Icarus, my love

Hello!

This poetrygram was written when I didn’t have much confidence in myself.

I never expected to have confidence in myself at all. I thought for a long time that life was just a matter of existing, not living. It seemed like I had no purpose – that I was only living to keep others happy and to keep them from imploding were I to die or mentally check out for an extended period of time. I wondered if there was anything more to life than just to count the sunsets and hang on, waiting for something to happen.

I was waiting for life to happen to me. I was experiencing it passively. I didn’t take full part in it. I wasn’t an active participant in my own existence. Everything began to change when I started going down on my meds. My friends started to say that I had life in my eyes again, and that meant a lot to me. I took this selfie

awhile back and there’s so much light in my frickin’ eyes, it’s crazy. I was the most overjoyed of people. I can’t look at this picture and not smile. I had spent so long in an overmedicated haze that I didn’t know what it was like to have that kind of light there and it kind of scared me at first. But then I realized that I have a right to that light and that I was worthy to have it.

The poetrygram refers to Icarus, the boy with wax wings that flew too close to the sun and my husband both. It’s is about both of us being flawed, but in a way where both of us are able to heal from the sun and the damage that life and time have dealt to us. He’s rebuilding his wings, and my burns are healing. He is very observant and he was able to see that I was in the haze and took steps to bring me out of it.

So now my husband is beside me playing a video game and I’m taking today to plan and write the next week’s blog posts so that I’m ahead of the game. It’s gonna be difficult, but so worth it.

In the same vein of worth it, here’s another poetrygram.

I wrote this one a bit before the other one. I had even less confidence then than with the other one, and that says a lot about where I was. I thought that people needed metaphorical safety suits to deal with me, but my husband and friends have always proved me wrong. For years, I have found that the universe/God sends me people whom I need in my life or who need me. Many times it’s both. It simply goes to show that we’re all worth it.

All of us. No matter what we’re going through or how small we think we are, we are worth it. We are worth love and care and kindness, nurturing and compassion. We make an impact, whether we see it or not. Nothing happens by accident.

I’m sitting here listening to Japanese city pop as I write this and it’s damn good. Youtube brings me the best recommendations. It’s a rainy day and I think I’m letting go of my expectations for this time. I wanted to barbecue with friends, but if that doesn’t happen due to this rainstorm, I’ll be okay. I am making my own fun.

There are going to be times when I feel like Icarus, flying too close to the sun. The sea could cool me off, but then there are times I must heal, wandering around with stubs of wings and finding love and healing.

There will be times when I feel like people around me need to wear safety suits, there will be times when I get all suited up for myself and go out into the moonscape and explore. Exploring is the best.

It feels wonderful to be an active participant in my own existence. As stated above, exploring is great, and I feel like I have much exploring to do now that I’m coming out of my haze. My mental home is in serious need of redecorating, as well.

I am happy to have light back. I have heard it said that darkness can’t exist where light is, and my mind is slowly lighting up.

So to you, dear reader –

If you’re new to being happy, do your best to embrace it. You may have a long way to go until you fully can, but it will be so worth it. You are a being of infinite worth and you are so loved. Keep being bright.

Is it okay to be sad, though, especially when I’ve been happy for so long? More about that next time!

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

Rain Is

red on red

not what you think

red on red reflected

on slick concrete

pitch reflected in raindrops

someday i’ll make beauty

from a burning house

and the mind on fire that my

skull contains

will be doused with rain

“beauty from a burning house”, a poem by me

This is a poem I forgot about that I had written during my short-lived Poem a Day challenge last year. I was a long way away from believing in myself then, and I remember speaking poorly about myself in poetry and everywhere, really. I still don’t believe in myself in many ways, but I am coming to accept my mind on fire.

I’ve been working my way down on some of my meds, and I am feeling…alive. I am feeling. Feeling like myself, kicking the sadness in the pants, being my intense self and feeling mostly okay about it.

The one thing that bothers me is that I am able to laser focus, laser focus to nearly the point of obsession until my project is done. That bothers me because I want my ideas to come to fruition right now and that involves pestering people a lot. I don’t want to be annoying, but I need to get stuff done! According to my brain, that is. This has resulted in a pair of pieces that are nearly album-length apiece. You’ve already read about Light Steps, and last night’s jam resulted in Benson Boulevard Under Cover of Darkness.

My project last night was getting them on Apple Music, Spotify, and the like. I was so focused that I didn’t write a proper blog post, I’m so sorry! They should be live in a few days, though!

