My Journey: As I Sit Here 1999

My Journey: As I Sit Here 1999

Conformity was the thing that I blamed the most for my angst throughout high school. “As I Sit Here” is based on the fact that I felt different and outcast. I was trying too hard to go the other way for those four years, to try and be as different and unique as possible. I guess it worked as my senior class voted me as “Most Unique,” but at the time it was a mask that I wore trying to be so uncool that I would be cool.

1999/As I Sit Here
As I sit here all alone
I can only think of what life has shown.
If you’re unique—you’re rejected
If you’re redundant—you’re cool.
If you dress how you like—you’re ugly
If you hardly dress—the guys all drool.
And in this world of individuality—the individual is rejected,
While the clone is readily accepted.
How can we be so the same and yet,
Say that individuality is the best bet?
As I sit here and think
About those who are pushed to the brink,
Not the brink of Death-
But of ‘No Resistance’.
The brink of giving in to the Drone’s persistence.
We should be more accepting,
And not so man would be attempting-
To make themselves exactly the same
As someone who has vast ‘fame’.
Don’t care what the world thinks about you-
Only how you think about you.
As I sit here and ponder,
About this world’s most terrible wonder.
I am grateful that I haven’t been changed by
Someone who would make my uniqueness die.
I am grateful that I can be me.
Even if I am the only one who can see-
That individuality doesn’t mean exactly like
The person next to you or at the mike.
Life is meant to be lived by the individual
Not cheap imitations of those who are ‘cool’.
As I sit here and make conclusions
I pledge to myself that my image—my life—won’t be an illusion.
I will live my life how I want to-
Instead of letting it be decided by you.

The ultimate irony of “As I Sit Here” is that I did form my whole life into an illusion that was decided by my peers. I wasn’t until after I had my second child that I realized how little of my life actually reflected the person I really was inside. I’m still trying to find him, I think that he’s going to be pretty awesome once I dig through this debris.

My Journey: The Odd Side of 1999

My Journey: The Odd Side of 1999

I am odd, I’ll never claim that I am not. One of the things that people, particularly my husband, think is the most odd about me is that I love cheesy disaster movies. I blame my dad for this one. If he didn’t like watching them, then I wouldn’t have started watching them with him. I also blame my dad for my love of Science Fiction movies and both of my parents for my love of reading. I’m fairly certain that they do not mind being blamed for those things. One of the earliest memories that I have of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles came not from reading the book or seeing it referenced in a movie. It is of an anthology of Science Fiction stories that my dad had on audio tape. These stories were narrated by two of my favorite Star Trek actors. The Ray Bradbury works on that anthology included “There Will Come Soft Rains” and it has stuck with me more than any other single work. These two poems were in part inspired by that story and in part by other works of Science Fiction on page and screen.

1999/The Blast
Tires screeching, fear binding.
Heat searing, light blinding.
Everyone now scared, now dead.
Burning light flashed first orange, then red.
Last one died seconds after the first.
All of the consequences, this one is worst.
Sadness gropes the rest of the nation,
The government cowers in humiliation.

To me I always thought that “There Will Come Soft Rains” was about an accidental bombing. It wasn’t until much later, when I was able to read the whole anthology that Bradbury wrote about Mars, that I realized it was about war. But, when I was 15, I didn’t understand that human nature is more about war than about accidents. Of course, the odd side of a writer is that we imagine scenarios for almost every circumstance. This means that I put myself in stories to see how it would feel to be there and how it would feel to live that live. This also means that sometimes the habit backfires on me and I end up with nightmares.

1999/Nuclear Blast
Light, the beginning
Flooding over all
Into each and every soul
Into the cracks in every wall
Then comes the realization
That all you knew is gone
You are left alone
But you must continue on
Out into the light you step
To see the destruction of your world
Not caring now what comes to pass
Human pride eternally muraled
You are now the last
The only one to continue
The only one to remember the past
The only one to see the final death of the human race

I would watch random, rerun, episodes of The Twilight Zone growing up and was told a lot about episodes I’d never seen. The one that terrified me the most was about the survivor of the end of the world who finally had time to read, only to have his glasses break. I don’t know why, but that has been more my version of Purgatory than anything else I have seen, heard, or read over the years. As odd as it may seem, that episode convinced me that I would rather die in an apocalypse than be one of only a handful to survive it.

Different styles of writing embrace different traits. For example, the fact that I am odd translates very well into my Fiction writing and the fact that I am edgy translates well into my poetry. In 1999 I was still experimenting with what worked well and where. The Journey towards that goal is far from over, but I am getting there and learning about myself along the way.

