desired, but the universe dealt me a fair hand. I was not worth more than other human beings, but I was not worth less. I was given a seat at the table, and I made my voice heard.

I had power. I wrote a few lines this morning:


I still do have this power. I am not made less because of how I see myself. I have an equal opportunity to receive happiness. It was an incredibly enlightening dream.

Fear holds me back a lot. All of this got started because I don’t often believe I have a chance to win any contests or be heard by anyone with a large social reach. I don’t quite see myself as likely or able to get that chance. Then something clicked
in my brain and I had the thought of, and pardon my French, “fuck it, I have a chance, as good as anyone’s. Let’s do it” as I was contemplating writing to someone about my music. So I did it, then had that dream.

I have heard a phrase over and over again that’s just now getting stuck in my head –

“What you seek is also seeking you.”
I’m not sure who said that, but I know it is real based off of what I have been seeing in my life as of late. I know nothing can come from nothing, so there must be something good about what I’m doing and I should honor that.


I wrote this a few nights ago as I was falling asleep. We are made of starstuff, as I believe Carl Sagan put it.  I believe it.

So it seems that the spot at the table is still open. It is up to me – and to you – to take it.

And to the person wondering what they are worth –

You, too are offered a seat at the table. Your worth is infinite. You have a voice. You have a heart that is special and your desires are valid. Speak up. You are loved. I want to hear what you have to say. Who knows who else you can touch with your words and your actions! You are also a star.

And to you, dear star, I say – shine.


Love,

Meg

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Live in Color

I might start just writing in verse every Thursday. Verse Thursday.

I.

Starting new is the strangest

thing –

double spaced becomes something

different to me

“we won’t have to be scared”

is that really a quote, or

something closer to something

everyone screams in their lifetime?

everything revolved around college

for a time –

how’s it going?

people would ask and i would frown

wishing they would be quiet and

leave me be for once


but now things are different

i wish i had read more about

attrition rates before even going

all of my friends are graduating

and while i don’t feel left behind,

it’s something like that.

II.

here comes the rain –

it’s something we expect but aren’t

hoping for

I trust the sky a bit too much

I don’t trust the ground

I’m too afraid of it falling out from

underneath me

why am i living in the same color

green as Alaska in spring?

why is everything blooming?


if there’s spring in a place that most

would deem unfit to have one

why can’t there be spring in me?

am i forbidden from blooming?

must i understand the happiness

within me?

I wish I could help the people who

need to bloom.

my husband is in his jail of an office

doing far too much tech support work

than any human should.

he’s a bud who has been in the dark

for too long

and he needs to come into the light.



III.

I am neon pink

coming from black and white

I don’t deserve to be shot in grays

I need to live aloud,

live in color

We Could Be Heroes

What does it mean to be a hero?

I’m listening to my blogging playlist and thinking about just that. David Bowie’s “Heroes” got me thinking and it’s a real question – what does it mean?

I used to think that heroes were these people who were good and pure who rescued people and helped them. Now, I suppose, I am more of a cynic. Some of my favorite heroes in fiction are those who are dragged into it or are morally gray. I find that the virtuous heroes don’t appeal much to me anymore. I think that’s because I’ve found that the world isn’t filled with these virtuous people. Everyone is flawed, everyone has problems. But everyone has the potential to be a hero to someone.

I think that to be a hero, one has to possess one special quality. They have to make a positive impact in someone’s life. Heroes don’t always do physical rescuing, but that definitely could make someone a hero. Do you have to be pure and good to be a hero? That’s up for debate.

There are several people in my life whom I would consider heroes of mine, but I want to highlight one special hero. My psych provider up here is a liberator. She saw a problem and started to take action instead of standing aside or feeding it. The problem was that I was that I was overmedicated and she saw that in me. She knew her stuff and said that she had never seen a dose of one of my meds that high in her entire career. Because of her intelligence, intuition, and knowledge, I am where I am today. I am eternally grateful for her.

I don’t know anything about her personal life save that she likes plants and music, but I don’t think that that is necessary to be a hero. Sometimes heroes are just passersby. She is just one of my care providers up here who has changed my life for the better.

