Beware of pretty packages

all wrapped up in a bow;

the calm and steady surface

holds a hidden beast below.

Flawless smiles will conceal

the very deepest pains-

but when the facade is ripped away,

the ugly truth remains.

Don’t let designer fool you.

Those appearances? Don’t buy.

Or you’ll get all wrapped up

in that perfect little lie.

don’t write.


“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
―Ernest Hemingway

Don’t write because someone asks why you haven’t in a while, or because they tell you that  you should.
Don’t write because it’s been a month, or three, or seven.
Don’t write because you made a promise to yourself to do it every week or two.
Don’t write because you live for views, or likes, or shares or retweets.
Don’t write because someone else is writing.

Don’t write, unless…

Don’t write unless you have learned, unless you have grown. Don’t write unless you have felt, unless you have lived, somehow.

Don’t write unless you have discovered or reaffirmed one of life’s truths and you need to get it out through your fingers.

Don’t write unless it is release for you. For some people it’s music, for others it’s exercise, for still others it’s drawing or painting or dancing. Don’t write unless for you, it’s writing.

Don’t write unless the words are burning their way through your brain and if you continue to resist writing, you might just catch fire.

Don’t write unless you want to, unless you have to. Don’t write unless somehow, finding the right words makes life more bearable.

If it does, then make a cup of coffee. Or pour the whiskey. Take up your pen, or your keyboard.

In the journey to find the right words, remember for the thousandth time how frustrating and imperfect language is. Know that you will never get it completely right. Forgive yourself.

Write it out. Let it go. Move on with living. And then… Don’t write.

Let a week pass. A month. A year. Don’t write.

Let them write, blog, snap, chat, post. Don’t write.

Keep going on not writing until you stumble upon a word or phrase or feeling that will not give you rest, that haunts you both in solitude and in crowded rooms. A notion that lurks in the moments before you fall asleep and in the darker corners of your brain.

Continue on, not writing… until you can’t.

That’s when you write.


I knew
we two
to be heavenly bodies-
beings of  f.i.r.e.,
posed to inspire
to offer light
in the night
as stars.

I knew
to be the sun
sharing  h.e.a.t.,
making life sweet
for me,
and it burned
when I learned
what you are.

I know
now, the glow
is brightest
just before i.m.p.l.o.s.i.o.n.,
just before      e x p l o s i o n
just before the  [black hole]
destroys its neighbors
and labors
to leave the sky in scars.

the blame game


One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”  Sophocles

Don’t blame love.

Love didn’t make you cry, loss did. Being ripped apart from something that meant a lot to you without your consent. Realizing that the things you wanted for the future will not come to pass, even the things you didn’t realize you wanted. The acceptance of living without. That’s what made you cry.

Love didn’t cut you to the bone, cruelty did. Harsh words from someone you held in high regard. The act of dropping you and moving on as if you meant nothing to them. The casual manner in which they continue, pretending that they didn’t just rip through your life like a hurricane. That’s what hurt you to the core.

Love didn’t make you second-guess yourself, the belief that you’re not good enough did. The crazy thought that because you weren’t appreciated in one instance you won’t be in any other. The notion that you can’t possibly measure up to expectation. That’s what stole your confidence.

Love didn’t make you gain weight, or lose weight, or cut your hair or binge-drink, uncertainty did. The feeling that your whole world was rocked because something you thought was so sure turned out to be anything but. The idea that the foundation you stood on is capable of crumbling. That’s what put you in a spiral.

Love didn’t let you down. Love didn’t punch you in the stomach. Love didn’t hurt you, or betray you.

Love made you laugh. It made you feel invincible and safe. It made you feel at home. It lifted you up.

Love is all of the best parts of your life. It’s family and friends and the reassurance that someone else out there knows what you’re going through. It’s inside jokes and glasses of wine and funny voicemails and stupid text messages.

If you never loved anything, you might never truly feel the pain of loss. But don’t blame love for your heartbreak- whether it came by way of breakup, death, rejection or fate. Love didn’t hurt you on purpose. Someone or something may have, but it wasn’t love.

When you give up on love you give up on life. You give up the possibility of everything that is worth having, feeling and doing.

So- love without regret or shame. Realize that when your world is turned upside-down, it’s never love’s fault. When you’re happy, recognize all of the love in your life.

Know that whatever else happens, love is what makes it all worth it.

spit it out.

FullSizeRender (1)“We must be careful what we pretend to be.” -Kurt Vonnegut

How many times have you sat across the table, or in the passenger seat, or on the phone, and been screaming the exact words you want to say in your head but for some reason just been unable to get them to come out of your mouth?

