*this is me offering an apology for filling your dashboard with asks. I just had time to answer a lot at once and I wanted to use that opportunity*
Anonymous asked: Are you in love?
Lots of things masquerade as love, and love itself can look like many varied things. I can only say with certainty that it would not shock me if I suddenly realized that I was, in fact, in love. But I want to be more careful next time I make that claim. Not because I’ve said it in vain before, but because it is no small thing and I won’t take it lightly.
Anonymous asked: I'm curious, where are you keeping your toothbrush these days... ?
In a toothbrush holder shared with three others who belong to really unique and beautiful women that I am fortunate to call friends. We share an old house with a big front porch and a beautiful yard and there are dogs and a cat and most days I feel very at home there. I also keep one in my purse because it feels awful to not be able to brush your teeth away from home when you need to.
Anonymous asked: do you think someone who's a christian or believes in God or whatever doesn't have the right to smoke cigs?
No, not at all. I hope you didn’t pull that from my writing, but if you did I assure you it was not what I meant to convey.
Anonymous asked: are you straight?
I have a really big crush on this guy I’m dating. He is truly wonderful.
I think women are intriguing, beautiful, attractive creatures. But I don’t think I would feel inclined to be in a romantic relationship with one.
Anonymous asked: how old are you & where are you from??
Less than two weeks from 24. :)
And I was born in California, but I grew up entirely in the mountains of North Carolina.
Anonymous asked: how do you show somebody you love them, especially when they dont trust you and feel like you always keep messing up. Please answer this question. I need an answer desperately.
Love, I am sorry for what you’re going through. I can just feel that it is hard on your spirit. It’s hard to give a specific answer when I only have a vague idea of the situation, but I will certainly try.
I think you must possess gentleness and patience. I think you need to try and understand from them why it is that they think you keep messing up. This is important 1. Because it will help them to feel that you genuinely care 2. It can be revealing to you of ways that you can make positive changes and 3. If this happens to be a situation where you will just “never be good enough”, you should know that and you should walk away as much as it might hurt. No one needs to stay in a relationship filled with ultimatums, impossible expectations, or conditional love. No one deserves that, especially not when there are countless people out there who would love you both for all you are and in spite of everything you are. People who would never cause you to question if you were “good enough”.
If “3” is not the case, then be a source of steadfastness in this person’s life. If you have lost their trust at any point, earning it back might not be easy. They have to relearn that you’re going to do your best to not reopen the same wounds, and more than that they need to see that you will be there while they heal.
Weather storms with them. Learn the delicate art of being a constant without making them feel like they can’t breathe on their own. We all need space to move our wings yet we all need to know (when we are, on our own, whole individuals and ready) that there is someone in our lives whose existence means that we’re not ever alone.
I hope it all works out…it will. <3
Anonymous asked: I hope you feel less "homeless" knowing about how many people your work has touched. Maybe your homes are becoming a little more than just places with people who are like family, and more of a group of people around the nation, and probably world who you are impacting.
I cried a little when I read this, and I have thought about it a lot ever since.
I just can’t tell you how much it meant or what an indescribable joy it is to feel like what I write could be affecting someone across the sea from me. Thank you.
written by Richard Rohr
What I want is someone who will
hold me forever
Who will love my mind
and let me into theirs
Which will be an old house
with many secret rooms
and only I will hold the keys
Anonymous asked: How should one deal with grief?
In a way that is unique to them. “Pain is pain” and what not but we all go through things differently. People will try to tell you how you should deal with grief and how they dealt with their similar grief. How, “Shouldn’t you be over that already?” etc. We have to let ourselves feel things no matter what it’s going to look like or how pretty or ugly it will be. If we don’t, we end up with “disenfranchised grief”. Suppressed emotion, essentially. Which never really heals. And, well, we all need to heal from something.
Please don’t ever be ashamed to grieve. Who are we to say how something should or should not affect someone’s heart?
I. Earlier, when I needed to feel alive again, I walked up the street to a coffee shop. I thought some combination of fresh air, sun, and the exchange of a five dollar bill for the work of someone’s hands would wake me from my hazy daydreams. On the way back to my car, I stepped on a man-hole cover and laughed remembering the time that one hadn’t been placed on correctly and I almost fell in. Then I remembered that I had been with you when it happened and I fell back to sleep.
II. Growing up feels like your skin no longer fits. Like you just want to crawl out of that thinly stretched space and lay down in the grass and sob for hours. Instead, I am in a cafe eating lunch and trying not to scream. Looking around wondering if anyone else in this building is doing the same thing, wondering if they ever have and, if so, how they got through it. Maybe I would calm down if I just had the assurance that other people have looked in the mirror and no longer recognized themselves. Maybe if I could sit across the table from an elderly woman and have her tell me that she lived through days where the covers over her head felt even better than an embrace and weeks where she drank her tears to keep from wetting her shirt sleeves, but that those years shaped her into an iron skeleton with a tender heart. That “worth it” was an understatement. Maybe then I would feel okay.
