Eyes Open #WorkForHappy

(Or Alternatively, “Turning Twenty And Realizing My Eyes Have Been Shut The Whole Time: A Brief Birthday Reflection”)

Ascending into the two-decade old plane of existence was almost anti-climactic, but to be fair, it had to close a rather turbulent turn of the globe. Since last year, August 31, 2017, I have taken four total double 10+ hour bus rides, snared a dream role at a start-up publication, and even started dating a rather dashing lad who has an affinity for calling me a water buffalo in his free time.

At the same time I have screamed, panicked, had a handful of crises (less in comparison, though), was ghosted, and learned what it’s like to be between jobs about… five times. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the Mercury retrograde – I don’t even believe in that stuff and I still felt it in my bones that something was off in the heavens when I couldn’t even sip tea without burning my tongue.

tanyashatseva
Artwork by Tanya Shatseva

I survived 20 years of life. That’s cause for celebration, even if the sky doesn’t glow for me. The main difference between this year and the year before that is probably just how much I have matured.

Once I turned 20, I was faced with a very real responsibility – growing the fuck up. Being 19 was the last time I could plead being a teenager.

Do I miss this trump card? I thought I would. Do I still reach for it as if it’s still in my pocket? You bet your ass, I do.

The earth didn’t exactly pause in its orbit the moment I was born one humid Monday night in a Lester hospital, and it didn’t twenty years later either. The occasion was marked poignantly by my mother, who not only was celebrating my birthday, but the moment she officially became a mother. Every milestone and accomplishment in my life belongs, in part, to her as well.

My eyes were closed for my teenage years, and my mother had to remind me again that my eyes are hers, and she will not let me screw them shut any longer. I opened my eyes, witnessed everything I chose to ignore about myself, and realized that there’s a marked difference between walking through the dark, and walking with your eyes determinedly shut.

“You are my eyes, and I want you to see the world for me.” My mother never misses an opportunity to tell me this. Any moment I have self-doubt, or feel like a failure, I am reminded to open my eyes for her.

…there’s a marked difference between walking through the dark, and walking with your eyes determinedly shut. [Click to tweet!]

I have survived twenty years of existence, and now I am now en route of my twenty-first, I have decided not only to survive, but thrive. This sounds a bit tired, since everyone has a bit of a resolution when they get older, usually more and more sombre with every passing year.

My resolution, however, isn’t just to sit down and grow up – I want to grow. Perhaps now I am resourceful enough to actually push myself to do so, now, with eyes wide open.

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Before Him

huigorou
artwork by Dahui Wang

Date a boy who doesn’t love you.

Date a boy whose eyes hold the stars and the moon, a boy whose hands are warm because they hold the sun. Date a boy who looks through you, searching something else in the crowd. Date a boy who makes you realize your own inconsequence, a boy who takes and takes until you are left with nothing but dusty text messages that once made your world spin. Date a boy whom you love, but doesn’t love you back.

Date a boy whom you don’t love. Continue reading “Before Him”

Cocoon

First was the worst. A vampire sucking me dry until I was white, so that purple is blooming underneath my eyes, red leaking from my lips.

Money tree leaves rustle from in the kitchen, swathed in the beige shadow of the blinds. The sink is dripping. The solitary sound reverberates, beating into my bird bones so that I begin to crack.

Second was a jest. Dark summer eyes and calloused hands that felt rough when they brushed against mine.

The entire city freezes. The people look up to the sky, and the chatter in my brain is replaced by their wistful howls that surround me like a hymn. It grows louder and louder and my teeth start to grit, muscle memory prompting me to smile painfully because that was all I’ve ever known how to do.

Carolina Rodríguez Fuenmayor
Artwork by Carolina Rodríguez Fuenmayor

Third is you, now, pulling me against your golden chest.

My heart, stilled, begins to swell. My tongue starts to buzz with the taste of every particle that is colored by your pulse against my cheeks.

Like a cocoon you envelop me, your soft light collapsing on me, and I want to stay here forever, with your breathing as my melody. My forehead rests in the crook of your neck, the hollow where your heartbeat cuts into the chatter filling my confused head.

Your heartbeat shields me, and my cracks begin to shrink.

Like a cocoon you envelop me, your soft light collapsing on me, and I want to stay here forever, with your breathing as my melody. [Click To Tweet!]

pride nasha
Artwork by pride_nyasha

Your arms are pink, hot when they wrap around my waist and pull me in closer. I am tipped over into a sea of warmth that purifies me as your hands curl over my head, twisting tendrils of my hair between your fingers as my eyes open and capture your dozing face into the webs of my memory. I breathe in the particles you exhale, and I let it settle into me like dust just as your body goes slack with heavy sleep.

Your silhouette rises and falls, like a mountain bending to the wind, and I, the raven circling above it, slicing into the cold air, besotting the sky.

Closing my eyes again, I let all the colors swirl into non-existence. The world falls silent, and all that exists is you and me, in limbo, forever.

First was the worst, second was a jest. Third holds me close to him, and I let real love, finally, manifest.

Here It Is

I feel ache-y, and just a tad stupid. As a fairly passionate person with a little too much inside her – too many words, too much devotion – I get carried away with how good and bad I am at handling just about anything. I don’t mean to be self-contradictory, but there it is? I guess?

Image result for head melt gifWhen I pour – like cement out of a porcelain cream cup – it’s hard to put a lid on it. I’m an either/or person, an all-or-nothing. I don’t understand going halfway, I fear mediocrity (mediocrity burns and sits at the bottom of my stomach like vodka – not very tasteful, to say the least). I reach out and I reach out and I reach out and my hand is still grasping out of a hole in the wall. I wouldn’t take it either, to be sure. Just so I’m clear. But it doesn’t stop me, in the heat of the moment. When the moment is raving and hot as the driest desert on a far off planet, my head kind of melts and I just become a scrambling mess of hands, stemming like a devil’s trap from a knot of brass, grasping for an answer. Very Dr Who, but there it is… I guess?

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And sure, we’ll never be royals, but listen, it’s not about majesty. I’m no majestic thing, I’m really just an object of passion. That passion gets the better of me sometimes. Brass boils hot and separates into all its parts, all its alchemic elements to inspect under a telescope (telescope because even though I bare my parts for everyone I seem to be irrevocably far away – far from reason, see?) just to have shoulders shrugged at me and saying “I don’t know mate, nothing much to fix but your head, but that seems to have melted.” I’m not given many other words to my ensuing question except another cursory shrug and a “maybe Walmart”, but there it is. I guess?

Who am I to decide it really. I know I dove into ice, I know I am a dove a little too trifled for greater society. I can’t help myself if I feel like something might pay off in something better than mediocrity, because I’m too much of a romantic and way to ambitious. I’m too artistic, I try to make masterpieces out of everything, everything, everything. My expectations breathe and sweat like I do. My self-contradiction plays jump rope on my back and the shrugs flap and follow me about everywhere. I know, I know. I know.

But there it is, I guess.

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