Just be

I used to think marriage,
Think children; a whole house filled
I used to think not quite picket fence
More like wrap around porch
And weeping willow by the lake

I used to think cookies baking
Lemonade sipping at sunset
And laughter, lots of laughter

I used to think you,
Not just you but you and me,
Think kisses, think safety, think love.
Now I think I thought too much
Now I live now, not later
Now I don’t think about you

Don’t think about us
Don’t think about the potential we had
Decided not to fret about a fairytale
Decided not to dwell on what isn’t
what won’t, what can not.

Chose to let go of frivolous thoughts
It hurt to hold on to loving you
I Chose to let go of what hurt so long to hold on to
Chose to just be.
Un-holding
Un-held
No thinking about not thinking.
I think I figured out how to just be.

 

The leap

This is a super short story (less than 500 words) that I wrote as part of a writing prompt given by @writerlytweets We were asked to begin with the words “She jumped” and write for ten minutes. This is what I came up with. 

leapsharp 

   She jumped, well figuratively speaking, since her feet\ never actually left the ground. But she did indeed leap and did so without looking for fear of freaking out. We all have those things that just get to us, the ones that we can’t help but attempt to avoid at all costs. This was one for her. She had stayed up all night contemplating the options that lay ahead of her. Should she stick this out, see what it could really become or should she just call it quits and get the heck out of dodge?

   Love was not something Remy understood before she met Miles, and to be honest, it’s still not something she understands even after realizing she just may love him. She had always been on the outside of what was normal; no real family, no education beyond high school and no worthy relationships. Her life had been a series of events that led her to circumstances beyond her control. She worked, and at work she minded her own business. Then she went home…alone. Well technically she wasn’t completely alone because she counted Mr. sniffles, her light brown and white haired cat. She and Mr. sniffles were doing just fine on their own until one day Miles walked into the coffee shop and ordered a tall caramel mocha and double chocolate chunk cookie from her. He’d made some lame joke that surprisingly made Remy laugh without even meaning to. He had told her she had a beautiful smile and promised to come back to see it again. He hadn’t lied. In fact, he came by every day for two weeks just to speak with her for reasons she still cannot comprehend. Eventually, she gave in to his requests and joined him for dinner. Since that night they’d been inseparable.

   Love is not something Remy can explain. It took a lot more than two weeks of coffees to bring her to this ledge, her and Miles spent nearly a year learning one another as friends and testing her limits. He told her he loved her early on, but said that he’d wait for her to be ready to accept that from him. He honored his word, never pushing or pressuring her. It just hit her that she couldn’t imagine her life without him in it. So tonight, she stands before him, eyes filled with fright and awe, and she just does it. She jumps. It is every bit as scary as she thought it would be but loving someone outweighs that fear. And being loved outweighs everything else.

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A moment of kindness

Just wanted to share the kind note I received at work last night!

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One of my customers at the restaurant I work at wrote that on the back of her receipt after they paid and I didn’t see it until after they’d left. The thing is, they never mentioned anything about my poetry during their meal, I had NO IDEA they had ever heard me perform or read my work. It’s crazy being recognized for the thing I love to do and I am so happy that someone would take the time to let me know they think I’m doing something right!

I’d love it if you guys could take the time to let someone else know that you appreciate what they do. Send them a message or send them a tweet to let them know you appreciate them 🙂

If you happen to be the person that left this for me, thank you! That was so kind and made a rough day better 🙂

My possibly unpopular opinion on racism…

I don’t normally discuss this because it’s a tricky topic but I felt like expressing a few thoughts on the matter: racism. It’s something that is so huge and constantly focused on. It’s this massive thing that takes all of the air out of the room in an instant. People put so much energy into what lies in the past that it has no choice but to be a part of the present and ultimately the future. As an African American (which I won’t even get into the details of how much that lable annoys me right now) I find myself constantly on edge anytime I encounter other “African Americans” encountering “white America”. I just know someone will yank out race card for some unnecessary reason and it’s embarrassing. Is racism a current issue? Of course, it will never cease to be because hatred and lack of acceptance is hard to eradicate. Yes, there are racists all over the world, and they have children who grow up to become racists and so the cycle continues and will always do so. But not every white person hates black people or Asians or Latinos and vice versa. So when I hear generalizations it bothers me. When I hear people speaking of racism I hear them say “I hate white people because they’re all racist”. No. They aren’t all racist, in fact I’m 100% sure that the person making that remark is indeed the racist.