Before that, my project was recording Light Steps to cassette, which failed miserably. I’m starting to question my cassette quest since the jams are so frequent, so I’m setting that idea aside. This is what happens when I don’t try and put out the fire in my brain, coupled with staying off social media. I’m probably going to record a few hours’ worth of music by the end of April. I feel a lot better about myself.

all these cars

in such a hurry to get somewhere

i spent the day drinking tea

and wondering what it would be

like

to be okay

the simple answer is that i do not know

maybe it’s like being so

tired you cannot sleep

seeing the thing for what it is

but being unable to touch it

or maybe it’s

something like the moment

of clarity a person

first has at the moment

they plunge into ice cold water

they feel alive, don’t they?

This poem is called “beauty from a burning house”, and that’s honestly how I saw myself – as a burning house. Nothing more. I was under the impression that that was all I deserved, to be put out by a rainstorm.

I felt for years like I had to summon the rainstorm in order to make beauty from the burning house that I was. I didn’t see that the burning inside was okay to have. It seemed that I had to moderate my emotions. I had to have a valid reason to be sad, angry, very happy, or else I’d see myself as crazy and I thought others would, too.

In hindsight, it doesn’t matter what others thought. I was so focused on “being okay” that I overlooked the times when I was “okay”, and even worse, was being my true self. These were opportunities where I should have been feeling alive, but I crushed them. I was trying to look without seeing. I was looking to feel alive in all the wrong places.

Writing this blog was the first step to feeling alive, but now I feel real.

Feeling real to me is being able to embrace who you are without fearing how others think and view you. It’s not putting on airs, it’s not doing stupid stunts just for attention. It’s being unafraid to be creative and inventive and to also care for yourself. It’s being able to say “this is who I am” and roll with that.

I know I’m weird. I know I’m eccentric as all hell. I am excitable, I am smart. I deserve far more than to be put out by a rainstorm. You don’t deserve that, either.

Carry on.

-Meg

Your Empire

Hey, all! I’m double dipping today. I’d like to talk about a poem that is very special to me. It’s called “Your Empire”. I wrote it two years ago. It opens like so:

you are more than a princess, darling girl -you are a queen – an empress

and you are loved more than you know

there will be times when you’ll be 

punched in the gut

kicked in the ribs

tossed aside

but your true wisdom comes in

knowing whether to form a fist or

extend your hand…

First lines of “Your Empire”, written 3/6/17

I love this poem because it’s what I wish I could have believed about myself at that time and what I don’t want anyone to forget, no matter their gender or age.

I owe the empire theme to my obsession with the Byzantine Empire, which is still an obsession of mine, hence my blog title. My favorite historical character of all time is the Byzantine Empress Theodora. Someone once said I was like her, and that was probably the biggest compliment I have ever received. This poem is me telling anyone who needs it that they are noble and deserving of that title. That includes myself. It continues:

…because some battles that need to be fought

are ignored

and some battles that are fought

need to be ignored

and a true empress – like you – knows which is which

and what to do. 

“where is my empire?”

you may ask.

I will place my hand over my heart

and say, “darling, every time you are knocked

over and you stand up again, think of that as a conquest.”

“Your Empire”

At this time in my life, I was in Idaho college and I needed some encouragement. The environment was becoming toxic to me and I wanted to feel okay again. This was one of the ways I helped myself. I also sent this and other poems to friends who seemed to be in need of them. This one is by far my favorite of the bunch.

I definitely need to listen to myself in the lines about conquest. I don’t take my own advice well enough. It’s true, I am conquering. I am ruling. I am becoming more and more involved in my own life. That’s important. A ruler wouldn’t let things just…happen to them, would they? No, they wouldn’t.

Planning is hard for me, though. It’s hard for me to get up and say, “I’m gonna do XYZ today”, even when I am happy. I tend to let the day just pass without making plans. It’s important to remember that part of owning my life and empire is to plan for the future.

With my tutoring, I don’t schedule very far in advance since I’m a hired gun that gets requests usually only a few hours before the student wants to meet. I’m surprised nobody has wanted to meet in the middle of the night yet! As a result, my days are fairly open. I have my to do lists, but I need to make an actual schedule.

Part of me thinks, “Oh, but it’s a struggle to get out of bed early!” Then there’s another part that’s like, “Fortify yourself, dammit. You won’t get anywhere with that attitude. Do you want to build your empire, or not?”

