What Do You Want?

I don’t want to be someone who, at the end of their life, regrets not having lived.

I don’t want to go to my grave filled with shame and guilt and woe.

I don’t want to live my life as a woman who allows her challenges and demons to decide her mood and daily choices.

I don’t want each day to be filled with rigid rules created by societal judgy-ness, resentment, and jealousy.

I want to be able to breathe. To feel my own two feet on the ground and know they and my Higher Power can and will support me – if I trust, believe, have faith, if I have hope. Not just in God but in myself.

I often forget about that part.

To believe in myself.

We can wake up and, instead of dreading the coming day, choose joy. Hope.

We can take responsibility for how we feel and how we shape our lives.

This seems overwhelming at times. But baby steps are how we win at every day, every moment.

We are strong enough.

We are good enough.

We can make simple changes in habitual thinking patterns, morning routines, after-work routines, relationships (with others and ourselves), our self image, and so on.

I want so much more out of life.

And so it’s up to me to do something constructive about that. To work toward it.

Today, I hope you know this isn’t a pointless existence. That the humdrum bustle and stress, the rat race and cruel jokes of fate – they aren’t all there is.

As Walt Whitman said,

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes.”

We are so much more. We can have so much more.

Our potential for joy and motivation, change and growth in a direction we crave – what we truly desire – it is lying dormant, waiting for our embrace.

I choose more.

What about you? What choices are you making? Because we mustn’t forget that not choosing, is a choice.

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Love Letter

Whatever you feel you cannot overcome, you can.

Whatever you feel you can’t survive, you will.

Whatever you feel makes you weak, can make you strong.

Whatever you fear makes you unlovable, makes you human and relatable.

Whatever challenge in your life feels like it will never end, it will.

Whatever or whoever has left you feeling empty and hopeless and broken and incapable of picking yourself back up so that you can keep going… it doesn’t matter what or who it is, they cannot win. Because you are so much more than who you were yesterday, then what you feel in this moment. You are so much more than your fears for tomorrow and the anxieties that you wake up to.

It does matter how afraid you are. How filled with worry you are. How much pressure you feel. It does matter that you feel terrified to fail, to let someone down, to let yourself down. It does matter that you feel alone or empty or broken.

Everything you feel matters.

But what you feel is what you feel. Your emotions are not your identity.

Do you notice yourself thinking, “I am angry”? That’s not accurate. You are who you are. You feel anger. That anger does not define you.

So when you feel broken. You are not broken. You are simply resting and recovering and grieving and preparing. You are growing stronger, gaining new experience, learning what does not work, building an extra layer of skin.

Every time you feel like you cannot keep going, you can.

I am not saying it will be easy. I am not saying there are any magic words that will take all the pain away and make you feel strong and in control and “all together”.

What I’m saying is, stay true to yourself. If you feel exhausted, you have the right to feel exhausted. Allow yourself to feel that. But it doesn’t define who you are. It’s simply defines what you’re in the process of overcoming.

Do you ever take a look at what you’ve already overcome? At the situations and relationships and challenges in life that you thought were impossible or would never end? You’re here now. You overcame them. They ended.

You can do this.

You can fight for the life, the job, the relationships, the identity you want.

But you have to believe you deserve it. I’m here to tell you that you do. You deserve all the beauty this world has to offer you.

But you also deserve all the suffering it has to offer to you. Because there’s no way for us to get strong if there is no pain involved. There is no growth if some part of us does not grow old and stagnant and die.

There is no rebirth if part of us doesn’t die first.

The pain will end. You will continue to get stronger. You can find a way to navigate this life and still enjoy it.

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Angry Letter

Today I don’t believe in magic.

I hate these days.

I’ve lived 27 years of bad news. Getting worse as I go.

Now I can’t eat, can’t run, can’t sleep, can’t record YouTube videos, can’t seem to care about writing or pick a story to tell or find any characters I care about.

I can’t find any meaning in my days and I hate waking up in the mornings.

