To Be Interesting

To my future daughter/son/human,

Above all, I hope that you are interesting.

I hope this because I think that this is the best thing that a person can be. You will sometimes be selfish and loud and kind and transparent and honest and tired and inspiring and guilty. Because we all are, sometimes. You will be called a lot of things and you will call yourself different things. But I hope, most of all, that you are interesting.

Interesting people are three-dimensional and imperfect and messy. They do things because they are drawn to them and they do them well. And if they don’t do them well, they try it again or they try something better. Interesting people have things about them that you can’t guess by looking at their shoes. Interesting people have stories that are not all good but not all bad. They are chasing things and when those things no longer serve them they chase more things. They are not stagnant or passive or bored. I hope you are interesting. Because this world is your canvas and you don’t have to be good at coloring in the lines or shading the sides of mountains to make an interesting painting. Interesting people surprise themselves. At 6 or 16 or 60. Interesting people grow and change and evolve and know that that is a good thing. I hope you swim in deep sea caves and fly on clouds because the middle ground is flat. Interesting people are not always happy. They are in fact, rarely content. Because being content means safety means settling means beige. And you darling, are not beige.

Those things that you think in the dark and that worry you that you might be insane will make you sparkle but you have to find your sunlight to do so. Interesting people struggle and my dear, I hope you find no shortage of struggles because that means you are moving something bigger than you. Interesting people move the heavy boulders and not just for the hell of it. Interesting people create and transform and remove and replace. You are not meant to ignore the music in your blood. I hope you are interesting because I know you will be strong and worried and smart and half-crazy and wonderful. And I hope you don’t shut all of that down in an effort to be okay. Because simply being okay is not interesting.

O.A.

Messy

Messy

My room. My closet. My car. My hair. My brain.

Every once in a while, all of the above.

A mess.

Your twenties can feel disastrous. Like downward spiraling mixed with euphoria mixed with McDonald’s fries. We try to play it cool. The weekly I’m officially gonna get it together declaration strikes again, more boldly, more painfully, more dramatically. On social media and girl dates we put on filtered facades and swear we are doing so well, seriously so, so well guys. And for the most part we are. Most of us have a tremendous amount of privilege that we walk around with every single day and it’s important to recognize this. But there are moments when shit hits the fan and we immediately go running to the curtains to make sure that no one else can see our war zones of a life.

I’m learning to like the mess. We are in disarray, a shifting chaos that is learning, improving and changing. Growing is messy stuff. Ask any mother of a toddler. There’s spaghetti on the walls and yogurt in their hair and something questionable on their shirt. And it’s adorable. How many first birthday pictures are memorable because the kid ate her cake without smashing it in her face?

Your mess is your story, your mess is your narrative, your mess is the thing that keeps it interesting. We don’t read books or see movies for smooth, seamless, perfect, angelic lack of plots. A good plot looks a lot like a disaster and smells a lot like explosives.

Do it, screw it up, do it again, maybe screw it up worse. Watch yourself get better.

Look around at your mess. Don’t compare your mess to anyone else’s mess.

Appreciate your own mess.

Silence

Silence

We cover it in words, music, anecdotes, ums, hms, car horns, fans, ambiance, rain sound apps, noise machines. Anything and everything to cover it up.

Why do we hate it so much?

When it is silent we hear ourselves. Our own minds don’t shut up. They sound like us, same voice, speaking words that are much more raw, bitter, real, blunt, burnt than our outward voices could ever be. It’s panic and chaos and fear and repression, boiling to the surface the very second it gets a chance. So we turn on some Spotify and drown it out. But underneath that city street during rush hour haze of chaos is exactly what we need to hear whether we want to or not. Our inner voice of truth. That doesn’t get to say much very often. But when it does, it’s real. I saw a quote once “Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.” And as powerful as our shaking voices may be, sometimes we need to stop, turn off Harry Styles, stfu and listen.

