the girl who tasted words.

when we find ourselves
intertwined inside a snow globe

time freezes

moments we capture
blankets us with a blank canvas
as we violently decorate it
everything magical in the shades of nude
with passionate strokes

and because i put your intelligence
on a pedestal,
i immerse myself
in this sea of fantasy
when you whisper sweet nothings
through these orgies of words.

i think i’m only meant
to fall in love with sentences
your fingers pen,
and they are so perfectly pressed together
with elegance
the way i wish you’d hold my hand.

didn’t you know
a girl could float
on hope for centuries?

you’ve always had a way
of making me believe
in the great distance,
that’s laced with even greater passion,
like an explosion between constellations,
that somewhere is the way you hold me,
your body quilted into mine.

… it snows when you shake.

and i’m quickly reminded that
words are only words
in your hour of concupiscence,
and i’m just another dirty chapter
quietly tucked away
like a lady of the night.

you tip the hourglass,
ready
for the clock to start ticking again,
and i’m left in yesterday.

secret-filled confetti and intricate confessions

There is no pretty way to put it. There is no way to paint over the cracks. Maybe there are too many words in your fingers; nervous hands trembling within a still-eyed nightmare. You cannot be hushed so easily when he folds you over like the hem of a skirt that’s been irreverently handled by churlish hands – corrosive and deceptive. Viciously stripped and you’re left as naked as your heart but the drummers stubbornly march on anyway, and beats entrancingly in your chest. The clock pinned to your wall keeps reminding you that the rest of the world is sleeping; you think the moon can never be full again and the stars found their way home. And these awkward, awkward nights when your eyelids flicker more than the seizing streetlight outside of your bedroom window, you feel the minutes being sucked out of you in his hour of delirium though burning stares from eyes so cold – so cold – those vacant iceberg eyes.

Kick that hourglass. Topple it. Tip it over so that it can finally be half full rather than empty.

There’s no use in continuing the search when your fingers have failed in finding the answers. Swallow the hurt as he leans on the comfort of a half-hearted splendour to stroke him with fantasy licked marks. Fingerprints. Lips. Noses. They all form a temptress mosaic in [he]r eyes. He finds [he]r most graceful, like a fairy and he speaks of [he]r in ways you could only dream of living up to. It’s impossible. He’s injected letters into margins that’s filled with cock-loaded words smudged in a day old beer stain he swears he meant to say. You were never his forever, but a waypoint that will teach him everything he never wants to feel again where he sits in a corner, closing his eyes against a memory you made sure he would never forget.

Because our hearts lead us down one-way roads and sometimes you have to break the rules in order to get back. The need to preserve your past was the main reason you held onto the things that hurt you the most; change scares you; letting go was something you were never good at. Set those stars free and scatter them like a diamond storm taking life in your lashes.

Blink him away.

99 bottles of beer on the wall.

You’ve always been the girl they’ll find with tearful eyes and swears that nothing is wrong. Your face helps you lie. This ring that glistened promises and forevers around your finger has merely become a shadow. How can your wounds heal when the stitches continually unravel? Don’t break beautifully for the one who never understood the extend of the damage he had on your heart. Bricks tumbling against the current of his facial expressions; grins of mad-men pasted across his face are screaming sorry again. Ill-filled hand gestures and movements that are less than elegant. Two hundred sorries and a story pouring from his empty beer bottles that he’s been trying to pass on.

Don’t fall for it again and again and again.

You’re out of ways to convince your heart to beat for him. Never anticipated for anyone to grasp the idea of being so deeply attached to a mere illusion of being held by hands that never kept you together. It’s useless. He’s cracked every smile you’ve ever possessed like smashing porcelain dolls against disheartened pavement while the world just passes by, crushing the pieces to dust.

Don’t let him kill you over and over and over.

There’s dirtiest of secrets and silence clawing its way out of your skin. Unwrap it and take back the reins. Surrender all things polished. You’re not his floormat girl. And remember, you need to get this anger out of your head before it crawls its way into your heart. It’s okay that you’ve lost the ability to hide behind pink erasers and white concealing liquid, this notebook has reached its end anyway.

It’s good-bye this time.

when push comes to a shove.

“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight”
– Brene Brown

It is hard work to project an image. To pretend, to live it, and to protect it. To convince that everything is fine and dandy; great even. Mustn’t allow the cracks to seep through. Forcing smiles on a face they don’t belong; you’re exhausted. There’s something about staring into the starless night sky that makes you feel abandoned. The lie becomes you and it’s lonely. It pushes you in front of a breaking wave. And you feel like a wreck, bearing treasures you think you cannot show without pulling anyone down with you. But, somehow…. somehow through this shitstorm, you still fiercely cling onto the canvas you painted of your peachy world.