I hate these days.

 

I’m optimistic, stubborn, committed, I love life and want so much more out of it, and I will not give up. I’m driven, moody, sarcastic, creative, and I thoroughly enjoy organizing and bringing joy to others.

Just, not today.

Today I’m exhausted and in pain.

Well, that’s pretty much every day.

But today I’m sitting under a magnifying glass. It’s hard to have a few things that bring you joy – jogging, writing, creating videos – and not being able to do any of them.

It’s hard to live inside a body that punishes me physically, emotionally, and visibly for eating.

Today I am tired of always losing.

 

All it took was one special order light bulb shattering and the tears flowed all too easily.

Like they’d been waiting for a chance to be set free.

I can’t help but wonder what the point to me is.

I’m tired of all the noise and the pressure and the failure.

I’m tired of seeing everyone around me fight and fight and fight and succeed. It doesn’t upset me that they succeed. It hurts that I’m still losing. Because I work hard, I fight, I find new routes, new plans of attack, new paths to take, new reserves of determination. And I don’t get better. I get worse. I watch the window of what I can do shrink.

I know this is probably just self-pity speaking. Probably very petty of me to talk about how some days it really stings to watch people around me work hard and get places.

But I’m tired of always caring about everyone else more than myself. I’m tired of caring about hurting another’s’ feelings regardless of what it does to me.

I’m tired of hearing people tell me, ‘don’t give up, just keep fighting, I had this problem with my ____ and I did this about it, and it worked! So just keep going, you’ll get there. You just need some faith.”

What the bloody hell do you think I’m doing?

I’m fighting tooth and nail to be able to EAT FOOD and not suffer for it! That’s a base need right there. And I’m fighting for it. Every day. All I do is work hard. All I do is fight and fail and get back up and fight more.

What do you think I’m doing? Sitting around and bemoaning life? No! I’m fighting to have a life!

I don’t think about me. I don’t think about how much I hurt. I think about contributing to the world, to those in my life. I think about brightening someone else’s day. Lightening their load. Only it’s gotten to the point where I can barely freaking think due to pain and lack of sleep.

 

I’ve never given up. Never thrown in the towel.

I’ve had to overcome so much. I’ve survived a lot. I hope it’s made me a stronger person, a kinder person, because this world can always use more compassion. I hope my suffering somehow helps someone else or helps me in the long run.

But I’m growing quite tired of wishing, hoping, believing, trusting – Only. To. Get. Worse.

 

I mean, think about that.

Imagine working to be the best version of yourself possible. As healthy and emotionally mature as possible. Help others as much as possible. Enjoy life, create, inspire. Spread some joy so maybe even though my life sucks right now, someone else can feel good about themselves and their life. No one deserves pain. No one deserves to have to fight to survive. We all deserve so much beauty and empathy and excitement for life! Imagine wanting to help.

Only to have your body fight against those things. Nope. Simple nope.

Every day.

 

We deserve brilliance. The capability to learn from our mistakes and make magic out of them. To breathe fire into our own souls and allow that warmth to trickle into someone else on their coldest day. To stand as a beacon to the lost. Return home to a peaceful, exciting life we’ve created.

I deserve these things too.

I feel like a bird that’s been tethered to the ground.

Trying furiously to rise above medical limitations so I can focus on the magnificence of my own life, the majesty of this world, the glorious multitude of possibilities, and the vast amount of incredible people.

But that tether won’t let go. Won’t loosen its grip. In fact, it’s getting tighter, pulling me lower.

And there are people flying around me telling me to believe in magic. It worked for them in a short time span.

They tell me to have faith, to believe – as if I don’t.

Don’t you realize you’re mocking all the fight I’m giving? Do you see how you’re putting my efforts down? As if doing more is what I need to do, because what I’m giving isn’t enough. Don’t you hear the patronizing tone you’re taking? Get off your high horse.

