Musings, Unbound

15 Things: A List in Opposition

1. I make lists of things I want to accomplish that go unchecked.

2. Thoughts about what I’ve done which I can’t seem to forgive myself for keep me up at night, and thoughts about what I should do to make myself into someone better haunt my days.

3. I track everything I put in my body and everything I sweat out of my pores, but this never equates to a body size I feel comfortable in.

4. I start “self-care” regimens, but they quickly devolve into self-loathing.

5. I want to be unique, to be special, but I find I’m not even a one-in-four kind of person.

6. I’m told that no one’s journey is the same and that my struggles are valid, but more and more it seems like people say those things as a general platitude, a way to make themselves feel better when they don’t really care to listen to the struggle of others.

7. I write poetry that exposes my optimistically raw hopefulness, but I never share it with anyone because I just can’t bear how the pessimistic views of the world will tear my optimism to shreds.

8. In regard to #7, I also can’t bear for someone to call me a hypocrite when I do share a struggle. Even though having hope and struggling emotionally and mentally are not mutually exclusive, it seems the world sees them as binary opposites.

9. I want to write, but I’m afraid of what will come out on the page.

10. When I do conquer that fear and write, I want to share it, but I can’t stop comparing myself to others and wishing I had even one ounce of others’ talents. (See #5)

11. I know I shouldn’t read the comments section, but I just can’t help myself. I always hope to find some redemption for humanity, but it seems to be slipping further and further away. And still… I hope. (See #7)

12. People tell me how smart I am, but all I feel are the inadequacies of shit decisions I’ve made in my life.

13. I want to be a part of a “sisterhood” so badly that I will give everything to the detriment of my own happiness to female friendships, and when those friendships inevitably fall apart, I always blame myself.

14. My mother was one of my only anchors to being able to feel connected to the world around me, and I’ve felt so alone these past 4 years even though I am far from lonely.

15. I don’t know who you are, but I love you anyways.

Feature Image: Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Three Line Tales, Unbound

Paper Cranes

We stand hand-in-hand leaning over the railing of the little bridge that crosses the river in the park behind our house while the city behind us becomes a kaleidoscope of light in the icy water below. We’ve been here a thousand times repeating the same ritual, repeating the same wish, repeating the same crushing weight of always knowing the answer is no, but we come back anyways because hope is all we have left now. We drop the last tiny paper crane into the water, a silent plea cast out through the darkness like a message in a bottle to the world, and we watch it flutter to rest on the water’s surface and bob up and down as if replying “Your resilience and faith has been rewarded – wish granted” before its pulled under by the current.

In response to: Three Line Tales – Week Eighty-Three
Featured Image: Dev Benjamin via Unsplash 
Special thanks to Sonya at Only 100 Words for hosting these Three Line Tales every week.
Three Line Tales, Unbound

Star Wars DaVinci

DV-2301 didn’t choose the Stormtrooper life; the Stormtrooper life chose him.

Gifted with crafting form from a brushstroke of color, his childhood was spent drawing on the various canvases of life – illuminating flickers of hope in the wake of Imperial domination which had cast its shadow over the small corner of the galaxy he called home.

Now, his canvases were orders carried out with precision and unwavering loyalty, and his palette were the whites, chromes, and blacks of his station; he was the paintbrush moved by an invisible hand who painted astoundingly beautiful atrocities in the name of peace.

In response to: Three Line Tales – Week Fifty-Three
In response to Daily Prompt: Craft
Featured Image: Daniel Cheung via Unsplash (CC0 Public Domain)
Special thanks to Sonya at Only 100 Words for organizing and curating these Three Line Tales every week.
Teaching

An Educator’s Soul

A week ago, my school selected me among several staff members to travel to the Netherlands.  I am beyond excited to have been given this rare and wonderful opportunity to attend the educational programs and participate in discussions at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  Below is the essay I wrote as part of my application.  These words move beyond the page to my very soul.  They are my beliefs, my hopes, my dreams.  I hope they help you dream, too.


I want to be a world builder, an architect drafting plans for human greatness.  I draw inspiration from those who have come before me; their words reaching back through the ether of a dusty page.  With this raw material, I form it into dialogue and reflection, and I use it to brush away the ash of anger, insecurity, fear, hate, and war that the world tries to slip under my door.  It is the lens through which I see beauty left in this world.

Being an educator gives me the opportunity to share this beauty with others.  I could live a thousand lifetimes and not experience the full gamut of joys that come from dedicating one’s life to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.  My Dad has an old saying: “The only thing in this world they cannot take from you is your education.”  The older I become, the more I read, and the more I see the tribulations in this world increasing, the more I understand its truth.

