Comfort

Hello, all!

It’s almost 2 AM and I’m sitting in my favorite writing spot – a couch in the basement of my house. It’s the perfect place to write for me. I like to have my computer at arm level while I sit and write, and this couch is perfect in that regard. I’m glad we kept this couch and I feel bad for doubting it at first. I was not a fan of it for a long time – I used to sit on it while I tutored. It hurt my legs after sitting on it for awhile, and most of my tutoring sessions ran for an hour or longer. Ouch.

But then I found that writing here is the best. I have been writing here since the start of B+BD at the beginning of this year, but my exact favorite writing location has changed as the months have passed. I used to write on the floor covered in blankets. I used to tutor there, too, but I thought after a time that that was super unprofessional. Then came the couch, which became my new work spot. It’s cold as all get out down here, especially in the wintertime, but blankets and a hoodie make it doable.

The couch made its way down here after we got this massive sofa brand new, which displaced this little thing and led to it being moved down to where it is now in the basement. So here I am, writing on it at 2 AM. Cinematic by Owl City is in my ears. I’m on a huge Owl City kick, and this music really helps me gather my thoughts. It also helps that I have heard most of his songs dozens of times. They fade into the background, making it easy to tune the world out and write. It’s very comfortable. It’s important to me that I have this writing spot. It feels weird to write elsewhere.

I have approached a lot of difficult topics since starting this blog, and having a comfortable spot where I can explore these bigger ideas is very special to me. I sometimes write and post from my phone, but that doesn’t feel as special as writing on my laptop. I think I take it more seriously when I write here. It requires me to consciously set aside an hour or so per post instead of writing whenever I can squeeze in a minute or two. The posts seem to be of a better quality, as well.

My friend here always talks about having a calm home base. I find that to be true, especially in my writing and creative areas. I have been hurting bad these past few days, so I have been neglecting my kitchen. I call it “my kitchen” because I have been trying to clean and maintain it every day and I give people looks if they mess it up. It’s become my job of sorts, and I’m starting to take a lot of pride in it. It makes me anxious and sad to see it dirty. If I feel better today, I’m going to clean it well. I hate that everything has been almost put on hold while I’ve been down for the count. I want it all to go away. I have lessons today, so I’m going to take a few ibuprofen and tough today out for my students. My students are like family to me and I will do my best to care for them.

Speaking of doing my best, I’m on day 5 of my poem a day challenge and I haven’t skipped a day. This was today’s:

you have to admit

you’re all crashing down

craving the salt of lover’s tears

maybe i’ve been listening to too

much radiohead 

maybe i am unhinged 

don’t touch me

don’t hurt me 

don’t hurt me with your songs

that i loved so long ago

loved so recently 

i want to write about the future 

this is how i argue with myself 

this is how i fight

this is how i slam words together 

getting nowhere but farther away

i like singing to empty rooms

with vaulted ceilings 

so that maybe the ghosts these

rooms were built on can hear the

echo of sounds crashing against 

the curves

i would do a concert this way if i 

knew nobody was listening 

i have to admit that

i don’t want to forget

even if it means being blind to my

future 

screaming for dear life as my

mental echo chamber empties

i have to get it all out

perhaps i have to scream to break 

the silence until it vaporizes

the future is waiting outside the

door

knocking 

screaming as loud as i

am – let me in

let me in 

let me hold you

all will be well if you

untether yourself and dive in

That’s all, folks!

Love,

Mago

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All I See Are Explosions Anyway

Hello, friends!!

Lately it’s been like an archaeological dig in my brain. If you’ve been following the blog at all, you’ll find that there have been many discoveries made in the last few days. It’s been an awesome experience, but there are still some things to be desired.

I pray a lot in my own way, and sometimes people think I do it wrong. I have problems praying aloud and instead carry prayers like feelings close to my heart soundlessly. It’s kind of like meditation mixed with prayer, and it helps me a lot. It may be “the wrong way” to pray, but I am firmly of the belief that people can pray however they want so long as they aren’t hurting themselves or other people. There is a time and place for praying aloud and a time and place for praying silently. I’m in the time for praying silently right now.

