Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quoting Myself

Blue Too Soon

I felt Blue too soon
Because I wanted it to be you
I felt Blue too soon
Because your eyes lit up like moons
I felt Blue too soon
Without really looking at you
I felt Blue too soon
Even through our trip was doomed
I felt Blue too soon
Because I thought I believed in you
I felt Blue too soon
When the flowers hadn't bloomed
I felt Blue too soon
But it was too good to be true
I felt Blue too soon
And it wasn't ever really for you

Making Yourself Your Priority

    Recently, it has become apparent in my life that people around me are too preoccupied with what others want, and not genuinely concerned about the one person that truly matters...themselves.

    In a relationship, you cannot expect someone else to make you happy. That is not the function of a significant other, a best friend, or any relationship you form. The one person who knows exactly what to do to make you happy is you. You are the expert on you. Because of this, you need to pay attention to what you want in everything you do. You cannot control the situations you encounter, but you control the manner in which you respond to them.

    I have a friend who inspired me to post this. She is struggling with a dilemma involving her future with a guy who works with her; her dilemma being that she does not see a future with him. I have listened to her fuss over hurting this guy's feelings for about a week now, and she decided today to be up front and tell him that she doesn't see a future with him. When she was leaving, she was antsy and nervous, more worried about how he is going to feel than how she has been feeling for the last week. So I reminded her that her first priority is making herself happy, and I said to her what I quoted above, "You are not responsible for anyone's happiness but your own. You should be making yourself happy. And he should be making himself happy. And if it works out, then you can both make yourselves happy, together."

    My friend didn't even realize how selfless she was being, honestly. And although there is a selfless aspect to a relationship, but there is also a selfish aspect. You are allowed to be selfish when it comes to who you choose to spend your time with and develop a relationship with. If you aren't happy with something in your relationship, you have to communicate it to grow from it. And although doing this may hurt someone else now, it is kinder than forcing yourself to stay somewhere you feel less than completely comfortable. You deserve to be happy and respected and comfortable.

    Listen to yourself, and realize that discomfort is a sign that there is an issue.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Miracle Worth Mentioning

I didn’t know her well. I could hardly say I knew her at all.

When I was twelve, we heard news of my great grandmother falling ill. This shocking news took my family, especially my mother and grandfather, into shock. And I genuinely felt bad for not feeling a thing at the time, and justified that with the idea that I’d only seen her as a small child.

The hospital where she now laid, was where she’d been her whole life. In her youth, she’d gone up and down the hallways singing hymns as she aged from a nurse to an elderly volunteer. Everything I heard about her, I believed, but it seemed unreal. I was told about this beautiful, soulful woman with faith like a rock, and doubted this description’s reality in the back of my mind. I had never been religious, I had never discussed it, and I never wanted to.

But I was in a bad place, emotionally and mentally. Looking back, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t depressed, but going through my days stagnate and dulled was typical of me. I don’t think I felt back then. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I’ll never forget how she happened to me.

Granny was not doing well, to say the least. This was not a hospital visit where any visiting really occurred- this was more of a stare-at-what-used-to-be-your-great-grandmother-laying-there-with-her-mouth-wide-open-like-a-corpse-in-some-horror-film. Needless to say, not a pretty picture, and quite a brutal one to see at twelve. Alas, we sat. And sometimes we stood. And restlessly, we’d return to our seats eventually. Not much was said, because there wasn’t much to say. The doctor would come in with the same emotionless look on his ancient face, and he’d sigh and pet her head for a moment, but promptly leave. At first, my grandpa asked questions about his mother, but when the news remained the same, even he gave up asking.

I recall wishing I could go home, not knowing why I had to be there to literally watch my great grandmother on her deathbed when I didn’t remember her. And when we left the hospital that night to head to our hotel, I didn’t realize it then, but God responded directly to my ignorant questioning of the situation.

