When October Leaves

There is this sensation at this time of year, near the end of it.

The leaves are slowly changing, it starts getting cold with little to no sign of warmth.

Everything is rushing to be somewhere, myself included.

The end of the year is in sight, so we cram it full of things we imagine deadlines exist for.

The difference is this year, I’m quiet inside.
This understanding of time I gripped so hard has thankfully slipped right past me.

I’m unbothered by its passing, not unmoored by penning tasks to a list.

My walks in the morning are allowed to take as long or short as I can manage.

Days of the week are only important when I’m tapped back into the world of deadlines.

I’m slowly unraveling time and the constriction I forced it to wrap me in.
No longer finding safety and security in the dependability of my productivity.

I lounge with grace and sink into the wealth of empty afternoons and evenings.

Sometimes I’m visited by merchants wishing to trade time for wealth.
As pleasant as their pitches are, I continue to be pleased at my own resistance.

I manage my time around the warmth of not needing an escape.

Watching Myself

I’m growing skeptical of the methods I employ to romanticize my life.

I can hardly decipher between what has been sold to me, and what I picked out for myself.

I’m unsure if habits are adaptations to veiled criticisms,
my desire to be loved above another,
to create a pedestal for myself.
Knowing full well I’m itchy with regret each time I reach a new height.

Is the single serving of honey I choose now because you took yours with one while I formerly opted for two?
My taste changed when there was enough distance not to hope for a moment of time over tea.

How quickly I move to make alterations, stunned into my own silence by those who are unwavering, unbothered by their preferences.
It is the small choices littered throughout the day I keep a log of comparisons of.

I embody unflinching confidence in moments of big decisions making, unaware I’ve done something bold…there I am surefooted.
I will uproot myself without a second thought

But I hesitate into silence when asked minor preferences…preferring to hear the room out before allowing myself the space I’ve been asked to occupy.

I am comfortable shrinking, a habit I have a friend in even when there is no one to witness a difference.


Buy my dog a treat

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Recommended Discomfort

The change I crave is uncomfortable.

The best lighting wouldn’t make it photogenic.

A well-crafted soundtrack underneath its experience would be awkward and uncomfortable to watch.

It is maddeningly unfit to a reasonable timeline.

I cannot fit it into a schedule of self-improvement.

It is an unruly child screaming at a pitch fit to pierce attention.

Ripping through unspent energy.

I have to cling to the change I want.

It will test me, begging to be abandoned.

Buy my dog a treat.

Greenies are her favorite.


Tough as a bamboo infestation

I am durable.

Someone who survives a storm, bearing the brunt of things with neutrality.

I am tough.

Strong as the flexibility of material meant to bend but not break.

I grow.

No matter the scorched earth my roots find a footing in.

I laugh.

With the strength of someone who has been shredded.

I stand.

No matter the weight on my shoulders.

I shatter.

With a strength that understands the pain of each cut.

I bend.

Knowing how to meet the eyes of all who understand hate.

I stick my neck out.

Because I will break before I see a system make another bend too far.

How It Passes

Often, we pretend to be present as our feet stretch with anticipation to reach the future.
To obtain something seemingly better.
It’s hard to wrangle a current moment.
Never knowing if it will be worthwhile, how long it will last, or if that presence will scatter the moment your eyes turn to focus on it.
I have been paralyzed by time, the way it passes and how best to use it.
Trying not to obsess over the flexibility in which it comes and goes.
This process allows me to laugh at myself.
How silly it is to be confident in the structure of a minute.

When given a heaping table of options in who to become.
I’m stunted by the possibilities.
It forces a hunger to stuff myself full of every option, tasting nothing.

My eyes and mind are enraptured on who to become.
My true self looks on blankly, filled with horror at the rejection.

Dear Inner Critic

I understand you have a lot on your plate, and you’re often in a rush to feel heard. You speak the language of fear and trepidation. It must be hard to live in a state of constant doubt, but what else do you know? I must say, I wasn’t aware how many different forms you could come in. You’re quite the shape shifter. I would disguise myself too if my only means of survival was to instill fear and remain undiscovered.

That’s part of what makes you so intriguing, there’s no real evidence of the claims you’ve made against me, but you hold tightly to them anyway. It’s always awkward when you stand in the middle of my path and find it’s not difficult to walk right around you. You still manage to stop me in my tracks often enough that the weight of your influence feels familiar.

I have managed to eek bits and pieces of my creative work out while you’re not looking, but now that’s not enough. I’m not an imposter of myself, I have value and deserve to enjoy the work I feel called to create. Though I don’t prefer to label it as work, as it feels more valuable. I’m aware you don’t mind infusing it with the bitter taste of productive value, because when you do I falter and feel intimidated out of moving forward.

Even speaking to you here, directly I can feel the weight of resistance. You don’t like being found out, feeling seen in such a fashion. If I can see you, I can ignore you. The more places I find you hiding out or see where you have tried to leave a mark, the smaller you get. I must inform you, that I will now be taking up more space within myself. Together we’ll gather up all your things, so you can move on and out of the influential space you’ve taken up. I can’t allow you to have some excuse to revisit the holes you bore into my confidence.

I am inviting you to take a permanent leave of absence. I’ll help you out the door. You can keep your plans for making me feel inadequate. I don’t need to be reminded of the lies you paint with fake smiles. Make sure to take the mirror you hold up against me, seeking comparison to everything I’m not in that moment. I think I’ll see myself more clearly without it.

