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#ChooseJOY

Second Hand

Martine Beauvais

Photo by Tenor

Photo by Tenor

He came to her in the night;

& while faithful in his familiarity,

he never quite kept her warm.

With him she was well acquainted;

as acquainted as her lungs with air or her veins to live blood.

He slept next to her every night and although he was her familiar;

She could never become acquainted with his emptiness.

The elusive promise of his companionship never failed to disappoint her.

And in some dysfunctional way, this disappointment became the familiar thing

in which she scavenged for shelter.

But how long until it became too little and no longer enough?

How long until their familiarity with one another became an excuse for barbed words and venomous glances?

How much longer would their infatuation breathe before it came to its inevitable end?

 It was an intimate battle with which she was familiar.

The time to spar came like the setting sun;

Just when she thought she was safe from her past and could find rest.

The only familiar thing she knew during these hours was a lie relived;

a love, secondhand.

The Choice Is Yours

Sydney Wingate

"You're like 9 to 5, I'm the weekend."

This.

This is the line that shook my nerves, sent my heart to the pit of my stomach and caused me to, once again, experience emotions I am constantly trying to wash away.

Why you ask? Because.. I've been the 9 to 5, not knowing there was "The Weekend" to even worry about. Choosing people who choose you is one of the hardest, gut-wrenching and eye-opening things we can experience. It's raw. It's rough. And rarely done without losing someone who once meant something to you.

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

However,

Never forget that you're an option to select when choosing.

Often times, we can get lost in seeing all of someone else and none of ourselves. Before we know it, there's a world consumed and surrounded by them and you don't even exist in it. 

Whether it's a relationship, friendship, obligations or simple commitments, it is best to remember that you are one person, deserving of love, support, care and respect on a 50/50 level. 

Nothing more, nothing less. 

As scary as it seems, reevaluating the individuals in your life is a must. Everyone isn't for you and that is okay. Realizing this is the hard part. But, once the light-bulb flicks on, there's no turning it off. 

Photo by Sza

Photo by Sza

You begin to realize your worth, see people for who they are rather than what you want them to be and prioritize those that  truly matter and contribute to your well-being. 

Yes, you'll lose essential connections.

Yes, you'll have to find comfort in distance.

But, yes you will be choosing you and that's what matters. 

Relationships, friendships and commitments should not be draining, poisonous or questionably unwavering. If you find yourself in a one-sided connection, stop choosing someone who isn't choosing you. Remember that it is okay to put yourself first and the right people will gravitate towards you in time.

If you have to force it, it isn't real and if the feelings are mutual, the effort will be equal.

At the end of the day, you always have a choice and never let anyone or anything have you think differently. Choosing you is essential to establishing a solid foundation for the state of your mental health, so don't fight It when the opportunity presents itself.

Photo by Tenor

Photo by Tenor

As Alex Elle simply puts it:

Read books that fill you.

Listen to music that moves you.

Keep company that uplifts you.

Engage in positive self-talk.

Be your best self.

Female

Martine Beauvais

Photo by Tumblr

Photo by Tumblr

Hips swaying in the distance,

she walks into the metro.

Her stride is armored with purpose and

her grace is like perfume.

She is a woman, 

yet they call her Female.

The word bursts forth from their lips like a curse.

It lurches up from the bitter valleys of their gnashed teeth,

like a venomous spider coming up from it's Trap door.

Female, they say accusingly..

They are caught between their wonder and amazement of her,

while also trapped by their fear and disdain for her strength.

Female, they hiss!

As if she is to blame for their uncouth desires and base instincts.

They know what it truly means when they call her 'Female'.

It is the code of fragmented egos;

easy to grasp and hurl.

They labor ceaselessly to belittle her and cheapen her radiance with their curses, 

yet they do not know her worth is protected and can never be compromised.

"These Females", they say in reference to her...

It is a weapon used in attempt to strip her of her right to respect.

Boys, like these

may call her female;

But real men know that her true name is Woman.


** This is inspired by my disdain for the term 'Female' when used by black men and women to refer to other women. Although it is not blatantly and insult, the use of the term when referring to women carries a subtle and sexist allusion that roots the worth and role of a woman solely on her gender. This term is often used in an accusatory and condescending manner as to belittle, dismiss or criticize the thoughts and ideas of black women.

Without a Doubt

Manila Coleman

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

There are many times when I feel, not up to par, with the rest of my generation. 

without a doubt, you are more than just ordinary. 

without a doubt, you are deserving.

without a doubt, you are more than capable.

without a doubt, you have power. 

Growing Pains

Martine Beauvais

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

You have outgrown it,

it no longer fits you.

Old ideologies wither up, like too small shoes.

No one's there to hold your hand,

because you know better now.

Got the blues because those growing pains are starting to become too powerful to ignore.

Some truly do take longer, but you've been lying to yourself all week, all month, all year..

The procrastination you used to slide on doesn't fit anymore.  

The self-doubt that you once tried pulling on over your head, now causes friction against your skin.

The blanket of these familiar things no longer keep you warm; for you have evolved above and outgrown them all.

Your fire now burns too bright. You can not douse the flames in mediocrity.

It is time to grow up.

 

-Martine Beauvais