Finally, finally

A darkness had been looming,
perhaps only since the last of the leaves had fallen,
but likely since months before when the world had only just finished blooming,
or even way back when at the time of the first “all in.”

This darkness loomed only so long,
until one day I could scarcely separate my own image from its shadowy grasp,
and suddenly I, along with the rest of the world from my dimmed perspective, felt completely and unequivocally wrong;
with each memory, each realization, each throb of pain would come a gasp.

In this time of darkened reality,
I found myself running on autopilot—breathing, existing, surviving, but only just—
ever resisting the urge to flee,
externally a person, internally dust.

Until finally, finally
Until finally, oh wondrous finally
The shadow that had once obscured me, had split my very being in two
Mercifully disintegrated to reveal my vibrant shades of blue
And finally, finally, I found happiness too


Revisiting the Last Leaf

About a year ago, I wrote a slightly lengthy flash fiction (because who am I as a writer if not a bit wordy?) that I’ve since posted on this blog called “The Last Leaf.” Today, in honor of the tattoo I just got with this very leaf in mind, I’m reposting it with the following note: I have never felt more intertwined with the narrator of this piece than I have in these last few months. For every day of the last few months, in spite of every difficulty, I have thought about this leaf, and I’ve remembered to always strive to be the last leaf, so to speak, in all aspects of my life. I’ve remembered to hold on no matter what, to incorporate this kind of strength and determination into everything that I do, to weather every storm that comes my way until the sky clears and I can feel the sun on my face again. I’ve learned to have faith in my ability to hold on, faith in the ability of others to do the same, and faith that, should I ever fall, the wind will carry me to where I’m meant to be. For me, the concept of this leaf is what eliminates the fear and enables the strength that it takes to make it back to the sunshine each time it gets lost behind the clouds, and I’d like to think that the narrator of this story has found that peace by now as well. Thank you for reading my ramblings and unnecessarily long sentences and enjoy this spontaneous Saturday night blog.


The Last Leaf 

I’m sitting in my favorite chair, the one by the front window. I clutch my hot chocolate in both hands as I stare blankly out at the sparkling white expanse of the front lawn, taking in the gentle grey of the sky, the steady flurry of the giant, white flakes, and the way the snow has slowly begun to fall from each individual tree branch.

As I sit, I see a leaf blowing stiffly in the wind. Some time ago, I would have marveled at the way this leaf had somehow found the strength to hang on to its tree through the fall months and into the new year, finally succumbing to the power of the first winter storm of the season when it could hang on no more. Now, I wonder why. Why did it cling so stubbornly to its branch? Why, when it would have been so simple for it to fall, crunching sharply under the foot of a little kid walking home from the bus stop, or the tire of a car moving slowly over the slick pavement, would this leaf endure the pain of holding on?

I used to love the snow. I loved the way it seemed to appear magically overnight, never making a sound. I loved the look of the sky just before a big snowstorm, and the color of the clouds as they graced the world beneath them with a blanket of glistening white. I loved the way it smelled, the way it tasted, the way it felt to take my gloves off and feel each individual snowflake melt into my skin. I used to find myself walking out into the yard, compelled by the majesty of the winter wonderland it had become, and just standing there in the cold, admiring the complete and utter beauty of the neighborhood as the snow fell.

Now, though I still acknowledge its magnificence, I am able to see past snow’s gentle beauty. Now, I look at the snow as it continues in its relentless descent to the earth, and I see the ugly that joins its beauty. Now, I see the woman who slips on the ice and hits her head after work. Now, I see the car accidents that come when the temperature drops and the streets become deadly sheets of ice. Now, I see the homeless that remain stuck outside in the storm with nowhere to go and nothing to do but wait for the storm to pass. Now, I see all that it has taken away from me despite the way I once cherished it.

Now, I miss the person that I used to be. I miss the girl who ran outside without a jacket just to stand and dance in the snow and feel it on her skin. I miss the girl who would sit in this very chair, drinking hot chocolate from this very mug, cozy in this very blanket, and stare at the snow for hours and hours, feeling only joy at the sight of it. I miss the girl who saw beauty before ugliness and love before hate. I’ve tried and tried to get that girl back, but now, as I stare out at this brave, stubborn leaf, I can see that she may never truly come back to me.

Finding Joy


full of pain and sorrow,

fall down my face in streams,

accompanied by gasps and sniffles as I sob silently into my hands.



in a room full of people,

a room full of people who make me feel like less,

who make me feel out of place, different, abnormal.



in a place where no one can hear my cries,

in my bittersweet retreat from reality,

but somewhere that loneliness still finds me.



the strongest, most beautiful feeling in the world,

is my only escape, my only salvation,

the only place where loneliness can’t seem to find a crack.



afraid every day that I will lose that salvation,

that I will lose it and fall apart,

that I will fall apart and never be able to put the pieces back together again.



happy to love, happy to be loved, happy to be in love,

happy through the fear, happy through the ever-creeping loneliness,

happy through the pain and sorrow of my tears,


because, in life, what is there to do but fight through the sadness and find the joy?

Finding Joy 2

Often, I was happy. Almost as frequently, I was in pain. Often, when I was in pain, I would bury that feeling as far down as it would go so no one would see and I pretended to be happy. Almost as frequently, when I was happy, I would remember the pain of yesterday and of tomorrow and the happiness began to dim and fade like a drawing on a wall in direct sunlight. For that reason, I cherished and continue to cherish all times of pure happiness and the people who give it to me, which at times includes myself. Pure happiness is driven by inner sunshine and assisted by the sunshines of others, fake happiness is driven by an inner sunshine shaded by looming clouds of swirling darkness, and pain is driven by those very same clouds as they consume the sun, seeming to swallow it whole and intrude on every thought and every action. In these times of pure darkness, often, I was alone, and, almost as frequently, I was lonely. In order to move passed this, the feeling of my sunshine being eaten alive, often, I had to be alone, and, for fear of questions; of tears; of transparency; of contagiousness of pain; of the possibility that, of all those that surrounded me, there would be no one to care; of more pain, almost as frequently, I had to be lonely in my darkness. The complete and inherent grayness, both of being alone and of loneliness, would take over eventually, and it was at that moment that my inner sunshine began to fight back, growing and growing until it was able to break through the clouds and bring meaning back to the world and, more specifically, my own existence.

This, of course, the cycle of happiness, fake happiness, and pain overshadowed by utter aloneness and loneliness, is how things used to be. Now, it seems, there is more hope, more strength, more light, more sunshine, and, of course, more love. Because, when you really look at the big picture, isn’t life always so much more than the darkness it brings? There is a great deal of pain to be had in life, that much is true, but there is also beauty and joy and the utter majesty of the world and its inhabitants to experience and to cherish every single day. Often, I am happy, almost as frequently, I am in pain, but always, I am finding joy.