A master of deception. A deflector of vulnerability. An admirer of artifice.

You silently weather the storms of insecurity; it’s cold. Every bone in your body is screaming and there’s dead butterflies inside of you. Faking comes easier to those who are numb; it hurts. Scripts like this aren’t meant for you.

Be something other than polished perfection. Strip the lies and undress yourself from the ugliness. Be a mess. Be authentic even if the truth is tangled. Listen to the sorry beats of the drummer that cannot create a rhythm in your chest; it’s whispering you stories with songs that are out of sync; the notes are unedited and it’s beautiful.

Long gone are the days of being a graceful pretender. Convene and accede being lost and decipher conflicts and struggles. Embrace vulnerability and watch your heart come back to life. Be open. Be penned by the truth and inscribe each detail of its profound elegance. And there’s inspiration laced in every uncertainty. Let go of the secrets that were never yours to begin with and allow them to fill journals. The wind will blow away the pages and the words of tragedy will find their way into somebody else’s hands.

Put down the shield. Take off the armour. You’re free from the walls. You’re more alive than you’ve ever been.

This is a confession.

Every night when the clock strikes seven o’clock, our home shifts into a shit storm. My patience is tested, time and time again. And you, my three-year-old creature, full of fire, leave me infuriated and tormented. You are indomitable and fierce. There’s this coolness of determination that luminosities in your eyes; I know this look and you wear it well.

One more book (nuh huh, maybe next time you won’t ask me to read the same book 3 times in a row)

I need a sip of water

I have to go to the potty

Oh oops, I forgot to flush and wash my hands (oh, now you remember without being reminded?)

I don’t like this blanket; I want a different one (goddamn it, you picked that one!)

This blanket is cold; it needs to go in the dryer to warm up

I’m hot

I’m cold

Where are my cars?

Watch me count, 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… 10… (wonderful, you can show me the rest tomorrow, now let’s snuggle)

I can spell my name, L-I-E-V, Liev! (that’s nice. I can spell your name too. Now go to sleep)

I think we need to practise our ABC’s a little more. A-B-C-D- (and then I fucking interrupt to silence him. So, Miss Janelle, if Liev can’t remember what comes after D, this is why. And no, I’m not sorry. Not even one little bit)

My feet need socks; they told me they’re cold. (is that so?)

I would like you to sleep with me for a short time, mummy (one would have to actually sleep in order for this to happen, no?)

No, don’t go.  Two more minutes

I’m scared; I want you to stay

Sleep makes me sad. Playing makes me happy. (well, you asleep equals a happy mum, but apparently life’s not always fair. So, tough luck, buddy)

One more minute, mummy, one more minute

One more minute, mummy, one more minute

One more minute, mummy, one more minute

The man and the woman over there said good night. GOOD NIGHT! *waves* (and this does the trick, I dare not move)

Two hours later, you are still awake. Fighting against weariness. And somewhere in the Great White North, my mother is laughing at me.

Karma is shit.

all the world’s a stage.

Shakespeare got it right.

We’re all actors in a sense, aren’t we? Playing the role of a lifetime where everything is scripted accordingly to how you want others to perceive you; these characters we craft and rehearse over and over and over in our heads. Every block, every movement, every grand gesture, every single line, every entrance, and every exit are well thought out and carefully laid out. This image that we quill with in hopes that the ink doesn’t spill over into the margins. A lie conveyed through the looking glass. A theatrical performance orchestrated into perfection to conceal what’s underneath the mask.

and you’re slowly diluting into a wallflower

Every so often, my mind does this little jig where ramblings of poetry scribble across my thoughts. And I’m mesmerised by the chaos in this solo. I’m never alone and I’m never lonely; two’s company and three’s a crowd. There is something so profoundly beautiful in the rawness of honesty. Only if we could pen ourselves onto pages in shades of nude. Undressed. Unscripted. Improvised. An exquisite art. No fabrications. Transparent, not translucent. A journal we fill as we go along rather than dusting off an old book and reciting stories that have been told a hundred times over.

Because anybody can be a Juliet, but who will be you?

free yourself from the shackles.

I am not the perfect mother. There. I’ve said it. I admit it.

This is ridiculous, isn’t it? This Myth. This Urban Legend. This something that every mother strives to be. An unrealistic goal. The impossible. The one that will drive us to the brink of the edge. A bait for failure; taunting us and mocking us. This ghost of bullshit we’re constantly chasing.

Fuck off

There’s so much pressure. This script of life, written with such bold perfection. This imaginary manual, one that’s shoved in your face the moment you bear a child. The lingering words haunting you, casting shadows of doubt, and questioning your every move. The worrying and the second guessing as the minutes slowly slip away. And the minutes into hours. And the hours into days.

