Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ramblings: difference

So today my friend, who is a doctor, mandated me to go outside and write. "It will make you feel better," she says. She knows me too well. 
I've been wanting to do these short posts for some time. I usually don't have long bits of information or thoughts to share, but wanted to find a way to capture those fleeting thoughts. I have come to call them ramblings: random little nuggets that come to mind and bug me till I write them down. Sometimes they make sense. Mostly they don't. But there is always something there, lingering beneath them waiting to be discovered. 

Maybe we can discover them together. 

The first is entitled difference:

I am different now. 
Mostly in ways I cannot explain. 
Not because circumstances have changed. 
No, I figure I was destined to come out on the other side of this. 
I am different because I allowed myself to learn. That's all we can really do anyway. Learn. Discover. Explore. Get it wrong and learn all over again. 
Even teaching is learning. We teach not what we know but what we've come to learn. Otherwise we only teach close mindedness. 
But yes, difference. I can see that now. I find myself at a crossroad of difference. Will I just accept the difference and travel down the road to complacency that always leads to stubbornness? Or has the stubbornness already set in, bringing resistance to any and all difference that threatens comfort? Or will I resist both the complacency and stubbornness; scratching and crawling my way out of its lure and pushing toward change?
Should it be anything but the latter, I am most certain that I will fail in this season. 
Outside, two women each lunch together. They laugh and cover their faces. I wonder why they are so ashamed of their happiness. When did we learn to treat our joy so delicately? When did love become so polite? Hate surly isn't. 
I am different. 
Yes. I can see that now. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

30 Day Writing Challenge Day 5: Modern Day Psalm

The Prompt:Translate a psalm into a language that a non-Christian would care about.

Psalm 1 or Things Happy and Successful do/don't do. 

Top three things happy and successful people don't do: 

1). Follow bad advice
2) Stand in circles of negative influencers
3) Hang around toxic and disrespectful people 

Instead of these things happy and successful people follow instructions and life rules that are just and full of love and compassion. They don't just follow them, they make a habit of it! 

In doing this, they become ground individuals and in time they are seen as successful, loving, compassionate and generous. 
Those who do not follow this model become undependable and intolerable to be around. Those who continue down this road often find themselves isolated and they never reach their goals. 

30 Day Writing Challenge Day 4: I Miss(ed) You

The Prompt: Respond to your mother sending you a message that says "I miss you." 

I Miss(ed) You by Tamisha A. Tyler

"I think I figured you out now." 
There were equal parts joy and relief in her voice as she says this. I imagine she is sitting at her kitchen table in Long Beach, her favorite place to talk on the phone. I am standing in my kitchen in Pasadena, leaning against the sink counter, quiet. It has been about a week since our argument during my sister's birthday weekend. I remember the yelling. Her tears. My anger. I could still feel it now. 
"I didn't know that I missed you all that time." 
"It's fine mom. I get it. You were a single mom of six kids and you had a lot on your plate and..."
"No, do not make excuses for me. It was wrong, and I am sorry." 
But I was right. And I did understand. Anyone would. A young single mother with six children, including infant twins, is bound to forget something now and again. But it was her forgetfulness that tricked me into questioning my significance. My existance.  
I remember those days like they were yesterday. I was always excited to see her. To talk about my day. But mostly to just stare at her. To watch her as she smoked her cigarette and made her coffee; her daily after work routine. Stared so long till she'd reply "Girl what are you looking at?" and I'd get scared and scurry back into the room that my 5 siblings and I shared. It wasn't that I was scared of her (don't get me wrong, everybody was), I just never knew how to answer the question. 
My mother worked at a convalescent home as a cook at the time. Some days she would bring us all ice cream that she received from her job. Those were the best days. Until she forgot. 
"Girl, you are so quiet I forgot you were here. Go share with your brother." 
Those were the days that tricked me into questioning. 
Those were the days that fueled the anger that started the argument in the first place. 
I could still feel it now. 
But something happened in that moment as I leaned on my kitchen counter listening to my mother apologize for those days. 
We made an agreement to talk to each other on the phone once a week. All she wanted was to hear from me. To know how I was doing. 
"I miss you" she says. 
She wants more than just hearing about my day. She wants me; her daughter, the quiet one who buried herself in books and ran off to college never looking back. The one who never calls home. The one she couldn't be prouder of. The one who frustrates her to no end. 
She misses me. 
She knows that more than ever, because she realized that she missed me. 
"I've figured you out now," she says, with equal parts relief and sadness. 
We talk a while, laugh a bit, catch up on things and promise to make a habit of calling. I try really hard to remember to call. Our conversations are rich. I didn't realize how much I missed her too. 
But she still owes me ice cream. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

