The Writer and The Rain

He turns the page and listens quietly. The rain begins to pick up as it launches itself against the single small window in his room where the moon normally shines through, illuminating his dark and damp basement in a tender glow. Only, tonight the moon is hidden and the sound of rain is the only entity he is greeted by.

He restlessly shuts his journal while his eyes lightly come to a close and rests the beat up and torn paged book against his chest. Tonight he didn’t throw the dingy leather journal across the shallow room to collide with his trophy collection that resides on the wooden table in the corner of his room. Instead he allows the journal to rest against his bare chest, bringing the book to finally meet his heart, the birthplace of the words that live within the sad torn and wrinkled pages of his journal.

Soon he will realize that what he desires is not so far away from him, all he has to do is turn yet another page, but not only in the pages of his journal, but in the pages of his life. He will realize the sound of rain is still company, the torn pages of his journal are still worthy of his writing, and the small, dark basement he sleeps in can be a great place to dance. All he needs is to open himself up, let the words pour out, and find a dancing partner.

Today’s Thought

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see yourself through somebody else’s eyes? Or maybe wonder what certain people think of you as you meet for the first time or pass on the street?

I constantly wonder what some people think of me because as someone who deals with negativity that has settled in their mind, being able to see or know yourself through someone else’s perspective could prove that everything that we think poorly of ourselves really doesn’t matter and doesn’t define us.

I know I am not the only one who feels self conscious about parts of their body, or say”I hate the way I sound”, or thinks of themselves as unattractive, but I know we only think this way because we are on the search for perfection and always compare ourselves to those around us.

Being able to see myself through a stranger’s eyes would be an experience that could prove all of what I have thought about myself wrong. We are so much more than how we look or sound, and honestly we all look and sounds perfectly fine, so why do we obsess so much?!

 

The Artsy Downfall

It may have taken me a long time to realize that writing is an art but I have grown to understand that art is an entity that can be found all around us. I wouldn’t say that I come out to people when they first meet me and address myself as an artist, I’d rather address myself as a writer just to keep things simple and to prevent any unintended questions or comments, but thinking of myself as an artist is empowering. I love the idea that I am creating art through my words, through the madness that erupts from my mind and oozes from my pen across sheets of paper. And like most artists, my work feels far less than perfect.

You may hear that many artists will never be satisfied with what they’ve created because they will constantly view it as a work in progress. What pulls a work in progress to a finished piece anyway? How does one make that judgment? I think back to when I was in high school and I remember my teacher giving us thirty minutes for a free write. She said we could turn in our paper sooner than thirty minutes but we need to make sure we are proud of what we have created and have produced a completed story. I took the full thirty minutes for that free write (which isn’t all that surprising) and ended up putting those pieces of paper with my story into my backpack and took it home.

She said the story had to be complete and we needed to be proud of it, how was I to be proud of a story when I only had thirty minutes to write it? I was so thrown off by this assignment that I never turned it in. Now, this was before I realized I wanted to get into the art of writing and dedicate my college career to learning more about it, if that wasn’t the case I’m sure this would have raised a few red flags about my inability to accept my work as ‘finished’ or to really be one hundred percent happy with what I have produced.

Today I will write essays, short stories, and poems with the intention to write something that will be a representation of myself, an exact copy of what I envision in my mind, and yet I always miss that feeling of complete satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, I have been proud of some of the pieces I have created; however, I will never be able to read and reread those pieces without a judgmental and revising eye. But this is how I feel all artists are. I doubt a painter is able to look at their piece without scanning it for flaws and for places where they wish they could have used a different color or brushed the paint in another direction.

We are always trying to improve ourselves and I guess coming to terms with the idea that my work will never be perfect will be something I’ll learn to live with. I can do that, right?

 

Becoming the Knight

Why is it that we search for a savior

When we are the ones who should do the saving?

We wait for someone, as we continue to fight,

Until they suddenly appear and carry us to safety.