I know in your mind you thought you were protecting me from the possibility of failing. It’s also clear that you feared success more than anything, driving me toward destruction. We aren’t as familiar with the feeling of vulnerability paying off. I’ve decided I’m going to test the waters and see what I can do without the constant nagging of your screeching voice. I have clung to you for many years but am finding the weight of you is more than I want to carry with me.

Thank you for leaving.

Laugh With Her

Tasks pile up, those with great importance trying to look large and intimidating.

That is when the inbetweener arrives.

The woman that is an adult, grown and all at once energized by the child so easily distracted within her.

You’ve seen her, felt her excitement…so infectious and silly it’s hard not to pay attention.

A stack of bills sits on the corner of her desk, right within reach.

The smaller one who has an energy that tricks her into believing she’s taller than her legs realistically allow…has found a way to convince the older one that the bounds of what is within reach are flexible and immaterial.

The day has been set up to be productive and very responsible…which is why the five-year-old in me needs to paint without concern or acknowledgement of direction.

I have to feed myself, but I also need to let her tell me I’m mixing a magical and mysterious potion.

“That’s not coriander!” She yells at me when I try to be too serious. “Those are the ashes of a dragonfly who has been blessed with the fart of a giant upon its wings!”

I’m lucky to have her to correct me when I try to read a recipe for what it is.

She has a hard time paying attention to the road in front of her when the clouds are drawing her up, making her think she can fly.

I let her run wild when I get the chance to fly, laughing at the puffy things sailing right alongside her, and never the other way around.

Trusting that she needs to chase the moon, blow bubbles in her soda, and fill her belly with chicken nuggets, fries, and a big squirt of ranch.

I love her.

Adore the way she wants to cackle as she runs, feeling grateful not to feel the age of her body just yet.

I want to take her on adventures. Let her live and breathe in this skin that only temporarily needs to reside in places of pretend importance.

I’m protective over her too, not letting others experience the pleasure it is to feel her excitement explode.

Where the younger version of me felt the pangs of others signaling it was time to grow up; now that I’m here…I refuse to let her be confined by such stupid notions as adulthood or what age she may actually be.

I’ll feel her childish enthusiasm and stubborn determined nature as I mow my lawn. Even let her voice how she can do it herself!

She can have the space of adulthood, owning her environment while confidently cackling at maniacal expressions she’s invented simply to entertain herself.

I will buy her a milkshake when someone is a butthead and delight in how it will never not be funny to her to build a whipped cream mustache on her dog’s face when we get home.

What Pictures Do You Take Now?

I stopped taking pictures of myself as our conversations tapered off.

Never one to hide how I’m feeling, my face says it all,
reacting before I have a chance to cover up my blatant honesty.

These pictures I’d send you are strange and uncharacteristic.

They are static, unmoving, and unnatural.

My face is expressive, moving and intimidatingly curious.

It’s not something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed capturing for a moment,
not unless I can tell you why I stepped into that light there…
what I was thinking when I smirked.

Now I scroll through the photos on my phone and find only art.

Rows and rows of the work I’ve let myself become obsessed with.

It is a better depiction of me than a selfie could ever be.

Unlocking Basic Necessities

Healthcare is not more satisfying when its cost accelerates. Yet, it is treated as both a luxury one is lucky to have, and a character flaw commiserate with poverty for those without it.

Something that should be able to be taken for granted has become a status symbol. We have the ability to help the sick, but we put it at the end of a race where you can gain footholds by giving up your time, physical or mental health. People who have more involved health conditions requiring greater attention cannot afford to leave a job with good health insurance even if it is damaging their mental health.

I’m frustrated to see arguments and discussions about how political parties are being perceived. It’s never worked in the favor of people. We all just want to live our lives without fear of the pains that strike us, where we lay our head and how we will fill our bellies. How do you justify an industry that feeds on greed, yet covers the motive by its hand extended in pleas of agony to the people it purports to help?

I am sick of reading articles discussing the finer points of the democratic party versus the republican party. Neither one of these institutions is achieving even the basics of sustaining life for its constituents. We are a society that lives on debt and calls it success. Watching as a system designed to bottleneck wealth at the top continues to thrive.

I came across a line in a newsletter, from what I view as a respectable news organization, mentioning what a danger it is for the democratic party to be “too woke.” I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or be furious. People are starving to death, tortured for crimes they didn’t commit based on unjust laws defined by codes that are enforced at the hands of racist institutions. And you think people are worried about how “woke” democrats are?

People are worried about affording insulin, finding their next meal and how close they are to homelessness. This fear of wokeness comes by way of bending to the fear of what a conservative entertainment organization parading as news deems to be good or bad. How disgusting is that? The power that one group of TV shows has to infect and direct the conversation…when they peddle in outright lies and conspiracies. This type of corporation, like many others, does not care about people. It cares about filling its pockets with money collected from the disaster of fear they designed.

This game of politics and perception is a sickness. Can’t you see how people are suffering? And you think it might be too extreme to forgive the debts that break their mental health? You actually believe providing health care, food, and education…the very basics is going to so deeply offend that you scare yourself away from the possibility for the people who need it most?


I’m unsteady from shock.

Absorbed by the idea that I’m capable of success.

Obsessed with how disorienting it is to believe in me.

This thing, the connection I feel to stringing words together…
the idea that it could sustain me is groundbreaking.

Control over what I create and when is a freedom I have always craved.

Now, it’s here and I’m frozen in the feeling.

Trying to immerse myself in other work while my mind is buzzing.

There is something lovely about an overwhelming happiness
demanding to be felt and experienced.

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