Disappointed

The first call came moments after I let my small group of friends know what was going on with me.
“Hey—are you okay?” The pause and uncertainty behind the ask told me that she was concerned.

“Yes,” I said with a sigh. “I’m not sad. I’m just disappointed.”

After 23 years of memories and conversations, I decided to end a very one-sided friendship. It was a relationship fractured with seeds of ignorance that I, unfortunately, let grow and take hold—a mirage of trust with no understanding. I asked for years for only one person, in particular, to show up, educate themselves, and do the work, and when I was reminded of my pleas for help last week, I was, again, met with nothing.

Friends from all walks of life reached out in support. They tirelessly talked to their friends and family about the issues thrust back into the media today. They all stood up for what was right on the correct side of history and ensured that I was safe and protected. The friendship that I ended—I realized that my friend wasn’t able to do that.

Continue reading “Disappointed”

Why It’s So Important To Have Your Friend’s Back

The first time I ever had to use four-wheel drive was when I carpooled with a friend to a wedding out of town. Margaret (the name of my vehicle) climbed what seemed like a full 45-degree angle up a rocky hill. I was wearing dress heels, a floral-patterned cutout dress, and had to brush the hair that got stuck in my lipstick to watch all of the other cars behind me struggle to reach the top of the hill where our friends were getting married. It was a beautiful ceremony. However, there is something that happened on the way there that has stuck with me.

My friend and I ended up meeting in Bakersfield since it was in the middle of where the two of us lived. It was easier to meet there since both of our parents were still living in Buck Owens’ paradise. Before getting on the freeway to leave town, my friend pointed out the gigantic Confederate flag that used to wave alongside the busy long stretch of road.  

“How does it make you feel seeing that?” she asked, referring to the flag that was designed to represent a divided nation, and that turned into a symbol of hate.

“You know what?” I said, still barreling down the stretch of road out of town. “I don’t like to see it, but I rather see boldness and honesty when it comes to racism than those who are quietly racist behind my back.”

Continue reading “Why It’s So Important To Have Your Friend’s Back”

#OctPoWriMo: Oct 24 – 31

October 24: Her

Sometimes I think about it in swiftly passing glances,

That it were me that you had chosen instead of her.

I ponder for a moment, but what I find in my intent is that I wouldn’t have lived my life this way.

I would have never climbed mountains, ran marathons, or have seen so many places.

I would not be the girl happily sitting here today.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Although a lot is what I endured,

But where I want to be and what I have loved along the way is being able to meet so many brilliant faces that have shaped the girl happily sitting here today.


October 25: Pretty

She was pretty.

Pretty enough to paint every line and curve that defined her face.

She could have been a portrait. Perhaps, she was a portrait, and we had been tip-toeing around a pretty inanimate object in the middle of the living space.

Room, she captured all of it, a space filled with eyes all resting on her.

She lived her life oblivious to the stares from the crowd.

She could kill any person with glancing murder.

She could have been an assassin. Perhaps, she failed at being an assassin because for her entire life she was a killer.


October 26: Light

I saw the light leave your eyes like the setting sun sinking softly out at sea,

And like the twilight of the evening I noticed the dark and grew concerned.

I was alone now under the floating tarp covered in thousands of twinkling lights.

Your light was no longer beside me.

And all I could do was continue moving forward.

Then suddenly, sometime soon, I know another sun will rise to greet a new day,

And I, like the dawn of the morning, will be drowned in warm light again.


October 27: Meaning

He asked me what I would say to God if I could have any question answered,

And I said that I would have little to say.

If I had to go on living after the question I would endure the rest of a life substandard,

And I would feel cheated at the end of the day.

To know what you shouldn’t know takes away the mysteries of life, And that is not how you should live.

You do the best you can until you reach the afterlife

Leaving everything else on earth with more stories to share and love to give.


October 28: Memories

We walk haphazardly down the street with our fake smiles

And all I think about are the other times we’ve been here in this place.

You think your own set of unique questions and I watch as your mind runs a race.

There are so many memories, but we comment on none.

We never pause to recollect or relive the fun,

And that’s how I knew we were over and passed the point of done.

I ended the relationship in my mind in an instant as if I solved our problem with a gun.


October 29: Language

I see your mouth move and contort into different shapes,

But I do not understand any of the sounds it makes.

Your voice has changed and the sounds that leave your body are unknown.

I listen to you like I’m having a conversation under water over the phone.

