a no-poem day⎟pea

Dear Reader,

I really want to write a poem today, but I happen to have all of these images flooding my mind that aren’t adding up to the phrases I like. Right now I’m enjoying a Mediterranean sea-scape, sunshine, honey, and happiness–and that’s all just from my head. I’m actually sitting in a room lighted by bulbs for it is a dark night and actually quite cold. I think because my thoughts feel like a vacation, my mind is kind of fully at ease. Additionally, I am listening Zayn’s album to death. I remember that I tutored a young girl who loved One Direction, and the boys at her school teased her for liking them. I’m basically of the attitude that you like who you like. I didn’t listen to them because they weren’t quite my jam. I mean, feminism sometimes clashes with pop music. Ya know? But, if a young listener wants to enjoy their market, I say, let them. Encourage them to think critically and at their own pace, but let them know they can be proud to like what they like. I had a set of stickers on order for her for 1D in my amazon cart, but I had to relocate before they’d arrive. That’s life –eh?

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Me to Zayn’s album.

So, I’m busy proudly listening to Zayn, not feeling as self-conscious about it as I did about listening to Justin Bieber’s new album and enjoying it. I don’t know. You live and learn. I think that’s something that we all have to recognize; we won’t always like everything–that’s fine. You don’t need to TELL people it’s stupid or dumb. Things aren’t always for you. That’s the way it should be. It would be so dull if mass-marketing actually succeeded, and we all had the same tastes. Gross. Let’s be critical thinkers, together, and found our own little niches of happiness. I mean, I say that listening to Zayn, a former member of a widely-loved, tween-audience, pop-star group…

I might post a poem later, but I might not. I guess this will have to suffice for today. I’ve just been having a lot of emotions at the moment. Sometimes, we have to take a day to sort of file them, distance ourselves, and understand ourselves. Today, is one of those days. I’m going to go back to reading Great Expectations so I can do work for the podcast.

Heaps of Love,
wordplay xx

 

¶ No Poem 5 April ⎟ PEA

Dear Reader,

Sorry about missing a poem yesterday. Misha threw up in the morning, and we were worried it might be indicative of something worse because she is nearly 13. It seems that she was okay after she had a good sleep, but we were a bit stressed out. I didn’t have my computer until really late in the evening, and, by then, I was REALLY tired. So, I think I will leave this post sweet and short and include today’s poem in a following post.

Thank you for your understanding and compassion.

Heaps of Love,
wordplay Xx

 

 

Misha Update ⎟ Escape from mount doom

Dear Reader,

I thought I would keep you updated about Misha. She has an ulcer on her eye, likely, from puncturing it. She has cataracts, so her vision isn’t quite top gear, and it is likely she bopped her eye on a bush or something. Before Thursday, her eye was red, occasionally, but I always did a salt wash and put soothing eye-drops in. Unfortunately, she must have rubbed her eye into the carpet and opened the wound. So, for two days she had her tail down. It was so depressing to see her so upset. I mean, she ALWAYS has her tail up. Even when she’s pissed off you didn’t share your food with her. She always wags that tail.

Her tail is back up, and wagging. That is such a relief. She has been under constant watch. She gets (new) anti-bacterial eye drops every 2 hours with some freeze-dried strawberries for a treat. I think she puts up with the drops because she loves those strawberries so much. Her eye is looking a lot better than before. She is still squinting a bit, particularly when she is tired. It will take some time for it to heal fully, and I’ve been on constant watch to make sure she doesn’t rub her eye. Believe me, this clever pooh-maker has tried to fool me. I didn’t trust her on her own, and I don’t like to put the cone on her because I want her to be encouraged to drink (because of her heart issues). So, I brought her in the bathroom with me, and she started to cry. I let her out once, and she face planted the carpet to rub her eye. I grabbed her, brought her back in and made her wait. I’m washing my hands and she starts crying again. I let her out, and she immediately face plants. So I had to pick her up, and Misha became the new paper towel advert. Need to dry your hands? Spilled some milk? Here is the super-absorbent Misha-nator.

