Tag Archives: who am i

Non-Static Tomorrows

The more I try to put a magnifying glass to “who I am” and try to figure it out, the farther away I fall. The vaguer the answers get.

I know who I am. Even if that means, right now, I don’t have all the answers about myself or my motivations or my deep, dark, hidden secrets from myself.

The more I try to peg down who I am in specifics, the more I lose my ability to define my identity.

Who I am, is someone who changes.

Every day.

 

Today, I don’t have all the answers.

I’m the chick who cried in a room full of people who understand her, and didn’t want to get the headache that might turn to a migraine because she cried. The chick who doesn’t cry out loud often. But feels safe in that room.

Today, I’m the gal who prepared a small lesson to teach tomorrow about self-reliance and tied it in with how to fold an origami heart.

I’m the person who listened to her neighbors shriek at each other and wondered if I could put them in a story and fix them.

 

Today, I’m Daphne. I was Daphne yesterday. I’ll be her tomorrow.

But today, I’m not the same as yesterday and I won’t be the same tomorrow.

 

Today I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety and come out of it with a touch of serenity in my rib cage. I’ve been honest with myself, even though it hurt, and felt better for it.

I’ve felt a touch of hope. Hope that I’ve changed. Hope that I’ll continue to grow.

I’m the one who read this post and felt an immediate connection with her words.

Who laughs a real laugh, content, even though my insides are a mess.

The same Daphne who hasn’t taken all of her Halloween decorations down yet, because hey, bats and pumpkin-skeletons are part of Fall too!

The gal who took her dog out in the freezing cold and thought of all the homeless who must be shivering in old clothes, and wished she could save the world. The same gal who realized a lot of people don’t want to be saved. Not really.

The same Daphne who grinned at herself. California isn’t freezing, not compared to other places.

To me, it’s freezing.

I am the writer who watches Scooby-Doo reruns while writing about death, rebirth, pain, suffering, hope, and a woman who fights herself to freedom.

 

Yesterday… I don’t want to think about yesterday. It hurts. And the hurt slides back in so easily, just at the mere mental mention of it. It pervades.

But the Daphne I am today is okay with that.

Today I have choices, I’ve decided.

Today, I can be all of me. Vulnerable. Raw.

I keep telling you this. Because I know it’s true. I feel it from the soles of my feet to the hollows behind my eyes.

 

Meet Daphne Shadows. She takes a selfie about once a year. So she's terrible at it. Don't judge.

Meet Daphne Shadows. She takes a selfie about once a year. So she’s terrible at it. Don’t judge. And she’s been crying. Also, she’s upside down. Again.

 

I know where I’ve been, what I’ve been through, how I’ve coped, how I’ve survived. What I was thinking, what went on inside me even as I smiled and people bought, all the time, that I was doing fabulously. I know what’s brought me joy. What I’ve tried and failed to do. What mistakes I’ve made. I know how I’ve grown. What I’ve accomplished.

I know who I was yesterday. Last night. This morning. A few hours ago.

 

I know who I am.

Even if I don’t want to own up to it.

I am the Daphne who expels misery via the ink she types or pens, embedding it into pages.

I know who I am even if I focus on what I feel are my failings and can’t seem to find any successes until I talk to someone else who truly knows me.

Even if I hide who I am, from myself.

 

I know who I am. I am learning to be all of me, out loud.

Even if I don’t know a thing about my tomorrows.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be different. Tomorrow, I’ll be the same me.

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When I Leak

I’m slowly falling apart. From my seems to my mouth.

Pieces are falling off.

I’m a shambling, bleeding mess. Shuffling towards something I don’t know.

Am I wrong, for trying to feel?

The twine just weeps.

I want to let go of the pain. But it follows. Stalking me from the gallows.

 

There’s so much beauty. But I’m drowning in terror, in black claws, perforating my lungs, my tears, voice, eye lashes; only a hair’s breadth away.

I’ll make more of it than it really is. Then I’ll strip it away. The glass won’t break but the plastic is burning.

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Who am I?

Sticky notes I can’t find. Pens keep running out of ink. Letters crumpled in the corner.

The warranty is soaking.

And my sorrow tastes like chocolate and popcorn. Something I can embrace.

Is it okay to be like this? The emptiness staring me mute.

 

The dust hid it. I lost the broom.

Can I keep the delusion?

It swells until it destroys the only purpose I had left.

The whispers can’t hear me. They keep creeping past, leaving the candles lit. Dropping postcards and love notes. But they never sign.

I know its new. But I can’t find the ticket. And the roof fell in.

Its waiting in the box but I can’t seem to take it out.

Nothing sturdy. It’ll shatter.

 

Sometimes the best thing to do is let go, come back tomorrow, and try again. It’s just, my clock broke and the sky is lying.

The spine is well worn. The pages are empty.