My friend Laurie talks a lot about there being seasons for things. It was a bit odd to hear that language at first, but now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. There was a time and a season where I was a Mormon girl, there was a time and a season when I was an agnostic, there was a time an a season when I identified as male. This is a growing and harvesting season. This is a season of freedom.

The title of this post comes from none other than a poem I wrote that talked about my old school in Maryland. There was a line in there that talked about the only true semblance of prayer I had in those days was when I looked through a telescope and all I saw were explosions of galaxies anyway, not any kind of real answer. In those days, it was hard to be close to God and the universe. I was going through a lot.

Returning to the topic of seasons, there are seasons when I am not close to God and the universe. It’s totally fair and valid if you aren’t close to them right now, in the future, or ever. Your journey is yours, not mine, your best friend’s, or that neighbor down the road that demands an expectation from you and doesn’t deserve one. There will days when you see in perfect clarity, there will be others when all you will see are explosions. You are loved constantly and eternally. That is the great constant.

As I go deeper into this digging phase, this season, the more I learn. Having a seat at the table means more to me than just having an equal chance at life as everyone else. It means being given the same gift of hope and the capacity to dream, be validated, and live fully, not just exist.

I remember bursting into tears at Maryland college after seeing a sign saying “no one deserves just a friendship of utility.” It was advertising a workshop on how to be a good friend. The school was dedicated to the study of philosophy, and a friendship of utility in the texts was a friendship for a purpose, not just for friendship’s sake, not so different from using someone. I was hurting and felt broken and wanted my friends to save me. Not surprisingly, the more desperate I became, the more they pulled away. I was wanting as much of a friendship of utility as that sign was warning against. Nobody could save me but me in the end. It took believing in myself to even feel saved. Nothing, not even believing in God or the universe, would make me feel secure until I started this journey to believe in myself. I may have been broken, but nobody but me could fix me.

My aunt always quotes the safety demonstrations at the beginnings of airplane flights when they say “you need to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting with someone else’s, even if it’s your kids needing help.” My aunt is a wise woman, and there’s much truth in that. There are a lot of ways one can seek truth. You can try and find truth in books, friends, God. A lot of them are ways you can try and avoid who you are. You can believe in and put trust in anything you want, but if it doesn’t help you trust yourself in a deep and lasting way, perhaps it’s not worth pursuing long term. Faith and relationships should give you inner peace and help pass that peace to others, not spread you thin. It’s difficult to help others when you yourself are breaking inside. That’s not to say that you don’t need others to help you get to where you’re peaceful; I’m far from it and I am constantly being filled by the people around me. But I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am now without realizing I had it in myself to be where I am now. Because I have people who are willing to be in my life as I transform and encourage that transformation, I am able to become me and who I am meant to be in this moment. I’m beginning to believe in myself and have faith in that seat at that table. I see more than an explosion in things now, myself included.

After all of this, how can I believe in myself, you may ask?

I try not to pretend to know others’ lives, only my own. So here’s what has worked for me.

I’m learning in my life about what I call the great constant – that I am loved at all times, no matter how much I feel I have failed or fallen short.

I am also learning about what I am worth as a human being and child of the universe.

Put those together and I find that I am worth indescribable amounts and so are you. You are given a seat at the universe’s table simply because you are here and you are existing, experiencing this crazy thing called Living. You are loved regardless of where you have come from, who you are, and what you have done.

It takes work and a lot of faith. What really helps is to think back on what I have learned when I’m faced with a setback or a personal failure and present myself with mercy instead of condemnation. Because I know I am worthy and loved, I am allowed to continue trying. Just because I make mistakes doesn’t mean I am a permanent failure. The aftermath of a mistake is an opportunity for improvement, to strive to do better next time and the times after that.

I believe that the moment you start to present yourself with mercy in failure is when you start to believe in yourself. From there, your self talk begins to change and you will work towards being able to see that you are loved in infinite ways and the cycle repeats itself.

I’ll never be perfect, and there is always something new to learn. That’s something that also takes learning. Thank you for learning with me.

Love,

Meg

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