When we left the hospital, the awkward almost goodbyes extended were disheartening, and I hated to see my family in so much pain, but even more than that I questioned how heartless I was for not being affected. The doctor had been good friends with my grandmother for years, and the only statement he uttered while fighting back tears was “She won’t make it through the night,” and I could feel the shivering of the wrinkles on his face. So we trudged to the cramped hotel for the last night we’d spend there, and not much was said between my mother and me. I couldn’t imagine how she must have felt to be losing her grandmother, a woman I didn’t know the first thing about. I didn’t come up with anything to say to her, and we fell asleep slowly.

3am, the phone rang.

I could see it in my mom’s face- this was the call. And she didn’t answer right away- no, she took her time, waiting for that last ring, biting her lip with tears welling up in her eyes. And I closed my eyes as she answered, preparing myself for the worst. And as I opened them again, her face had softened. And I was told to get dressed because we were going. I rushed and got a crappy t-shirt and some leggings and house shoes on, and rode the two blocks to the hospital puzzled.

Upon arriving, there was a sound that caught my attention. I was making my way down hallways of linoleum heartbreak and was certain I was listening to the soundtrack of defeat. I remember its eerie growl, and it was almost a tune, maybe a song. I couldn’t decipher it, but it had my attention the whole walk to her room. And as we approached the sound was met by a similar one, coming from her room. They molded together and met in a harmonious eerie quality I wish I could put into words. It was when I saw her that I realized what I’d been hearing.

Did you ever hear that old church hymn? The one that goes “Oh, how I love Jesus?” It probably has some other words, but those weren’t part of this version. I suppose it was all she could remember. But she was awake. Not only awake, she was singing.

Now, in her day, Granny had a beautiful voice I’m sure, but the voice of a woman on her dying bed was not. And that was the irony of it, because at first it had pained my ears to listen to, and three steps later I had determined it was the most beautiful sound my ears had ever heard. And what was so breathtaking was that the only words she had uttered since she woke up were “oh, how I love Jesus” and it had grown into a song, and she hadn’t stopped.

This singing continued through the morning until it was light, until the sun shone through her window on her pale complexion and illuminated her graciousness. We had all joined in, because what else was there to do but be a part of the miracle before our eyes? Some were crying, and slowly they’d reach for someone and smile and hug them or pull them close and say something about how beautiful she was, or how godly she was, or how amazing this all was. And it was. It was the single most powerful experience of my life, and it wasn’t over yet.

The singing came to a slow stop, and although she still mumbled “oh, how I love Jesus” at least once a minute, she began to speak to the family. She called over her sons, and she talked to them about their late father, and how much they’d both loved them. And she called my grandma to her, and held her while she cried. She called my uncles and my mother, and told them how beautiful their children were and how much they’d grown into adults she was proud of. And there was a pause after she’d reached my mom, and she said my name.

Her voice was calm but scratchy, and I was scared, but my mother pulled me to her. She held my hand, and told me how much I looked like my mother, and that she remembered her at my age. And then the unthinkable happened. She asked the rest of the family to leave the room. My cousin, who was slightly autistic, was not happy to have been left out. I remember watching her start to cry because she thought grandma didn’t recognize her. And you couldn’t blame poor Granny. She was 96, and probably wouldn’t have recognized me if I hadn’t been the only blonde in the family besides my mother. But at that time, I realized the weight of this moment.

When they’d left, it was so silent I could taste it. Her bony fingers stroked my hand softly, and I sat there in silence anticipating what she could possibly have to say to me. What came to be still shocks me: she asked me about my relationship with Jesus.

I offered some nonchalant answer you give your grandma to please her. I knew she believed, and would be disappointed if I didn’t say the same. She squeezed my hand, harder than I expected she was capable of in her condition, and asked me to tell the truth.

So I began a serious of statements that went along the lines of: “I don’t know,” “I know I’m supposed to,” “I don’t feel comfortable discussing it,” “I don’t go to church,” “No, not really.”