I guess the main opinion that I want to share with you all (which I’m fully prepared for the vote of unpopular opinion I may receive for this) is that racism will be forever perpetuated by “reverse racism”. I know I know, a lot of people don’t believe that’s a thing. Ultimately neither do I, but that’s only because at the end of the day I believe it doesn’t matter which side it is coming from or going to, if it’s racism it’s racism. But the thing is, some people feel they are not racist when they make negative remarks against a whole other race just because said race is the majority. News flash, that’s racism. I guess the way I see it is this: racism is a stereotype that White Americans endure. Same as Black Americans endure the stereotype that they are lesser. Lesser educated, poised and stable. Which we all know is not true in every case. Of course like all stereotypes, there’s some truth to them. However, they are only the truths of the sums of each races parts and not the whole. Every race has faults, that’s what being human boils down to most days. We all have the potential to be the same person whether we are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, gay, straight, Catholic, Christian…so on and so forth. These are all labels we use to define the things that separate us from the person next to or across from us. They share our existence but they do not make us who we are at our cores. Once you strip those labels away the only one that is left is human. That is the only race that we should be fighting for. Yes each group has their own cultures and that’s beautiful. Own it. But I don’t believe the difference should be used as weapons, we only fight ourselves to use them as such.

Will my thoughts on this subject matter much? Maybe not. But I share them with you anyway. I don’t intend to take away from anyone else’s experience with racism. If you’ve experienced it then I can understand the sensitivity you have for the issue. I only ask that you do not judge a whole entire group for the actions and words of only a fraction of them. It is never fair to box in a group and label them without knowing where they stand. I am not your “typical black woman” I guess, and yes that’s another one of those pesky labels. But it doesn’t bother me. I am human first and the culture of my ancestry comes after that. It does not define me wholly, only my actions and the way I live my life can do that. My last words on racism is this; racism is something that only thrives because we feed it. I’m not so much an optimist that I think we can do away with it altogether but I believe we can diminish its flames, make it something less frequent. The key is to let it go, to not hold it in your hearts against those who did not do the harm. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible either.

So those are my thoughts. I’d love to know what you think in the comments below and you can feel free to discuss this further with me via Twitter @talichaj

One day

One day I’ll be back for you
One day I’ll be back for you…

We are not always meant to be
sometimes time has to step in between
And it hurts
The miles that stretch out in the space our hearts are supposed
to reside in goes on for days

I want to hold you
But I know it is not our era yet
One day I will kiss you and you will
Not taste the years we’ve lost

I will touch you and you will not feel
The way I grasp at you as though you are still
Only a part of my dreams

Instead you will feel warmth
And you will feel love
Because that is all I have for you
And one day I will come back to you, for you
Until then, live, love my love but never forget me

One day I’ll be back for you
One day I’ll be back for you…

Well, I decided to write this and record it in the wee hours of the night. So just like my last post “Laws and love” this one is pretty rough. Hopefully this too will be re-recorded but I still wanted to share what I’ve been up to with you guys. Thanks for reading/listening, let me know what you think in the comments. Feel free to tweet me @talichaj and I will see you guys next time! Have a great day 🙂

Laws and love

The law is that an object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by a force.
My heart was once still as water on a quiet night
Until you threw your smile like skipping stones across it
Now it never experiences moments of halcyon tranquility

I am ever stirring with thoughts of you propelling me in multiple directions
As if you are everywhere and I am incapable of stopping until you make me
For an object in motion will remain in motion unless an external force acts upon it
In other words, you move me and if you do not interrupt me I will go on forever, loving you

You, you moon of a man I will beg the stars to move over just to make room for me
But they will not budge, I know, for you are a brilliant bright in the blinding night and they all just want to be near you
I wonder do you give them all the same crescent smile you tossed my way?
Is that why they never stay put in the sky, why I often lose them from my sight?

You are a force, like wind, only I can wrap my arms around you and I can feel your fingers dancing along my spine and I can look into those Bermuda triangles you’ve got for eyes and lose myself within them without worry. Some days you are stronger then you mean to be and you push me further from your reach but it never stops me from moving, loving.

For An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by a force
And I was once just an object at rest until you acted upon me.

Hope you guys enjoyed my newest poem. It’s still rough as I just wrote and recorded it within an hour. Maybe one day I’ll get the chance to do a legit recording of this piece as I rather like it. If you enjoyed “Newton’s Law” let me know in the comments below. Also, feel free to tweet me about this, or about the weather or how great or horrible your day is, you know whatever you want to tweet me here: @talichaj thanks! Have a great day 🙂

You have to hurt to heal…

I’m of a broken jigsaw puzzle,
no picture to help you piece all the scattered parts of me.
I’m not easy to figure,
no quick calculations here dear,
if you want to know my secrets, just ask.
I won’t scratch, I won’t bite,
I may lie here and there,
I’m no angel, though sweet faced,
Only human I make mistakes.