Okay, okay. I’m gonna fortify myself. Let’s continue with the poem.

every good thing you do, every struggle that you

overcome, every person you make smile –

oh, my dear, those are conquests. and in the end,

the biggest conquest you can make

is learning to love yourself

and others even though they –

and their empires – are imperfect.

I am learning that hard things are essential for growth and that I can’t quit if I want to make it in life, in anything. I can’t quit on myself, either. Like the last lines of the poem say, “the biggest conquest you can make is learning to love yourself and others even though they – and their empires – are imperfect.” Self sabotage gets me nowhere. Learning to love myself is important. It’s an important step towards progress. It will require much self-fortification. It takes strength to love oneself, I am finding. Also, I feel so much happier after being off social media all day. 10/10 so far, will continue.

Update: I have actually composed music today! Yes!

Would you like for me to write YOU a song, poem, or even an album? Got a special occasion coming up? I’m on WhatsApp, so if you shoot me a message there, we can start a conversation!

Love,

Meg

Proud

Hey, adventurers!

I’m back again, and today we’re gonna talk about being proud.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not usually proud of who I am. There are a few instances where I am, but they don’t come terribly often. My sense of worth generally comes from what the people closest to me think of me. I know that’s not good.

I believe, consciously or not, that only those whom I have hurt truly know me, and that anyone else only knows me on the surface. I suppose by that logic I truly know myself, because I self-sabotage often enough to qualify for it being classified as hurting myself. We all know that that’s not true. Not yet, at least.

I can remember the second to last time I was proud of myself. It was on the shooting range last Sunday. I don’t remember if I wrote about it or not, but I began shooting in the same spot over and over. As I may have written, that’s a big step in the direction of becoming a good shot. I was proud of myself for that.

The most recent time was this morning. I abandoned all social media except for the blog and told my friends to text me rather than message me on social media. I’ve known social media has been hurting me for awhile. I also know I spend far too much time on it. After I announced my decision to my friends, I received a slew of messages asking if I was okay. I explained to everyone that I simply need a break. I do need a break. And I’m proud of myself for making this decision. It will help me spend more time in the “real world”, as real as my world can be. It might also inspire me to dive back into the fictional world of my stories and to compose more music. I’ve needed that for awhile.

I think it’s the little things that stack up in one way or another that determine my confidence level. What have I done, no matter how small, that helped someone today? What have I done that has helped me grow? What have I done that will push me towards being the best self I can be in this moment?

I am glad for this social media break because it will give me time to grow. I am often tugged around by my Facebook feed, half of which is very liberal, with the other half being very conservative. It’s scary and often makes me wonder how long it will be before humanity implodes. This is not a good train of thought to take.

I was inspired to take this break by this piece from Longreads. It backs up the opinions of my husband and family, saying things that they have been saying for years. Although social media has been very inspiring and enlightening, especially when it comes to my identity. I didn’t know what nonbinary gender identities were until a Facebook friend invited me to a nonbinary group and I found that a lot of what people were going through I related to, also. That would have taken a long time to discover were it not for Facebook! I’m thankful for that.

I’m also reminded of a hashtag I used to document an important time of my life – #TheGrandAdventure2015. I made it to try and feel better about a string of hard days and months. It worked. I think it can be applied to now in this period of self-discovery. I’m still on an adventure, and I’m proud of it.

I’m proud of my identity.

I’m proud of my ability to overcome the challenges I’ve been faced with.

I’m proud that I’m here today on this fabulous Agender Adventure.

Thank you for reading, as always!

Until next post,

-Meg

PS. If you feel so inclined to look/buy, I made Agender Adventurer stickers. See below!

Agender Adventurer Sticker

A die cut sticker with the colors of the Agender pride flag with two triangles that reads "Agender Adventurer."

$5.00

The top

Hello!

Good evening, good afternoon, good morning to you wherever you are!

I have a question for you this fine day.

What would you do if you had nothing in your way? What would you do if you found out that the mountains you have been climbing were just bumps in the road? What would you do if you didn’t fear judgment? What would you do if you were unstoppable?

Unstoppable is a big word.

I don’t know about you, but I associate this big word with freedom, and I associate feeling free with running, singing, or dancing. You know the feeling where are all of your cares and worries fade into the background and it’s just you and the music? Yeah. That one.

There was one night when I was in Maryland where I grew very sad. I just took off running. I ran and ran, leaving the town behind. When I looked behind me, I saw the Maryland State House, which normally loomed above me, reduced to a tiny point on the horizon, three miles away. I had covered three miles. I felt free. It was almost a symbol of leaving my problems behind.