Try fighting the urge to eat and then suffering when you do, so you cannot function or do anything that brings you joy – and no matter what you do, what you try, you only get worse. Since childhood. No wins. No successes. Talk to me then.

 

To all you who are suffering and fighting and only seem to be getting worse – I know you’re fighting. I know you are trying everything you possibly can. I know you’re hurting and exhausted. I know you’re of the utmost value, an amazing human being with so much to offer and a challenge in life that keeps you from delivering it, or from enjoying your own life in even the simplest of ways.

 

And of course, since all I can think about is this possibly hurting your feelings (talking to everyone reading this) – don’t feel bad. You’re not who I’m talking about.

I know when people tell me not to give up, they mean what they say. Thank you. For your encouragement and inspiration. This letter splashing my anger in a messy haze isn’t to you.

I tell people not to give up, to keep fighting. Encouragement is not offensive or patronizing. That’s not what I’m talking about. Being someone’s cheerleader is one of the most freaking noble things ever! We need more of it!!!

I’m angry at the people who act like I must not be doing enough, working hard enough, searching for answers enough. The people who keep telling me that if I believed, if I had faith, it would all get better. Magic. *poof* Obviously, they reason, I’m just not trying hard enough or having enough faith. I must not be thinking positive thoughts. Like this is my fault and I need to just get over it.

Those are the people this letter is about.

If anyone thinks I’m being selfish or self-indulgent with my pity party… That’s nice. I’ve had just about enough uncalled for criticism.

For crying out loud I’ve fought all morning and afternoon. Only now am I so done. I have the right to feel gross, to feel cheated. To feel insulted by people telling me I’m not fighting.

 

I know tomorrow – or maybe even a few hours from now – I’ll be back to believing in magic. I’ll believe I can and will overcome this. I know I can and will. But right now, I don’t feel it, don’t believe it, you know? There’s a difference, between knowing and believing/feeling. Today all I feel is the pain.

So, I want to allow myself to grieve. For so much lost time and lost magic. I want to allow myself to feel angry at all those who think I’m not trying or believing things will get better. I am allowed to. Just like you.

I think it’d be inauthentic to never expose these days. Pretend I’m doing fine and plaster on a fake smile. What’s the point of sharing anything of me with you if it’s all going to be made up? Everyone has their days. Me too. We need to stop shaming each other over that.

 

I am fighting. I am keeping positive.

And I do believe. I have faith. I always have.

Just not today.

when you get lost

when you get lost, pick up a pen, a pencil, your phone, keyboard, paintbrush, chisel, hammer, loudspeaker, break open your chest and rip your heart out.

whisper to it scream why you’re still here why you will not give up how you are too stubborn to just die you are too glorious to accept this misery this lack of life.

force your heart back in refuse it’s radio silence, sew yourself back up, one foot in front of the other into the garage, hook yourself up to the jumper cables and step behind the curtain, take control of the command center hijack the speaker system, scream like you mean it until your neighbors believe it.

dig up all your broken bones, peel off your empty dead skin, collect the blood and hours of secret tears, chew it up spit it out, push the pads on remove all the metal, stand

CLEAR!

bring it to life, fashion it into rope, make an incision, tie it to your gut find your way home, crawl back into who you knew you were always meant to be who you want need to be, because this drowning in a walking flatline only ends one way.

you don’t need advice until you know where you’re headed.

the man on the moon doesn’t know, put a glass to your ribs and listen, you do.

pick up an ax, stalk the brokenness out back to the post you’ve been chained to, throw the strongest link on the chopping block and SAY CHEESE annihilate them.

take a flamethrower to your slave masters, use their ashes to create your own garden because you can feed yourself.

this is about you, sit in the fire and when you open your eyes push magic through your veins like electricity, a closed door cannot stop your flames.

and if you’re feeling cold, warm yourself with the licking of lashings scarring your insides where no one can touch you, make it all better.

make it all better.

you’re going to burn. burn true. heat cities. grow multitudes. create mammoth atoms to spin within your own sphere, always pulling you, holding you home.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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