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

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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 poetry, writing

Terrible Idea

Terrible Idea  There wasn’t an objective at the start, just desire— just pieces misaligned and confused by too many rhymes.  I didn’t know whether or not it was a terrible idea, whether or not the pieces would come together, but I had to try.   I took a leap of faith, jumped into the air before I knew  what type of landing I’d fall to.  Turns out the pieces cracked further  when I hit the ground, a conflict of concrete and bone, and a lot of words that hurt.

This was not the poem that I set out to write tonight. In fact I’m feeling a little blocked.

This might be a no no to admit, but I’m not even sure what it’s about, not really. It’s a mashup of several story lines, as if all my demons of the past 3 years are fighting for attention but none of them are winning. This isn’t supposed to be a sad poem, just a reflection.

Our lives are composed of the intertwining of faith and falling. No matter where you are in that process, I hope you are at peace.

Love,

Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Split

Split  She twisted the earbuds as if turning a key, locking a barrier into place, the separation of outward space and privacy. Music silenced the sounds of elsewhere, shutting out external influence, forcing reflection, introspection on where —who— she wanted to be.  She listened to the beats of yesterday with an unfamiliar curiosity, lyrics forgotten,  apathetic to digest them again, past desires dissected into fragments of memories sputtering like a radio tuned one channel off. Static. She looked at the other people swarming  with headphones glued to their thoughts, blind drones mimicking one another, deaf  to sounds outside the brooding melodies, forgetting to free their ears for a few moments and listen to nothing.

I’m a different person today than I was a year ago. I was a different person a year ago than I was two years before that. I’m a stranger to the person I was in high school. Do you ever think about the evolution of your own identity? I certainly do and I wonder if anyone else notices the same changes that I do. I’d like to think they’re changes for the better.

I wish you a top-notch weekend full of yummy food and pumpkin ale. Hey, it’s autumn now.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Scouring Introspection

Scouring Introspection  It built up like dirty dishes— starting with a bowl and a spoon at breakfast ending with months of fungus coating every kitchen surface.  One ignored doubt—an errant fork— spiraled into a collection of soiled utensils, pretending they didn’t exist, the most annoying part of washing dishes.   The smell was the trigger, the bacteria of rotting confidence permeating beyond the kitchen,  drawing attention to the neglect, the lack of attention  the need to reflect— the introspection that only comes with plunging hands into soapy water and scrubbing.

I’ve been thinking lately, like really thinking and facing my inner self. I’ve been looking at her in the mirror and not just seeing her but talking to her, asking if she’s ok, asking what she wants and what she’s willing to do to get that. I let her speak and I listened, like really listened. She had a lot to say and I know she’s not done talking. So I promised her I’d give her more of my attention. I’m not just going to let her talk; I’m going to let her sing. 

Happy Tuesday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

My People

My people  There’s a part of me in every one of them, split projections reflecting back so that if they stood in a circle a hologram of me would appear in the center. Each one carries a different trait, an elemental slice of who I am— the way she cowers behind her hands, diverting and accentuating the social awkwardness of interacting in public places; the way he relinquishes his soul to music, making sense of emotion through lyrics, expressing a mood in a song choice; the way she overthinks; the tempo that he sings; how she doubts whether she wore the right earrings; that he laughs at inappropriate pauses in conversation; her resilience evidenced in getting out of bed and trying again. They’re my people, friends so familiar we share tears, so close I see their faces in my mirror— without them I’d disappear.

I think it’s important to notate that the rhyme in the last  lines is completely unintentional! The last step in my writing process always involves reading the poem out loud (which probably gives people the impression I’m talking to myself, especially if I’m in a coffee shop or something). Anyway, I didn’t notice the rhyme until that moment and in utter honesty, I liked the individual lines too much to change it. Deal with it.

Happy Tuesday!