III. The most precious part of my day was when a three year old little girl reached into her pocket to pull out some time that she then placed gently in my hand. As I put in in my own pocket I said, “Thank you so much.” Never in a million years would I tell her the truth about time or how badly I wished our exchange could have been true.
IV. It’s said that home is where the heart is, but recent years have me thinking that home is anywhere you have a toothbrush. I think I am down to one.
V. I have spent too many days driving around with a cigarette having had only coffee for breakfast, wearing sunglasses to hide under-slept, water stained eyes, and listening to sad songs as if I’ve discovered some new land that exists only for me. Sadness often feels like the realest emotion, but we must not let it reign over the rest. The weight of sadness is meant to be felt. Lay in it. Let it press down on your chest. Let it shape you. But the minute you start to revel in it, throw it off with great force and walk into a new emotion. Put out your cigarette, finish your coffee, shock your eyes with ice and change the song. Sadness is not to be reveled in.
VI. Poetry makes me want my life to look just like it. I want my eyes to look like poetry. My food to taste like poetry. I want the way I drive a car to be poetic. The way I stretch slowly when I wake up, and the way I lean into the mirror to put poetically red stain on my lips. I want you to see me reading with my back against a tree and my head cocked a little to the side with a gentle expression on my face and think, “She looks so poetic today.” I want you to taste poetry when we kiss and God to hear poetry when I tell him secrets. I want my life to look like poetry but I tell myself it’s narcissism.
VII. Sit in graveyards. Read the stones and wonder about who lies under them. Gravestones with famous names carved into them mean no more than nameless rocks or bricks left in poverty but just so that loved ones could find them again. In these yards are lovers and mothers. Class clowns and abusive husbands. Teachers and their silent students. Gentlemen who loved their families well. Prostitutes, librarians, and that woman who used to sit in the park and talk to herself. She was a mother, too. People will tell you that one day no one will remember you anymore. Well, maybe one day there won’t be a single soul who remembers your name, but maybe their great grandmother does and maybe she taught them how to play piano just like you taught her. Maybe one day the sky will go dark and the world will be ashes floating in space. I cannot pretend to know. I know only that those lovers had lovers and those mothers had children. We are stones cast into the water who simply cannot understand how far out the ripples we create will extend.
VIII. Love will never feel the same way twice. We cannot expect the same set of good things nor should we brace ourselves for the same pains to repeat. We will find new joys. We will create new wounds, and find new ways of healing. Let us not devalue past love but let us not disgrace love itself by expecting it to look the same way in different light.
IX. It becomes so tempting to say, “Anything is better than nothing.” Some days it rings true, but on others “nothing” is a dull and fading ache and “anything” is a little shard of glass. Small, clear, flush with the skin and nearly impossible to remove, becoming a part of you until your body forces it out. Or until your skin heals over it allowing it to stay buried, but present, for always.
X. What I realize I need more than most things is a place that I can fall apart knowing that, by the end of it, the arms that greeted me will be tighter around me. Holding the pieces together. And, when I find it, I will leave a toothbrush.
“I may not have big boobs but I have a big heart” and other pick up lines for a body-obsessed culture.
This morning, I went into the store to get breakfast in last night’s clothes. Tired from talking instead of sleeping, kissing instead of talking, holding instead of kissing, and from loving in a non-existent kind of way.
You ask me why I’m sad. I’d like to tell you except that I can’t explain the way it washes over me, for a thousand reasons, so many times a day, any more than I can explain how it feels when at every other interval the sunlight falls just right and happiness makes me into its well-loved rag doll again. I can only tell you that I want to know that you sleep better at night when I cling to you like wet clothes. And that one of my favorite feelings is your breath on my back. That when I was a little girl I taught myself not to map out the details of a scenario in the way I wanted it to go because things never happened the way I imagined they would. I can tell you that being alive overwhelms me every hour on the hour and that is sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes nothing. Maybe instead of understanding why I’m sad you can know that the first time you put your hands in my hair I was scared of how normal it felt, and I have looked for the same comfort from your hands ever since. It’s only my own heartbeat that I cannot stand to feel, but if I can curl up under your arm, beside your ribcage, that precious sound will be louder than my sadness and I will fall asleep just fine.
Tonight, the air smelled of honeysuckles as my bare feet fell on the pavement. I breathed in deeply to remember that I am alive. I poured a cold glass of wine and only looked at it until it adjusted itself to the temperature of the room and wasn’t what I wanted anymore, yet I drank it anyway. I filled hours of thoughts I didn’t want to have with conversation that I needed as much as I needed bare feet on pavement. This is what I did today instead of dying.