But what if they too need saving?

The knight in shining armor is stuck in a rut,

Crying at night, and sleeping during the day.

Their sword hung up on the wall next to the cabinet

where dusty, empty liquor bottles now reside.

So, where is your sword and suit or armor?

Are you willing to be the savior instead of waiting

For your life to fall into place while your lover sinks further

into the darkness of their minds?

Fight for them and be their hero.

How Do We Live?

Life is a strange thing where instead of looking at what we have right in front of us and admiring who we are in this second, we look towards the future and wish for change. There is so much in front of us in this moment and yet we only care about what we will make of ourselves next week, next month, next year, and even ten years from now.

I constantly feel like I am waiting for something or waiting for someone, but who? What? Why do I feel as though I need to have someone in my life to be happy when I can easily make something of myself all while alone?

I wonder, what would happen if instead of holding out for someone and waiting for that to push me into something different and better than who I am now, I live in the moment and live for me.

How many moments have we missed by waiting and wishing and living for something that could happen tomorrow or maybe not for ten years? Too many, that’s how many.

I wanna live for the moment and live for myself because this life may be the only one I have, and who knows, maybe I’m missing a part of my life that truly brings peace and happiness. Maybe there is something more than waiting and hoping. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

If you need me I’ll be living my life.

Coffee Appreciation

Subway tiles glow under golden lights.

Noises blend and clinks clatter from porcelain mugs

As the coffee brews and the espresso gains authority

Before the deep sleep deprivator meets its creamy maker.

A hopeful beginning to a helpless night,

A simple reminder to remain in the fight,

For power comes in mugs and plastic to go cups

Just waiting to see you fly and colors erupt.

Swimming in a Sea of Anxiety

And so it begins… An anxiety ridden college student has finally taken the plunge and received a job offer. You may see it as a small and simple cafe job; however, I see it as a sea of new information I need to soak in to stay afloat in this workplace and to stay alive. Okay, so ‘stay alive’ is a bit melodramatic, but in my mind this restaurant job is completely new and littered with places for me to fail.

I started off this job searching journey as a kind of pass time. I knew that eventually I would have to dive in full force when I would actually get a response back and then eventually be stressed about learning all of this new information, and yet, I took the process slow and didn’t really think too much into what would come soon after.

I applied for a barista position at a local cafe that I go to on a regular basis but got turned down because I could only work part-time. Then my dad noticed that another cafe/restaurant I enjoy going to is also hiring. I expected this application process to be very similar as my last: sending in my resume and cover letter but not hearing back for a few weeks. Instead the day after I sent in my resume and cover letter for this cafe I had a response by the next morning.

At first I was elated. Finally I’m one step close to having my own job and I will actually have some kind of real income (so long babysitting and dog walking). We (the owner and I) then set up an interview for the following day, which went very well with barely any nerves coming from my side (which surprised me) and then I was invited back for an evaluation period where I would shadow a few workers. Even this didn’t stress me out, at least not yet. I went home after the interview and felt accomplished and ready to dive in, but then when I was picking out my outfit for my evaluation period that would take place in two days, I began to panic.

Everything suddenly sunk in and hit me like a tidal wave, I know nothing about food service, I barely know their menu because I can only eat a few things among their meat filled entrees, and although I aquired a free working espresso machine off my neighbor’s stoop (true story), I know nothing about making a latte, cappuccino, macchiato, americano, cafe au lait, chai tea latte, mocha, miso caramel latte, or any other espresso beverages! I was diving head first but I had no clue what to expect just below the surface.

Yesterday was my evaluation period and did not learn as much as I expected. The workers I shadowed were extremely nice and helpful and through the process I only saw the owner once, so all that he would go off of would be the word of the workers whom say they enjoyed having me around and said that I was helpful. Because of how busy they were, however, I only poured cold or hot brewed coffee, a few ice teas, or ran food orders. It was a fun experience that was relatively low in stress for me (at least until I became challenged with knowing what different orders were when I have not been visually familiarized with their meat selections). I’ve studied the menu before going through the evaluation period to memorize the order names but didn’t use that as much as I expected either.

