Friday, September 30, 2016

part 4

eighteen was
back on the learning curve
back to square one, learning lessons the hard way
crying tears and wishing the years away

this poor girl couldn't catch a break
or so she thought.
but really, she had caught so many breaks
she could have been dead,
not just damaged.

at the end of the first 6 months, she had to force herself to fight
to pick up the broken and shattered pieces
of life and of herself
and of her heart
to fight.
fight hard and work hard because this wasn't what life was supposed to be

she dawned a ponytail
her favorite sneakers
fists held high -
she fought

fast forward through the second six months &
life had dramatically changed.
our friend had really changed from
a sad and lonely, broken girl
to someone who put in the work
to save herself.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

part 3

she loved to laugh. 
she still does, actually. but back then her life was full of laughs - every kind.
small chuckles to herself in the back of the classroom
big belly laughs with her friends during lunch
silent-can't breathe-otter noises-snorts-tears rolling down her face in the middle of the night at a sleepover

she resisted the laughs for a while, because who likes to laugh during a time that's supposed to be serious? it's no easy thing to pick a college and a major and a future.
so why not change plans 4, 5, or 7 times?
because at 17, how was she supposed to know what she wanted out of life?

so she took the stress in stride,
and did what anyone else would do -
because life was good and friends were nice and family was fun and school was easy
so everything else beyond that wasn't important
right here and right now was happening

and right here and right now someone told a joke and it was funny
so she laughed

Saturday, September 24, 2016

part 2

"you've lost it," she said matter of factly.

"what do you mean i've lost it?"

"you've lost the fire in your eyes. it used to be there, swirling around in the deep blue corners of your eyes, but it's gone now. your love for life and pure excitement about living is just gone. where did it go?"

i had to think for a minute about what she could mean. it really took me by surprise that she came out and said what everyone knew and had been thinking.

"well," i began, "i think i left it in a few places, pieces of burning coals. part of it i left in the back of a mini van, part of it i left in the mountains, part of it i left down the shore. some of me ran with water down the sink late at night, but these were all places that i sort of dropped pieces of me - like i didn't purposely leave myself there. i just kind of left them along the way."

"oh," she said sort of confused, "are there any places you left yourself on purpose?"

"i left myself between the pages of every book i read this year. i am stitched into every word i wrote for school and in my journal. i am quietly lurking around the halls of our high school and in the foot prints i left on the soccer field. a piece of myself resides with you, my best friend - in every laugh we have laughed and every tear we have cried. through every good decision and every bad decision, you have never left my side."

"you say that like i ever had any other choice but to stay. you need me. but the funny thing, is that i need you too."

16 years old.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

part 1

15 years old:

she's sitting on her bed, 11pm, staring at her phone and waiting for a message that never comes.

2am, lying in the dark - nothing but questions floating around in her head.
was it something i said? maybe that joke wasn't funny enough.
was it something i wore? i probably looked fat.
did i do something weird? i'm not sure, he didn't say anything about it.

all she had was questions swirling around in her mind causing nothing but anxiety and confusion. she doubted everything.
does he love me? she wondered nervously, because she certainly loved him. she loved him with a fierce and passionate love. the kind of love that puts stars in your eyes and butterflies in your stomach. she loved him more than she knew what to do with and more than she wanted to admit.

but by 15 and 10 months, she knew it wasn't love. it was something different - more shallow.
who really knows what the feeling was. infatuation, maybe? a need to be wanted, craved by another person. she waited, waited, and waited for him to pick her up and save her. that's what love did, right? it saved you?

so, at 15 and 11 months, she realized that if love was going to save her, then she was going to need to love herself.

Monday, September 12, 2016

open letter to my grandfather

dear poppo,

school started a few weeks ago. i'm finally at temple! the other day i went to call you on my way out of my education class, but then i realized i couldn't and was a little bit pissed about it actually. you'd love to hear about my classes and all of the things i'm learning. my one class is specifically about how to educate children in a diverse society - i bet you could teach it yourself. i really hate my math class. i don't understand it that much because it's a lot of logic and i just don't think like that.

everyday i eat something new at school and i wish that we could have lunch together. i have an everywhere trailpass to commute so i can take whatever train, bus, or subway i want as much as i want and i've really been getting a lot of use out of it! i've been down to city hall a few times and Brendan and i went to walnut street and rittenhouse square a few weeks ago. i wish that you were here to meet him; i think you guys are really similar and that is probably why i like him so much ahah. he's pretty quiet until you get him to open up. he's super funny and smart and loves jesus a lot. he wants to be an elementary and special ed teacher in the city! he's also very big into social justice and equality, which i love. i think you guys would have a lot to talk about.

Sarah had her baby about 2 months ago! it was a little girl and her name is Selah Ann. she is PRECIOUS. i seriously love her more than life. i wish you could meet her! also, Joshua and Kristen and Caleb moved back home. Kristen is going to have a babygirl at the end of October and the family just keeps on growing. recently, i have gotten pretty close with Robbie. he is a lot like you too, i think. you'd be really proud of him.

i've gone through a lot of transitions lately with school, friends, family, and just about everything in between. oh, i forgot! i just got a job at the YMCA working with kids on broad street! i'm pretty excited about starting that soon. i wish so badly that i could take a drive down to media and spend the afternoon with you, but instead this letter will have to do.

i love you so very much and i promise that i'm being careful.
see you soon,

Sunday, September 4, 2016


i am slowly, but surely, learning what it means to love someone.

my world is constantly filled with thoughts of myself because the world revolves around me, right?? after a lifetime of life being all about me, suddenly and wonderfully, there is someone else to share it with. but wait, can i actually do that?? can i actually let someone else inside the deep dark corners of who i am and fully allow myself to become vulnerable with them?? could i possibly stop thinking about myself for like 3 seconds and take time out of my day to think about another human being's needs and wants?

of course it is impossible to perfectly love someone else because we are imperfect people. however, it  isn't impossible to try. and with this in mind, there will always be something for me to strive for and improve on.

so this is me. trying to love. selflessly love. because love isn't selfish.
love is patient, kind, doesn't envy or boast, love isn't proud or self seeking. no, love should be unconditional.