Expecting a scorning from her, I was surprised to see the smile on her face echoed by the wrinkles covering the rest of its beauty. She didn’t question me. She didn’t scorn me. She loved me, you could see it in her eyes, and it was overwhelming. And she spoke, struggling slowly,

“Jesus loves you, he always has, and he always will. He will love you if you believe in Him or not. But I’ve been around for a while, and I can tell you, I’ve seen things. I’ve seen miracles, Shelby. And these past few days, He’s been with me, and with all of you. He’s here now, and He will be when I’m gone and you’re here on this bed in a hundred years. And He loves you, more than you can imagine, more than even I or your mother can. Just remember that.”

Grandma Brotzman passed away later that night. We were told that she was still singing up until her last breath, “Oh, how I love Jesus.” My grandparents said it was beautiful and peaceful, and that she said she could see him before she went, and that they’d never seen her look so happy as she did staring at the ceiling right then.

That’s how I like to picture her: Smiling up at Him; letting Him know she was ready for Him; knowing whole-heartedly she’d be with Him soon.

After that, I was not the same, selfish girl who’d traveled to Denton earlier that week. I contemplated what she’d said for days, for weeks. I went to church, and although I didn’t discuss what happened with anyone, I thought about it the whole time. And I continued to attend, and I sat alone and thought about what it meant to believe, and to be here, and to feel what these people felt for something I didn’t understand. I couldn’t believe how public they could be with such a personal relationship, and I decided that the publicized church life wasn’t going to be for me. But the day that I decided I wasn’t going to continue coming back, they played a hymn that was familiar. And as the ominous words “Oh, how I love Jesus” echoed through the pews, I felt something for the first time in forever- I felt loved, overwhelmingly and undoubtedly.

And I took that feeling with me, out the door when that song ended. And I didn’t return, and I didn’t need to, because there was a reason I’d been there. There was a reason my great grandmother was taken when she was. There was a reason that she’d recognized me that day. And to this day, I am convinced that God took a second to help me when I needed it most- at a pinnacle point in my development as a person. He stepped in, through Granny, and He loved me when I thought no one else did. She was supposed to remind me of that, and of His presence, and maybe that was what she needed to do before she left. Or maybe it was one of many things, but I believe it was the reason he made miracles happen before my eyes. He knew I was lost, and He needed my attention, so something drastic was in order.

I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe that some things fall apart so others can fall into place, and that lives end so new ones can begin. I believe in miracles, and I believe every word that beautiful woman said to me that day. Most importantly, I believe in something.


A song to relate to this: Neck Deep- Candour

Finding Someone

I was hoping to find someone
And at first, I found you
And you were beautiful and turbulent
But perpetually untrue

I thought I was left with no one
And maybe I was back then
Being alone just couldn’t compare
To the way that things had been

Then I heard you found someone
And my world turned upside down
Because suddenly I realized
You wouldn’t be coming back around

And so I too searched for someone
To fill the void that once was you
And the memories of your company
Still choked me ‘til I was blue

And I failed to find anyone
Who could make me feel a thing
And when it came right down to it
I didn’t have much to bring

And so I searched for someone
In the depths of all that was me
Looked past the pushing it away
I was surprised with what I could see

And so I became someone
Someone I would want to meet
A girl who was strong but gentle at heart
And who refused to accept defeat

And so I found someone
And my chains and angst were freed
I had tried to make someone else
Fill what all along was me

And so I am someone
Who is proud and all alone
And maybe someone, somewhere
Will make this heart a home