I know less of who you are as you go about your day. Your interests are different and you only deeply consider your pay.

Your familiarity grows strange as I lose my grasp of who you are.

You become the blurred details on the side of the road as I speed by in my car.


October 30: God

I am not a man.

I am the whole Universe,

Though no one believes.


October 31: Friendship

Here we are, five hundred and seventy- four fortnights after we first said, “hello.”

We were babies then and couldn’t imagine a life at the time where we ended up together.

You were the wild one, and I was the girl that was mellow.

We both rubbed off on each other and continue to evolve on this journey forever.

You said once that we were soulmates and I believe it to be so.

I think about this sometimes during the day, and I promise to find you in the next life when we both go.

#OctPoWriMo | Oct 12 – 17

October 12 | Danger

The canyon lured me to the edge of its lips with its entrancing beauty, And I for one could never pass up the undulating rock formations jetting up from the crust of the earth.

I stare wildly watching the gliding birds soar above the rushing Colorado River, And I grin happily as I stand motionless before the natural wonder.

A deep vast canyon with towering red rocks tower before me as I peer into the depths of danger. If I tripped, a fast-paced rushing river would break my fall and carry my body out to sea.


October 13 | Universe

I am one part of the whole of the entire universe, And I gaze up into myself and watch myself gaze back at me.

My energy connected and my soul revealed to yours, I recognize the connection from one another is really the key.

I am the universe and the universe is every various shape and outcome of me. I exist in every possibility and, express myself in every way.

I am everything in this universe that I can and cannot see. I am every passing moment all at once and every single day.


October 14 | Love

Virgil says, “love conquers all things, so we too shall yield to love,” But unlike Virgil or Dante, I do not believe that such a thing is sin.

Powerful? Yes, but never wrong. Hell should not be the destination, nor should heaven or hell exist.

A life after life very similar to this where living and non-living organisms is our eternal kin.

Loves moves all thins and keeps life protected and moving forward, While love also drive empathetic pursuit of happiness and justice for all.

If you want love–love. If you want to give love–love yourself first, And loving everything else as yourself becomes the protocol.


October 15 | Ravens

The same two ravens see me out at the start of my day, And they peer down from their hung telephone wire onto me as I pass by.

I see their complex interactions shift and mix as they continue to spy, And then allow me to pass on my merry way.

They sit right outside my window of the room where I lay, And pitch their great black silhouettes prominently against the night’s sky.

I fear that they will be there beside me till the day after I die, And with all that they have seen still have nothing to say.


October 16 | Down

High on the mountains

We thought we’d never come down–

Until the sun fell.


October 17 | Purpose

I’ve allowed the earth to haul to hurl myself around the sun 29 times, And what that means is that I’m always moving forward.

I recorded my life in in tears and burgeoning laugh lines, And I
occasionally write them down in inked word.

Some rotations more recognizable than others though I keep living until I
die. Creating, learning, loving and crying I just scratch the surface.

I live exactly how I want to live and that is what I abide by, As long as I
never harm anyone or any living thing on purpose.

OctPoWriMo | Oct 1st – Oct 4th

October 1 | ASL

I watch as your hands fold and bend around invisible objects.

Your eyes widen, but your mouth barely moves.

Although there is no sound, I can hear the words that are painted with your fingertips,

And I can see the power emanating from your hands.

Your language is beautiful, and your descriptions of things lets me know how creative and smart you are.

Your movements are fluid, but unlike a dance they dive into a deeper meaning.

I envy those movements, and so I spend my nights learning to move just like you.

Continue reading “OctPoWriMo | Oct 1st – Oct 4th”

The Wedding(s)

Jenas

 

I was reading an article the other day that had a collection of wedding horror stories told from the perspectives of guests, photographers, bridesmaids, bartenders, and those people who worked the entertainment at weddings. I cringed as I read about the debt that some of the bridesmaids were forced into and the insane demands that were requested of the friends and family in attendance at the weddings. I felt so sorry for every single person sharing their experiences with the devil—I mean angry grooms and brides. However, it also allowed me to realize how lucky I am to have such amazing best friends that actually care about my well-being.

 

my speech

 

You see, I attended two weddings in the past year, and I was the maid of honor at both of them. I planned two bachelorette parties—one that never happened, and the other where I sustained head trauma and ended up in the ER. I took worried calls that led to one bride eloping, I ended up randomly taking a Brazilian capoeira class, and I broke off my entire pinky toenail wearing demon shoes. I even gave both speeches to the brides and grooms of each wedding on the fly, one while suffering from an allergic reaction to a major antibiotic while also recovering from the flu, and the other while completely drunk because I only had oatmeal that day at sunrise (no one noticed).

