I used to write poetry...
You know, I use to write award-winning poetry. But now I live in a basement. Goals are funny, aren’t they?
Elders think I'm a baby, but it feels like lifetimes ago when I naively set foot upon the yellow brick road after college, positive that I would become the next best publishing legend the business world had ever seen. A media empire to rival Oprah and Martha Stewart. And guess what happened? I lost who I was more times than I can count. I compared myself; I discovered envy, greed, racism, competitiveness. All I wanted to be was a writer and designer, but what I got in return was a bit of emptiness. If only I had support. A sisterhood. A network. Community. This is why I launched Solo Girl Squad. For me. For you. For everyone. And I'm glad you chose to be here. It might have been a fleeting moment while you were busy with other things, but you reached for me and I caught you. So let's ride this together.
But I still wonder.
Did my addictive infatuation with paper come first, or did the poet? Journals, notebooks, wire-bound; perfectly encased in grainy leather hides or velvety card stock. Did I know what would come when the diary transitioned from shopping bag to the desk - a neighbor of pens and a wastebasket - this new tactile object altogether calling my name yet silent and still. Inanimate.
Or did I know my power? A true calling from birth. The involuntary manifestation of words into art. Are writers even humble? Did I reach for the leather-bound journal with all intention of birthing a pièce de résistance more so than being surprised by my own hand? I simply just never know. All I know is, long ago, in a naively happier life full of wonder, and that magic we call possibility, (or optimism for the romantics) I used to write poetry. Anytime it rained; when my heart was broken; when I wanted my pen and ink to sing the notes I could not hit, I would write poems. For healing, for dreaming, for prayer, for love, for art. I thought poetry would make me a woman. Make me into something great.
Saying life happened would be unfair. And too fucking easy. Busy with the kids I don’t yet have but achingly yearn for like a bandit longs for a delightful supper in the middle of a desert storm; busy serving the husband I haven’t met yet but look out for in the eyes of every sidewalk passerby; busy decorating a home I’m yet to own but scrapbook together endlessly; busy walking the dog that left me too soon...
Where does time go when you no longer have time for passion?
Chasing dreams, hustling, proving yourself, or simply putting any and all energy into mirroring what looks to be the greener life on the other side. Why master poetry or creativity in any medium at all in a time when 140 characters rule? Facebook posts become insufferably mundane, yet a necessary evil to get by. So they say.
If I could do it all over again, I would never leave behind those worn and torn tomes of the heart. I would stay true to my pen.
There is no way back. Only forward. Whilst spending an invisible amount of time complaining about life, I have learned the biggest lesson of them all. Life is a choice. You have a choice to live it, or cease living it. It’s a surmountable power, all while being your biggest burden. If you let it. The power of choice has no equal. You and I chose to wake up today. We can choose to do it again tomorrow, still.
While I train myself to be more mindfully present, and look forward, not back, I just wanted to send you a letter of love. I am thinking of you. I am here for you. You are never alone. Everyone on the planet has felt every feeling you’ve already felt, you will just feel it a bit differently. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make you dramatic, it makes you human. It doesn’t make you selfish, it shows your logic. It doesn’t define you as vapid, or flaky, or argumentative, or wishful, or tired, or lazy, or depressed, or inexperienced. It simply means you’re alive. And trying.
I choose to feel this life I chose. And I’ll tell you a secret no one knows.
I chose to live in a basement.
I am writing to you from it now. Yes a basement - in my nanna’s family home. As far as basements go, it is indeed HGTV worthy, but it is dark, and isolating, and degrading nonetheless. It can cause others to cast judgement. It can keep me from seeing the sun. It suffocates the parts of me that adore above-ground air and interaction. But I am here because I choose to be. To bring to life Solo Girl Squad and #Femmeboss in a way the world has never seen. I just don’t have time to keep up with the Joneses and change the world at the same time. My old Manhattan apartment, designer wardrobe, and vibrant night life doesn’t fit this purpose bestowed upon me. This is the sacrifice I am making to manifest my dream of community. The irony of that is not lost on me.
Hopefully, from this dreary Georgian basement, the poet I once was will visit me again. Until then, I hope you will hold fast; hold steady. I have more love notes for you that will change your life. I promise. I’ll help you crack the codes on your own community, your tribe, your time management, productivity, networking, online persona, plus get into the abyss of those big secret dreams you keep tamed in a cage. And if you’re like me or so many others constantly battling comparison, I invite you to read our new weekly series Solo Girl Chronicles. This week the lovely Lauren Jolly comes out of the closet about the icky “comparison game” and how it almost robbed her of new motherhood. Yeah, instagram can be a bitch sometimes.
But you’re beautiful. Don’t you freakin forget it!
And the rain came down
I knew it would rain
Is it certain?
what is certainty?
an invisible parallel with alternate hypothesis
Who is to say the clouds will dry
quietly, just as they came
Is it certain?
As I pondered, the patter roared
like emotion...anger...coming then retreating
Oh rain, will you ever go away?