Tear me down as long as you’ll build me up better.
Break the seal I’ve put in place.
Don’t worry about hurting me,
for you can do no worse than I have.
You have to hurt to heal they say.

And I won’t question your intentions
as long as you don’t question mine.
And I won’t bleed if you don’t cut me.
So try not to tattoo my fragile heart with pain.

I play tough to make it through the day.
Avoid all the hurts in hopes they’ll fade away.
But hiding only pulls me closer to myself
So I’ll be waiting, hero come save me.

Tear me down as long as you’ll build me up better.
Break the seal I’ve put in place.
Don’t worry about hurting me,
You can do no worse than I have.
You have to hurt to heal they say.

These are the lyrics to a song I wrote a while ago. I can’t find the music for it anymore 😦 but figured I’d still share this with you guys. Thanks for reading! 

First time in Washington D.C.!

So a couple of weeks ago a friend and I drove to DC. It was my first time there and despite the rain we had a lot of fun. I thought I’d share a few of the pics with you guys since it’s been a while since I shared anything with you besides poetry.

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Back on stage!

Hey guys!

So as you know I am a poet/spoken word artist, but over the last eight months I have not been performing for various reasons. Well no more! Last night I went out to open mic night and got on stage for the first time in so long and it felt like home! I was super nervous the whole time I was waiting for my name to be called. My stomach was trying to commit suicide, my mouth became a desert and my poor little heart was a super bouncy ball uncontrollably flying around the walls of my chest. Yep, nervous. Then I get up there in front of this room full of strangers and did THIS poem and the nervousness just…evaporated. I went from full out “OMG OMG OMG” to Zen Master just like that. It was amazing. I actually got lost in my poem while I was speaking it, I guess I went to the place I was when I wrote it. I didn’t black out or anything which I know some people tend to do when they get really deep into a poem, I was just less aware of my surroundings except for the moments I deliberately looked to the crowd for eye contact to make sure they were with me…and they were!

As a poet, when I’m on stage performing I take seriously facial expressions and the little noises people make. If I look out and everyone has a glazed over look on their faces then I know that they are not really feeling what I’m saying (which luckily has not ever really happened). But when I look out and see smiles on peoples faces or just an intent expression, like they are really listening or understanding what I’m saying, I know I’ve done good. If people laugh at something I intentionally made funny, I feel good. And if people make the mmmm noises, you know those sounds people make when they agree or strongly feel something, then I feel good. Because all those things mean I’ve managed to engage the audience and that I’m bringing them something they want/need to hear.

I’m so very excited to have done that last night. I was worried because it was my first time on stage in forever AND I was performing something that I’d never performed before. I had NO idea what to expect. The night went amazingly well and I am back in the game! So happy!

A little inspiration!

Saw this on Tumblr today. I LOVE it!

Keeping up the good work!

So I went for my one mile jog today and it simultaneously felt awesome and sucky. Physically I was great, I mean my breathing did feel a little off and less natural than normal but it still came easy enough. My legs did feel the burn today but it was nothing that I couldn’t/didn’t push through. Why my jog was a bit sucky is because mentally I kept telling myself I should just take a little break, only do .5 miles then walk a little then finish the mile. So I had to keep talking myself into continuing. But I did it, I kept moving and I actually beat my time by a little over 30 secs! I came in with a pace of 11 mins and 55 seconds so I’m really happy about that. I want to get to a point where I can jog the mile in ten minutes so hopefully by the end of this week I’ll be there!

I also did my squats after my jog today, 45 for the squat sept challenge and then I did this blogilates squat challenge that had my body BURNING! I can def feel that my form is improving because let me tell you, I was feeling this lol!

