I’ve tried to write this blog post so many times before. The more I tried, the more impossible it felt. I experienced so much pain and before I even had time to heal more pain would come. It felt as though the world was laughing at me, mocking me, rooting for my failure each time I stood up and fell down again. I felt like I was constantly disappointing those around me, and not being able to write this blog post was just another way I was doing that.
Something that helped me get through my writer’s block in the past was the understanding that you need experience to colour your words, so I would patiently go out and experience life knowing that the ink would flow eventually. This time was different. This time no matter how many beautiful experiences life offered me, I still felt this darkness inside myself. Despite the love and joy I would experience, when I would try to write all I could think of was the heaviness in my heart.
When my dad passed away over a year ago, I threw myself into everything. I gave myself away until there was nothing left for me. I experienced an inevitable burnout and emptiness. It was not long ago that I sat with myself pondering why, despite all the gifts I’d received in the past few years, I still felt empty. And then I realized, I had not taken a single moment to be proud of myself, my accomplishments, and the strength that carried me through all the pain because the person I wanted to be proud of me the most was not here to tell me. I’d lost my father, but nothing hurt as much as when I lost my spirit pretending I didn’t feel that pain. And finally, I was able to write again, embracing both the light and darkness. I began to embrace life fully.
I would like to share that experience with you through poetry.
I dedicate this to all of you who’ve stood with me through the pain, to the people on sidelines cheering me on, to those who’ve sat quietly believing in me, and, most importantly, to myself for always finding my way back.
It is broken,
Like it has been broken so many times before
Trying to create a world that I believe in.
I have had doors closed in my face
While the walls are closing in on the person
I am only pretending to be,
A puzzle piece that fits into a society
That I don’t believe in,
A toy for others to play with.
But luckily, I have a strong heart
That beats a song that my ancestors used to sing,
Reminding me that I am resilient.
I hear them whispering in the moments
I am paralyzed with fear
“Don’t give up, just breathe
Because all these things are happening,
But they are happening for a reason,
And we are here.”
When it all becomes too much,
I sit alone with no one to comfort me,
Giving up who I am so that someone else
Won’t have to feel this pain,
Trying to convince myself that
This is what solidarity means,
And in the silence I feel my dad’s arms
Wrap around me,
He tells me, “It’s okay honey,
Because you feel what’s real in a world
Where people are afraid to feel anything.”
These voices speak louder than any demons,
But only when I listen,
So I listen
To my heart, to my soul, to my spirit
That calls me back home to myself
Time and time again.
Can you hear them? Because I do.
I hear them in the kind acts of strangers
That happen in the moments I feel like giving up,
And when I tell myself I’m not good enough
They fill me with love and the tender touch
Of someone who says, “I am proud of you.”
It is enough truth for me to find my own,
To share it with the world,
The one that I believe in,
So I keep speaking, speaking, speaking
My truth like medicine
Removing old band-aids to give the wounds
Enough air to really heal,
Until I am finally able to cry
Rivers dancing with fallen tears
That remind me
I am still here.