O is for One Perfect Moment, #AtoZChallenge

after the hourglass has filled

with time-worn sand

turned dusty and coarse

after the air has settled

still and stagnate

after the weight

of disintegrated decay

that plagued the mind

after the realization

that change is inevitable

after the faces

streaked with saline

after the anger

hot and unbridled

after denial

after rage

after acceptance

afterafterafter

after everything

comes one perfect moment.

Goodbye

Then, after comes….

 

 

N is for Nuisance, #AtoZChallenge

I am the fly buzzing in your ear,

flitting this way and that,

just out of reach of your

frantically waving hands.

 

I am the parched, cracked sponge,

caked with gummy grime

and specks of ancient food.

 

I am the lip in the sidewalk

that thrusts from the earth,

uneven and begging

for your foot to make contact.

 

I am the nail in your tire,

letting your air escape

in a slow hissssss

until your tire sinks,

drooping against the pavement

as I proudly perch in my new home.

 

I am the haunting whisper in your head

that calmly reminds you,

“You aren’t good enough.

You can’t do this.

You are flawed beyond repair.”

 

I am nagging dread.

I am lingering doubt.

I am creeping fear.

I am persistent anxiety.

 

I am constant, unrelenting,

but you have a choice.

 

What will you do with me?

K is for Kindness, #AtoZChallenge

Kindness is definitely not a flaw. It’s just hard to think of words that start with K. Of course there have been times when I’ve been told I’m “too nice” like that’s a bad thing. Which begs the question: Is being too nice a bad thing?

When can kindness get you in trouble?

My theme should have been “I ask readers a bunch of questions about basic personality traits people typically don’t think twice about.”

One of the biggest times this dilemma has crossed my mind has been in teaching. Many times I am told I’m too nice as a teacher and this leads to classroom management being difficult. Objectively I can see this happening, but then I also see how my students react to me. I think it’s important for children to be able to trust adults and know they are cared for. That is probably my main goal over teaching music, although I think that is super important too. When I get “firm” or “strict” I know I am being “fair”, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I just can’t seem to always find a balance. I don’t want to change my personality of always being kind and helpful, but sometimes I’m forced to in the classroom so things run smoothly.

I think this is my biggest doubt of whether I am a good teacher.

I love my job, but I also think it is one of the hardest jobs someone can choose. I need to find the balance between being kind and not being too passive.

Until then, I will lead with kindness. I will always try to be understanding and compassionate. I will keep an open-mind to accept people from all different walks of life. I will risk the struggles and criticism that come with being “too nice” until I find that balance. If life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m much better at dealing with my own pain than handling knowing I’ve hurt somebody else.

 

 

J is for Jokes, #AtoZChallenge

Sometimes I try to be funny. I like to think I’m good at making people laugh, but who doesn’t??

My sense of humor can be dark, satirical, biting, and sometimes I’m just plain silly.

We started these top ten lists in high school. They weren’t meant to be funny or sarcastic, but of course I made it that way. So here’s an example of the jokes I make. May it make you laugh or at least chance a flicker of movement in your lips that somewhat resembles a smile.

 

Top Ten Reasons People Welcome Global Warming:

  1. “Pale” went out of style fifty years ago.
  2. Boots are no longer made for snow-wear.
  3. Bathing suits are cheaper than winter jackets.
  4. Heat is expensive.
  5. Frost bite is more serious than global flooding.
  6. We’ve already invented life vests.
  7. Titanic fans run a very convincing anti-glacier campaign.
  8. Skin cancer is curable.
  9. The human race is indestructible.
  10. If Earth is destroyed we could totally move to Mars or something.

I is for I’ve Done This Before, #AtoZChallenge

I’ve done this before-

Watched a cold sunrise

In the darkest blue

That matched your eyes.

 

The grey dawn rose

With mist seeping through.

Stood tall with skin drenched in thought,

Stood small when I thought of you.

 

I’ve seen this before-

Decay in evening sky,

Sunlight dying with a soft glow,

The moon was your reply.

 

Night came creeping in

To replace a faded day.

It seemed light was useless,

But that was always your way.

 

I’ve felt this before-

Pressure breathing hot.

At first I thought I recognized,

But now I realize I forgot.

 

A stranger’s face blurred my sight,

Lifted my hands to match the stars.

You shined so bright I couldn’t see your heart.

No, I couldn’t find the light without some dark.

 

I’ve been here before-

In an unfamiliar place.

I thought I’d be with you,

But you’ve grown that stranger’s face.

 

I won’t cry anymore,

And I’ll take back my blame,

Because we’ve both changed so much

Still expecting to be the same.

 

I’ve done this before-

Watched a cold sunrise

In the darkest blue

That matched your eyes.

H is for Hope, #AtoZChallenge

Is hope a flaw? An unfortunate quirk of human nature? Or is hope a positive quality to have? I tend to think of it as both.

I think the benefits of hope are somewhat obvious. It can provide motivation, fuel ambition, and make you look forward to the future. The seemingly endless amount of hope I have is one of the reasons I can be so driven to do things that I may not even have business doing.

For example, next year I will be starting grad school and I have taken on two majors: Creative Writing and African Music and Dance. I already submitted my final thesis proposal, a collection of books on Ghanaian culture and music, which will require copious amounts of time dedicated to research and writing. This doesn’t even include the actual coursework I need to do for both programs. On top of this, I still plan to keep my current jobs, although one is seasonal and the others I will be forced to cut down my hours. How am I thinking this is at all possible??? Because I am endlessly hopeful. I believe in myself when it comes to things like being busy and hard work. In the midst of it I may get discouraged, but I always seem to finish what I start. This is the positive power of hope.