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I know that some people are really skeptical about dogs and pets, but they are just so unequivocally lovely. They make your heart feel so whole, and your heart breaks when you think of them in any sort of pain or discomfort. I don’t know, they make life have meaning because they’re existence is so dear and precious.

🦁🦁🦁

Other updates:

I’ve decided to re-read Great Expectations because I’m a little forlorn over the fact that I don’t know how I am going to fund my PhD. I’ve been accepted on a course, but as an international student, I don’t know if I can afford it. The programme is so specific to what I want to study, and it breaks my heart to think I might not be able. I don’t know. I decided to read some Dickens because, honestly, he gets the reality of not having money. It’s rather a chronic problem for a lot of people lately, and it has driven a lot of people to be mean and cruel to one another. To divide one another based on race and class and accuse each other of terrible things. Isn’t that what the proverb says, divide and conquer? It seems to be working.

I’m not giving up. No. Every fibre of my being wants to study. And, this book is so good. It can’t be right that such goodness exists in a world without hope. There are other beautiful goods, too. I guess that what books are. They remind of us goodness. They remind us of hope and dreams. Sometimes, they shock us with their reality and their honesty and their blunt vitriol. Yet, words give us the vehicle of mobility–that is priceless.

I’m going to add this book to my Serial project. And, I think this is one of those books that wakes you up. Mostly, because I read it before, and re-reading it reminds me of the comfort of words…and how we can go back to books and change our minds about them. We can go back to books more or less wiser and see and read things we didn’t before. We can share our thoughts, still miss things, and ten years later, re-read the book and say, ‘I see this, now’.

great expectations- read with me

Read with me 🙂 I’ll be tweeting <<here>> and blogging about the book at this site. As you can see I’m about 1/5 of the way through the book. Let me know what you think of the book or Dickens, generally.

Heaps of love,
wordplay xx

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Misha Update ⎟ The Eye of Sauron

Dear Reader,

So, unfortunately, my planned schedule to upload the podcast last week did not happen. I am still working on the material, as planned, but I think I might need more time than I anticipated. My dog, Misha, as we know has a heart murmur, which means almost all of my time is devoted to her. But, recently her right eye has been rather red. So, we took her to the vet, and it turns out she hurt her eye quite a bit. She is on antibiotics, and really very sleepy. It’s also a lot stressful and really worrisome, too. I think, right now, most of my heart is going into hoping that she is going to sleep a lot and get better.

Anyway, I am sorry for the delay, but Misha is my heart, so, let’s see how it goes, coz I’d go to Mount Doom for her.

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Xx

The antics of Misha ⎟ The Yuppy Puppy

Dear Reader,

I wrote a post yesterday about how indecisive I was about which book I wanted to read after A Room with a View. For some reason or other, my internet crapped out, my dad wanted dinner, and my dog, Misha, spent the next four-plus hours being really needy (so the post disappeared into the ether). Don’t get me wrong, I get a serious sense of validation when she is being needy…she is quite independent.

My dad had chicken, and Misha operates under the law that chicken is her food. We make her food, rather I (or my mom) make her food. It’s homemade–chicken, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, and carrots. We are going to rejig it a bit because they shouldn’t have too many sweet potatoes. She also eats bananas, strawberries, low-sodium cheese, yoghurt, and sneaks the occasional cookie from me. She really likes Italian cookies, like Lady Fingers. Those were my favourite when I was growing up. In fact, I loved them so much, I used to say, when I’m older I hope I have lady fingers, as in my  hands. I have quite long fingers, so I owe that to the youth-fueled diet and wish fulfillment. In any case, the smell of chicken or sweet potatoes are scents that Misha associates with being hers. So, she was being really naughty about my dad eating chicken. I took her pee, fed her bananas and yoghurt with her medication (for her heart). I tried to take her upstairs so I could do some work. However, that was not in Misha’s schedule.

Instead, Misha flew off my bed and began to sniff every corner of my room. This actually drives me nuts. SNIIIIIIIIIFFFF. SNIFFSNIFFSNIFFSNIFF. SNIIIIIIIIIFFF. Don’t forget, she shouldn’t be doing that because it can make her choke. So, I gave up and brought her back downstairs. No one was eating anything. But Misha was convinced that they were. I got myself a glass of water, and Misha came and said, ‘I WANT THAT, NOW’! She was overheating and it had ice, so I put it on the ground for her and she drank it. I had to take the rest of it to water plants, but what is soap and dishwashing for?