My Journey: 1998 Holiday Poems

My Journey: 1998 Holiday Poems

Going through some books and paperwork in storage and I found a whole page of poetry about holidays that had stowed away in a yearbook. There were three 1998 holiday poems on the page, including one of my favorites. I’m glad that I was able to find more from this year that were happy and fun.

1998/Halloween Night
It’s Halloween night
And the moon is bright
The skeletons dance
By the eerie light
The witches’ brew
Is a wicked stew
One drip, one drop
One sip, one slop
POOF…no you
Stay in bed
Cover your head
Don’t go out on this scary night
And watch the ghosts and goblins take flight
It’s Halloween night
And the moon is bright
The skeletons dance
By the eerie light

This was one of my favorite poems, it won me an award in a small church contest, and I love the cadence. Halloween has long been my favorite holiday because of the ability to dress up and have fun.

1998/Spring
Spring is the time
For rhythm and rhyme
In the art of love

Not all of my happier themed poems are cliché, but this one is a bit trite. I didn’t dive too deep for my 1998 holiday poems, but they do show that I wasn’t all doom and gloom.

1998/Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day, in every way
Is a perfect holiday
With cream pies, family ties
And food that is a feast for my eyes.
I hardly remember
That in one warm November,
The Pilgrims knelt to pray.
Thanksgiving Day, in every way,
Is a perfect holiday!

I think that I was trying too hard to copy the success of the Halloween poem with this one, and it really shows. I copied the cadence and even the rhyming scheme; but, I tried to bring poignancy into a short poem with a fun feel.

In all, I’d say that my 1998 Holiday poems, like most of my poetry from that year, could use a good revision to bring it closer to the person who I am today. It’s been nineteen years and I have grown and changed quite a bit in that time. Not all of the changes are for the better, I am much more jaded than I would like, but the changes in my writing style were hard won and I think I’ll keep them.

My Journey: 1998 The Angst Continues

My Journey: 1998 The Angst Continues

I’m not going to lie here, this entry was very difficult for me to write and I really thought about giving this project up because of it. I went through thousands of pieces of paper containing hundreds of poems, stories, and ideas in trying to find more of my poetry from this year. I was really trying to find something happy in this sea of sad. I could not find anything. The closest that I found was the poem “Smiley” which starts out almost silly and then seems as though I’m starting to lose touch with reality. I finally told myself that I was fifteen, it was the end of my Freshman year and the beginning of my Sophomore year of high school, and I was so full of teenage angst that it was coming out of my ears.

1998/Smiley
A smiley is a special thing
My smiley is the only one
Waiting for me to come back
Begging me to have fun
And come away from the Eternal Black
If you knew the real reason
I always wear my smiley
You’d cry too for a season
As I wonder “Why Me?”
Sometimes I know my smiley
Is the only one who truly cares
The only one to stand by me
When I want to slip away unawares
My smiley’s never critical
Never teasing or making fun
Never calling me a radical
Or saying I’m the crazy one
Smiley is my only true friend
Convincing me to endure to the end
Who thought two dots and a line
Could turn away the gun

Dramatic and crazy, just like me. I’ve moved away from the angst and as the years went on I focused those feelings on more existential questions. You can see that in this next poem. I was still focused on the fact that those around me are oblivious to my plight, and still thinking that if they knew how awesome I was that things would be different. I’ll eventually learn that all the popularity in the world won’t cure depression, but not for a decade.

1998/How I Feel
They can’t know how I feel,
When they crush me under heel,
They don’t know how I cry,
Every time that they lie.
I can’t be me,
Because they can’t see,
“Different is good,”
As everyone should.
Sometimes I give into distress,
Needing a friend to break the depress.
Many come bearing a smile,
But few will go the extra mile.
I wish everyone could see,
The strange uniqueness that is me.
How can they do that they do?
Constantly teasing me and you?

Eventually I started having days where even just jotting down a couple of lines about the sinking feeling in my soul was enough to get through the day. Some of the shorter poetry throughout the years that I have been writing are my most poignant, and yet they are almost flukes as I tend to run at the mouth a bit.

1998/Cried
Today I have cried
Bitter tears of a sad life
I hurt more and more

There didn’t seem to be an end in sight to the things that I was feeling and it really seemed like no one could possibly understand what I was going through. I kept thinking that if I could just find the right combination of words that people would listen and everything would be fixed. These poems are all I can find from the year 1998, the other years are much more prolific and have a better variety of different moods of poems. I still struggled with teenage angst, and sometimes I think I still do even though I haven’t been a teenager for a very long time.