I think the downside of hope may be a little less apparent. For example, hoping someone will change so you stay in that relationship, be it friendship or otherwise, and end up getting used and hurt. Or hoping that THIS time will be different, for whatever the circumstance, even if logic and reasoning tells you otherwise.

There have definitely been times where my hope has gotten me in trouble or been the reason for heartache, but it still remains one of my biggest motivators in life. I’ll gladly risk having moments of pain to remain always hoping for good to prevail.

G is for Grown-up, #AtoZChallenge

All I wanted was to paint my pain

With forced brush strokes across

A gleaming canvas.

To let it sparkle like

The sinister Cheshire Cat grin,

With teeth short and blunt.

Nothing like my own

Sharp canines

That rip and tear,

Salacious shreds fluttering from

My gaping maw.

I would use thick oil paints,

Stacking them layer by layer

So you’d have to dig away

To get to the vulnerable truth.

All I wanted was for someone

To see my artistry and understand.

Past the pretentious philandering,

Past the obnoxious pleas

Of obvious words that read too loud,

Too blatant, too bold.

Subtlety was never my specialty.

It’s passivity or aggression.

I hid for so long,

A lost child – never made it

Out of the blanket fort.

I opted for false comfort

In the company of feathers and cotton,

Soft fabrics that could cradle my head

And soak up hot tears

That leaked endlessly from

Sunken eyes.

Now I’m all grown up,

Or, I have grown

My anxieties and frustrations.

They are adult sized

In this kid fortress of my brain.

Now it’s time to let them out,

The pent up problems

Of a first world child

Who misunderstood the world.

Because being taught morality

Is not the same as living it.

F is for Forgetting, #AtoZChallenge

This might get sad.

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading my blog, you are probably aware that my mom has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed about four years ago now. I remember because it was during my first year of teaching when we got the official diagnosis. She had been showing symptoms since her late forties, but the doctors kept saying too young, too young.

They said she was too young for about four years. I don’t remember the way the news was delivered. I’m not sure if someone called me or if it was in a message. I don’t remember if it was my dad or my sister who finally broke the news. I do remember that after I found out I went numb for a second.

Then I wanted to scream.

Then I wanted to punch something as hard as I could. I punched my pillow and it was satisfying for a second and then that seemed so completely irrelevant.

And then I just cried instead.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know it was coming, we all knew it was going to be Alzheimer’s. It’s just that, the official diagnosis made it so real, so undeniable.

I remember feeling so alone. I don’t know why I couldn’t talk to anyone. There were people I could call, my roommate in the next room, even. There was just no way for me to communicate the way I felt. I didn’t even know how to try.

Before my mom got diagnosed I had a morbid mantra I would say to myself. It was before I’d do something stupid or something I knew I probably shouldn’t. I’d just think, “I’m just going to grow up to forget this anyway.”

We have Alzheimer’s on both sides of the family, my mom’s and dad’s. It feels kind of inevitable, and if it’s not me, probably my brother or sister. It’s a heavy weight to carry that thought.

Maybe a breakthrough will be made and a cure will be found, or at least a more powerful way to slow the progress. Maybe we’ll all get lucky and discover that gene passed us by.

Or maybe, in just twenty years or so, just like my mom, I’ll start forgetting.

Momandme

E is for Excuses, #AtoZChallenge

I’m a day late with my post. Here’s why:

On Thursdays I have a 15 hour day. This particular Thursday I got home and after eating dinner at 9 PM I had to go out and check my tires because my air pressure light came on after just fixing the air the day before. Of course I had a slow leak in not one, but two of my tires. That was upsetting and I was tired already, so my boyfriend and I stopped to get ice cream. The ice cream did fix my mood, but not the fact that I was exhausted. We got home after 10PM or so and put on some Always Sunny while I tried to write my post. I stared at the screen awhile, thought of lame words I wouldn’t be able to write anything about and then gave up and went to bed.

So there’s my excuse. And oddly it has become my E post. I’m not going to overthink this since my next class starts in 5 minutes and in about five hours when I get home from work I have to try and write a post on F.

Happy A to Z ing everyone!

D is for Doubt, #AtoZChallenge

I started to think of my posts ahead of time so I wouldn’t fall behind in this challenge or my work, but after the past three days my perspective is already changing. Before yesterday, this post was going to be about how I’m always second-guessing myself, not really knowing if what I’m doing with my life is what I should be doing. Or if the things I’m saying, or the way I present myself is the correct way to be doing things. Don’t get me wrong, those are still true statements, but now my outlook has changed.

I get very stuck in my head. You (my readers) have gotten me unstuck. (Billy Pilgrim, anyone?) Yes, I doubt myself, yes, I contradict myself, yes, I carry my baggage and can’t seem to figure out just how much alone time to give myself. BUT, turns out, so do most of you! And I honestly couldn’t see that before. I just thought there was something wrong with me.

I’m not going to change my theme now, but I might reconsider calling them flaws. I think I may just think of them as unfortunate quirks in human nature. I am beyond thrilled at the people who have connected with me and shared their insights. I’m getting fed life lessons a handful of words at a time and I couldn’t be happier.

So let’s connect!

I often doubt if I’ve chosen the correct career path. Would I have been better off/happier choosing something else? Is it too late to change my path? Would I even want to change? I also doubt my abilities. Am I really a good teacher? Am I really a good musician? Am I actually good at writing? Other people have no problem assuring me and some days it’s not hard to believe. Other days….well I’m sure you know!

What do YOU doubt in your own life?

I’d also be curious to know if there’s anything you’ve never doubted. Please share your life experiences!

 

 

 

As always, thank you for reading my A to Z! Check out last year’s posts if you missed my traveling adventures: D is for Dominican Republic