I took her for another walk, a forty-five minute walk–she was choking a lot from her heart, and the exercise helps to stabilise her heart. I had to carry her home because Misha only walks in one direction. Honestly, you need to say that with a soft French accent. ‘Only in zeee one direction, if you please. Misha’s magnetic poles are seriously disturbed if she is required to turn around to walk chez moi’.

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Misha, ze aristocrat française

Then, as she was hot, I took her to the front door and held her up, with it open, so she could get some nice cool air. She was breathing deeply and relaxing. I put her down, and she remembered that my mom comes home from work about then, but she had the day off. She started crying at the door and running between the front door and the garage door. She had just gone out; it was unlikely she’d have to go out again. So, I picked her up and brought her to my mom and said, ‘Misha, look, mummah is here’. Misha hopped off and went back to crying. Then my mom goes, ‘She wants to go in the car, doesn’t she’? Did I forget to mention that? Misha bloody loves cars. We do a lot of standing about as she watches cars drive by, on her walks.

It turns out, Misha considers the car to be another entity. My mom doesn’t leave for work. My mom and the car mutually leave for work. An equality between human and machine. How very Heideggerian of my dog. So, finally, my mom and I gave in and decided that we might as well take Misha in the car, and I could run into the shop to grab some odds and ends that we needed. Misha sat on my lap, on a pillow, staring out of the window. She was so happy to be in the car, going for a ride, you would think that she had won a lottery. Perhaps, a lottery wherein her humans would take her for a car ride in the evening. Haha. So, Misha got to go into the car and be pampered the ways the little princess knows best.

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Let’s not forget, I found a book I am going to read next. They finally came out with AMAZING copies of Stephen King’s It. GOOD JOB SCRIBNER. I’ve been absolutely distraught at the rather ugly covers of olde. I think I’m going to read that alongside another Forster novel, and add it into upcoming podcasts. We’ll see how that goes because I normally dislike reading multiple books at once, but I think I’ll try to do a book-as-buddy-read. And, I think the anachronistic comparison of novels of manners and horror should be a fun task.

 

Heaps of Love,
WordPlay Xx

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Spring Clean⎟ Admin

Dear Reader,

I hope you are very well. Earlier this year, I wrote a New Year’s Resolution list that insisted I would write two blogposts per week, beginning February. Unfortunately for that blog schedule, my February has been quite busy. And, in that time I’ve actually changed my mind about how I want to structure my input on my blog.

My plan includes uploading once a week on Tuesdays, and I will also do a podcast every other week on Thursday. There will be a blogpost that week, but then there will be an extra post with my podcast embedded. They will be about 30-45 minutes, and they will include a deeper discussion about the book or books I am reading. I didn’t want my blogposts to become unreasonably long, so I settled on fleshing out discussions aurally. Initially, I had hoped to make videos, but I think the kind of discussions I want to do really lend themselves to the podcast medium a lot better.

I will begin uploading podcasts the second week in March. When I start to get a little more comfortable with the flow of how it is going, I will upload a proper schedule.

Blogposts: Every Tuesday

Podcast Predictions: Thursdays: 10 & 24 March; 7 & 21 April; 5 & 19 May.

See you this Tuesday!

Heaps of love,

WordPlay

Xx

p.s Here is a video journal I am doing of my dog, who, as we know, is almost 13.

 

Season of the Witch

Dear Reader,

A couple of posts ago, I said that I would be uploading regularly in February. I will; I promise. These first two weeks will be a little busy for me because I am still in the middle of PhD applications. I will likely only post once per week in these two weeks. But, to begin, I thought I’d just keep in touch. Oooh, a mysterious paper just fell across the room. I am not sure what days I’ll be uploading, but I will do 1-2x per week in the future.

