I leave the bed unmade

I have a penchant for leaving the bed unmade.

They say making your bed is the right way to start your day. To that, I have things to say.

Who is this ‘they’? Who started this whole culture of manic productivity? Is this the same ‘they’ that popularized that narrow-minded phrase “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”? Because if it is, I have no interest in listening to ‘them’.

Who decided that the right way to start your day was to convert your bed from a soft, forgiving sanctuary to a neat, unapproachable rectangle that screams “we are never ever ever getting back together” (Taylor Swift voice included)?  What is this PSA to the world that tucking in corners, smoothing out surfaces, and fluffing up pillows was the right way to start your day?

Who needs that self-masochism first thing in the morning?

Is it so I feel guilty to get back in, ruining the tucked-in corners, smoothed-out surfaces, and fluffed-up pillows? Is it to invoke the same kind of guilt I feel when I start poking my fork into a beautifully arranged meal? See, I don’t need that. People are already so tucked in and beautifully arranged every day, not a hair out of place nor a trace of dirt underneath their fingernails. It’s discouraging to behold and exhausting to conform to. I am mentally sighing as I write this.

We are always so focused on industry and measurable self-improvement that it has become unforgiving of flaws and the beautiful humanity of just letting things be. Why would I make my bed? Some of the most self-restorative activities I and many other humans need take place in a bed: I sleep, read, and make love in a bed. I confide to my partner in a bed. I cry in my bed. So why, in the name of all that is good and compassionate, would I make it? Does it need to be made? Does all trace of my bodily imprint need to be swept away every morning, like a secret to be ashamed of?

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Does this image make you feel uncomfortable?

No. No, I don’t need that.

I’m going to get up, and savor every wrinkle in the sheets and every disheveled dune of fabric. I’m going to trust that when I need it again — whether it’s 12pm or 12am— it will take me back with no guilt or effort on my part, ready to take in every flawed part of me.


Daily Post prompt: Penchant

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Tower of Babel

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‘The Fall of the Tower of Babel’ by Cornelis Anthonisz (1547)

* * *

How do you show your love for me?
What languages do you speak, my love?
Dare I ask, do we share at least one common dialect?
Can we, please?

How do I show my love for you?

I prefer to wrap you in words:
In bandages, for your pain (or mine?)
In wrapping paper, for the gift that you are
To wrap you is to suffocate you, my darling;
the better to contain my pleasure & pain

I prefer to assign songs to you:
Wind Of Change, to signify hope in troubled times
So Far Away, to show longing through the distance
To speak to you through songs you love;
for better writers to better express what we both feel

I prefer to add disaster to our story:
You washing away in a flood of indifference
Me trapped in an earthquake, trying to reach you
For our love torn apart is a world torn apart;
it is nothing less than catastrophe

Here I am, raw and yearning and bare
Communing with you in the only languages I know
Of metaphors, music, and natural disasters
Is it enough for you?

We are building the Tower of Babel
Destined to reach the heavens and defy deities
Alas, they chose to bestow upon you one tongue
And I another; are we destined to now fall down?

And so I ask you again:

How do you show your love for me?
What languages do you speak, my love?
Dare I ask, do we share at least one common dialect?
Can we, please?

Memorization is for basic b*tches

The first thing I could remember memorizing was my multiplication tables in the third grade. I spent three full evenings trying to cement those numbers in their neat little columns into my brain. I recited them like a mantra, for that was what brought me nirvana at the time — pleasing my teacher, Ms. Betty.

Since then, life has been a blurred montage of things to memorize: best friends’ phone numbers so I could call them right after school, addresses, birthdays, street directions, credit card numbers, my passport number when I am lucky enough to travel … all of these a random jumble of letters and numbers. We leave a trail of them as we shuffle through life, walking through doors that only these alpha-numeric keys can open. I look at my trail behind me and I see evidence of someone who has lost several credit cards, moved many times, owned a couple different cars, has had a few boyfriends whose birthdays she has cared enough for to remember. It’s a seemingly ordinary life, if you were to look at my record.

Just remember, it’s the stuff you don’t memorize that make your life incredible, precious, and uniquely yours. It’s the stuff you wrote down, like journal entries you’ll forget and look at twenty years later and chuckle at how much of a hot mess you were. It’s the stuff you felt with your own skin, like the very first time your newborn wrapped her whole hand around your finger. It’s the stuff you utter out of your own mouth, gone into the air and never to be said exactly the same by anyone else on Earth ever again.

Memorize the rudimentaries, but leave enough of your mind uncluttered to experience life at its most complex and messy and beautiful.


Daily Post prompt: Memorize

Embracing loneliness (a.k.a. ‘self-love’)

I have not been single since I was 17. I am now 25. I acquired my first love—or at least at the time, what I horribly thought was “love”—eight years ago. Since then, I have not stopped. I have not stopped loving or being loved.

The longest I have ever been single is one month. Sadly enough, it may not even count, because in that one month, girl. did. not. get. any. rest. I was blowing off a cloud in one breath and fanning a flame in another.

Oh, but it’s the best preoccupation, isn’t it? This fall into the pit of love, then the inevitable conflict that occurs when two human beings try mushing their lives together. And finally, if it all works out, that satisfying-fall-into-bed-together-at-the-end-of-a-long-day-and-just-talk kind of love. It’s all engrossing stuff.

* * *

I’ve grown up. And I’m still growing up.

Sometimes, I choose not to humor the Blaming Beast, what I call the hateful, martyred creature living in my gut that tells me my feelings of inadequacy are my partner’s fault. Sometimes, I choose not to humor it.

But in other moments I’m not so proud of, it just feels so good to fall into another pit — Insecurity. I fall into it, make myself comfortable, throw pillows and whatnot, and tell myself insipid, self-hating little nothings — that I’m not sexy enough, thrilling enough, ambitious enough. That I’m just some silly little girl who’s not ready to play the Game of Adulthood.

* * *

I have not been single in almost a decade because I am afraid of loneliness. Wow — what an unoriginal predicament. And yet, here I am, my lot thrown in with other loneliness-phobic people who have become almost serial in their romantic activities.

I have not stopped loving or being loved because I cannot love myself.

It’s a weird, cold realization. I have never been enamored with myself. Dear reader, do you know what the definition of “enamor” is?

Enamor (v.):

be filled with a feeling of love for; have a liking or admiration for.

Have I ever been filled with a feeling of love for myself? No, not really. I mean, some good days, I’ll look at my ass and think, daaaaaamn. But obviously, that’s not the same. That’s just vanity.

When I am alone, I feel this itch to rotate around someone else — I am the moon, enamored with the sun; the only revolution I start is around another person, forever reflecting the brighter light of others.

When does love for myself start? What process do I have to sign up for, what paperwork do I have to fill out, to be able to see myself and think, you are truly enough? Because I don’t feel that, and I yearn for it. For once in my life, when I am alone, I want to love it. For once, I want to be the sun.


Daily Post prompt: Enamored