Sunday, May 10, 2015

It's Okay To Be Alone

    I just want to speak to the girls who are feeling alone, and have thrown themselves on the bed in tears because they feel so much. And it may seem like the rest of the world doesn't feel the way you do, and maybe you're right, because being able to feel so deeply is a gift and a curse. It's a gift because you experience so deeply and realistically that they don't even understand. And it's a curse because they can't understand. It's difficult to empathize with the impossible for us.
    Don't settle. Ever. I don't care if it's a 3-week fling before finals or you're looking for the father of your children. If he doesn't make you feel like the most important and beautiful thing in the world, he doesn't know what he has. And if he steps all over you, challenge him. Women can no longer stand by and be coy; we must be vicious and vital and demand what we deserve. If he bailed, call him out. If he cheated, leave. If he doesn't react like he is losing the greatest prize the world has ever seen, he doesn't realize the value of the woman at his feet. If he doesn't deserve your raw, unkempt brand of affection, take it away from him. Take pride in removing yourself from a situation and keeping your head high. Take pride in being worth the wait. And take pride in the nights you spend in your bed alone, because it's better than feeling empty in a bed that is full.
    It's okay to be alone.
    It's okay to be sad about it.
    What's not okay, is devaluing yourself for immediate gratification.
    What's not fair, is allowing anyone to share in the beauty of your youth who doesn't bask in the gratitude that they have you and you alone.

    You're okay.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Angsty College Poem #1

I know I have to move on soon
'Cause it'll be 6 months in June
But I've got paintings in my head
Of you just laying in my bed

I don't regret a single second
With every heartbreak, there's a lesson
A phoenix can't rise without a fire
In this case, when you trust a liar

Scribbling messages in the dirt, of words you said and how they hurt

& I'll spring forward
With every fall back
Let the baggage
Begin to unpack
And scream the words
I know are true
Fuck your friends for telling me
That I could believe in you

Limerick for Jazz Hands

Do you remember the first night that I saw your show?
I didn't like your sister 'cause she dressed like a hoe
We drank coffee and vodka and we didn't say hi
'Cause we were so drunk by the end of the night

Trying To Pop-Punk

You took another girl to my hometown
You played her notes, you showed her around
And I guess that it's all the time
I just liked the way you said my name

It wasn't perfect, but it was worth it
Looked past the flaws in our design
Thought it was our time; but you weren't on time
I'll drown all my sorrows in red wine

Second Song

Title: Writer's Block

There's a time when I remember
When you looked at me like that
And to think this last December
All I fell for was your laugh
And Sometimes I almost call you
Expect a smile in your voice
But before I let it go through
I recall who made this choice

And there's days that I wake up
And I expect to see you there
But all I feel is the ache
Of another's loveless stare
And I know I had a reason
To leave your sorry ass
I just wish that "in the long run"
Meant that I moved on too fast

I wrote down our story
With the ending that I dreamed
Now that it's over
It's fictional it seems
And I can't seem to edit you
out of the book
Now that you're gone,
Where's the love that you took?
I described your eyes
Not that way it fell through
Didn't write down the lies
'Cause I thought they were truth
And I can't seem to edit you
Out of it now
Even though we've both changed
I can't just can't figure out how

There's a time when I remember
When you looked at me like that
And to think this last December
All I fell for was your laugh
Sometimes I almost call you
Expect a smile in your voice
But before I let it go through
I recall who made this choice

And there's days that I wake up
And I expect to see you there
But All I feel is the ache
Of another's loveless stare
And I know I had a reason
To leave your sorry ass
I just wish that "in the long run"
Meant that I moved on too fast

The First Real Song

Title: Someday

When I can fly again, it’ll be alright
Try to pretend that everything’s just fine

I’ve been stuck in this bed for 3 damn weeks
And I, didn’t know that I could get tired of sleep
But I,
Gotta get away
Gotta run away
Someday, someday
Gotta get away
Gotta run away
Someday, someday

And I thought that I should see you
But then again, what do I know?
Didn’t realize the song you sang was, just for show
And I know that I’ll get over you
Baby, you ain’t no thing
Didn’t realize that heartbreak would be the song you’d choose to sing
Nah nah nah
A-Nah nah nah, nah nah nah
Nah nah nah

I’ve been stuck in this bed for 3 damn weeks
And I, didn’t know that I could get tired of sleep
But I,
Gotta get away
Gotta run away
Someday, someday
Gotta get away
Gotta run away
Someday, someday