Living in a lie. This charade. The self-preservation of image. This expectation, one that keeps getting higher and higher within each reach. This constant criticism. The whispering and the judging. The mommy-wars that is so very much alive and ingrained in our culture.

This is so damn hard

Motherhood isn’t a Rockwell painting. Life is not perfection. This is hard and this is confusing. There will be chaos.  A constant struggle, one that we slowly learn to embrace.  Being a mother means getting so frustrated, that occasionally in moments of clusterfucks, you let your emotions match and usurp theirs, and then you hang your head in shame that you acted like a three year old. Motherhood is showing your children the grace of humility. Mothers give forgiveness and ask her children for theirs. Life is giving yourself permission to fall, to make mistakes, and to find the courage to admit your faults. You fucked up, so what. You pick up the pieces, you learn from it, and you grow. To be a mother is to be human. This delicate lesson, we need to remind ourselves of again and again and again.

There will also be moments when you feel alive and invincible. When your instincts are golden. You will be laced with the most incredible sense of pride. Hold on to this. Hold on to every single thing, the good and the bad and everything in between. There is something so profoundly powerful in being vulnerable. Don’t deny yourself of this. The chance to find your inner strength. To admit that this is hard. Because then how can you truly appreciate the joys of parenthood when you’re living a lie.

This notion. The perfect mother. It’s not real. Let it go.

herstory

One hundred and eighty four. That number will forever be carved into memory. It is a number that reflects my struggle. It is a number that reminds me of the dark days. It is the number that sent me down a whirlwind spiral. You might read this and think I’m being silly, or superficial, or even shallow. But, this will be honest. With this entry, you will be able to glimpse into my story. The whole story? Doubtfully. This is hard enough as is. I am sharing an important piece of me. A piece that leaves me vulnerable.

And, this is my story…

I had a great childhood. One packed with happy memories. Filled with giggles, dances, and make believes. And yet, they were not the ones that I carried through the years. Trauma. Those were the ones that had shaped me into the person I was and have become.

Losing my hearing at such a young age was overwhelming and confusing. And not too long after this, my parents got a divorce. I spent a considerably unhealthy portion of my childhood drowning in anguish. You see, I blamed myself for the divorce. Was my deafness too much for my dad to handle? Did I scare him away? I would imagine with the lack of education and resources in the eighties, the news would be terrifying. Today, I am still unsure if the incident played a role in their parting. But, today, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t remember exactly how many times I was forced to see someone. To seek help. To get my thoughts and my feelings articulated into words. Into sentences. Into stories. And I could never bring myself to scribble poetry of my sadness. I was afraid if I had spoken of them, they would turn into reality. My reality. The very thing I was trying so hard to run away from. This constant challenge I face, to weather through the storms of my mind. To allow myself to be completely vulnerable and naked. To allow the words to spill onto pages. Because in the end, what am I without my secrets?

Food. I found comfort in food. The sweet relief and sighs every time a piece of chocolate melted in my mouth. Instant euphoria. A quick fix. A temporary relief. A momentary bliss. I craved that satisfaction; I needed it. Thus, an addiction was born.

This unhealthy habit, I was in complete denial of. Quick to defend; shooting daggers with words. Lost in the world of nihilism. Food fed my soul, like a warm blanket during a snowstorm. One that would be vigorously torn away, leaving me cold and frivolously searching for shelter. A vicious cycle, a broken record, playing over and over and over.

Go away

I was slowly drowning. Angry waves crashing in this sea of self-loathing. And the in the moonlight reflection, I saw a girl with the sad grey eyes. A girl with the world on her shoulders; submerging in this burden. Scrambling for air. Gasping for air.

I didn’t want to be her. Not anymore.

I came to realisation. An understanding. An acceptance of this life. My life. As was. As is. The ending hasn’t been written. This script. There’s still time to steer the story to a different direction. I have the wheel. I’m in control. Not you. Me. This is my story and I will write my ending. A happy ending.

So, I push play. And I push play. And I push play.

Each droplet of sweat. Every curse word I mutter. This is so damn hard, I tell myself. There’s no easy way of doing it. This challenge proves to be, well, challenging. It’s a daily practice; one that I welcome. This pursuit of happiness is no longer out of reach. No longer a myth. But a reality. My reality.

The girl with the sad eyes? I don’t see her looking back at me anymore.

So, I push play. And I push play. And I push play.

baby’s first birthday.

Dear Vida Max,

Today we celebrate your first birthday. A full year has passed since you entered the world; you were pink, perfect, and tiny. So tiny. Five pounds and eleven ounces, with screams that could last for centuries. The moment I held you in my arms, all of my fears had subsided. Your little fingers were so perfect, and so graceful. Your little toes resembled mine, with the second toe being longer than the first. I kissed your slightly upturned nose and fell deeply in love with you. You are beautiful. You are perfection. You are all mine! My baby girl.

