Life is but the expressive result of dominant thoughts.

Prompt: Dominant 

I found the thread.

A tiny white string poking it’s head from the seam, teasing me as I tried to pinch it with my fingernails.  I could touch it.  I could not move it.

A few days later, it seemed longer.  But I had decided that I was not going to pick at it – I made a committed choice to ignore it (because that’s the best way to solve problems, ya know?).

A week later, it lay limply on my sleeve, flirting with my peripheral vision.  A challenge, if you will, to determine how steadfast I can be.

Or can’t be.

I pulled, just a little, just enough to feel the tiniest give, satisfaction of doing something I know I shouldn’t dripping cathartic into my veins like an IV.  I knew what I had started, but I smiled and swallowed back the lump in my throat.  Knowledge of a thing shouldn’t scare a person away.

A little bit everyday, a little more frayed around the edges.  Somehow my turtleneck shrunk into a tanktop.  I saw the end result when I began to dabble with this string, but it seemed far more striking when I saw the stark black tattoo boldface on my very white, very exposed arm.  The change didn’t seem this extreme – this violent – when I started.

And I suppose it didn’t because it wasn’t.  It was my doing: my rather simple flicking the string back and forth, caressing it’s silky thinness, the delicious wondering just how hard I’d have to pull for it to come out all at once.  I stroked it’s frayed strands and bit my lip in public when that little white thread slipped into my mind again, interrupting my thoughts with that temptation to play.

My shirt dangles on my bare shoulders, precariously balanced on my shameful spine.  I swallow harder than I did before, for a much different reason.  Curled in my open palm, the string (a miniscule piece, hardly a representation) holds no more allure for me.  It was my doing: the pulling, the straining, the seam ripping.

And yet, I wonder how strong this string really is.  My eyes skim what remains and the pit in my stomach feels far heavier than anything I’ve eaten recently.  If this is what that string can do, it’s certainly stronger than me.

Failure is a required part of the human existence.

Prompt: Carve

The curve of the clock
traced the motion of the second hand
as it curtly constructed
my schedule,
cutting my time
into precisely

The sheen of the blade
sneered as I sliced into succulent flesh,
steak steaming as my husband
sits silently
for his supper,
the rest of the side
served cold
and tasteless.

The lack of clacking on
the keys betray my writer’s block
as emails stack up,
stalking publishers
expecting drafts
that we both know
I cannot

And yet
I’m not sure
which of these failures
into me

Without continual growth, words like improvement and success have no meaning.

Prompt: Growth

You asked for a photo challenge about growth in midwinter Indiana.


Ah, the repulsive squelsh of filthy slush.

And how could this possibly represent growth?

Perhaps it doesn’t, not to you.  To me, it does.

All growth is a series of transition, moving from one season to the next, Newton’s inevitable prophecy of upness versus downness, winter blossoming into spring.  But before winter cleverly slips from our minds so easily, it always does this first.

It slushes. It convinces the road salt to pick at the paint on our cars like hangnails. It slobbers on our floors, leaving half-solid drools of ice on the carpet.  Winter hits a very ugly puberty before it ever dreams of spring.

Yet, it changes.  Like you.

And, most selfishly and most importantly, like me.

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

Prompt: Brilliant

Because that’s what all of this is, right? Bloody brilliant.

I didn’t get up in the middle of the night to write any of this; rather, I’m sitting cross-legged on my couch with my laptop balancing on my knees.  It’s uncomfortable enough to be considering “stretching” and precarious enough to resemble a yoga pose of sorts.  Multi-tasking, you see, is one of my many talents.  I can even type this sentence with one hand while sipping from my not-warm-enough coffee.

But why is this millennial not at work at 9:37 AM on a Tuesday?

Because I wanted to do something scandalous.  (To be fair, I’ve been doing this type of thing for several months now.)  Please hold all your gasps until the end:

  1. I got married at 21 without any intention of having children soon.
  2. I moved into an apartment on the side of town where I am the racial minority.
  3. I got a tattoo of a Celtic symbol above my elbow which – quite easily, actually – can be seen by conservative family members from both sides.
  4. I chopped my hair and got thick fringe bangs so that I don’t have to wax my eyebrows or put makeup on my forehead.
  5. I quit a corporate job with health benefits and a decent pay because I wasn’t happy with the environment and I wasn’t becoming the person I wanted to be.  Instead, I’m currently a writer and a tutor.
  6. I’m skipping a Master’s program to go straight to a PhD in Cell Molecular Biology (which is a predominantly male field, might I add) and I’m “just” going to teach.  Ya know, because what better waste of a PhD than going to teach undergraduate classes?

And just for kicks and giggles, my husband and I are moving at the end of our lease because management here still hasn’t fixed a broken pipe in our bathroom after 3 weeks of emailing videos of the water streaming from the ceiling into our shower.

The most brilliant thing of all?

My decisions had nothing to do with any of you.  Well, most of you at least.

Some of these choices were made solely by me, and others were split between myself and my gem of a husband.  We decided to become the best type of human beings that we can, to excel in our gifts and abilities, to welcome all people into our tiny home (please excuse the mess in the bathroom), to reflect the light that we find in this life.  We are just trying to truly live, develop into the fullness of ourselves, and slip into our created being like a silk robe.

So yes, darling.  You can judge me and my choices, my lifestyle, my priorities.  I’ll smile gently and send you on your way with a wave of my hand, my watch – a present when my phone was stolen and I purposely lived without one for several weeks – glinting in the light.

Because my life, with all it’s chips and flaws, is brilliant.