When I can fly again, it'll be alright
Try to pretend everything's just fine
When I can fly again, there’s a million things I’ll do
But when I can fly again, it’s damn sure not to you

College Cheer Tryouts

    I would just like to take this time to offer some first-hand advice for your first college cheer tryout. When I tried out, I had trouble finding what I was looking for as far as what to expect. I have been a cheerleader for about 8 years now (I think that makes me officially...old) and a cheerleader at The University of Texas at Arlington for 3 years. (UTA, go Mavs) There are 3 things I think are important to understand about your first college tryout.

One, being open and inviting.

    This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how much your body language and typical behaviors can be misinterpreted by a new team. You are being judged on more than your skills, and the ideal "rookie" is willing to try new things and accept criticism. Even if you have vast experience with a skill, things are done differently in college and you need to be able to cordially accept constructive criticism from older teammates.
    And don't let being intimidated by someone allow you to put them on a pedestal. Remember that everyone is the way that they are for a reason. Everyone is fighting a battle that you may not understand, but that they have struggled through and grown because of. Your veterans have been in your shoes, and have seen many come and go through the team. The way they treat you comes from their experience and their perspective. But their opinion of you is not yet determined, and they may be skeptical of your loyalty or work ethic initially. Don't take this personally. You can prove to be a great teammate by being willing and able.
    College cheerleading involves new aspects that aren't even legal in all-star or high school. You will be asked to try something that terrifies you, and it's okay to be scared. However, if you refuse, you will not receive positive feedback from your team. (Particularly if they're a shoulder stand)* Ask questions, as many as you need to understand. And be honest about your fears, and your veterans will talk you through them. Be open and willing and honest.

Two, push and encourage everyone else on the team.

    This is a team sport, and even more so, this is more about the general success of the team than your own. College cheerleading revolves around encouragement from within and a spirit that comes from the heart. That's what wins national championships. Even if someone isn't your favorite teammate, a kind word during practice can change their whole day. You will be surprised when these same people remind you later on how much it helped them, and later on they will repay the favor when it comes to the routine.
    And you need friends on your team. Don't reject and put down your teammates, plain and simple. You never know who you will need on your side later on. And remember, dead mat hurts your body. It just does. And until college cheerleading adopts spring floors, we will all hurt equally and awfully. Try not to downplay others injuries when they complain. Imagine yourself in their shoes, and remain cordial.
    Yell for someone when you see them in need, and they will return the favor.

Three, wear spandex.

    This is something that was not explained to me before I tried out, and I showed up in Soffee shorts. No, nobody is going to make fun of you publicly, but you will stand out. Nike pros are the most comfortable in my and my team's opinion, but any will work. (I recommend black, if you tumble, and if you do, you know why)
    If you don't feel comfortable, by all means, wear what you want. I like to wear spandex workout pants to practice, when I don't have to do some form of thigh stand in a pyramid. But I'd wait to do this until you're certain your coach accepts wearing pants to practice. Just know that the college cheerleaders at every tryout I've been at wear spandex to tryouts and practice.

I hope that this helps someone, somewhere. Thanks for the read. Good luck at your tryout!

*position in college pyramids at the bottom, where a person stands on your shoulders. The "top-top" flyer is then thrown on top of the mid-layer flyer.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Broken Ankle Blues

                What really hits me hard, even after all this time, is days like today. I woke up early, but skipped class because my broken ankle is killing me. About a month ago, I did on a tumbling pass during cheer practice. I landed that tumbling pass in a crack, and both dislocated and broke my ankle. Not to be a sad sack, but I also broke my hand back in November, stunting in cheer practice. It really sucks to work so hard for something and it stay just out of your reach. It’s a lot like how I feel on my scooter every day, because I can’t walk for a few months. Sometimes I try to roll through somewhere or over something, and my wheel gets caught wrong, and I have to stop and readjust and continue. That’s how my life feels right this second. I tried to be the best I could, and my hand caught me up. I worked my ass off and did hardcore workouts for two months on top of practice, came back stronger, and I seem to have gotten caught up again. And here I am, currently readjusting my life and getting back on the scooter.