Let’s then, have a story:

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The other day, I was eating an early dinner with my mom; I had just walked and fed the dog. We needed forks to feed ourselves, and our bossy-boots of a shitzu was complaining that we were not sharing. If royalty were a dog, it would be a shitzu. Except, I love my Misha a lot more than I do Prince Harry. In any case, Misha was begging at the table and I was trying to get a fork so I could stab my way into delicious ecstasy via roasted peppers and homemade burgers. As I was grabbing the forks, I kept slapping my hand on the open microwave door. You should also know, I am a serial door-open leaver. I am tall, and I have the most to lose from this, but I always leave cupboards/doors/drawers open. Soz. Although, I am the one who is always cleaning and putting things away, so it’s not like I’m oblivious. So, the microwave door was slapping my hand down, and I dropped two forks on the floor. I went to go eat, and then we needed another fork. My mom asked me to get her one, when I was up at the fridge. As I was turning to walk back, the fork flew out of my hand, landing across the kitchen. At that point, I was at a loss. My mom chimes in:

‘Who’s coming to visit you?’
‘What?’ I asked.
‘When you drop a fork, and you’ve dropped three, it means someone is coming to visit you.’
‘No one that I can think of.’ I said, certain.

We finished eating, and I looked at my phone. To my surprise I see:

Harsha 1

My best friend has done this once before. But it’s a rare occasion because I moved home recently, and he moved home from Detroit just a little while ago. He was doing his MSc (forgive me if that’s incorrect). A lot of our friends are dispersed internationally. Another best friend is in the UK doing Medicine and another in Ottawa studying maths and French. So, I don’t usually expect visitors without advance warning.

Harsha 2

ps He was stopped when he sent the messages. 🙂

And so, it appears that I am magical. My best friend and I went to get coffee, and I now have a reputation for the magics. I will be going to Hogwarts soon, friends. I also have really big-hearted friends; that’s quite magical in itself. I’m pretty sure that was the whole message behind JKR’s books–enduring friendship.

Prepare yourself for this:

Also, how great is it that Starbucks brought out coconut milk for their coffees? I can’t afford daily cappuccinos or even regular coffee out, but as a treat. I’m glad that they didn’t use Almond milk. I think coconut milk or a combination of the two tastes much better in teas and coffees than Almond milk alone, which is good in cereals or made to taste like chocolate. Alas, dear world, I am happy that I live in an age with dairy alternatives (a lot of privilege there). I have a tummy ache, atm. #dairyfreebynecessity

Keep being kind, dearest reader.

~~Updates, it’s update time!~~

Best coffee: Lavazza (the red one). It smells like childhood.
Reading updates: I’ve read academic things and some articles online. If you guys don’t know what’s going on in Flint, MI, read up about it. I plan to get back into Dumas a little later in the month.
Yoga Updates: Yoga will commence next week or the following; 2-3x per week. I’m excited for the warming weather because I’ll be able to do it outside. But because of the mild weather, I can guarantee the bug population will be quite high this year. Yoga to the scent of citronella, yum.
PhD Application updates: I’m getting there 🙂
Other updates: I get random tummy aches because my digestive system can’t handle dairy or soy or undercooked eggs.

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments!

 

Hope you’ve been so well. Xx

Heaps of Love,
WordPlay Xx

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Sometimes, you know a bully.

Dear Reader,

I’m sure in most every situation, there is a potential for a bully to be present. It can be at work, home, school, or online. It can be that one person who doesn’t even think they’re being a bully because they don’t use force or fists to get their way, but they use a smile and dulcet tones to tinkle their way to what they want. But what do you do when there are bullies? They have such a power to corrupt your state of mind–they can disrupt the zen that you hope oozes out of your every orifices and pores.

I don’t know.

Sometimes, you have to leave. You just need physical distance between you and the person causing you grief. Sometimes, you need to talk to them–maybe with a mediator. Sometimes, you need to ignore them and chant ‘Just keep going on!’, until you can move onto a better situation in life. When I was doing yoga at a studio a couple of years ago, the instructor put us in this really uncomfortable pose. She said to us, ‘hold it, don’t come out of the pose’. She’s walking around, feet sticking to the floor, gently pushing us deeper into the pose, and reminding us not to frown and furrow our brows. A lot of us were trying not to groan with agony or distrust, or even shout, ‘WHY AREN’T YOU HOLDING THE POSE IF IT’S SO EASY’? Ahem. Just as it was getting unbearable, she said, ‘I  know this pose has been uncomfortable. None of you came out the pose. You all embraced the discomfort. Maybe, when you are experiencing something uncomfortable in your daily life you can remember not to have a knee-jerk reaction, because none of you did here. That’s really great’.