I believe Anne Frank inherently embraced this truth, and it was through her understanding that an etching of its beauty was placed upon the soul of the world.  Even though her talent and proclivity for evoking the human spirit through word was taken too early, she achieved her dream of becoming a writer, and while she may not have wanted it, she became a most wondrous educator.  I, too, want my words to matter, to have them leave etchings on the hearts of those I teach.  I, too, want the quiet conscience of having done all the good I can to build up my students.

Armed with these beliefs, I want to participate fully in all things to increase my capacity for human greatness.  I owe it to the futures of my students to increase their capacity to hope, love, and dream – to be resilient in the face of adversity.  I want them to look out the windows of their school and see the beauty that awaits them.

Featured image: Pixabay- “Tulip” by corinaselberg (CC0 Public Domain)
Musings, Unbound

Hello, 2017

The ball in New York dropped.  In Texas, the last few minutes of 2016 tick away.  I had considered seeking out some event to attend to ring in 2017, but I am spending a quiet night at home with the love of my life instead.  Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to welcome the passage of time.

In my perusal of blogs reminiscing about the past and looking forward to the future, one theme holds prominent – hope.  It’s such a simple word that carries the weight of immeasurable possibility.  I think we as a society, a brotherhood of human beings, could do with a little more hope in our lives.  The simple act of having enough faith to hope can change many worlds.

So, here is to you my my fellow writer, reader, friend, lover, brother, sister, father, mother: I hope your New Year is as full of every kind of love, joy, kindness, achievement, and possibility you dream.

Happy New Year!

In response to Daily Prompt: Hopeful
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Winter Bloom” by LarsBorris (CC0 Public Domain)
Musings, Unbound

Hope and Purpose

As the year wanes towards the New Year, we seek resolutions to work towards in the coming days.  I don’t know about you, but I have yet to carry through a single resolution since I remember making my first one back when I was fourteen or fifteen.  Still, these resolutions give us a sense of purpose and determination, however fleeting, as we return to activities long since dropped since March or April of the year before.  In this sense, we find some renewal.  Some hope.

As an educator, I am afforded two weeks at Christmas as a “vacation”.  I use quotations because anyone who has worked or is working in education knows that we only dream of vacations when we’re really attending professional development, pinning lesson ideas, wondering how our students are doing, or just generally curled up in a ball binge watching our favorite shows while we anxiously obsess over all the things we know we should be doing to prepare for students to return but find little will to actually do it.  Maybe that last part is just me, though.

The truth of the matter is celebrating Christmas is hard.  With all the good cheer floating like snowflakes through the air, the loss of my dearest loved ones fills me with a chill.  It’s hard to let the season fill me when the absence feels so deep.  Sometimes crying can break the ice, so that other emotions can fill up the well in our souls.  My tears just won’t fall.  With this in mind and knowing I can’t let my heart freeze, I’m going to looking forward.  I’m will break the ice with hope and purpose.

Carrie’s Top 5 Determinations for Hope and Purpose in 2017:

  • Blog at least twice a week: You can dust off and brush up something you’ve written before, but be sure you are actively writing.
  • Keep track of at least one happy moment during the week with a “Ray of Sunshine Jar”.  Open it up and read a few if you need a little sunshine in your life!
  • Be healthy enough to wear the sailboat dress that Mom always wanted to wear
  • Tell someone you love them – every day.  You never know when it will be their last time to hear it or your last time to say it.
  • Read, read, read!  Seriously.  You’re an English teacher.  It’s kind of in the job description, anyways.
In response to Daily Prompt: Renewal
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Sparkler” by Unsplash (CC0 Public Domain) 
Poetry, Unbound

Vanishing Point

There is a vanishing point well off in the distance
that signifies the end of the world as we know it.
The fallibility of the human eye cannot see beyond it,
but as sure as we know the Earth is round,
we know there must be something there reaching out to us.

Vanishing points don’t just exist on the horizon.
They exist in the human soul.
What lies beyond this precipice of our humanity?
Could it be we are each born with a black hole at our center
ever consuming the light within us?

But vanishing points don’t just diminish the light
as it tends towards evening twilight and darkness.
They also herald the coming sunrise,
meeting it head on and erupting the sky into
sprays of warm golds and brilliant blues.

This is the moment where there is either
life or death, love or loss, light or darkness.
This is the moment where we meet –
The vanishing point between
who I was,
who I am,
who I want to be.

In response to Daily Prompt: Vanish
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Horizon” by diego_torres (CC0 Public Domain)