Miss Independent

independent-woman-copy1Recently a good friend of mine calls me up seeking advice. After ten years of being in a relationship her boyfriend (now ex) told her he wanted to “do his own thing.” “Katie, I don’t know what to do. How do I become so independent and OK with being alone, like you?” Hearing her voice on the other end of the phone I could tell tears had just falling from her face. What do you tell a girl that is fresh out of a relationship that lasted almost half of her life? I had to think back to my own experience and remember what it was like to be a newly single woman. From the time I was sixteen until I was twenty there was a man in my life. When leaving a long term relationship it is difficult to understand who you are. For someone that has almost always been noted as a couple it is hard to imagine what it is like to be alone, at times it can be terrifying. But let me tell you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Be alone with your thoughts no matter how terrifying they may be at times, think about all the things you’ve always wanted to accomplish, and live day by day. These are the three keys to being ok with being alone. Stop living life looking for a person to cling onto and start living life looking for you.

“Katie, what is the first step in becoming more independent?”

Living day by day:
I’m not an expert and my advice might even be meaningless towards your situation, after all we are all very different. There are no rules and there really is no first step; but, I would recommend taking things day by day. Stop thinking about whether or not you envision him in your future. If he is in the picture ten years from now and you are happy, that’s wonderful. But, if he is not that’s ok too. Today it is just you so live that way. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do today?” “What do I want to do?” Think of it as freedom. There is no one holding you back from being the person you want to be.

Be alone with your thoughts:
After you ask yourself what it is you would like to do…do it. Go to a museum alone, see a movie that you’ve always wanted to see, take a yoga class. Whatever it is you’re interested in just do it. When you do these things by yourself you are forced to listen to your thoughts. When your mind is clear and you can hear what you are thinking you will finally be able to understand who you are as a person. When you know who you are, you will know what you want out of life.

Think of what you’ve always wanted to accomplish:
Sometimes when you are with someone your desires can be overshadowed by your relationship. When you are finally alone you are able to fulfill your dreams without having to worry about anyone else but yourself. Basically, you can be selfish. Travel the world, take classes in whatever, write a book… When I think about the person I’ve become since I’ve left my relationship two years ago I am proud of myself. I’ve accomplished more in these two years because I haven’t had to worry about anyone but myself. Take this time you have for yourself and accomplish whatever it is your heart desires. Turn your dreams into goals and accomplish them.

This path is not easy. Even years down the road you may want to give up; however the reward is greater than the pain. The experiences, confidence, and strength you will gain from this time will make this a very defining moment in your life. Liberate yourself from all emotional barriers that once restricted your life and become the person you’ve always known you could become.

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Demigod

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I’ve set you on a pedestal
One that sits above the clouds
Higher than the atmosphere
And beyond the stars

With expectations that are beyond reach
Unable to fulfill the standards that a demigod meets

Is it Bizarre that I’ve placed you on a pedestal so far
That even with my longest stretch it would be impossible for us to reconvene

Bizarre

Bizarre

Bizarre

Now I wait for that day in which you fall
For when you hit to ground you may crash and burn
But you will no longer be so tall

I will be waiting below the stool
For when you land
I will lend you a helping hand

But until then there you stand
On that pedestal beyond the clouds

Bizarre

Bizarre

Bizarre

Vastness

I could spend the entire night looking at the sky
And never really know the truth about it’s entirety

I could spend a lifetime thinking about you
And that would still not be enough to understand

All my artistic waves of creativity could flutter across this page
And yet other interpretations of this imagination will continue to bloom

I could love and love again
But still not comprehend the vastness of my own heart

The world so large sitting on the edge of infinity encompassing all that is great
And this poem so small within its depths

Strangers

strangers

I remember the first night we met
We stayed up to watch the rising of the morning sun

I remember the last time I saw you
Passing by in a crowd of people

Strangers

A love story turned tragedy
A friendship turned to nemesis

I remember the first night we met
You held me in your arms

I remember the last time I saw you
Strangers

Recycled: “All men are bastards and if you forget it they will remind you.”

“All men are bastards and if you forget it they will remind you.”.

Recycled: A Poem

IMG_20120926_221603A poem about distant lovers.

A Poem.

Desert Breeze: Part II

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A segment from my novel. Desert Breeze is about a girl who is looking for nothing more than an escape from her dysfunction.

The sounds of crashing, the lights of the night spinning, turning around, round, round. I lost control of the wheel as I tried to avoid the shadow in the street. This loss of control was followed by a sudden strike of a pole. The air bag inflated and my panic turned into darkness. Paralyzed with shock all I could feel was the cold thin stream of blood running down my cheek. I sat there for a while. Bounded by the seat and the rough pillow of air, I took a deep breath. Then, I struggled my way out of the car. My only escape from life was in ruins.

In the street I saw the shadow. Its eyes staring back at me. Maybe, it was the devil that made me crash. I looked into the devils eyes and asked, “Why?” There was no response. Just then, I was sure, I was now trapped between the mountains. I was locked in the valley. I my ticket to freedom taken from me and all that I was left with was hysteria. The shadow turned from me and disappeared into the desert night.

I looked at my jeep in ruins. There was nothing left to repair.

Crushed.

I was wearing a cotton button up shirt with a camisole underneath. I took off my blouse and put it in the gas tank. Pulled the lighter out of my purse and lit the blouse on fire. I walked away. Once I was far enough I turned around and saw the clouds of the fire rising beyond to heaven and the amber glow. Destruction, regret, and hate can look so beautiful in flames.

In the middle of nowhere and next to nothing is a Pilot Gas Stop.

“May I use you phone?”

“You ok, young lady?”

“I’m fine. May I use your phone?”

“Yes, of course.”

The strange man then handed over the corded phone with apprehension that I might be trouble.

I called my younger brother.

“Can you come pick me up?”

“Where are you?”

“The Pilot off of Indian Canyon.”

“I’ll be there in thirty minutes. Don’t talk to anyone.”

It only takes one road to get here, but it’s a long road, and it took him no more, no less, than thirty minutes.

Strangers, loving strangers, silently sitting in the car. Without a sound other than that of the radio lightly amplified from the stereo.

Moments pass.
And suddenly, he speaks.

“What the fuck are you doing with yourself, sis?”

Silence for only a moment later as I collected the courage to respond.

“I’m running away.” I said.

“You always say that.”

“I know I do and one day I’m not coming home.” I responded.

“It’s all in your head you know. Things are not as crazy as they appear. We’re normal. If anyone else in the world can get over it, we can.” He told me.

“It’s more than imagination. Can’t you see that? It’s me. It’s my life. Just because it’s in my head, doesn’t make it any less real.” I said.

There was more silence filled with white nose of the stereo and I spoke once more.

“I’m running away.”

The rest of the ride home was still. Not a word from him and not a word from me. I kept my eyes out the passenger window but in my peripherals I could see, for the first time, a tear from my younger brother’s eye. I did not comfort him. I did not apologize for our circumstances. I too needed to be comforted. I too needed an apology. I will not lie and say that everything will be alright, because that’s not a guarantee. Instead, I sat there. I sat there silently waiting for what would happen next.

Terrified of the “F” Word: Dating and the Modern Day Feminist

holding-hands1Feminism is something that some men can be intimidated by; but also, many women. It is difficult to be young, a feminist, and in the dating world. One of the biggest misconceptions about feminists is that they hate all men. This stereotype is simply not true and at times can affect the start of new relationships. But there are ways to go about this intellectually without stepping down from feminist beliefs. Start with explaining your perspective; openly talk about your ideas and values within feminism. Then, open your mind. Try not to be so defensive. This isn’t a war, men against women. Feminism is about unity and respect for one another, not a competition between genders. And lastly, stand by your values of equality. If the man you are seeing does not respect them he is not the one for you.

Explaining your Principles:
You’d be surprised at how many people simple just don’t understand the concepts of feminism. Many of us are so wrapped around our everyday we neglect current issues and rarely think about our stances on certain issues. (This is of no fault of our own, but a societal outcome) This is why it is important to let the person you are dating know what it is you believe in. They could just simply not understand and that misunderstanding could be perceived as a disagreement. Open up your ideas to them. Maybe they will have an “ aha” moment, epiphany, realization. This does not have be a debate, but rather, an explanation of your values.

Open your mind:
Plain and simply, not all men are evil. Men in general are not evil. This is not a battle of the sexes. When out in the dating world do not be defensive because of the inequality women face in society. The fault is not due to men but society. Open your mind, be aware of this, and follow your heart.

Stand by your values:
If you still cannot find common ground after taking down the barriers, opening your mind, and explaining your values… he’s not the one for you. A strong feminist female needs a strong feminist male who is able to see through societal pressures of hypermasculinity and patriarchy. A man who sees you as an equal partner physically, emotionally, and mentally is the one you should be with.

You don’t need a man. You don’t have to date. But at times it is wonderful to have a partner. This does not make you less independent or any less of a feminist. If anything, it has the potential to broaden your understanding of what it means to have a more gender equal world. At times dating can be difficult for a feminist. It is hard to find a man who is willing to admit that you are an equal partner in the relationship; however, that does not mean that there are not men like that out there.

Free Bird

Painting: “Sharp VII,” 12×12″ acrylic on canvas, by Frank Gonzales

Don’t ever try to cage a free bird
For it will no longer sing

Don’t ever try to cage a free bird
For it will no longer fly

Don’t ever try to cage a free bird
For it will be ripped of its spirit

Let the bird rejoice
Let the bird soar
Let the bird be free

Don’t ever try to cage a free bird
For it will not make you happy to see it die


			

Desert Breeze: Part I

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Out of all the things desired in the world, the one thing I desire is nothingness. Continuing to drive until the city rests far behind me. It is not much of a city as it is. Surrounded by mountains a simple resort oasis for the elite to hideaway on a weekend get-a-way. As for the rest of us? The mountains trap souls and inhibit the talents of those residing individuals. What is peaceful to some is suffocating to others. And for this very reason, I drive.

Looking back in my rear view I see all that is left behind me; which also happens to be what lies ahead. I know if I keep on driving I will eventually end up in a desolate desert; as opposed to a non-desolate desert. I will be exactly where I want to be and far, far, far away from my problems.

I have arrived.

The hissing of rattlesnakes buzz in my ears as I open the door. Terrified of nothing, I step out and climb to the top of the mountain peaking in front of me. I like to climb mountains. When I get to the top I always feel as though I can do anything. Up there, it’s just me. When in the clouds nothing below matters. It’s a powerful feeling being in the sky. This is how I know heaven is up above; it’s the feeling of security when detached from life on earth. That’s what heaven is. Heaven is not the romanticized place in which you read about in books or see in movies. Heaven is here, at the very top of this mountain.

“Helllooo?”

I scream.

I cry.

As my voice echoes off the valley walls I am no longer a person running from my problems but a person shouting for help without a soul to hear me. As the ecstasy and empowerment turns into loneliness, I climb back down.

Back in my car the radio is loud. Music of yesterday’s youth plays. The windows down and the hot air blows my curls in all directions.

The most painful part of driving to nowhere is having to drive back to your problems. For my problems will never disappear. Running from them only leaves me driving back with the sun in my eyes and my ego torn.