Shallow Waters

Shallow Waters

we smooth ourselves
brush stray hairs
cover imperfections
mask bright laughs
damper loud opinions
in an effort to be
enough
but
not too much

 

enough

to look at
smile at
love at

 

squelch the anger
bite your tongue
so he will look
and like
and love

 

he is turned on
by the softness
but we are screaming
about the shit
that is hard to scream about

 

run
keep running
from a girl
with the world at her fingertips

 

they will simplify you
widdle you down
to a body
and some long hair
and maybe you get to be funny

 

he just wants a
‘chill’ girl
a calm girl
who swallows her fire
so he can have his

 

watered down to a middle ground
to an average
that is not insulting nor exciting
that is all that you’re allowed to be

 

small
and
safe
and
sane

 

shallow waters
and lukewarm sins

 

and it’s not his fault
someone else told him that
and someone else told him that
and someone else told him that

but no one told me that.

20

20

Woke up, the teen years gone by. Things are about to start moving faster and faster and somehow even dizzyingly faster. The “real world” is looming heavy overhead, an empty threat come to life. Yet I’m pretty sure I’m mentally about 14 years old and I’m wondering if we ever actually feel any older or if it just shows up on our faces one day in deep lines and wisened eyes. We can remember turning ten, double digits– finally. The waiting game is over. The day to day countdowns, half-birthdays, nine and three quarter days are done. Twenty years old and just as confused as ten. It’s a big decade coming. The decade of college graduations, first real person jobs, real person crappy apartments, real person crappier cars, moves, hellos, weddings, weddings??, little feet, little things, enormous things, terrifying, terrifying, terrified. But I’ve decided we’re probably never truly, truly ready. It just happens to us and we sink or swim and call our moms in panicked desperation a lot. Because the older we get, the more we realize we do not know. The more we realize we don’t know, the more we realize that we don’t always need to. That’s the game, the never ending game, the figuring it out. Or sometimes not. It’s the simultaneous innate fear of the world and the plan to conquer it at the exact same time. Twenty.

Please Remember

Please Remember

please remember we live in a world

where people hold open doors for strangers.

and a little kid was just adopted. 

and someone just fell in love.

and someone is giving blood.

and today is a happy couple’s 50th wedding anniversary.

and tomorrow a man will pay for the person’s coffee behind him in line.

and yesterday a brand new baby was born.

and good things are happening

and good things are happening

and good things will keep on happening. 

there is sun and sunshine and yellow

somewhere some time somehow.

please remember we live in a world

where people hold open doors for strangers. 

That’s How It Is

That’s How It Is
(Photo by Maeve Scully Photography)


darkness plays on darkness

and we pretend we don’t hear

we don’t feel

we don’t know

and that’s how it is.


and the questions 

without question marks

where were you

why

what were you wearing

why

what were you thinking

why

why

why

they start and don’t stop 

and that’s how it is.



mothers’ daughters

who might one day

hold daughters 

and fear for their own different 

dark corners and fuzzy lights. 

and that’s how it is. 


and the act of walking 

home 

alone

in the dark

is a sentence

a line crossed

a fault

because you are a girl 

and he is a boy 

being a boy

and that’s how it is.


lips that drip poison

persuasion

pleading

and another set 

unable to form no

and that’s how it is.



our bodies are our own

until he gets drunk

then the lines are blurred

and smudged 

mascara 

flows

and that’s how it is. 


and I heard a girl

tell a girl 

to just not think about it

that it was okay

but it wasn’t 

and we knew it. 

and we dried her tears

with pieces of hope and 

easy words.

and that’s how it is.



we ignore

and pretend

it’s not real

it doesn’t happen here

it will never happen to me

until it is 

and it does

and it could

and that’s how it is. 



words are not

suggestions

pushes are not

green lights 

nothing is not

yes

do you hear me 

but that’s not how it is. 






O.A.

photo by: Maeve Scully

[pronouns are replaceable at your own discretion; 
this is from my personal perspective]