War Cry (A Pantoum)

Don’t open my door if you aren’t going to close it when you leave

Are you listening to me?

I deserve respect no matter my size or shape, just like everyone else

I am not some object to conquer or kill

 

Are you listening to me?

The Taliban cannot just board my dusty school bus and fire three shots at me

I am not some object to conquer or kill

You, with your rough whiskers, must face the consequences of what you take

 

The Taliban cannot just board my dusty school bus and fire three shots at me

You are right to fear that I may know too much, that education is serving me right

You, with your rough whiskers, must face the consequences of what you take

I am learning that a woman is worth more than just how much she can please a man

 

You are right to fear that I may know too much, that education is serving me right

Do your worst, I will still be standing against you at the end of each day

I am learning that a woman is worth more than just how much she can please a man

My name is Malala, your bullets will not silence me

 

Do your worst, I will still be standing against you at the end of each day

I deserve respect no matter my size or shape, just like everyone else

My name is Malala, your bullets will not silence me

You cannot just close this door after you open it

 

-October 2015

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Don’t Settle, Mr. Right

So I was watching Bachelor in Paradise Monday night and could not stop shaking my head at Izzy. Izzy and Vinny hit it off right away and seemed like a very solid couple. A few weeks go by and a guy finally comes to Paradise peeking Izzy’s interest. Izzy just has to talk to Brett to see if he’s worth the risk of letting go of her strong connection to Vinny. Vinny, not wanting to wait around on the Backburner, leaves Paradise.

Some more time goes by, Brett goes on a date with someone else and then tells Izzy that they just don’t have a strong enough connection. Izzy then departs from Paradise, realizing the mistake she made by letting Vinny go and tries to win him back via phone call. He shuts her down quickly, making the right decision in my opinion.

I met my own Vinny, my own Mr. Right. He was a great guy, treated me really well, and I would be a fool to let that go. But I did anyway.

I did it for the potential of Stubborn. Or maybe because Izzy and I have a lot in common and we did it because we didn’t want to end up ruining a great thing and getting left heartbroken. There’s a 75% chance that my Brett will go on a date with someone else that will end up outweighing my connection with him. But I guess that’s where my similarities with Izzy end.

I wouldn’t go back to Mr. Right. If one man was all it took for me to question my relationship enough to let it go then eventually, another man will come along giving me that same desire to risk it again. I think Izzy feared being alone more than she loved Vinny. I think Vinny realized that too and he wasn’t going to settle for someone who doesn’t truly love him.

I’m not going to settle and I don’t think Mr. Right should either.

 

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Am I Single or Not?

I am… 100% single. I haven’t been asked to be someone’s girlfriend since I was 14 (oh the woes of middle school). So saying anything other than 100% single would make me the delusional, crazy girl. And yet…

I’m at least 10% taken, maybe even 50%. Or maybe I’m 50% crazy? Either way, the math isn’t looking too good for me.

If I was completely single then I would be going out with my friends and talking to guys guilt-free. I might start dating around and trying out all the dating apps. Or I might not be interested in getting involved with anyone at all and I might just be enjoying my family and a girls’ night in. No matter what way you shook it, I wouldn’t be thinking of a certain someone when I fall asleep every night.

So some of you might be asking “How the heck can you be half single?” (You probably didn’t but play along and be a good sport). Well, I’m glad you asked.

It’s actually pretty easy to be a little bit taken by someone. Friends with Benefits, the ‘talking’ stage of dating, and F*ck Buddies are all different types of 10% taken. Throughout my teen years I was often part of the unrequited love or the ‘crushing on my friend’ club. It’s near impossible to label this current guy (who will be nicknamed Stubborn from now on) so I won’t even try. Or more accurately, I haven’t been ready to face the reality that I’ve wasted countless months putting time and energy into a dead- end relationship. What I do know, for sure, is 10% taken was not a place I liked being.

I tried dating other people to get over Stubborn, I tried to force Stubborn to date me, and I tried breaking up my ‘non –relationship’ relationship with Stubborn (and yes, it’s super embarrassing calling it that and if he ever finds this blog, I plead the fifth).

Amazingly (read: predictably), none of that worked. There’s no fool -proof plan to getting in or out of your 10% taken relationship so I welcome all of you to try what I’ve tried and I hope something works for you (if you’ve had success, totally contact me so I can hear all the juicy details). If I’m honest though, I don’t think it’s going to work.

I’m in a 60% relationship with myself, and it took many years just to make it here. And I think until that number improves, I’ll only ever be half –in, half -out of these half -assed relationships. And even then, Stubborn would have to be in a healthy relationship with himself too before he could ever be serious with me.

The only advice I really can offer is to not beat yourself up about being stuck in a 10% taken relationship. Don’t shame yourself, don’t guilt yourself. Just try to be present with yourself and your reality. Trying to set timelines for the future just left me upset and disappointed when I didn’t reach them. You want to improve your relationship with yourself, not disappoint yourself by setting goals you might not be ready for. There will come a day when you love and respect yourself so much that you realize this guy doesn’t deserve you or he will realize what a fool he would be to lose you.

So I hope one day you can be 100% committed to yourself because there is no doubt, you are something worth holding on to.

 

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When the Salmon Rots

Once I walked along Mallory Street with him

when the summer sun was still high in the sky at seven in the evening.

The ebbs and flows of laughter from backyard parties

crash on my ears like ocean water beating against the rocks.

 

We had so much fun at that bonfire on the beach, he and I.

The air in my nose was stronger than a salmon swimming upstream.

But if you stayed close enough to the growling fire

that smoky haze would cover you better than a fur blanket.

So I stayed close, tucked into him

dreaming of honey.

 

Against the black curtain of the sky

It was hard to tell the difference between

the fading flickers of a hot, red amber from a fire

versus his taillights fading down the road.

And then you realize it can’t always be seven o’clock on a summer evening.

 

Afterwards, once it’s over,

I still have these bug bite memories itching all over the skin of my heart

and I want so badly to scratch at it, just to give myself a few moments of relief.

But I know I shouldn’t go back there again with him

because a man who can taste the honey on my lips

and still want to go around tasting other beehives

did not deserve a palate at all.

Bug bites fade on their own anyway.

 

Once I walked along Mallory Street with him.

Now I walk it alone,

still dreaming of honey though.

Cause honey soothes all bug bites

and coats over foul salmon memories.

 

-September 2015

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I met Mr. Right and He was Dreamy (and He’s Single)

It took me a long time to date the right guy and it wasn’t because I refused to date. I did date, a lot. I went on more first dates then I can count nor care to remember. But I was really bad at picking the right guy and I even starting setting rules for myself in order to only go on a date with a guy who REALLY liked me and meant it when he said he would treat me right.

And boy did he! He opened car doors for me, always asked about my day and how I was feeling (remaining completely supportive always), and he constantly reassured me that physical intimacy would move at my pace. He was a hopeless romantic, respectful, old school kind of guy.

This was the dream guy, Mr. Right. And I still maintain that months after breaking things off with him. It’s just that he’s Mr. Right for Someone Else, not me. We had different visions for our futures and I realized I would have to let this sweet man fall in love with someone else. And if any girl reading this is interested, I’ll gladly pass it along to him!

Mr. Right for Someone Else showed me that I deserve someone who is supportive, considerate, and trustworthy. He gave me the confidence to know that I’m worth the effort and don’t have to settle nor hide my true self from love. He gave me the hope that I will find that perfect someone for me and I’ll always appreciate him for giving me that.