It was not too long ago when we brought you home, into the threshold of our life and our big world. Our family of four is now perfectly complete; the one that you are now inextricably and organically a part of. For the last three hundred and sixty five days, I have watched your personality slowly blossom and I am enthralled. I wish I could freeze time and memorise your every ounce, and because I cannot, instead I promise to write you letters for your birthdays. I hope, with the words I write, you will know how much and how impossibly I love you.

You are delightful and tricky. You are incredibly observant and your patience astounds me. You are smart, physical and so curious. You are precocious as ever, communicating so vastly, beyond those expected of a tiny, tiny creature. You are prone to deep belly laughter and your sense of humour could turn any frown upside down. You are infectious.

For the past month, I have watched you stand in front of a mirror, studying your own reflection. You are a little vain and I cannot hold you at fault. You blush and giggle, make goofy faces, and plant wet kisses. Not even one year old and you are already having conversations with yourself; I am quite sure you got that one from me and I apologise in advance for the embarrassment it will bring you. I will tell you one thing, with an imagination like yours, you have a friend for life.

Your constant need to perfect the things you do scares me to my very core. The amount of time you spend sitting on the floor, practicing new words you have learned, is both impressive and worrisome. Being a perfectionist is a blessing and a curse, and I do not wish this upon you. Please know that it is okay to make mistakes as they are inevitable, and do not let them define you. Give yourself permission to fall, and remember that every obstacle you face will only make you stronger.

I want to fill your head with promises of how wonderfully easy life is. I want to twirl you round and round and whisper to you that you will go through your days free of any care. And I cannot. Instead, I will do my best to guide you and prepare you for the harsh realities. It is not easy being a girl. It is never easy being a girl in a man’s world. It is an unfair oppression that has gone on for centuries, one I am so fiercely fighting against, and one you will too. I strive to instil such strength in you, that it chases away the darkest of storms. I hope with my words, you will be able to glimpse your beginning, and with it, you are on your way to something so wildly and wonderful. Remember, sweet baby, rules are made to be broken.

I love you more than you will ever know. You are amazing and you are brilliant. I scoop you up every chance I get, and I am mesmerised by how easy it was for you to dance your way into our lives. You fit so perfectly, the last piece of puzzle. The perfect verse to a poem.

I love you more than you love books. Imagine that.

Love,
Mommy

happy birthday, big boy.

Dear Liev Daniel,

Today you are three years old. I am still trying to wrap my head around this. I cannot believe how much you have grown and I am constantly in awe of you. I remember the morning when I came face to face with you for the first time. At six pounds and eight ounces, with ten fingers and ten toes, and a stork bite on your right eyelid, I looked at you and I fell in love with you immensely. You were tiny. You are perfection. You are all mine! My Liev.

For three years now, I’ve watched you grow. I’ve watched you explore the world with curiosity, demanding answers. Your constant desire to learn, to comprehend, and to question every single thing fills me with incredible pride. You are, without doubt, a person of your own, a person who is very aware of his surroundings, a person with strong opinions and aversions. Even though there are days when I feel like I cannot keep up with you, I secretly hope this is a trait that you will carry near and dear to wherever life takes you.

You are magical and you have the heart of gold. You are frustratingly stubborn. You are smart, feisty, and impossibly fast. You know no fear and your energy is endless. You are constantly on the go and yet you always manage to find the time to stop and pick flowers just to take in the moment. Your ability to find beauty in every single thing is mesmerising.

When you tell me about the wonders of the moon, I am amazed. The stories you tell, spun from the wildest of your imagination, are the moments that I live for. There’s magic in your hands, the way they dance when you talk. The words you articulate are so carefully thought out and well versed. The way you transit from two different languages with such ease is all kinds of remarkable.

There are also moments when I struggle. Truth is, nobody is ever truly prepared for the challenges of raising tiny humans. I’m constantly exhausted, and you have turned me into a full-fledged caffeine abuser. But, my Liev, you are worth the dark circles under my eyes. You push me to my limits and with every test, every negotiation, and every tantrum; I slowly learn to stretch my patience. The lessons I try so hard to teach you, the values and traits I strive to instil in you, and the whispers of how it’s okay to not be perfect, I often find myself reminding you. It’s realising the irony to all this that I continue to learn again and again and again. You are my teacher, as I am yours.

I love you far more than you could possibly imagine. I know you know this. I tell you how you mean the world to me every morning and every night, and every waking moment in between.

I love you to the moon and back, my firstborn.

Love,
Mommy

it's the small and simple things in life that brings you the most joy.

it’s the small and simple things in life that brings you the most joy.