Now, I will clarify, some situations warrant that you immediately remove yourself from them and/or from danger. Don’t try to embrace that discomfort. But, sometimes, people are just unhappy in their lives, so they try to make you unhappy, too. Sometimes, they are super lazy and unhelpful, and when they are confronted with doing the task they expect you to do, they are super nasty. Just remember, it’s not about you. You can walk away, take a deep breath, and reflect upon the good things in your life. They stew in the beds they’ve made. Of course, I imagine that a lot bullies could do with someone being nice to them. At one point or another, that will be your mantle, but you can’t do it for everyone.

Bullies are not fun. Try not to be a bully. Try not to channel your anger at someone else. It usually is not helpful to anyone or, least of all, yourself.

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via giphy

Sometimes, you have to stand your ground, too. You’ll know when you need to do that. And, sometimes, you just need to think of Hercule Poirot, and how he channels his little grey cells when we are, incredulously, faced with bullies.

***

Reading updates: I’ve finished The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, rated 9 roses from The Six-Foot Bride out of 10. Just started The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
PhD Application updates: I’m working on the proposals, diligently. I hope to go work for a couple of solid hours on Tuesday in a Starbucks (yay capitalism and coffee culture).
Other updates: I’ve been successfully drinking 2L of water (and tea and coffee) per day. I had an allergic reaction to dairy the other day, and I’m still feeling the effects a bit.

Hope you’ve been so well. Xx

Heaps of Love,
WordPlay Xx

Connect with me elsewhere
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New Year’s Resolutions

Dear Reader,

I think I’m about ten to eleven days late to proclaim my resolutions, but what will throw you even more is that I do not plan to start some of them until February. Here is the thing. I am applying for PhDs. This is my dream. This is my being. This is my fibre. Yummy. I want this as the breath leaves and enters my body to sustain and produce life. I am also a little afraid. Because Misha has been so much my responsibility, I have a tendency to put my dream a little on the back burner. That bums me out a lot. So, I’ve given myself January to finish everything and let it into the ether. The ether of life and purpose. Happy vibes towards this. Misha will want her big sister to be happy. (P.S Misha is my 12-and-one-half-year-old shihtzu, who has heart troubles of the literal kind).

So, my resolutions are, as follows.

  1. Read even when the pain makes you want to stop. (My Goodreads goal is set at 48; this is a little conservative because I also want to be uploading quality content based on what I am reading).  [Begins February]
  2. Upload 2 blogposts per week. One will be about literature or the books I am reading. The other will be about Misha, poetry, or a life update. [Begins February]
  3. Practice yoga 2-3x per week. [Begins February]
  4. Practice mindfulness. I am going to be more conscientious of not swallowing the burdens that others lay at my feet. That could be someone being shitty. Or, it could be my own fears and  apprehensions. I’m going to advocate for zen in my own heart. [Begins now.]
  5. Submit PhD Applications [Due by end of January]
  6. Journal More.
  7. Step away from the screen and live in the moment.
  8. Read outside in the sun. Sunlight is meant to prevent myopia; perhaps, it can also reduce the myopia I currently have.
  9. Create — write (poetry, stories, blogs); sing; make videos; play instruments.
  10. Be open to happiness, protect my skin, wake up earlier, & drink water.

I am going to use these as a general guidelines. I might add or change. I might forget or fumble. That’s life, I suppose.

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via tumblr

To all of my new followers; thank you so much for visiting me here. I will be more active on this site in February. I hope to create a lot of content based on reading and being jolly creative. Feel free to contact me, comment, or send me chipper brainwaves.

