Like Flame and Light

Comfort.

It’s such a strange and rare feeling to have, especially when stress is commonplace in today’s culture.

I was brought comfort once–not by someone who neither you or I would expect it from. Comfort that assured me my ambitions weren’t irrational, that kept me warm when I shivered in the cold uncertainty. Comfort that shed light on my shady future, guiding me to the end of the tunnel.

But by the end of the night, I’d already forgotten all that troubled me.

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Louder

You think you’re alone, but you are wrong–you are very wrong. It may be unfortunate to not have one special person in whom you can confide and trust to listen and give you a caring hug and optimistic words. But instead you have more than one, you have plenty. You have a power group. You have a crowd of supporters, cheerleaders, partners, all the ones you need who love you and care about you and what you do more than you think they ever would. They look at you endearingly, wondering whether or not it would be overstepping bounds to ask if you’re okay, glancing longingly over their shoulders.

They’re there for you; you will bring each other up when you’re down.

When you feel like you’re not being heard, speak louder.

When your talent is being overshadowed, be louder.

When your song begins to falter and crack in despair, sing–sing louder.

Just when you think you are being loud enough, shout louder.

When your true colors blend, becoming muddy and gray, pierce through the dullness, shatter the boundaries, and outshine who you were with who you will be, and don’t stop there. Shed your light on the world, your vibrance, your luminosity, your ever-present eloquence and invincibility. Let them be louder than any palette you’ve ever seen.

And let yourself be louder than you never believed you were capable of.

Don’t let anyone diminish the faith you have in yourself or destroy the foundation you’ve spent your life building upon. You’ve come this far; you can make it even farther. Don’t let all the terror you faced, all the tears you shed, all the blistering heat you survived go to waste. So leave your pride and fear at the door because…

…you are here to be amazing.

The Weird Ones

My best friends from late elementary school are gorgeous. They’ve all well moved on from the age that the “weird people”usually go through–they’ve all moved on from me, more so.

I remember wondering, “wow, those beautiful people used to be my best friends.” The ones I had sleepovers with. The ones I did girly American things with, like playing dress-up and gossiping about boys we had crushes on. The ones I consoled in when not a single boy bought me a 1$ carnation on Valentine’s day (which is, to this very moment, my least favorite “holiday”). The ones who made me keychains with dog charms because they knew I absolutely loved dogs. The ones who bought me Taylor Swift CDs when she was still good, and the ones who gifted me Hannah Montana friendship bracelets before moving away to Oklahoma or other cities where they would forget everything pre-fifth grade like I was never at part of their lives and I’m totally fine with it.

I remember thinking, “why didn’t they hang around after they all moved away? How come they never called?” And I remember being so excited at the very short-lived false hope that we’d all be able to stay together through high school but then finding out their parents decided otherwise in the middle of it all.

I lost touch with the best friends who would later became theater buffs (the main characters, mind you), the top miss in the small town beauty pageant, the star of the soccer team in a high ranking school, the scandal of the band.

But the ones I didn’t lose touch with are the truly beautiful ones. The ones with whom I could be my random, spastic self. The ones who went through the same stupid phase as I did. The ones who had serious trust issues in other people. The ones who stand out in a crowd because they’re not like anyone else because they’re… Weird.

Those are the best ones. Those are the real ones. Those are the ones I love the most for being themselves and not losing who they are amid the chaos.

Those are the ones who will last a lifetime and beyond.

By Lamplight

They want you to cower. They want to see you shrink into weakness. They want to know they won over you, over every effort you put out to get through it, everything you’ve done, everything you’ve ever become. They want to see you fall to your knees and sob until not a trace of faith is left in you. They want to suck the life out of you. They want to see you lose everything you have ever had and never will have. They want to tear your hopes and dreams into shards of ignorance, prove that you knew nothing and because of that, you will never reach the end. They want to destroy the best parts about you, shame you, and humiliate you. They want to look down their nose at you and make another addendum to the statistics out of you.

I know your palms are clammy and sweaty and your nerves are tense and your body shakes uncontrollably. I know that the sensation, the only presence you feel within you is fear, discouragement. I know it’s overwhelming. I know everything is washing over you at once in an ever-powerful tsunami, casting a shadow over your helpless soul, the imminent danger palpable. I know all you feel like you’re capable of now is reducing yourself to teardrops on the ground upon which you have fallen in feebleness and despair.

I know.

I know because I live in it.

But I also know that in the long run, you will be okay. You will be able to enjoy life. Happiness will be so desperate to join you, chasing you, unable to be pushed away. You will awaken to the daylight beyond the milestone you trudge past. You will see that, despite everything you’ve ever dealt with, this might be the most difficult one yet, and still you will overcome it without a fight. You have the might and strength within you. You have all that you need to accomplish this. You will succeed. You will see yourself more than a year down the road, holding your lamplight, showcasing your pin, and the only tears you will ever shed and ever need to shed are tears of celebration and relief.

 

Just breathe.