Now that I am coming down lower on some of the meds I’m on, I feel like I’m climbing a mountain and I’ve come out of a thick layer of clouds. The sun is bright, but I can see everything – the trail I’ve climbed to get here, the valley below, the next ridge over in the distance. It’s the best feeling in the world.

It’s also vindicating – I’m not crazy for having feelings that are larger than life. I’m alive, I am human. I’m not afraid to say that anymore. It’s liberating – I can find out who I really am. It’s exhilarating – I am blooming, I am not afraid to live. I was fine all along. I am able to bounce back and not drown.

I got some lab work done today and I didn’t panic or cry. I got out of bed on time. I took my meds on time. I talked with friends. I feel as alive as springtime. I ate a bagel, which was delicious. The proof copy of my poem book comes today. Life is good.

To my provider – thank you.

Love,

Meg

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To Be Seen

I have a confession to make.

I don’t know how to write for myself. I write to be recognized, to be seen. I don’t know how to put my thoughts together in a way that’s coherent that sounds like me. I’m so used to writing to share. I fear that if I were to write for myself, all that would come out would be a scream. It’s very rare that I can unlock myself in my writing. I feel pressure both internal and external to write something good, to write something poetic, something that will change lives. It’s all gotta be good, meaningful, or it means nothing.

At least that’s how it feels, and feelings aren’t always facts. I do know that every time I write for myself – or try to – it comes out horribly sad and ends up hurting more than helping. Does that mean that something inside needs to be fixed? Does that mean that there’s some fear or sadness not addressed? I look back at my journals and I find that the later ones are full of fear and sadness and anger, and they make a bad situation worse because I’m dwelling on the past and being afraid of the future. It’s just bad. I go months feeling okay and wanting to write about happy things to something erupting inside of me and having to fight off armies of flashbacks and wanting to dive headlong into the dark again.

Last night was one of those nights. I tend to get very sad at around 3 PM every day, and things just built up inside me to the point where I started to shake and cry. Why was I crying? It felt like an aerosol can of sour memories burst inside of me. With that came shame, both for what happened and for not being over it when I should have let it go long ago.

I have heard that people are supposed to write clear and deep about what hurts, so I think I’m going to take that advice.

Something about the scene that popped into my head feels dirty and wrong. It was a memory of my ex and me. He was driven primarily by sex, I’ll be entirely honest, and I was a young, desperate Mormon girl. We had talked about threesomes for some time and I have a memory of when he came to Texas and we hung out by that car I used to drive and I remember there was a red haired girl we both thought was cute and we talked about “sharing” people like that. In the moment, it was okay. But in hindsight, it feels as sick as the sun felt that summer. I have a lot of shame surrounding that memory. This was one of the reasons I started to reconsider Mormonism – I had finally started to come to terms that I could be attracted to all people, not just men like the Mormon church encouraged, and once that mental bomb went off, there was no way to clean up the scattered contents. It was this ex of mine that helped me in a sick way to have this realization. When I tried to go back to church, the shame ate at me and I couldn’t reconcile the beliefs I had once loved and the shame I had with the things I now knew about myself. So I decided to ditch the shame and leave, unrepentant.

I hated myself for the longest time for letting that happen to me. The church had lessons on virtue (read: sexual purity until marriage) and I wanted to dodge every single one of those lessons from even before I officially joined. My mind didn’t fit the mold from the beginning, and there was so much shame I carried. I remember mentally eating myself alive even from the time I was small for being attracted to other genders. I remember mentally eating myself alive for having thoughts of sexual attraction at all. After all, they were wrong, right?

I am now realizing that I have spent a ton of time suppressing parts of who I am. I’m getting better at verbalizing what is going on inside of my brain and what I want and need. I am growing and learning and living and loving.

My gender and appearance falls under this category. I have spent so much time hiding and suppressing it. Last November was a turning point in that I found I could no longer ignore my identity. It was a pull unlike any other. I have pretended to be someone I’m not several times, and none of them ended up well and I always ended up in the same place. I was told over and over again that to identify with anything outside female wasn’t me. To those who said these things, who am I, then? Who am I now that you are not here to tell me who I am? The short answer is that you don’t get to tell me who I am. That’s my job. I am smart. I am kind. I am gifted. I am an empath. I am loved. I am a leader. I am a handsome human. I am a light. I am an example. I am a mentor. I am a student. I am a teacher. I am spiritual. I am imperfect. I fall down sometimes. But I am alive, thank God. I sing praise to life for the first time. It’s scary as hell.

