Poetry: Taylor

A photo of Taylor Swift leans against the wall on top of a cube-organizer.
She sits in a lawn-chair, in a flowered and white dress, surrounded by leaves and vines.
Her hair is beautiful and long, her feet bare.

At her feet sit my half marathon finisher’s medals:
My best efforts lay at the feet of something greater.
Her eyes and expression convey curiosity, peace, but also power and awareness.

She overlooks my living room from the frame, our eyes meeting each time I walk through the door. Her photo isn’t much
but it adds beauty to my living space in a way not yet meant to be otherwise.

Because here there is no company. There are, as of yet, no close friends to be teased by about her photo. Nobody to get coffee with at midnight or run snacks to.
There is simply an unending prison of time, and lots of work to be done while I wait.

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Poetry: Anthem Of Age 27

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Today I am fast at play.
Not “hard at work” because to say “work”
would be to imply I resist what
I do.
I do not.
 
On my desk are notes
and a full page of verse I have been…
What’s the word? “Whittling away at”?
surely not “Working on” but perhaps.
Working on.
 
Behind me is a made bed with blue blankets
on my left. On my right
a freshly-erased dry-erase board
sticks to a wall. It is empty like a blank page
though I don’t believe there is actually anything empty about a blank page.
 
To my right is a coffee cup on my desk
with the inscription “The Adventure Begins.”
Further to my right is a lithograph of Taylor Swift in summer.
On the floor to my left is a blue yoga mat. The sky is blue as if in summer
though I know that scientifically, it isn’t actually blue.
 
All around I am surrounded
by beauty. From Taylor Swift
to the phone which lacks any new texts, even as I hope to get new texts.
And in front of me is a beautiful, blank piece of paper on a screen, not beautiful
Because of what already is, but beautiful because of what may yet be.
 
God is good!
I love Sundays.

Not Looking For A Ted Mosby Kind Of Love

I recently saw a post on one of my dear friend’s twitter-feeds talking about how he could see himself as a Ted Mosby type guy. It’s a comparison that’s occasionally been made similarly about me, especially others who have seen my hopeless romantic side.

And until this morning, I always thought I wanted that. Not to be him of course, but to find love like him: to have a girl I was destined to meet and fall in love with and to one day know the stars had nearly aligned so many times until ultimately they ran out of ways to keep from aligning perfectly, causing said girl-of-my-dreams and I to finally meet, fall in love at first sight, and know that we were right where we were supposed to be.

I also thought maybe it’d be like Ted and Robyn were, where they found love in each other so many times only to keep screwing it up until they finally gave up from angst, until they realized they hadn’t.

All of this I’ve long thought I wanted.

But as I walk around my apartment this morning with the fresh realization that coffee somehow calms me down and makes me sleepy, a fact likely to confuse my friends to no end, I have a realization that I no longer care how love comes.

I don’t dream of finding a Ted Mosby kind of love. I’m just excited to dream about what it’ll be like to find it again at all.

God knows I’ve failed enough times at this whole love thing. I’m terrible at going from friendship to boyfriendhood and I’m as awkward as they come every step along the way. God also knows I should fear love, and that in many ways I appear to fear people even though I actually don’t, except when I do. Still, somehow I want to believe in it. I want to write about it. I want to daydream about it. I want to imagine a girl one day getting as excited about random texts from me, and I want to one day make a girl happy instead of making her feel awkward when I tell her I love getting even the smallest, simplest of texts from her.

I can’t wait to find that, and somehow I’m too naive, too stubborn, and perhaps too pretentious to believe such a thing doesn’t somehow exist, even for someone like me.

I dream of it: the subtle, unexpected kind of love that doesn’t make its clichè, “love at first sight” appearance, but instead starts small and builds slowly, artistically, subtly. Not like the love novel, but like the waves.

Who knows. Maybe I am destined for that Ted Mosby type love. Maybe there’s no other option for someone as “cheesy,” frequently “over-affectionate,” and prone to overthinking as I’ve historically been.

Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m starting to grow out of that last little bit.

Maybe now I’m finally learning to avoid overthinking, and thus maybe I’m ready for something a little more unexpected. Something exciting by not seeming to exciting. Something that doesn’t need Taylor Swift love songs or William Shakespeare poetry to describe it, because it instead is best described with a simple, U-shaped curve of the lips.

I’ll keep y’all posted.

Unpacking Baggage, and Celebrating Swiftmas

In my senior year of high school, we performed a musical by Elton John and Tim Rice. It was called “Aida,” and its score entranced me so much that I ordered the bloody thing.

I have it to this day.

Song number one of the musical is called “Every Story Is A Love Story,” and this morning, I can’t stop thinking about that line.

I hear the recording of the original Broadway cast singing it. I haven’t actually heard the song in what must be at least six years. Still, it won’t be silenced within my head.

A couple of nights ago, I lay in bed in the dark. I had been doing something occasionally common of late: dwelling on my frustrations at romances lost.

I was deep in thought. About all the times I had messed things up. About all the times I had lost friendships by suggesting they become romantic. About all the times I let romantic relationships go too far only to eventually fail for other reasons entirely, and about all the times someone had simply chosen someone else.