Proud of my progress :)

I’m really excited about the progress I made today when I went for my jog. That’s right, my jog not wog (walk/jog) as I usually do. That’s because today I Jogged my first mile with no breaks, not a one stop or slow down at all and I didn’t feel like I was going to die! Sure about three quarters in I started to weaken mentally as my mind is not used to being so supportive of my physical endeavors for such a long time. Usually right around the half mile mark I’ve talked myself into believing I couldn’t just keep going and so I stop, walk for another half mile then jog again. Today I did not let my mind get the best of me. Each time I passed a quarter mile mark I told myself to just push. And so I did. I pushed past each marker with confidence and it felt great. For some, this does not sound like such a victory, especially those who are up to running over four miles a day, but to me this is amazing. I have never pushed myself physically. I have been overweight/obese practically my whole life. I always gave in before even completing a minute worth of jogging in the past. I didn’t believe I could do it. It hurt, I couldn’t breathe, I’d get a stitch in my side and that would be enough for me to call it quits. Not anymore, my legs burn on the hills but it’s a good burn, it tells me I’m doing something right. I’ve found my groove that allows me to breath evenly and automatically. I guess you could say I’ve learned to let my body do what it naturally does by just letting go and moving forward. And yeah I get that pain in my side every now and again, yes it hurts like h-e-double hockey sticks but I still keep going I push through it and it kinda becomes irrelevant.

I guess I say this as a reminder to myself months later when hopefully I have progressed to jogging multiple miles in one day with no breaks, that I have come a long way. That I am doing something that has made a difference in my life. And if I have not progressed I hope months later I come across this and remember the feeling I have about myself and my body and become re-motivated to get back out there. Of course I have no plans of stopping now!

To all the fitness blogs I follow, I may not speak to you guys often but know that you are all inspiring and before I go out each morning I check out your blogs for motivation. Thank you for sharing, hopefully I will be able to inspire someone one day too!

Linsanity vs. Mayweather…

By now you’ve all heard about Linsanity right? If you haven’t, google Jeremy Lin, he is pretty much kicking butt in the NBA right now for the Knicks. Lin is Asian and a lot of people have been saying that all the hype about Lin is simply because of that fact. Tonight fighter Floyd Mayweather, a boxer, tweeted:

“Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”

After getting quite a negative response to that he went on to tweet:

“Other countries get to support/cheer their athletes and everything is fine. As soon as I support Black American athletes, I get criticized.”

“Wow what a country.”
So where do I start…
I think it’s all fine and dandy that he wants to support black american athletes but I don’t get why he has to chock up the hype surrounding Lin to the fact that he is Asian. The truth is this; Lin is a good player, he is doing a lot for his team this season and deserves the attention that he has been receiving.
I could see if black american athletes did not receive praise for what they do, but even as someone who doesn’t follow sports too closely, I’ve always heard a majority of the praise going to said black american athletes. Kobe and Lebron have been two athletes who over the years have received so much attention because of their abilities.
I think that the comments he made were unnecessary.  However, I do believe every one is entitled to their own opinions and if he feels that way, he feels that way. Like my previous post Things you should never have to apologize for  says, if he truly believes that way, then he shouldn’t have to say sorry. But I think it was the wrong message to send. You don’t give praise by taking it from someone else, and you don’t take praise well earned from someone who deserves it just to prove a point.
Yeah, Asians are usually not in the spot light when it comes to things like sports but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Lin proves that point. Does being Asian have something to do with the hype? I say that it’s a part of it but only because he is so good, that’s the part that comes first. If he wasn’t good then the attention would have never come in the first place to even debate about the impact his race has on the whole situation.
I say why does it matter if the person is black american, asian american, white or any thing else? If you’re good at what you do, you’re good at what you do, end of debate.
What do you guys think about the situation?

Things you should never have to apologize for

Never say you’re sorry just to end the argument
Don’t apologize for feeling
Never take back an action you meant with all your heart &
If someone tells you the you owe them an apology you probably do but…

It’s tricky business, dealing with what’s good for you and what works for others
Sometimes the lines blur and become so distorted that they are no longer seen
Often times while those lines have vanished from our sight we roam along the other side

The places we were never expected to dwell become the very places we find ourselves in
Never apologize for taking an unorthodox journey to find your self , even if in the process you offend someone

I’m not telling you to be reckless and destructive and intentionally tear down bridges with others
I’m saying don’t feel bad about believing in something even if no one else does
I’m saying be true,
That scares people; to see someone exceed while being beyond ordinary

It worries them to have the lines crossed, bent and eventually broken
But you must never, ever allow anyone to believe that you for one second thought you needed to be sorry for that.

Greatness is often disregarded and even downgraded because it’s more than what most are capable of
And this society, oh how we love to tear down anything outside of the normal
Break the mold, burn it and destroy all the blue prints because you are the only one who can be you
And there is nothing to be sorry for about that.
Never ever apologize for being yourself.

FWF: The Last Letter

Another Free Write Friday writing prompt from Kellie Elmore’s blog Magic in the Backyard

You wake to find yourself in a strange house and you cannot remember your own name. You roll over and see a letter by the bed.
Is it for you? Who is it from? What does it say? Does it explain where you are and why?

