Grow, Little Girl – a poem

My daughter, you are growing.

You aren’t a baby anymore.

And while I long for those days,

Holding you in my arms,

Staring into your wondering eyes,

I have never felt so connected to you.

You are growing, my sweet,

Into a beautiful little girl

Full of life, love, and happiness.

You amaze me with your smart mind

And strong heart.

I have no doubt you will do big things.

Promise me, my brave girl,

That you will not be afraid to become

The woman I know you can be.

I will always be here.

I will always stretch my arms wide

And protect you from the world,

But it is the world who needs you now.

When you are ready,

I hope you grow, little girl,

And take on this world,

For your determined heart and strong mind

Will be the strength it needs to

Grow.

Saying goodbye to the past

When my life rocked sideways during a time of loss, a friend I once considered a sister came to stay with me. photo-1461720486092-b6ee3f33d726She was only with me for twenty-four hours before we went our separate ways, but by the end of that time, something beautifully ashen transpired. We could feel it the moment she walked back into my life, but it wasn’t palpable until the end.

It was in the goodbye.

When I hugged her goodbye, it felt like I was letting go party of my childhood. I felt the angst of my teenage years, the pain and awkwardness as I passed through so many milestones. There was wonder and excitement at finding myself, testing my personality and finding that self actualization. It was all there within our embrace. A tangible energy I could feel gathering between us began to slowly fade away. Like I was releasing a part of me that I had outgrown and moved beyond. Not because it was immature or some underdeveloped piece of me. It was as if this piece of myself allowed me to become the person I am today, completed its mission, and was ready to be released.

The seconds it took to release the hold around her tiny frame were the most drawn out moments in my life. Everything that had once built me up disapated as her arms unwound around me. All of the years I had spent trying to find the person I wanted to be evaporated like a summer rain from the forefront of my mind, finding their place within my mind’s archive. I could feel it slipping from me, all that time spent angry and confused, fumbling and jubilated as I made my way through the day to day.

It wasn’t being thrown away or stuffed into the attic, never to be thought of again. No, it became the diploma hanging on the wall, or the photos you frame to never forget a memory. It became a dormant piece to my life puzzle, the outer frame of my past, but no longer what constituted my center, present day me. It became the footprints in the sand behind me, the path that led me here, but no longer the dominant pieces of me.

As she looked at me, possibly for the very last time, I could see it in her eyes, too. She felt it. The pillars in our lives shifting. We smiled and said one last goodbye. She looked over her shoulder at me, and for the first time in my life, I felt renewed. I had finally released my past and became the full realized person I had fought so hard to be.

She helped me get to this point. I will always love her for that. I will never forget or regret my past. It was the only way to get to where I am today. I look upon it now, hanging on the wall in my mind’s gallery of memories and smile, thankful for it all and overwhelmed by the journey.

I’m not who I was. I’ve grown and become someone I had always hoped I would be. I have a longer road ahead of me to become even more, but to the road I have left behind, its been a beautiful ride.

Loving Me

Not many people know this about me, but I’m choosing to share it because I refuse to let it control me anymore. I am an extremely self-conscious person, so much so that I can be my own worst enemy.

When I was a teenager, it was worse with all of the terrible experiences I endured, but dance and my part-time job were enough to distract me a majority of the time. As I graduated grade school, I had to find other ways in dealing with my self-respect, but it followed me into adulthood and threatened to consume me all too many times.

After getting married and having my daughter I was able to give myself some slack because I had proof that I was at least doing something right. A man who loves me, and a growing, thriving baby girl. Now, as my daughter gets older, I’m finding that I am beginning to fall back into my old pattern of chastising myself continuously for even the smallest of blips. I know it isn’t right or healthy, but I’m struggling to find ways to bring it to it’s final end.

As a teenager, I think I got to the point where I was self-loathing, but I haven’t sunk that low in a long time. I want to be stronger for my husband, and a better role-model for my daughter. I want to grow and live a life of love. I never want to go down that dark road again, so here’s my way of assuring I don’t. tom-ezzatkhah-103592.jpg

I’m vowing right now to love myself. I’m promising that I will not allow my mind to explore the idea that I’m not good enough, or that my efforts are pointless. I’m swearing right now that I will be my greatest cheerleader in the days, years to come. If nothing else is true in this world, we have this one body, one chance to do our best. I refuse to let myself be my own stop sign.

It’s a heavy topic, one that took me a while to really talk about, but I hope this may help someone else see the light, and change their thinking. Love yourself first because you are the only person in this world who really knows you.

Growing Up Is Hard, But I Had You.

Growing up is hard. In elementary school, I had more friends than I knew what to do with. In middle school, I had a lot of friends and a group of people I considered best friends. As high school started, friends became acquaintances, and a few of those from the group of best friends shined greater than the rest. As you grow older, you lose friends. It’s a fact of life. But there are those that stick with you through it all.

Now into adulthood, three of those people from the best friend group of high school proved to be ride or die, loyal friends. They were there for me during times of loss, times of pain. They were there for me in times of joy and happiness. Hell, they were bridesmaids in my wedding. These three women have been part of my life for well over fifteen years and helped make me who I am today. Without them, growing up would have been even harder, but together, we made it through.

CMN and I met in elementary school. We clicked immediately in second grade which isn’t hard for seven years olds, and even through the hardships of growing up and finding ourselves, through times of fights and arguments, we have remained close. KMK and KAK are twins I met in middle school, and through the years, I was always close to both of them, but sometimes closer to one than the other. KMK was my maid of honor at my wedding, and was my best friend until a few years ago, but we still kept in touch. KAK and I got into mischief in high school, and over the past few years have remained in contact as much as possible. We grew up together, the four of us, and I couldn’t imagine life without any of them.

So when I got a phone call from CMN telling me that KAK passed away, I broke. I’m still broken. This girl that I spent my life with, going through boys, cars, and babies, is gone. This beautiful, amazingly talented, passionate woman will never again call or text me just to check-in. I literally feel as if part of my heart and soul has been severed.

How do you go from living with someone as part of your life to not? How do you turn the last fifteen plus years into a memory? I can’t imagine how to go through my day without thinking of checking in, just to say hey, with her. I can’t imagine not hearing about what color her hair is today or what new piercing she has. I can’t imagine not hearing her laugh, or growl, or some bodily function ever again. I just don’t know how to handle losing someone so tightly woven into my life that I wasn’t prepared to lose.

KAK is a year older than me. She is so full of life, light of any party or conversation. She literally could change anything negative into a giggle fest. She never knew exactly what to say which is why she always knew exactly what to say. She is a talented artist, an amazing listener, and a fantastic housekeeper. This woman is beautiful inside and out, and will forever live within my heart.

Rest easy, KAK. I love you always, my sister.