                So today, I made it to practice. I worked the radio for roughly two and a half hours, watching girls in spandex and black shirts with the blue emblem for our university proudly on the front, doing things that are absolutely insane. It isn’t the girls that I like to watch, though. The boys impress me more every time I watch, with their sassy motions and mouthing the words to the music, all while completing skills I could never dream of being able to do. (And I’m a tumbler.) The looks on their faces are priceless; they have the biggest expressions you’ve ever seen. This feigned excitement while they are pushing themselves physically to the max is what makes it so entertaining to watch. That’s what you look for when you’re judging, their energy. A good team, a nationals winning team, puts a smile on their face and makes you want to watch them make what they do look easy. It’s amazing, but for me, it’s hard to watch.

                I’ve always been of the mindset that, if I want something done right, I need to do it myself. Not to suggest that I’m not a team player. I am, and I couldn’t do anything without my team. It just makes it hard to watch my team do the routine that I had been a part of, and was thinking about how to improve every day, without me. They are strong and dedicated, and we will win as a family…but it’s hard to claim that for myself. I won’t be able to be a part of the feelings I know are part of the experience, because I’ll be speaking in second person. I don’t want to have to say “You can do it,” because I feel like I can do it… but then again, I can’t walk.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nobody is looking at you, but me

Now darling, don't you worry
This town is not a jury
Just mind your business and do as you please
Because nobody is looking at you, but me

And please don't become antsy
If you aren't what someone fancies
There's more to your eyes than what they perceive
Because nobody is looking at you, like me

And baby, don't go hiding
When paranoia starts biting
Just know that no one is even tall enough to grasp the branches of your tree
And nobody is looking at you, but me


Fangirling Over You

I want to be your first thought and your last.
What you want for your future, and from your past.
I hope that you write me a song for the ages, and I'll write metaphors of you for pages.

When I face disappointment, I think of your eyes,
And it makes me see beauty in things I despise.
And when you are feeling relaxed and care-free, I hope you close your eyes and also think of me.


You Make Me Feel So Young

I'm alive with the passion in your eyes.
And I shouldn't be surprised this time
When I find that you're capable of lies.
Your eyes embody the universe.
Unafraid, I'm completely immersed.
Thinking maybe someone had the urge to lift my curse,
When you found me at my worst.
But who am I kidding?
Too focused on winning,
I'm forgetting to realize this is just the beginning.
There's a part to this art that's based on innocence,
And I need to start ignoring the dissonance.
I'm so concentrated on that I haven't won
When I haven't even tried to run,
And we've hardly begun.



"We are never as vulnerable as when we love." -Sigmund Freud

"Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure." -Bob Marley

"Being an artist means forever healing your own wounds and at the same time endlessly exposing them." -Annette Messager
I want to feel what it's like to be yours,
but I'm still captured in soiled memories of pillow talk and the smile lines in his eyes.

Compose and Compare

How does one not compare a new lover to what came before?
How, when he runs his fingers through my hair and kisses my forehead, do I not think about how you used to?
And at that, how do I not compare the softness of it, or the speed of the heartbeats?
When he intertwines his legs with mine, all I feel is the difference, not the butterflies in my stomach.
And when we make love, how do I not notice that we aren't?
Because I realize he doesn't love me, and I notice the fear in his eyes of me, and the way he doesn't look at me like you.

How can I move on when every step of the way I am intrinsically drawn to something I remember but can't feel anymore?
The second I let someone in, and think everything is fine, that little demon Cupid shoots an arrow of memories and floods my brain with inconsistencies and what isn't right.
And maybe it can't be right.
And maybe we aren't.
And I think maybe I need to learn to feel left, instead.
But then I remind myself, I know what it's like to feel