The Last Letter

It’s early morning. I can tell by the way shadows of a tree’s leaves outside the window play across the white washed wall. Birds are chirping as if they are trying to stir me from the warmth of the bed. It takes a moment before I realize I don’t recognize the white  blanket sprawled across my legs. Or the pillow beneath my head. And more importantly…I don’t remember who I am.

I sit up, so quickly my head begins to spin and the only way to right the room is to close my eyes and breath deep. Everything up to this moment is a blur and I think I must have had a few drinks too many at whatever bar I had to have been at last night. I’m dressed in a white tank top, pale blue bottoms and my hair is a tousled mess atop my head, I can barely run my fingers through.

I swing my legs over the edge of the bed trying to remember where I am. The floor is cold beneath my bare feet and I immediately pull them back up onto the bed into the warmth. The room is really small, the only furniture it houses is the bed and a small table next to it. A mirror hangs on the wall to the left. On the right there are two doors, I assume one leads to a closet the other an exit. Whoever lives here definitely could use a woman’s touch to spruce up the place. On the table is lamp, very plain and dull and next to it an envelope. I pick it up, examining it, trying to decide if the contents are made for me or not.

What if it’s not for me? I don’t want to invade someone else’s privacy. Then again, it’s probably just a letter from whoever I clearly came home with last night. I bet they are telling me I can find some coffee on the counter and to lock the door on my way out. Hopefully it will at least tell me who the heck I am. It isn’t sealed so I just pull out the folded slip of paper.

I don’t know where to start. I don’t even know what to say to you right now. You betrayed me, lied and deceived so many people…but why? You know at first I didn’t want to believe that you were capable of something like this…

I stop reading and flip over the paper, it’s a little torn at the bottom right corner and the ink is a bit smudged. It isn’t signed. Great, now not only do I not know who this is really for, I also don’t know who it’s from.

For some reason I have a really uneasy feeling about this. But I keep reading.

I want you to know that although I thought I would always love you I can no longer stand to see you. You’ve made too big of a mess now and I can’t clean up after you this time.

Do you remember last time I saw you? I asked if you really did this and you said yes. Don’t you get it? You’ve admitted to it. You can’t take that back. I can never forget that. I had no choice but to do what I did. I don’t care if you never forgive me because I will NEVER forgive you. You are sick and now you will get the help you need. This is goodbye, I mean it this time E, we are not family anymore. You severed that when you murdered our child. This will be the last time you ever hear from me. And you’re lucky you even got this much. 

The letter ends just like that. I’m stunned but I hear footsteps in the hall and so I swiftly shove the paper back into it’s envelope. I don’t know who this E. person is but if they murdered a child I’m sure they won’t have any reservations about harming me. I hurry out of the bed and swing open the closet door, it’s empty. I quickly pull the door closed, keep a tight grip on the knob and hold my breath when I hear the other door open.

I hear a woman’s voice say “She’s doing it again.”  And then another voice say “Should we call him in then?” The second voice sounds much younger than the first. And both are strangely familiar. The older woman let’s out a sigh before saying, “No, we can handle her on our own, we’ll just have to put her down again.”

I begin to panic, what does she mean by ‘put her down’? Are they going to kill me like they killed that kid? Oh God, where am I? I can barely breathe and my tank top is sticking to my chest now because I’ve broken out into a sweat. I can hear a bit of movement just outside the closet door and faint whispering. Suddenly there is nothing, just silence.

I wait for what feels like a lifetime until I think they’ve gone. Slowly I turn the knob and peek out, the room appears to be empty so I step out letting out the breath I’ve been holding. I head towards the door until I realize there is no knob or anything to let me out, I turn to  the window, hoping that I’m on the first floor. Just as I reach for the curtain the door swings open, next thing I know, a hand clamps down on my shoulder flinging me back against the wall. Suddenly the room is filled with voices, people shouting and shuffling about. Before I can scream I feel the needle piercing my flesh.

“Relax, it’s just Nurse Anne and Nurse Denise, remember us?” The older lady, Anne, is grabbing me under my arms and Denise grabs my feet hoisting me up. In a soothing voice she says, “You have to stop doing this or you’re going to have to be restrained, that won’t sound so good in court dear.”

Before I completely fade out I feel the softness of the bed beneath me and the words “Time to sleep, Ellie” wash over me, and I remember everything.  


So that was my second short story attempt with the FWF prompts by Kellie. Make sure you check out her site for more great prompts and to read other people’s submissions! Let me know what you think!