I won’t stay if this keeps up. I’ve only got so much pulse.

It’s not really numbing. You’ll regret that.

The tendrils slip right in, rip it all out.

 

By Daphne Shadows

 

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Filed under Not that Kind of Poetry, Stream of Consciousness

An Authentic Mess: Time for Something New

I guess when everything falls apart, and you finally reach that breaking point, where you’re pissed off but you decide enough is enough – you begin to search for your way home.

 

I’ve run away from home. From my soul.

By running away from my hopes and dreams. By running away from my identity.

I guess my heart has grown stale.

A person can only take so much living for others, with their heart and soul walled off from their consciousness, before they start to lose it.

 

Enough fear. Enough seeking for the world to approve of me. Enough hating myself, berating myself, and doubting myself.

I can’t fix those things instantly, but I’m tired of the downward slope.

It’s time to head upward.

 

credit Dasha stockvault-brightness116234

 

No one is going to hand me my identity. No one is going to pop up in a haze of fairy dust, smack me upside the head with a wand, and declare that, “I, Daphne, am so and so”. I’m not going to have a “moment” where everything becomes clear and I just “know” who I am. No one else is going to find me.

That’s my job.

So to hell with fixing other people, with throwing my soul out the window, and jumping on someone else’s circus. I’ve got my own thank you! I’m going to deal with my issues.

And I have every right to enjoy finding myself.

 

So who am I?

This is an interesting question.

I don’t have the slightest idea.

But that’s where we all start, isn’t it?

 

It reminds me of a comment Brian left on my blog, on the fourth post I ever wrote:

bwtaylor75

June 3, 2012 at 5:19 am

It sounds like you grew up during that whole university fiasco. Without living for yourself you become a drone, mindless and controlled. At some point, for better of worse, we must take the controls and navigate our own way through life. Better to figure these things out early on, than look back with regret. The simple fact is everything we do makes us who we are, even the mistakes. The smart ones keep learning and finding ways to improve themselves.

It takes courage to stand on your own. Stay true to yourself and good things will happen.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”–Mark Twain

 

He nailed it right on the head.

A drone.

Mindless.

Controlled.

 

You don’t just wake up one morning and have it all figured out. This will take me time, I’ll make mistakes, and get emotional.

But I’m done being down in the dumps. I’ll have my days but I’m not getting stuck there anymore. I can be hopeful and down at the same time.

Kind of like that phrase – I need to get my demons on my side.

Honestly – who on earth wouldn’t want a demon as their backup? (fantasy not biblical demons, here people) I mean really – best thing ever. Could you imagine if someone tried to steal your wallet?

 

I’m doing this to myself.

I’m tired of giving myself unnecessary rules and restrictions. I’d rather be a mess. An authentic mess. Random, emotional, unpredictable, and vulnerable. But real.

So let’s move forward, shall we?

 

Maybe you need to fall flat on your butt and struggle in the muck for a while before you decide it would be easier to stand up and, like a sunflower, aim for the food you need, regardless of how messy the field is you’re planted in.

 

Do you know who you are? Did you ever struggle to find your identity? Ever allow the world or someone in your world to control who you “became”?

 

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Looking Back (Honestly)

At the beginning of 2015, Jeff Goins wrote up a post I really liked.

It was “Looking Back (Honestly) at the Past Year.

 

He talked about how we often portray ourselves in an unrealistic way on social media.

I only make happy, humorous, or successful tweets. I only blog on positive things.

 

But do we portray ourselves realistically?

I think we portray parts of ourselves realistically.

 

I mean, this cat has more sides to it than just demon. She might really enjoy knitting or catching butterflies for all I know..... Never mind about the butterflies...

I mean, this cat has more sides to it than just demon. She might really enjoy knitting or catching butterflies for all I know….. Never mind about the butterflies…

 

“We are curating memories and moments as if they were pieces of art to be hung on the walls while the rest gets stuffed in the basement.

Why do we do this?”

  • Jeff Goins

 

Good question. But we do it. We all know it, too.

Goins went on to give his explanation. That we’re afraid people wouldn’t like us if they see all of us.

I tend to agree.

 

It’s all a messy balance of “what do I want people to see of me that is honest, true, and three-dimensional – without over-sharing, complaining, or being self centered, negative or depressing”.

But that’s life.

And it’s what I’ve recently discovered about myself. I like how messy life is.

It leaves room for change, for difference, for improvement, mistakes, lessons to learn, room to grow, etc. Too much to explain or surmise in a pretty package of sentences and paragraphs. Life is unexplainable. It is moving art or death scraping along inside a sack of flesh and bone. It’s your choice.

It’s a mess. But it’s gorgeous.

At least, it has the potential to be.

 

2014

So – looking at all of me, at the real me, what is there to look back at for the year of 2014?

In Goins’ post, he asks if we measured the wrong things.

