just a part of me

I grew up in a world where it was not okay to be quiet–

in some ways, I still live there.

Soccer practices, soccer games,

school hallways, overflowing lunchrooms

family parties,

hanging out with friends.

Being labeled,

The Quiet One

felt like wearing an oversized sweater,

one I could sink into and never be found.

In college,

I spent one night peering into a bar

from a long, underaged line

and met a young man.

I spoke to him for ten minutes,

and he took my phone number

without me realizing it

(but that’s another poem).

He messaged me later

calling me,

Shy Girl.

After living in a locker room

for what felt like the two years prior

seemingly ignored

by supposed friends–

I couldn’t help but accept the label.

Of course,

I am Shy Girl.

Naturally,

I am The Quiet One.

Blurring into the background is just part of the package.

Society wanted personable presidents and extroverted aristocrats;

I was a simple shadow,
my identity

the pen that fell out of my hands.

Was I really ignored for being introverted?

Was I really unaccepted in full

because I’d rather listen to your story

than fill up space with my own?

Is it true

that this happens to children every day?

When we think “micro-aggression”

we often think “race,”

“gender,”

“sexuality.”

I want the conversation to start including

“personality”

because the fact that children can feel unwanted,

not enough,

simply because they are being themselves…

it is not okay in my book.

It’s only when I started writing it myself

that I realized being part “introvert”

is but a simple petal on a flower,

a single leaf on a tree–

it’s just a part of me.

October 1, 2015

Reading about micro-aggressions in graduate school brought up this thought, these memories.   Can you relate? 

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Surrender

When I was younger
my doubt came in the form of a size 4
black and white
soccer ball
“Can I win,
can I beat the player
these coaches have formed inside of my head?”
I wrote
and I wrote
and finally I forgave

I created a new reality of real-life-results
and they stuck.

Today I read words that reminded me of that time
“Everything is to be nurtured,”
and I cannot think literally about this.

We must think clearly,
sharply,
simply
about what the nurtured soul is to begin with.

Asking myself,
“How do I feel?”
Without judgement,
without delay
is most likely the most important question
I will have asked myself in four years
the last time I stepped on the field
that I believed scarred me

It had given me strength.

Beauty is to be nurtured
Simplicity is to be nurtured
Love is to be nurtured.

For buried under all that nasty doubt,
my final enemy,
is a white flag
I know as freedom.

Home

I’m not looking for The One.

I suppose I’m just looking for the one I won’t get tired of.

……

The number of betrays I have felt–

they are buried down deep

and it was not until I was ready enough to hold the shovel

that I could dig them out and start to peek

at the friends that I fell for,

the hearts that broke

a piece of mine away

and it’s like I’m still looking for the pieces.

…..

I never intend for much of anything

to happen

because once I feel like something is “home”

like someone is “home”

I want nothing more but to stay in one place

in time

and swim as the minutes swoon,

tears fall, smiles appear

…..

I don’t want them to go away;

this explains why my biggest fear is change

….

Not just any change,

like the nickels in my pocket,

the grass stain on my shirt,

my aging years, the new day coming

….

We learn lessons not from god,

but from his gifts

this world is nothing but experience

and yet all we want is not thankfulness,

but choice

between “who” and “what” and “when”

and the childhood friends that soiled your memories

or maybe just burned up the sides

of the one polaroid you have left.

..

All I want is to go home.

.

All I need is to realize, to accept,

that home is not the same place it was when I left it.

………………………………………………………………………….

May, 25, 2015