Tattoo

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Time heals all?

Not of this sort…

 

You.

 

The only eternity that matters anymore.

 

I danced with a needle,

 

You took up a pen.

 

You would choose paper, but I would choose…

 

SKIN.

 

Forever.

“What a fool!” “What a fool!”

 

I cried to the Savior.

“Wash me clean!”

 

But this was no stain like I had at thirteen…

 

Scarred.

 

Needle scraped skin of insides unwritten,

 

How could I not know you’d forsake my “Forgiven”?

 

Oh how I’ve steel-scrubbed my heart-skin,

 

Just striving to wash you away.

 

And turning my face from the canvas,

 

Trying to remember it blank.

 

But on and on you are with me,

 

Long after the needle has scathed,

 

For I would choose skin and you would choose…

 

Paper.

 

On paper you penciled me in.

 

To-do today,

DONE tomorrow.

 

If you etch within margins, you can skip the sorrow.

 

You.

 

Bored like a child.

Blind to the value.

Scared of a pinprick.

Me.

 

Thrilled.

 

Longing to learn.

 

Beholding priceless treasure.

 

Committed to the art,

 

Yes! Even though it burned.

 

And fuck, I regret you.

 

I finally do.

 

My killer, my friend.

 

My eternal tattoo.

The Back of the Line

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I am a white belt in Tang Soo Do.

I’ve been a white belt for 2 ½ months.

My initial motivations for wanting to practice martial arts were numerous. Some reasons were physical, some were personal, and some were even a little silly. For instance, I wanted to be one step closer to being a Legend on the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. Haha!

At the beginning and ending of every class, everyone gets into lines with all of the higher belts in the front line and all of the lower belts in the back. It’s hierarchical so, being the only white belt, my place is tacked onto the very end of the very last line.

And it’s one of my favorite places to be.

I know that might sound a little strange. Like, obviously the goal is to move up to the front of the line little by little year by year as you go up in rank.

But the truth is, I’m truly happy to be in the back of the line. Because for one thing, I can watch and see what everyone else is doing when I get confused!

But, more than that I’m proud.

Proud that I’m in the line at all.

Every time I stand in that place it’s a victory. Especially given that previous versions of myself would have never had the courage to stand there.

And so far, I’ve learned a lot from the back of the line.

I didn’t know how much I needed to be in that place until I got there. The back of the line is not a place for negativity or doubt, unlike so many of the other places I find myself in.

Instead, it’s filled with optimism, respect, inspiration, and room for growth.

Some days, getting to go to class and standing in the back of that line are the only things that make me feel ok again. In the midst of stress and grief and the persistent negativity that tends to invade my mind, I’ve got a place of focus.

So I’ll keep putting on that uniform and tying that white belt around my waist and striving to better myself from the inside out.

Today, right now, I just want to be the best white belt I can be and soak it all in from the back of the line. 😉 ❤

Unbroken

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I love music.

Not in the – “oh, this is a catchy song!” kind of way, but more in the – take me anywhere slowly, wrapped up in thrills, romancing with my soul kind of way. I could get lost in a song. It’s like each one is an alternate dimension, whisking me away on some ephemeral journey that lasts a lifetime within.

One of my favorite artists is a British alternative singer called Birdy. Her songs reserved for days of not being understood. Songs reserved for crying out all of my hopes, fears, and introverted passions. My very favorite song of hers is a lyrical masterpiece called “Unbroken.”

The first time I heard it, I felt like it had been written out of a breath I’d breathed. It was my song somehow. And it found me unbroken.

It was my quiet anthem in the dead of night. My reminder to keep my head up. A promise to myself to remain unbroken. But, then this happened. And now I will never be unbroken again.

I never used to understand why grown-ups were so serious. Where did that glimmer in their eyes run off to anyways? I couldn’t imagine why they were in such a wonder-less mood all the time. Today though, I know exactly why.

It’s this little thing called heartbreak.

There will come a day for all of us when we die at the mercy of caring about someone else. When that happens, you have no choice but to become something different.

Most of us turn into callouses, never to be scathed by such an evil again. Transforming into this guarded, untouchable, robot of a person is my greatest fear. But it’s also my greatest fear NOT to.

In reality, I know can’t fight it. It’s happening whether I want it to or not. My eyes are done glimmering. My nose will begin to love the smell of the grind more than it loves anyone or anything around it. And whatever it is that’s left in my chest, it’s not a heart.

So, now that song means something quite different to me. It’s not about being unbroken. Because no one stays that way for long. Instead, it is a call to strength from the things that used to be unbroken.

Yeah, your eyes don’t shine anymore, but they did once. And THAT can’t be taken away. Yeah, you gave it all. But it isn’t gone; it’s all right there where you left it. No, you’ll never be that beautifully innocent, heart-wide open child again. But she’s still alive.

Somewhere in the past, she lives. Unbroken.