Happiness is on my side. And it’s past 3 PM and I haven’t cried. Nobody gets to define me. I am not a reduction to how people see me.

I am alive, I am alive, I am alive, and I breathe like a newborn, screaming. It hurts to see light, but that is temporary. I no longer believe the lies that sadness told me.

Sadness is the liar, not the constant.

I will continue to speak on these topics until I can speak no more.

I will continue to tell myself that I am okay, and I will mean it. There should be no shame in this. The can may have exploded, but there is no need to clean it up. I may not recognize myself in the mirror yet, but I am here and I am seen. I am heard. So are you.

Love,

Meg

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Atlas

Hello, Adventurers!

I don’t know if this is weird, so I’m going to talk it out.

Sometimes when I read, I feel inspired to write. It’s often a reaction to the content I’m reading about, or to the writing style. Usually it brings up things I’ve been thinking about and I write something in response.

One of my friends sent me some writing last night, and my reaction was almost immediate.

there’s nothing like a good old fashioned key change to get

my attention

i’m atlas

i’m taking a break from holding up my world

and i go to sleep with hozier in my ears and pray in my own way

for my beliefs to settle as the room comes tumbling down

This is one stanza in a long-ish poem. I refer to Hozier because I was listening to Wasteland, Baby!, his second album, as I wrote. It’s one of my favorite writing and relaxing albums. Hozier is just awesome in general. I’m a big fan. His lyrics inspire a lot of my writing.

The writing my friend sent me had a palpable ache to it, and while I was not responding directly to the events that were recounted, I think I captured the sense of pain pretty well. For me, writing has to draw out quite a bit of emotion for me to respond to it in kind. Today is painful for me in a way that is also sweet.

I miss my dad today for some reason. I was leaving the cardiologist’s office (I’m okay, just needed to be checked up on since I haven’t been checked on in a while) and I saw an orange wind sock. I was reminded of riding through Grapevine, Texas and my dad pointing out the wind socks on top of the big hospital there. I almost broke down crying in the car on the way out.

I think my dad has been looking after both my husband and me in a special way since he died, and there are little things like that that remind me of that fact. We believe that Dad brought the two of us together. I think I talked Dad’s ear off enough about him for him to know my husband through me. I think he’s also closer because today is a special day for my husband and me – today marks the anniversary of the first time I saw him in person after us parting ways on 14 May 2012. That moment occurred last year on 15 May. The first thing I did upon seeing him was give him a kiss, which accidentally knocked his Bluetooth earpiece out of his ear. That’s probably the most me thing I have ever done. I don’t think we would’ve gotten this far without my dad’s influence in our lives. Were it not for Dad kicking my lovey’s metaphysical butt, I would not be living my dream.

i am a villain with rose colored glasses

with a world i hope i can change

at night i lay this body down

seeing double

double meanings

so many double things

was it ever real

the most real thing in my life is you

you – living stone

i somehow melted you

love is the strangest

i massage your back while you fall asleep

i’ve been told i’m loved by honest people

who meant it at the time

i found no comfort or rest there

but then you came along –

take a look at you now –

i believe this

i believe you

you tell me to put my glasses on

maybe they’re not rose colored at all

This is from today’s poem, written for my husband and me. Our adventures are the best. So long, Adventurers!

Meg

Reaching the Limit

Ah, a blank page. You know what this means? Time for more heresy.

My husband says I am only allowed to chew out one thing or person per day, so here we go. I’m meeting my limit. Hi, limit. My target of the day is something I have been meaning to rant on for a little while now, so here we go.

I am so happy for you if you are a member of a church and it works for you. There are some things I cannot abide by, though, in any doctrine it is found. I’m going to use my experiences in the Mormon church for reference because that is what I know. If anyone has any qualms with what I’m saying, feel free to chime in. This is an open forum.

One of the worst curses in Western literature I have found to date is found in the dying words of Queen Jocasta in the play Oedipus Tyrannus – “may you never know who you are.” I think about those words a lot, especially in the context of what I’m about to talk about.

