There will always be voices.

Voices that tell you what you are.

Where you’ll go.

Who you can be.

There will always be voices, and only you can choose which voices you believe.

Last week I was playing with a toddler who asked me to help him set up his train tracks in a circle. Later, while he was playing, he said to me in his sweet baby voice, “You’re so nice, Maney, you’re so nice.” And for some reason, his kind little words made my heart grow so big.

That was a voice I wanted to listen to.

He was much kinder than I am to myself.

There will always be voices, voices telling us that we aren’t worthy of love, or that our plans will fail, or we aren’t needed or wanted, or that we’re useless and worthless and bad.

Banish those voices, my dear readers. You are wonderful.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -Christopher Robin

Shame On Me

It happened again today, and all it took were a few clicks of a mouse and a percentage.

Shame, rushing through me in a hot wave. I’m suddenly self-conscious. I feel upset. I feel anxious. I feel like a failure. I’m not enough, not good enough, never good enough. I need to apologize for something. I owe someone my happiness, my self-confidence, my peace. I am bad.

I recognize it now. In past years I didn’t have a name for it. I just assumed it was the correct reaction to low grades, awkward social situations, ugliness, anger–even for when people didn’t like me.

What caused it this time, you ask?

I got a 77% on a speech I gave in COMM 1020. Seventy-seven percent. That, my friends, is a C. As in, passing. As in, COMM 1020! This is so not even a big deal, right?

I envy the people who get C’s and cheer. I envy their ability to love life and love themselves no matter what a teacher slaps down on their report card. I love being around these people. They help me breathe, help me love myself. Literally, they keep me alive.

I mean, granted, my need for approval has gotten me some classy scholarships, but it has also almost driven me into an early grave.

I left BYU for several different reasons, but one of the main ones was that I was surrounded by people who seem to base their self-worth on others’ approval, which is my problem. I’m sure they will go on to live very successful lives, but I am not programmed to thrive in that kind of environment. I need to be with my blessed self-proclaimed sinners, my beautiful C’s-get-degrees friends, my beloved I-have-no-idea-what-I-want-from-life people. They are so wonderful.

Anyway, just wanted to tell you guys it happened to me again. And I’m grateful I’m back at my state college. And I’m still working on the whole shame thing. (Still plugging away through that book by Brené Brown!)

Do good things, team. Love yourselves, no matter what crap you’re being fed about how you’re not good enough–even if that crap is coming from yourself.

Personally, I’m going to try and be a little sassier, with inspiration from “Grace Kelly” by MIKA. I’m also going to try and stop embodying the lyrics,

Say what you want to satisfy yourself
But you only want what everybody else says you should want

Much love, Maney

Poetry Friday: She Haunts Me

She Haunts Me

She’s a wriggling, kicking, fighting artist
but she’ll only create on a whim.
She won’t hold still for a moment to be held
and woe betide those who force a hug on her.

She runs away from the past but
won’t run to the future;
she runs and runs in circles and
points her finger at everyone else,
screaming her hateful blame.

She’s fiercely independent and
a flaming feminist and can’t
control her viperous tongue,
though she wouldn’t care to if she could.

She’s got wide, flashing, dangerous eyes,
blue like the first crushing wave of a tsunami.
Her smile is rare and only used sarcastically,
the thin curve twisted by painful years.

I avoid her gaze when I pass her in the washroom,
but sometimes I forget and glance up—
I fear those wild eyes.
She haunts me, this girl, this monster,
and I wonder if I will ever escape.

Poetry Friday: Decisions


Convinced that my steps are too loud,
and wondering what my butt looks like
while running on this long-avoided treadmill,
I decide to love myself like a friend.

I decide to think my butt looks hot.
Why not?

I decide that any stares will be in awe
of the running girl with the decidedly hot butt,
the one who loves her ugliness.

I Will Love Who I Am

This isn’t a fashion blog. Obviously.

Today I decided to match some worn gray tennis shoes with too-short, loose skinny jeans from Ross, a cloth belt from the DI (a thrift store), and a T-shirt with a Sprint logo on it. I was going for the whole “I’m in college and I don’t care” look, which I really nailed.

I hope I’ve established over the year I’ve been writing to you that I have about zero interest in fashion. A good hair day for me includes achieving a hairstyle that isn’t sticking straight up or mashed down on one side. That’s what I need to feel like a contributing member of society.

It’s been years since I connected with other girls in the arena of appearances. I mean, I take personal hygiene seriously. Like, I smell okay. Generally I don’t sport noticeable stains. But sometimes I look around and notice that 90% of the girls around me, plus some of the guys, are wearing some kind of makeup. (Indeed, a few of them seem to be wearing every kind of makeup.) Where was I when everyone else was in the Has Fashion Sense line? (Prolly the Desperate Blogger line.)

Of course, this is only usually. Occasionally I’ll heed the siren call of sparkles and curls and frills. I get these strange urges to paint my toenails, throw on a bunch of makeup, and get my sister to curl my hair (I usually enlist her help in really difficult things like taking food out of the oven, answering the phone, going to the grocery store, etc.).

What does this sudden desire for femininity incarnate even mean? I dunno. But it’s part of who I am. It’s unpredictable and inconsistent. And it doesn’t even really matter.

I quote Janelle Monáe,

Am I a freak for dancing around?
Am I a freak for getting down?

Even if it makes others uncomfortable
I wanna love who I am
Even if it makes others uncomfortable
I will love who I am

P.S. Happy Tuesday, folks! Glad you seemed to have survived Monday. Onward we go.