The hobby of trying to figure out where I went wrong or what it was about me that made people shy away had become a favorite hobby, on par with dancing, and far surpassing poetry.

Yet as I lay there that night, in an empty room on a queen-sized bed in a basement apartment, a softer, gentler voice from somewhere deep within spoke up for the first time in a while.

“When are you going to finally let me unpack?”

It was the better part of me speaking, the hopeless romantic and optimist who I’d long ago exiled somewhere accidentally, and it was finally back, returning from exile like Napoleon.

As I lay there, I remembered something: carrying around baggage doesn’t help anyone, least of all us.

And that’s why I have to write this today.

To some degree, every story really is a love story. Every interaction we have, regardless of sexual preference or affiliation with the other person, is a page in the way we treat others. When the Bible tells us “Love your neighbor as yourself” it does not mean “as long as you can be with that person romantically.” It means period. It means “take care of one another.” It means “trust one another, build one another up.” “If I don’t love, I am nothing” does not mean that the person who dies single at age 120 lived in vain, unless they never took care of those around them.

Every story is a love story, with or without romance.

Still, on a more personal level, I realized the other night it was time to unpack. I was sick of carrying around regret and sorrow at things that had failed.

I will no longer remember the wrongs or the failures. I choose to remember only the lessons and, above all, the hope of finding her, my “one,” who these lessons have prepared me to love every bit as gracefully as she deserves.

Muddled together in the suitcase of my past life had been clothes I ruined on the chaotic seas of my previous adventures into romantic love. Clothes of personality traits that I wore until they no longer served to assist or protect me from the hard winds and cold rains I had battled and, at times, danced in.

But mixed among the ruined clothes of my memories were the mementos of the lessons I took from each. Not sorrow-filled or sadness-affiliated ones; just… happy ones. Sure, my heart had been sore at those I lost, chased away, or had to be left behind by, but hidden among all of those memories, once I decided to unpack them all and stop dragging them everywhere with me, were little gems of hope.

My first girlfriend in college introduced me to the soundtrack of the musical “Spring Awakening.” I’ve never seen it, but one lyric from one of the songs comes to mind:

“Those you’ve paid, they carry that still with them. All the same, they whisper ‘All forgiven.'”

This week, as we look ahead to the holiday season, I encourage you to take a second and unpack. We all have it, and though I’m certain I’ve unpacked all of mine, I know someone reading this likely has baggage they aren’t ready to unpack yet.

That’s OK. All I’m saying is remember to go easy on yourself if you haven’t found your “one” yet, especially in a season during which everyone around you might appear to have everything you’re still looking for.

In a season full of holidays that include probably getting new clothes, let us wash the clothes of our memories clean and hold on only to the helpful lessons, the mementos, of that which we’ve left behind.

It’s “Swiftmas” everyone. On this day 27 years ago, a girl was born who, as a child, would write some of the truest literature about love to ever be written in any language.

Don’t forget to love a little childishly today.

Let me know if you need anything.

A Sick Beat To Start Your Sunday :)

Hey Everyone!

Something I’m going to work on doing more on this site from now on is sharing neat dance videos when I find them (and I usually find lots of them). I haven’t done that a lot, but I want to. This site is, and always will be, primarily about the beauty of life, and dance :).

Here’s a little bit of both! This deserves to be the first offering toward that commitment :). This is the type of sick beat that Taylor Swift said we should be getting down to :P. Enjoy!

Really Great Interview with boxer Cam Awesome on Highly Questionable :)

Hi Everyone,

One of my favorite shows on ESPN is Highly Questionable. They do great interviews and Dan Le Batard alongside Bomani Jones is one of my favorite journalist combos in all of sports media. Yesterday, they did an awesome interview with Cam Awesome, a professional boxer hopefully representing the United States in the 2016 Olympics. Spoiler: he calls himself the “Taylor Swift of boxing” in the interview. :P. Check it out 🙂

MTV Music Video Voting….Sometimes choices are harder than they seem…

So being a subscriber to Taylor Swift​’s fanmail list, I got an email reminding me to vote for her for her MTV music video nominations.

Among the categories she’s up for is “Video Of The Year.”

As much as I want to vote for “Bad Blood” for sake of fan loyalty, I’m not as much a fan of that song as many others seem to be. Still, the video is great.

But one video also up for the category is giving me fits as I try to choose between it and the “Bad Blood” one. How the video below ISN’T nominated for “Best Choreography” blows my mind. In any case, this is tough for me as I try and separate my inclination because of fan loyalty (which gives Taylor a vast lead) and my love of the song and the actual choreography (both of which give Ed significant ground).

And the reason I am saying all this at sunrise on a Thursday morning is to get y’all’s takes, because I’m every curious and love hearing from y’all. And the reason I’m putting so much thought into all of this, as I prepare for two separate geology finals in the next 24 hours, is because I feel like who you vote for in such cases is one of many methods of self expression.

Here’s the video I’m struggling to choose Bad Blood over: