Posted in Things I Loved Reading/Listening To

do what you love.

Can I say ‘Preach’?

dear someone.

Do what you love…bake burnt-ish cookies, write fragmented poetry and unfinished stories, sing a little off-key, play the guitar slowly and clumsily, and braid your hair (forgetting a few strands.)

Because, life is for enjoying, not perfecting.

Wear what you want. Graphic tees or long skirts. Blazers or high heels. Dresses or jeans or sweat pants. That shade of red lipstick that makes you feel empowered. That headband you’ve had since you can remember.

Because, life isn’t about fashion trends all the time.

Learn about what interests you. Famous celebrities, the capitals of the world, economic growth, or the Guinness world records. Learn about Joan of Arc, or Mayan civilization. Learn how to dance the waltz, or how to make a arrangement of flowers. Learn how to file paperwork, or how some stars are farther away.

Because, the unconventional things are worth your time.

Be yourself, heavenly and devilish.

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Posted in Things I Loved Reading/Listening To

When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye 

I knew exactly what love looked like – in 7th grade.

Even though I hadn’t met love yet, if love had wandered into my homeroom, I would have recognized him at first glance. Love wore a hemp necklace.
I would have recognized her at first glance, love wore a tight French braid.
Love played acoustic guitar and knew all my favorite Beatles songs.
Love wasn’t afraid to ride the bus with me.
And I knew, I just must be searching the wrong classrooms, just must be checking the wrong hallways, she was there, I was sure of it.
If only I could find him.

But when love finally showed up, she had a bowl cut.
He wore the same clothes everyday for a week.
Love hated the bus.
Love didn’t know anything about the Beatles.

Instead, every time I tried to kiss love, our teeth got in the way.

Love became the reason I lied to my parents: I’m going to –Ben’s house.
Love had terrible rhythm on the dance floor but made sure we never missed a slow song.

Love waited by the phone because she knew if her father picked up it would be:

“Hello”

“Hh..” 

“Hello?” 

“Hh…” 

“I guess they hung up.”

And love grew, stretched like a trampoline.

Love changed. Love disappeared, slowly, like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed.

Love vanished like an amateur magician and everyone could see the trapdoor but me.
Like a flat tire – there were other places I had planned on going, but my plans didn’t matter.

Love stayed away for years and when love finally reappeared, I barely recognized him.

Love smelt different now, had darker eyes, a broader back, love came with freckles that I didn’t recognize.
New birthmarks, a softer voice.
Now there were new sleeping patterns, new favorite books.
Love had songs that reminded him of someone else and songs love didn’t like to listen to. So did I.

But we found a park bench that fit us perfectly.
We found jokes that make us laugh.
And now love makes me fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies.
But love will probably finish most of them for a midnight snack.

Love looks great in lingerie but still likes to wear her retainer.
Love is a terrible driver, but a great navigator.
Love knows where she’s going, it just might take her two hours longer than she planned.
Love is messier now, not as simple.
Love uses the word “boobs” in front of my parents.
Love chews too loud.
Love leaves the cap off the toothpaste.
Love uses a smiley face in her text messages.
And turns out, love shits!

But love also cries.
And love will tell you you are beautiful and mean it, over and over again. “You are beautiful.”

When you first wake up, “You are beautiful.”

When you’ve just been crying, “You are beautiful.”

When you don’t wanna hear it, “You are beautiful.”

When you don’t believe it, “You are beautiful.”

When nobody else will tell you, “You are beautiful.”

Love still thinks you are beautiful.

But love is not perfect and will sometimes forget, when you need to hear it most, you are beautiful, do not forget this.

Love is not who you were expecting, love is not who you can predict.
Maybe love is in New York City, already asleep;

You are in California, Australia, wide awake.

Maybe love is always in the wrong timezone.
Maybe love is not ready for you.
Maybe you are not ready for love.

Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type.
Maybe the next time you see love is 20 years after the divorce, love is older now but just as beautiful as you remembered.
Maybe love is only there for a month.
Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit.
Maybe love stays– maybe love can’t.

Maybe love shouldn’t.

Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to,

And love leaves exactly when love must.
When love arrives, say, “Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.

If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her.
Turn off the music. Listen to the quiet, whisper,

“Thank you for stopping by.”

Posted in Things I Loved Reading/Listening To

A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender – Aranya Johar 

The first boy who held my hand told me boys didn’t want to hear about vaginas bleeding. Younger me could smell the misogyny. Vaginas only meant to be fucked, breasts only meant to be sucked, mouths only meant to blow. It’s true, I know. My waist meant to be compared to an hour glass. My voice only meant to quiver, ‘Ugh, please, fast.’ Yet, I am silenced. For all we boil down to is sexual interaction. Not just me, my mother, sisters, friends, all quicken their pace post 8.30 in the evening. My mom telling me to wear skirts out less often. Nirbhaya and more, left forgotten. We don’t want to be another of India’s daughters, do we? So I wear my jeans long and wear my tops high. Don’t show my cleavage or a hint of my thighs. Don’t want to be mistaken for wanting it. Cause if I wear less, I’m more than just flaunting it, I’m risking it. Risking not my virginity, but my life. My hymen seems to be sacred, told to keep it till I’m a wife. If not, I’m a whore, a slut, a skank and more. Not as pure as I was before. 15 year old Laxmi didn’t like 32 year old Guddu back and Guddu dealt with it real maturely, he made her the victim of an acid attack. Laxmi could be your sister, your girlfriend, your cousin. We’re girls, women, human, not a burden. I ask my male friend to drop me home because his privilege will protect mine. I’m sorry dad, for I was catcalled in my uniform at the age of 9. This isn’t an all men thing I know. Trust me, I do. But the men I can trust are only a few. At the age of 12 my bra straps were sexualized. At the same time, we don’t get damn sexual rights. My aunt raped by her husband, but marital rape is fine. Pucker up, it’s a mad design, get in line. So what I’m trying to say here tonight is, I’m sorry I was brought up in a family where my brother taught me wrong from right. Where my mother believes in our generation to better the world. Make it slightly easier for each and every girl. Thank you. For I see men in this room. Reaching out for help, realizing the bane of the womb. Being saved by the sane of a few. We’re all collectively reaching out for you. Thank you.

Posted in Things I Loved Reading/Listening To

9 Things I Would Like To Tell To Every Teenage Girl – Melissa Newman-Evans

Nine things I would like to tell to every teenage girl:

One, the world is trying to kill you. It is trying to do this by stealing your voice. Kill it back!

Two, you are the best thing in every room. You’ll notice I did not say “the prettiest”. You are also the prettiest thing in every room, but that shit doesn’t matter! That shit is the world trying to kill you! Continue reading “9 Things I Would Like To Tell To Every Teenage Girl – Melissa Newman-Evans”