 

Tamras

 

Despite the small mishaps, I was still able to enjoy both weddings (no, seriously). I got to spend time with close friends, meet new friends, and celebrate the unions of these amazing people in my lives. I still talk to both newlyweds, and the brides are still my best friends. They always called me throughout the year to ask if I was okay. They tried not to ask too much of me when I was suffering from mini breakdowns and mystery illnesses, and although the past year has been absolutely nuts, I’m so grateful that both of them asked me to stand by their sides while they married the loves of their lives.

 

tamra.jpeg

 

I know that my best friends would do the same for me. They have already proved over the years that they would go the extra mile. Do I want to have to plan and attend my own wedding? Absolutely not, but I like the fact that I have two close friends that would help me out if I changed my mind or if I found a spouse that was really about all that marriage stuff.

 

me and jena

Faith and Religion: Why Are They Even A Thing?

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Photo by Michael Peligro

The other day a friend of mine had brought up her attendance of Catholic confirmation classes at her church in a group text message with me and one other friend. The other friend had chimed in with her experience of having been confirmed in the 4th grade.

The first friend voiced her confusion about her statement. “You don’t get confirmed until 10th grade in high school.”

I agreed with the statement. I remembered how my friends who had gone to Catholic school with me did their confirmation their first year of high school and asked a coworker sitting next to me, who was also raised Catholic, about when confirmation usually happens.

“Yeah, it’s usually like the first year of high school,” I responded.

I have to admit, I gave my friend a hard time about it, not necessarily because I didn’t believe that she was confirmed by the Catholic Church, but because I found it strange that everyone was okay with having a sheltered child, who had not yet learned and experienced all that was out there, commit the rest of their lives to the only religion she knew about. Continue reading “Faith and Religion: Why Are They Even A Thing?”

Under the Twirling Strobe Lights

IG | JasmineDLowe
IG | JasmineDLowe

I looked around the dance floor at the wildly flailing 20-somethings vibrantly moving and singing to the Katy Perry song that was blaring through the nearby speakers. High heels had already been thrown alongside the venue’s walls where flowers and table decorations had fell during the enthusiastic celebration. Among the faces of young adults spotlighted in yellow lights was a group of people who I had come to know over the course of 10 years. I laughed as we brought back terrible dance moves that no sane person would attempt in public.

“I think I’m bringing back the shopping cart, you guys,” I said raising my hand from the imaginary shopping cart to grab the invisible grocery product. I managed to carefully place the product in the cart.

A friend who was happily twisting her hips in the washing machine motion had screamed. “Ah! Prom!” Continue reading “Under the Twirling Strobe Lights”

The Writer and the Reader

open book in short grass with green leaf being used as a bookmarkI had seen a group of Jane Austen novels in the Kings County Library’s Hanford Branch before but didn’t check out any of the books until I had heard one of my English teachers mentioning the writer. I was in Junior High school, and we had just finished reading Charles Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities, so I was on a classic novel-reading high.

I picked up Jane Austen’s Emma, read through its nearly 400 pages, and decided I detested the book’s main character. To me, the character, Emma, was an annoying elitist wealthy woman trapped inside the pages of a novel where nothing truly noteworthy occurred. Granted, I also may have been biased by the action-packed adventure novels that I was previously engrossed in, I still expected more from an internationally acclaimed piece from the literary canon. Years later, however, when I would sign up for another English course for fun while I was obtaining a Master’s degree in Communications, I would read the book again and enjoy it. Continue reading “The Writer and the Reader”

A Philosophy of Kindness

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. —Dalai Lama

Photo by Jennifer via Flickr
Photo by Jennifer via Flickr

The sleek blue-grayish Scion TC swiftly moved like a river rushing across the earth. And while doing so, my mind wandered off to how this situation came to be. I was driving my dad’s car back to Bakersfield when I realized how incredibly fortunate I was to borrow a car when I needed a ride, and how trusting my dad was of me to take his while my car was in the shop.

After my car, Susan took a tumble and crashed into a curb, I thought my days of easily getting around Southern California were over. Little did I know an outpouring of love and kindness would help me arrive at where I needed to go.  Continue reading “A Philosophy of Kindness”