I hate being told who I “should be”. If I don’t know who I am, what gives you the authority to tell me who I am? Spoiler: nobody has that authority. There was one time I bought into what people told me I was, and it had long-lasting effects. About every year or so, the kids are all wrangled up and are taught about “virtue” in Sunday School or in their classes by gender and year. I always hated that lesson because “virtue” really was a guilt trip about being sexually “pure” until marriage. It made me beat myself to a pulp for even being physically or sexually attracted to anyone, especially when it came to people of my same gender. That was a HUGE no-no, and I tormented myself with guilt over all of it.

I found out that I could be attracted to anyone, not just men, the hard way – I repressed all of the “impure” thoughts and refused to believe that there could be any option of that on the table. Ever. My church experience didn’t help, either, with “purity” shoved down my throat. Everything changed when I got into an abusive relationship. I went from being told that I was “pure” so long as I didn’t think, didn’t look, didn’t touch, that I was supposed to be a “good girl” or I would fail everyone to the “slippery slope” all of my church leaders had talked about where I slowly became “impure” by their standards. I didn’t know anything but the “only good girls allowed” culture, so when I was guilt tripped in other ways by my overgrown boy of a boyfriend, I tore myself to mental shreds. I felt that all of my worth had gone. When he left, I was rudderless. I had to go to church, and I felt so out of place. During the time I had been in that relationship, I confronted the fact that I was going to find people of any gender attractive, and there was no going back. I didn’t belong there anymore. The more I forced myself to go, the worse it got. I had been told two things about myself. On the one hand, I had been told that I must be a good girl to live up to standard, but on the other, I had been told that my attractions were fine, that it was okay to not be a good girl. I had lost my innocence and was trying to get it back. It never returned.

All the while, I started to gravitate towards my more masculine side, which my family shot down with such ruthlessness that I believed what they told me. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me, I was just pretending, it was just a phase. Again and again, I let others tell me who to be. Nothing fit. Was I not trying hard enough? Who was I supposed to be? Why did the past call so loudly if it was just a phase?

Fast forward to this past November, when something hit me so hard I couldn’t mistake it for anything. I knew what it was – I had shed a weight. That was the first day I knew where my identity was. I tried to shake it for about the next month, but that feeling of lightness wouldn’t go away. So I kept it safe.

The next major breakthrough came when I started going off my meds a bit. Happiness replaced sadness, and I find that alarming at times. It feels like a fire started burning inside of me, and no matter how many buckets of water are dumped on it, it won’t go out. It’s kind of weird.

In short, when I started learning who I am for myself, things opened up. I hope they will continue to do so.

Until next post,

Meg

Happy

“i’m afraid
i don’t want to be out of control
what if happiness scares me?
she follows me like a shadow
found in drumbeats and embraces and the feeling of
pushing forward
the song i’m listening to flutters
i have fluttered before
i will flutter again
i don’t like it because my happiness comes
out loud
shout it to the heavens
i’m happy and i don’t know why”

For some reason, people have always said I’m resilient, as if that’s something I want. All it meant to me was that I didn’t kill myself when my dad died, when XYZ happened, etc., that plodding on should be applauded. It didn’t mean that I was going anywhere. It didn’t mean I was proud of myself or living for anything.

When I met my husband, all of that began to change. I was living, at the very least, to be able to spend time with him and make sure he was happy. Even when I wanted to blot myself off the face of the Earth, he was there.

When I moved to Alaska, things changed even more. As mentioned previously, two psychiatric professionals took down the notion that I needed to be on hundreds of milligrams of meds a day, allowing me to cut back on my unnecessarily doses. He was the one who set all of this in motion. He was the first one actively involved in my care to challenge the idea that I could be crazy.

With all of these changes, I feel more energetic, hopeful, and happy. The happiness baffles me. It now rents out the space where sadness used to be, and it is almost persistent in its pursuit of me. It’s wild, loud, and feels dangerous. I still don’t trust it, and still confuse it with going crazy. It involves a lot of shouting for joy.

It can be compared to the end of a hero’s journey story where the hero arrives at the same place they started, but changed. It’s like, this is new, what do I do now?

I’ve been throwing myself wholeheartedly into my tutoring, which is awesome. Lots of new music has been made, and this long overdue thing is in the works…

People have been wanting to read my poems in a book for a bit, so I will make it happen.

If you’re happy and you know it, what do you do?