107

I’m at a concert
the floor is sticky and
the drum kicks loud
each lyric flickers at my lips

I’m surrounded by
clusters of stars,
celestial bodies singing along

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106

perfectionism, permeating
everything I do
making competitions out of conversations
hoping, always, for a bronzed statue in my name
for a race that didn’t exist

I fought myself to push harder
to be better when I was fine as is
exhausted to impress others
and maybe even me, too
perhaps the silver lining
is that I grew weary of winning
when everyone I met was my opponent

I’m passing the baton and
throwing some matches
catching up with myself again, I’m
watching sunsets, golden
emboldened to be calm
to be anything I want to be
in any given moment
even if I’m not a winner every time

105

I used to think that finding forever
was like falling
the finest collection of affections and failures
and figuring out you still wanted each other.

like a kite, tethered
just in case it would float away, I
eyed the day it would come true
that one day the scaffolding would collapse
and there’d be nothing left of me but
the friction burns of a kite string
stinging into my palms

but everyday I wake up next to you, I realize
we’re not falling or plummeting or
some kind of aerial disaster
we’re the wind itself.

summer in september 🍂

dear, you (1)

 

Can you believe September is nearly over? Where did all that time go! I’m sure you’ve had quite the month yourself—I hope you’ve taken some time to catch those last few rays of sunshine.

When summer ends, I feel nostalgic. Nostalgic for the warm weather, the scratchy picnic blankets, the let’s-meet-anytime-anywhere mentality that seems to only live in summers. If you’re anything like me, you wrote a list of things you wanted to do this summer. And if you’re human, you didn’t quite cross everything off the list.

Truthfully, I get frustrated when things are left unfinished. Like I’m forgetting something, I feel as incomplete as my list.

But that’s the thing – your life is not a list. It’s not predetermined life milestones that you must adhere to in order to move forward. It’s not Get Married by 28 and Have Kids by 30. We’re so used to hearing about how other people are crossing things off their to-do’s and how we just aren’t quite there yet.

Sure, I didn’t end up writing for a publication or learn how to make macrons, but I did start a new job and have the most life-changing experience doing something I truly loved. And I did buy a bike, so there’s that.

A lot of the most fun parts of life are unplanned. Summer is for pints of ice cream or fresh flowers or how grass stains your new white shoes. I like to think that there is a beginning and an end to the lives we lead, but everything else that happens in the middle is up to us.

Curl up with a new book. Drink a coffee and stare out the window. Pick up a pumpkin pie on your grocery run, especially if you weren’t planning on it. Embrace the way life goes in the same way that you bring a jacket out when seasons change. We’ll all end up where we’re supposed to be eventually, so just enjoy it until we get there.

 

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love,
ELLE

104

as I age, I discover
all the things I’ve lost
by not appreciating them
for me, life has been
a sea of voices
tidal waves telling me
what to do and
how to do it well

I’ve learned to seek answers on my own
and carve my own paths in the sand
(even if they are dead ends)

today, I sat on the lake’s shore
and watched people carry on their lives
to their jobs on Mondays
or their dreams on crescent moons
I wonder if I’ve ever dreamt the very same ones

The water crashes in
rinses the footprints clean
the sandcastles get rebuilt in the rubble
and I can’t stop thinking about
how life is like a shell,
echoing our heartbeat back to us
reminding just how alive we are
and I ache, realizing both that
life is so beautiful and life is so short

103

On summer days, I’d dream of flowers
wildly tamed in a tweed bouquet
delicate daisies, soft touches
I feel the wind in my fingertips

Often I dread how
summer passes in the blink of an eye
in the heat of the moment
I hope it slows down
I hope the cool will calm me

102

I’m finding myself in hidden places
in foods I swore I hated
in places I swore I’ve been
perhaps in a past life
I could’ve been them all.

I think of each time I’ve grown
when I’ve nurtured myself from seed alone
tended to leaves that withered
waiting for them to grow back, stronger
I’ve been told that I overprune
that I’m quick to discard
failure as incurable

Perhaps one day I’ll learn
growth from grief
and leave the ugly parts alone.