My Journey: 1998 The Journey Begins

My Journey: 1998 The Journey Begins

It’s Throwback Thursday so a good time to start The Journey. Read the About page if you would like to know a bit about this category! Starting from the beginning this time, I have decided to choose a couple of poems that show different sides of who I was in 1998. I was 15 and had just started back in public school during my 9th grade year. Prior to that I was homeschooled by my incredibly patient mother, something that I didn’t appreciate until I had kids old enough to get rid of at school for a couple of hours. This year I was trying my best to make friends and do well in school; but, I was socially awkward and only really succeeded at the latter. I did make one friend that first day of school who was my best friend until we graduated and lost track of each other. I was mostly frustrated this year and the depression was starting to eat at the edges. I think that it is most noticeable in the fact that none of my happier poems survive from this year. I will keep looking though.

 

1998/My Dream

I want to fulfill my dream

I want to soar

I want to fly

Above the stars

In the endless sky

 

1998/Male Chauvinism

Male Chauvinism is everywhere,

Some oppress and don’t even care.

Women have the same rights as men,

But some say it’s the shame of giving in.

“Women are to serve until they die!”

Is the Chauvinists’ battle cry.

Ours is one of truth and right

“We won’t go quietly into the night!”

The final battlefield is set,

In the home the armies have met.

Who, though, the victor will be,

Is the verdict we soon shall see

Our blood boils as the cry goes out!

“Love With Freedom Or Die Without!”

 

I wanted to be a pilot all through high school and into college. Some of my classmates found this to be easy fodder for teasing and decided to tell me all the things that I couldn’t do because I am afab. I started to go overboard with my zeal for a lot of things, as though they were the reason I wasn’t happy. It almost worked at times, but was just another mask.

About: My Journey

About: My Journey

In The Beginning…

 

Two songs keep repeating in my head today, or at least one line from each song. Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” have both appealed to me at various different times in the last 30+ years and at times I have had one or the other as my personal anthem. Today they are running through my head because as I contemplated which poem(s) to post today I decided that I need to explain a few things.

 

  • Why I Include The Date In The Poem’s Title: This one is fairly easy to understand and many of you may already know why. When I was in high school one of my poetry teachers, Ms. Smith—seriously, I didn’t change it for anonymity—said that if we dated our poetry we could see how our styles changed through time. So I started dating it all. I even went back and put the year on poems that I had written in the past and didn’t know the exact date.

 

  • Why I Want To Share My Old Poetry “As Is”: My journey is not always a happy one, in fact, I have clinical depression so at times it is downright miserable. The wonderful experiences in my life taught me a lot and I and grew from each one; however, many times my smile was pasted on as I cried on the inside. The poetry I have written shows this journey from what I would call the beginning until the present. It shows huge gaps where I wrote almost nothing and it shows times when I wrote multiple things a day. It shows how my voice has grown and changed as I have, and it shows what things were floating around in my head as I smiled my way through life.

 

  • Why Am I Doing This? I know that many of my family and friends are going to read this and wonder why I would put myself out there like this. The answer is fairly simple. As far back as I have written poetry, that I have copies of, I wore masks to hide behind. The Tom-Boy Mask, the Good-Girl Mask, the Rebel Mask, and so on. Some of you knew only one of these masks, some of you knew all, but none of you have seen my naked soul. My poetry is my naked soul. No masks, no lies, honest feelings and words, often penned when I was so angry I broke the lead on the page. Sometimes I wrote through tears that blurred the words in my sight and on the paper. Sometimes I wrote when I was elated or inspired. And sometimes I wrote for school assignments. All of these poems show my true journey and I am tired of all the lies.

 

  • What Can You Do To Help? Absolutely nothing. I am pulling myself up by the boot straps and climbing off of the end of my rope. This is my journey and if I had “said something sooner” or “just talked to someone” or even “just stopped being sad” then I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I would not have the fortitude to continue past my current road blocks. Telling me that you find inspiration in my journey is ok, sending me a pm about a particular piece that you want to clarify is encouraged, or even just commenting on a post or sharing it on social media can help. Not only will they help my self-esteem, but maybe my words can inspire someone else as so many blogs and stories and poems have inspired me.

 

What I do not want to happen is all of my family and friends taking things personally and not talking to me about it. I’m not going to name names or point fingers and when I do it will be about things that I have done and not things that have been done to me. I also don’t want to see a lot of comments about how I need to cheer up or things will get better. This is mostly because I’m posting poems that go as far back as 1998 so they don’t reflect the person I am today.

 

Today I am a wonderful creative transman who takes care of health, hearth, and happiness. I don’t always succeed, but I work hard every day and that really is the point.  And yes, I really do do everything my own way…