Posted in heart, poetry

A Letter to My Daughter

A Letter to My Daughter  One day you will look in the mirror and see only flaws, black smudged underneath your eyes, wisps of frizz curling around your ears, a voice too soft, unheard, a spirit too broken to scream and you will doubt your worth.  It is in that moment dear child that you will crave hands to wrap your shoulders in assurance, binding fear with everlasting embrace. It is in that moment that tears will break, that an urge to smash that mirror will radiate from limb to limb and the last pearls of innocence will sever from your soul.  Your sobs will soften, blinking devastation into stillness, and you will rise, turn back towards that glass and see yourself, not the flaws smudged across freckled cheeks, but the blush of a heartbeat allowing the ribs to feel, to heal, to ache with the strength  of facing tomorrow.  I’ll be there for you, dear child, but you’ll be there for yourself too.   —Leanne Rebecca

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Posted in growing up, love, poetry

Self

Self  In third grade they made us write acrostic poems set to our names, assigning adjectives like “artistic,” to our letters, falling on generic phrases: “L-loves animals.”  We wrote “I am” poems in education’s attempt to encourage self-reflection,  “I am a daughter, a friend, a sister.” I am me.  I hated poetry,  misled by an eight year old’s agony to sit at a table and reflect on breathing, trapped in the command  to notice when I inhaled and exhaled.  I hated that mirror, the image of thinking deeply, of trying to understand the origins of feeling.   I was a child of possibility, of adventure, of laying patches of moss carpet in our backyard treehouse, unconfined by reality, unwilling to understand the structures of my own personality, imagining space and time all my own, free from this idea of pausing, of judging myself through writing.  In high school I disappeared, swallowed by sweatshirts, sucked inward as if a black hole swirled in my brain, afraid to talk, afraid to look past the layers of dust settled between me and all the other desks in class, bottling in silence, getting by, imploding alone.   I collected those years in journals, verses and verses of history, the days of invisibility caught in tangibility, the me never seen  exploding in newfound creativity, through discovery, soul awakened  in the days of university, speaking and hearing a voice  with something to say, people listening, through feeling through feeling finally feeling, a new me, a poet.

In second grade I thought I was going to grow up to become a librarian. In fourth grade I saw a documentary about a cave diving marine biologist and decided I’d become a scientist, a dream that lasted until my senior year in high school when I realized I didn’t in fact like studying biology at all. Never through all those years did I think I’d grow up to be a poet. It’s a passion I fell into through taking a chance, one that took coaxing to start, but one I will never regret.

I’ve written a lot about heartbreak lately, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Poetry is the outlet that lets me heal, my real true love. No matter where my heart drifts or cracks, it will always have a home in words. Thank you for listening and letting me sing.

Love,

Leanne Rebecca

Posted in honesty, journal entry, poetry

Recycled

Recycled

I often tell people that my blog followers know more about me than anyone. I’ve never felt afraid to spill my secrets on here, mostly because I’ve only ever received support, never judgment. I like that I can write about my insecurities and struggles like I would in a journal entry, a freedom I’ve come to rely on, one that has helped me immensely in gaining confidence. I’ve started to appreciate my vulnerability as a strength and have realized that if I don’t have any fear to write about having an eating disorder or obsessions over boys on my blog, then there is no reason to hide that honesty from the people in my daily life.

I used to bottle my emotions. I never wanted to burden anyone around me with what I was feeling and my silence drove me over the edge. Few knew that I was spending my free time sobbing in my car, driving through a veil of water, alone and lost. I kept it all in until I didn’t know how to handle it anymore and I came to the conclusion that the only way to make the pain stop was to kill myself. This was 3 years ago, a time I never want to relive. I use music, writing, and an always jam-packed social life to make sure I never have to.

Since then, I’ve made it my mission to be honest with myself about my emotional health and also honest with the people around me. I don’t hide my struggles. In fact, I embrace them. I’m not afraid anymore to text a good friend and say, “hey, I’m struggling. Are you free?” What I’ve learned is astonishing. The more that I open up, the more the people around me feel comfortable to open up. It turns out that we are all fighting battles and most of us are holding them in. Now that I know the importance of talking through my insecurities, aches, and irrationalities, it’s become my mission to help the people around me open up too.

One of my best friends said recently that he wasn’t sure why, but whenever he hung out with just me, he felt comfortable talking about what was bothering him. I think it’s because we trust each other, a trust that was built upon a mutual understanding that we could be straight with one another. I will always have your back if you have mine, an unspoken agreement that started with honesty about what was below the surface.

My point with all this is that if I didn’t have poetry or this amazing community on here to help me work through all this, I’d still be that girl that hides how I’m feeling, invisible because I was too scared to let anyone see me. I thought, if I just hide my flaws, then I’ll be safe. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m the safest when I expose my quirks, even the embarrassing ones, like having no self control in how often I text boys I have crushes on or that I like “16 year old girl” music. I want people to see ME, to know ME, to appreciate ME, because there is no other version of ME that should ever exist.

Thank you for sticking with me. You have my back and I promise, I have yours.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in poetry, writing

Elemental

Elemental  I thought about going to sleep with the eye makeup still on, convinced that choosing to strip off that layer would rob me of self expression, vanquish the artistic beauty screaming  from this morning’s play when no one was around as I spent an hour reworking pigments, trying again and again until obsession and satisfaction married and I fell in love with what I’d created.   There’s no denial of vanity, living in reflection, caring what the eyes see blinking behind masks, disposable self-mutilation inflicted again and again with intention, to impress, to cry out these feelings inside that need to escape, to beg to be seen in the irony of hiding.  It wasn’t just removing eye liner as I forced the cotton ball across my lid. It was wiping away today’s identity, the me I wanted to be, the words I couldn’t say  entrenched in how heavily I caked the black: my lashes coated in heart, a persona crafted by my own hand to detract from the one underneath the smudges, the paint washed away by late night confessions, evidence lost in the sink, another day, another girl forgotten.

It’s almost 2 in the morning and my eyes are burning from keeping them open too long. I didn’t sleep much last night either. I have this frustrating urge to keep fighting, to push a little longer. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a poem this late, or early, depending on how you see it, but I couldn’t help myself. I needed to get these words out. I needed to try. I just need to keep trying.

Good night now,

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Eyelash

Eyelash  I make the same wish on every errant eyelash. I peel the escapee from my cheek and capture it on the tip of my finger, think my dream in the capsule of a blink, pucker my lips and let a single wisp of air carry it into infinity.  I inhale reality when I look back in the mirror— one less eyelash to cover with mascara.

I’ve started writing in a diary. I’ve found I like the senseless entries, writing whatever comes to my mind, confessing secrets, knowing no one is ever going to read these words (hopefully). One of my favorite teachers back in college used to tell us to write for 15 minutes a day, no matter what it was. The whole point was to develop the discipline to write. I used to write lists of what I did that day or complain about my homework. But then I finished that class and the journal entries stopped.

About two months ago I started them again, maybe not every single day, but whenever I feel like it. This poem is inspired by what I wrote in my journal today during my lunch break, scribbles about it being February and how it’s the month of love. It provoked a particular memory, something profound that happened to me in a February past, and before I knew it, I’d written this poem.

What do you think of when you think of February?

–Leanne Rebecca