 

Heaps of Love,
WordPlay Xx

Connect with me elsewhere
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Please consider donating to my Patreon page for $1/month. Support from you guys helps to make these posts more regular.  Posts like these will always be accessible. Xx

Love Yourself ⎜Lessons Learnt by Listening to Justin Bieber

The title is probably most unexpected, by myself, primarily. I think my last post reveals where my head was at, but not the whole story. I don’t think it’s necessary to get into that at the moment to share my moment of revelation or epiphany. I love that in my pseudo-religiousness, I keep religious language of revelation and epiphany, and I laugh at their presence, but I don’t call their names to make Lazarus rise. In any case, let’s discuss some things, like validation and confidence in the face of silence via Bieber’s Love Yourself.

Now, although the song is mellow, rather slow, and something that seems it could be whispered to a lover, the words are rather contradictory. Indeed, the song is about a love interest who was more interested in using the narrator for self gain than to build a relationship of mutual growth, trust, and love. Bieber’s song reconciles the pain that comes with these experiences, that usually transpires into anger, into a calm discussion that is not shameful to the subject. It makes note of what one person did to another.

The narrator says to his subject, “if you like the way you look that much, you should go a love yourself.” Now, imagine if love was swapped with “fuck” or “screw”. The tone changes drastically. Of course, one could read the song like that, but I think that stops the potential for meaning and would too strongly disrupt the melody. The softness of the song changes the message from one of hate to one of (detached) concern. Let me explain that. The narrator already gives examples of the poor behaviour of the subject. The narrator could easily tell the subject to fuck off or not even write the song about this subject at all. Rather, lyrically, the song cleverly detaches the narrator’s love or sexual interest from the subject, and he tells the subject that they need to learn to love themselves. A difficult lesson to learn. For, according to the lyrics, the subject is not behaving in a way that shows they respect themselves wholeheartedly, and I mean that: whole heart-edly. Melodically, the song is tender, full of hope, and addictive. The song asks you to listen to it over and over again and find  closure in the lyrics and peace in the melody.

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via tumblr: sinkinginboiledbrains

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via buzzfeed

This indicates an act of empathy, rather than just writing off their behaviour as them being shite. Everyone has something. And, the narrator explains that they are not guiltless, either. The narrator was ignoring the situation and focusing on work. So, there is a complicity in this song. The song seems more of an anthem–if we can call such a smooth, mellow song an anthem–of self-growth and maturity. Don’t get me wrong, it confronts the subject quite directly and potentially exposes them to public pillory, but relationships fall into a battle of egos and wills and this song shows vulnerabilities on both sides and spaces for growth. But sometimes people just don’t fit together, and that’s just how it is.

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via giphy

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via tumblr

 

So, how does this fit into my life? I find the song comforting because it is not dismissive. It makes you, the listener, identify with both narrator and subject–tripling empathy. You feel wronged or used, but you should not bring anger to the table. Furthermore, as you listen, you slip into the role of the subject at the chorus, when the narrator repeats “you should go and love yourself.” Then you return to the role of the narrator throughout the lyric until the chorus. It’s comforting to be told that you should love yourself, that we are all worthy of love and that that love starts from within. It’s like expecting to be pierced with a sword and being given a flower. Indeed, when one feels like all words, motivation, and meaning have slunk away it’s easy to fixate on either trying to find someone to solve those emotions for you or being decidedly stubborn in your isolation. None of us act without flaw, and so we all carry the fears, anxieties, and sins of our own narratives, but being reminded to love yourself is incredibly meaningful and inspiring.

Sometimes, you just need to sit down and put pen to paper and do what you need to do, instead of waiting for someone to validate you with the things you need to hear. You know those little voices that tell you “you can’t do this?” that is the little “fuck yourself” that you need to turn into a “love yourself.” Stop raining on your parade. Or, try one step at a time to use an umbrella and begin to love yourself. Do what you are able to, and learn to grow by taking note and releasing negativity but holding onto the moments or opportunities to grow. Take as much time as you need. The best wines have to take time to age.

 

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Heaps of Love,
WordPlay Xx
Connect with me elsewhere
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Please consider donating to my Patreon page for $1/month. Support from you guys helps to make these posts more regular.  Posts like these will always be accessible. Xx