I left the cafe yesterday feeling proud of myself for what I managed to get through and for not screwing up too bad, and later that night got an email from the owner with a job offer. I GOT THE JOB! Of course I have way more training to go through before I am fully comfortable and have all that I need to know scratched into my brain, but I am officially of the cafe team.

So studying I will continue, stressing I will also continue, and causing mini panic attacks I will also continue as I think way too far into this whole process. Not only will I have to memorize the cafe menu and espresso drinks, but also a small cocktail list and how to make them, a wine list along with the different glasses used for each drink, and a beer list. I will have to memorize and become familiar with the different meat options and try to understand and explain to a customer how each one is prepared (even if I cringe each time I think of it), and finally I have to realize that this environment is new and mistakes will happen. I am destined to mess up sooner or later but I need to push past those moments with a semi crazy smile on my face and just keep pushing forward no matter how embarrassed I get.

 

In a World of Sunbeams I am a Walking Shadow

Confidence is what I desire. Being able to fit into a new setting with as much power and glow that I seem to fit naturally; a perfect piece to any puzzle. But instead I fight with myself. I may begin with as much life and sheen as any other; however, soon I begin to unravel and crumble back into the weak self that I try so much to coat with all the bells and whistles that come with confidence, only to have them later hit the floor.

I managed to work up the courage to go into that job interview; shining bright as the sun; personable, bright, beaming, and radiant. It wasn’t until I got home later that night that I began to unravel and fold back into myself. The interview went well (probably better than I’m imagining it to have gone) and have been asked to come back for an evaluation period to see how easily I pick up information and work with the staff. I was elated to be asked to come back because it means I am one step closer to having a job in the field I wish to have my  own business one day.

I felt accomplished and yet when I arrived back at my apartment and realized what just happened and let all the emotions sink in, instantly I began to panic. The simple decision of what I was going to wear on that day put me in a frenzy and near a full blown panic attack. I am proud of myself for not letting these crazed emotions take control of me, and yet, I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that I CAN actually get through all of this and these feelings of doubt and fear are not necessary. In fact, if anything I am over prepared. I have studied the menu and have practically everything memorized except for the alcohol menu, and despite not having previously worked in a cafe or have made all of the espresso drinks, I have the measurements and ingredients memorized. So what am I worried about?! Why can’t I just own my confidence and let everything fall into place as it will? I’m prepared. I’m smart. I have so much more potential than what I am showing myself. I just hope I can find this confidence somewhere deep within me and fight back against those shadows that tend to cover and shade my body and mind, and instead let the small sun grow from my soul and shine through my skin. Just please shine, sun, before Thursday.

Piece by Piece They Float Away

The world is busy with everyone moving and leaving pieces of them behind, forgetting who they are and not caring enough to go back and put themselves back together.

Here lies a piece of happiness, left behind by a working woman in a business suit. Her kids are at home with a babysitter, she can’t shake the image of them lying in their beds as she whispered in their ears, “I’ll be home soon”, while knowing she would miss them going to bed later that night.

In the middle of the street lies a piece of a man’s courage as he continues down the same road despite his dream of becoming a writer. His parents give his this job and leaving the family business would mean losing his father’s respect and his mother’s love.

Floating in a puddle and descending towards a storm drain is a child’s creativity. He is growing older and playing with his younger sister and her dolls is no longer acceptable. His father picked out action figures from the toy store, all while his son stared into the aisle with princess dresses and barbie dolls.

Their missing pieces drop one by one as they walk down the street. I watch them begin to lose themselves and while they’re not looking, I pick them up. Maybe one day they will want these pieces back. The pieces that would complete them and give them the life they wish to have, the one that makes them whole.