I’ve always been a vocal person (my parents will tell you I started talking one day and never stopped). I raised my hand in class. I tried to be honest when my friends asked for my opinions or advice (and sometimes when they didn’t ask). I’ve told off more than a few people who I thought deserved it.

So why are there those times when I know exactly what I want to say, but seem incapable of speaking? And why do those always seem to be the most important moments, the ones in which the future of my life hangs on what is said next?

Is it because the things and feelings that matter most can’t really be put into words, even when you think they can? Because the words that get caught in your throat, come from your heart. Because sometimes the truth is easy, but more often than not it is cold, harsh, and hard.

But in the long run, the truth is kinder when it is given sooner. Honesty is the best policy, right? Even when it’s the hardest. And it’s so much crueler to allow others, and yourself, to live in a lie when all you have to do is open your mouth. So why is it so difficult to just spit it out?

I have so much respect for the people who speak their truth, who force those difficult words from their core and through their lips and out into the world. Those people across the table, and on the other end of the line, and in the passenger seat who bite the bullet and just say it:

“This isn’t working and it hasn’t been for a while.”
“I just can’t do it anymore.”
“I need help.”
“I still miss you.”
“I love you.”
“I’m here for you.”
“I’m leaving.”
“I’m sorry.”

I have tried so hard to be one of those people. The older you get, the harder the conversations become- the more permanent the outcomes and the more hurtful the truths. But if you’ve ever felt like you’ve been on the other side of the scenario, you know how much worse it is to postpone the inevitable.

So I will keep striving to be one of those people, to come right out and speak my truth. Because the lesson I come back to over and over again is: life’s way too short. Too short for lies, too short for omissions, too short for regret.

Too short to waste another moment biting your tongue for anyone else.

Stop all of this stupid guessing and hinting at and casually dancing (and texting) around the subject. Here’s to honesty- to being blunt but not rude, truthful but not harsh, and quick but not hasty.

Here’s to a much happier way of life.


I’ve seen you clearly in the sun,
Your face in morning dawn-
My eyes have all but memorized
The way you move along.

But who are you at twilight?
Who are you in the dark?
When the night reigns supreme
Do your eyes still have that spark?

What are you when
You’re just your voice?
A whisper or a shout?
What are you when
You’re just your hands,
When the bulbs go out?

I yearn to know the truth-
where does your secret soul reside
When everything is stripped away
And light won’t let you hide?

the myth of grown ups


“Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.” – Kurt Vonnegut

What they don’t tell you in all of those ‘coming of age’ novels and movies is that there’s no single moment imbued with dramatic tension and building background music after which you say, “yup, I’m an adult now.”

Contrary to what television might have you believe, girls don’t become women the day they get boobs, and boys don’t become men the first time they get laid.

And I can emphatically say, no, you do not become a grown up the day you turn 21. (The raging hangovers and countless regrets that accompany the morning after many a 21st birthday are proof enough of that.)

In reality, the moments in which you make strides toward growing up (and there are many) only make any sense in hindsight. Sometimes, not even then.

You grow up a little the first moment you realize your parents are only human- that they don’t know everything, that they make mistakes. You grow again when you forgive them for that.

You grow up when you feel the sting of betrayal from someone you thought you could trust. Even if that betrayal comes in the form of your best friend taking the last red ice pop.

You grow up every time you definitively lose someone you care about. When you realize that you will never connect with them again in this life, and you feel it deep down in your gut. Permanently.

You grow up when you feel protective over someone else, when you start to put more stock in other’s people’s well-being than your own.

You grow up the day you actively choose what you’ll put your faith in.

You grow up the first time you get your heart properly broken. Not high-school, you-never-even-talked-to-him/her broken. Really shattered. And then you’ll find out what you’re made of the day you bend down to pick up the pieces.

You grow up when you realize no one’s opinion of you matters as much as your own, and that personal happiness is not a selfish concept.

You grow up when you make a decision without consulting anyone else- and whether you triumph or fail miserably, you start to own your actions.

You grow up the first time you feel wholly and truly alone.

You grow up when you realize how very small you are in the universe, but how very big your actions can be to those around you.

You grow up when you learn to embrace your emotions, when you allow yourself to be happy without fear or sad without shame.

You grow, and you grow, and you grow. You graduate and get a job, but those things don’t make you a grown up. Maybe you get married, maybe you earn another degree, but that doesn’t mark your entrance into adulthood.

The truth is, if you do it right, you’ll never really be all grown up despite growing older.

Now, isn’t that a relief?