Friday, January 15, 2016

am then, was now

I feel this surge inside of me tonight. I lay awake in bed, unable to sleep for whatever reason, and out of thin air, I am compelled to write poetry. 

It takes me back to my little haven at home back in junior high and high school, when I would reach to my dresser in the dark, feeling for my notebook and my pen. And there, in the absence of light, I would write out my words. Poetry would flow from my fingertips until my mind was calm and my body was finally exhausted enough to sleep. 

In the morning, I would read my words. Surprisingly, more often than not they were legible and I would then venture downstairs to type them out and put them on my "secret" poetry website only a few knew about.

It was common. It was familiar. It was me.

And then, as tides change, so did my life. I went to college, made new friends, fell in love, and molded slowly into a young woman who resembled the former in many ways. But through the years, as is often the case with age, the resemblances faded.  Not necessarily the physical ones, though some, but the characteristics that make up the personality.

As I find to be the case in many areas lately, I didn't see it then.

I see it now.

Now, as I lay in bed, over a decade later, in my dark room. No longer a pen beside me, as I have now given life to three beautiful, albeit mischievous babies who like to write on things that aren't paper, but I find my phone.

I open my notepad.

And like an old familiar tune, my fingers fly and the poetry trickles forward.

This time, I see it form as I go, the screen illuminating my words as they never used to. And I create what I believe to be the second poem I have crafted in at least 8 years.

Immediately, because if the technology in front of me, I read it over. I critique it in my mind as "not great," but decide to throw caution to the wind and publish it anyway.

I turn off the screen.  

My mind still circles as a carrousel.

And here I am again- fingers flying.

In those few minutes between poetry and prose, my mind wanders through the years. I see myself now, a single mother of three, playing over conversations I've had with a few friends recently. They've told me the visions they have for my future. I recall a book I was loaned talking about hearing God's calling on our lives and accepting the call, knowing that after trials and tribulations we are purified in character so we can best be used by Him. For a few moments, I dare to imagine the visions they had as reality. I become anxious.

Then, I wonder... What are my visions for myself now?

I used to have visions for my future. My past lead into the future, which is now my present, and the present is nothing like I had envisioned.

I wonder, have I lost myself somewhere? Have I lost the ability to have a life goal? A long term plan?

Then, I realize all the things I used to do. I wrote poetry, I was a photographer, I did graphic design for fun, I hand-bound books and journals, I wrote stories, I cooked, I baked, I sang, I played guitar and clarinet, I sewed, I painted, I drew, I played games, I traveled, I went and had fun visits with friends.

There was a period where I nearly lost all of these things. My camera was gone, my guitar, my words, my supplies. I had lost so much and in losing so much, lost much of my release and my vision.

But, in the dark, I see now so clearly many of them are sneaking back into my life.

Do I still love them? Many I do.
Do I desire them? Many I do.

Not all. Many. 

I can see myself then, and I see myself now. I compare and contrast and I wonder who I am now. I know I am not just a mom, though many days it feels that way. I like to believe I am still a great friend. I still have my sense of humor and creativity. But I don't have my direction yet, and that produces a slight sense of confusion, apprehension, and makes it hard to find ambition.

I, frankly, do not quite know who I am now, what I am about now, and what I should plan for now.

I've been holding onto what I had envisioned for so long. I had been holding onto hope for what didn't happen for so long. I have been in mere survival mode for too long.

 I have found myself at this intersection, unsure of where to proceed. Perhaps, I should breathe, pray, and wait. I should see what unfolds instead of hastily jumping forward.


  1. You write so vividly. I love the way your words flow.

  2. I think the wait and see approach is the best option. You could have lost YOURSELF in the past few years, I don't think it's too much to ask to take some time to decide what you want to do with the rest of those years before you start doing it.

    Also, I love the mental image of you writing in the dark, half a lifetime ago. It makes feel extra connected to you.