 

I think I did. I measured this:

How much I worked every day.

How many days I stayed awake all day long.

How many days I worked out.

How often I wrote every week and how long each day. How close to finishing I was. How many times I’d failed and how many people were shaking their heads at me.

Basically: How often I was on the ball. With everything. No room for breathing, no room for a break, no room for mistakes.

 

I didn’t pay attention to me.

Was I having fun?

Did I enjoy what I was doing?

Did I care about what I was doing?

Was I overworking myself and consequently, making my “work” suffer?

Did I know what I felt, thought, wanted, needed?

 

I could go on and on. The answer would still be “no”.

That’s not a good thing to say no to.

 

I mean – I do realize the definition of “living” is to “live” right?

 

It’s hard to care about what I do on a daily basis if all I’m doing is forcing myself to get stuff done.

Check this off, finish that, be perfect with that.

Kind of pointless, don’t ya think?

 

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PERFECTION VS. MISTAKES

I allowed no mistakes.

This is – ironically – a failure.

How?

If you don’t make mistakes, then you’re treading water. You aren’t moving forward. You are NOT improving.

Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t hate yourselves over them.

Learn from them. Work on being better. A better you. The ‘you’ you want to be.

Mistakes are how you reach success.

 

GET THINGS DONE VS. ENJOYING THE THINGS YOU DO

Did I really accomplish all that much?

Okay, yeah I did a pretty good job in the year of 2014.

But did I enjoy it? Did I really care?

No.

I just pushed myself to get stuff done. While not even paying attention to what I was doing. I didn’t have fun, I didn’t enjoy it. Every day was a checklist – NOT a day to have a life and live it.

I’m a writer. Writing is my passion. It’s who I am. I’ve said this before, yet it doesn’t seem to sink into my brain.

I haven’t enjoyed writing in a long time. Why? Because I’m a brain-dead moron stuck on autopilot. STILL.

I love Kristen Lamb. She continually gives us reasons on why we need to have fun. How it isn’t wrong and we shouldn’t feel guilty for having fun doing our craft.

Notice something? I just said ‘craft’, not ‘work’.

Yeah, I’m a writer. It’s my job. It’s work.

But not really. Not to me. Because when I pay attention, writing is the joy of life.  It’s a release, an escape, a way to create, to change, to grow. To have fun.

I need to stop holding myself back from having fun, just “because”.

 

EXISTING VS. LIVING – a.k.a. THE POINT

Enjoy what you do.

Stop working and breathe.

Take time each day for yourself. End of story. No excuses, no “reasons”.

You are not a bad person for taking time for yourself.

It’s a popular issue people face with society’s definitions and whatnot sticking in their psyches.

This fable that we should feel bad for caring about our wants and needs.

WRONG!

If you don’t care about yourself, eventually, you’re going to stop caring about everyone else and everything else as well. I don’t care how good you are at hiding it or lying to yourself.

You’ll be miserable.

Everyone has a life. Don’t waste yours by ignoring your hopes and dreams to take care of someone else – who, *ahem* should be taking care of themselves. Everyone’s first responsibility is to take care of themselves, then to help others. Not to ignore themselves.

 

You don’t have to be a mindless robot who gets things done and helps everyone all the time with all their problems and responsibilities.

YOU. HAVE. YOUR.  OWN. LIFE.

You are a person.

You exist.

You have the option to live. To really enjoy your life.

That doesn’t mean become self-centered and care only for yourself. But stop being the opposite; caring only for others.

ENJOY YOUR FREAKING DAYS. They will run out.

Will you have wasted them?

 

Are you paying attention people? FOCUS!

Are you paying attention people? FOCUS!

 

How do you measure your years? Your days? Your successes?

Take a look at how you portray yourself on social media, to your friends, in public, to your family, to yourself. Are you happy with it? Have you struck that balance?

Regardless, take a look at your past year – and really look at it. Don’t hold the mask up for yourself. Denial will get you nowhere. Are you happy with your 2014?

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Balance Within (Some Yin, Some Yang, and a Few Wolves)

I am Cherokee.

I’m also Lithuanian, Scottish, Irish, English, German, Welsh, Norse, and Sicilian Italian, but that’s beside the point.

In short, I’m a mutt.

I’ve always liked looking into lore, myths, and traditions.

I’ve noticed a certain interest into one Cherokee legend in particular as of late; the legend of the “Two Wolves Within”.

 

In our current eye-roll-inducing-society, more and more people are forgetting the importance of one question.

Who Am I?

We get so wrapped up in life and all its hustle and bustle; effectively giving ourselves over to the rat race so that we are essentially invisible, even to ourselves.

We forget to live by our own heart’s direction – but instead copy and paste society’s opinions into our own lives and continue to blindly run through the maze.

 

And we’ve definitely forgotten how important ‘balance’ is.

 

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