You might be asking, “why do you like to run? Running’s hard.”

The answer is that I like the satisfaction of having traveled a long (or somewhat long) distance and being able to see where I have gone and how far I’ve come. The truth also is that I can’t flat out run for more than probably fifty feet without stopping.

I could surely get discouraged that I can’t run more than 50 feet without the need to lose consciousness. Here’s what I do instead.

I set a goal. Something like “run to this next street corner”, and if I can successfully run to the next street corner from my current position, I pat myself on the back, walk a bit, then set another goal and achieve it.

I don’t tell myself I’m gonna run 4 miles nonstop. I’m not there yet. Instead, I do what I can. That makes me feel unstoppable. I’m not a wrecking ball or a bullet – I’m a slow, steady, consistent unstoppable. Things like this are just as powerful as bullets and wrecking balls. There’s power in consistency.

Another image I can give you is hiking. I’ve gone on since nice hikes. In Texas, my family and I hiked a short, scrubby mountain just for the hell of it. We were seriously like, “oooh, trailhead” and then found ourselves up a mountain before we knew it.

I was thirteen and terrified of heights. (I still am terrified of heights.) This climb was incredibly scary for me, and I wanted to turn back several times. But I didn’t stop. We were richly rewarded for it. The view was incredible. We could see the entire valley laid out before us. We could even see our campsite! This was one of the best views of my life.

In 2013, I fell into depression. It seemed like nothing helped. I wanted to give up many times. I kept going. Throughout that time, everything felt gray. I kept going. There were times when it felt like there was nothing to live for. It hurt. I kept going.

Eventually things got better, and I saw a purpose in what I had gone through. I am able to help others who are going through the same thing. I went (and am still going, to some extent) through it again when my dad died. That’s a tool to help that I wish I hadn’t gained, but there’s a reason behind it somehow. I don’t entirely know why I lost him, but good things have come along with the bad. That’s why I keep going.

No matter how far I go, I often lose track of the good things in my life because my inner bully/critic convinces me that there’s nothing but darkness. Sound familiar at all?

The only thing I can do here is what I can. The to do lists I make are good at helping me stay productive when I don’t want to do anything. They help me keep moving, to keep climbing. There are few things more satisfying to me than being able to cross things off my to do list. Anything to do to keep moving.

There are these incredible moments when I have a good day, or I get a bunch of stuff done, I learn a new skill, or I get a really interesting spiritual impression.

These are the views that are worth climbing for.

These are the rewards that are worth the run.

I don’t know exactly what’s going through your head and in your life. Nobody is the exact same. But if you’re anything like me, I want to encourage you to keep climbing, though. The view is incredible at the top.

Love,

Meg

My Projects

To not be okay

Hello, all.

I’m currently hanging out in a store while my husband geeks out.

He’s adorable.

I don’t have much to do here but think, and the thought I posed to Instagram is that it is okay to not be okay.

I knew I’ve expressed this thought before here, but it’s important to reiterate often.

I go through a series of bad days at times that often stem from me being cruel to myself. I beat the daylights out of myself for not being perfectly calm all of the time, for not being perfectly here all the time, for not being…perfect. I feel like a horrible wife, friend, and person at times just because I fall short and have bad times. I’m coming to learn that self acceptance is important. I worry that I keep making a massive fool of music on social media. I worry that all my efforts are for nothing. But mistakes will be made. It’s important to know and accept that.

This realization is especially important in my relationships and in running my Golden Apple projects. My husband mentioned today that I’m spreading myself too thin over all of my promotion efforts and that I don’t NEED six million Instagram accounts to promote all of my projects individually. It’s a waste of time. So I have started to unite all of the projects under one big Golden Apple banner with this blog as a hub. This should make me less stressed.

The key mission of the Golden Apple Projects is to help people in as many ways as I possibly can. With all of the promotion I’m throwing out into the world, it’s not going very far and I’m not helping people. I actually feel like I reach the most people through my tutoring, and I want to take that approach – getting to know people individually – and use it with my other projects. I don’t want to just have people who interact with me on a business level, I want to have relationships with them. That would be really cool.

I really want to buy a pair of my own Martin boots that I’ve designed and wear them around town. That would be awesome, especially if I find a place I can make friends. Maybe keep a spare pair in the back of my car.

Things to think about…

Love,

Meg

The Golden Apple Projects:

Music: http://candyfortrees.bandcamp.com

Tutoring: http://wyzant.com/tutors/historynmore

Shoes:

http://goldenapple.shoes