30 Day Writing Challenge Day Three: My greatest Challenge

Prompt: Write about your greatest challenge

My Greatest Challenge by Tamisha A. Tyler

Most times, we assume a challenge to be a negative thing. They are the enemy to progress, a hindrance to the accomplishments we seek to pursue. Because of this, we do what we always do when we face our enemies: we run or we fight. Regardless of which reaction we choose, the goal becomes clear: remove the challenge from our life so that we can achieve that moment of accomplishment.

My greatest challenge is my fear of myself.
You can imagine how the task of fleeing or fighting becomes problematic.

Is it fear that I am facing, or myself? Whether fighting or fleeing, I find myself in a paradox. To face the challenge in the only way I know and lose myself, or to ignore it and never actually become.

But what if it was the very definition of a challenge that changed? What if a challenge wasn't something to flee or fight, but the resistance that aided in the quest of the accomplishment? My challenge may be my enemy, but what if I learned to love it? To invite it in, offer it a cool drink, soft seat and lovely conversation? What would it teach me?

I am afraid of who I am becoming...

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day Two

The Prompt: Write a poem on Snails

Snail by Tamisha A. Tyler

Some have called me critical. By my very nature I would disagree
Never knowing any better, I have hurt those I love too often, and loved those who have hurt me too quickly
Advance(s) have been made, I assume, but no one can really determine how close they are to an unknown destination
In all of this, we find that plans worth making will fail and spontaneity is always curated by someone
Life is never about figuring it out, only by doing

This statement may be true, but only the future will know for sure

Some just like to take their time

Friday, April 1, 2016

30 day Writing Challenge Day One

Today marks the first day of a self-imposed 30 day writing challenge.

The challenge: Write everyday for 30 days using daily prompts. No editing. No judging your writing. It will be bad, and that's OK. The point is not to write great pieces, but simply to write. Hopefully by the end of the challenge I will have cultivated some sort of daily writing habit that I can build on.

The Prompt:
Day One: Write a short story where every sentence begins with the letter "A"

"Awesome," she says, rolling her eyes. Anyone with a lick of common sense could see the sarcasm dripping from her response. Although to her dismay, her friends did not seem to get the point. "As I was saying," she continued, "I just think we are rushing into this."
Apparently, she was in the minority. As fate would have it, Ashley was out voted, and the wine and hot air balloon trip was booked. A few weeks later, a stone faced Ashley was practically pushed into the hot air balloon basket and trapped in a corner for fear of her escape. As the balloon began to take off, she made herself as small as possible, a bottle of red wine in her lap. About half way through the bottle, she gathered enough courage to stand and look at the view.
"Amazing" she slurred loudly. Ashley was known for two things: her fear of heights and being a lightweight drinker. As she finished off the bottle, she attempted to recreate the famous Titanic scene screaming "I am the queen of the world!"
Ashley was pronounced dead at the scene. Accidental fall from a hot air balloon, the headline read.

The Process:
I never thought I was very good at short stories so I knew this was going to be a bad one. It wasn't that difficult to come up with words that began with the letter "A," although I didn't use many. I had more trouble trying to create flow in the story, or even figuring out what story to tell. It is very hard to share something so bad. I am very much out of "writing" shape.

Did you try the prompt? How did it go for you?

Friday, February 12, 2016

For the Lonely Ones

For the lonely ones
The invisible ones
The rejected ones

For the heartbroken
The widowed
The recently separated
The divorced

For the ones hiding in the shadows of abuse
For the ones who want to love but will lose everything if they do
For the ones whose love has been betrayed
And for the ones who can only love in secret

I stand with you in solidarity as we say
This shit sucks

May you find that with any time of celebration
There is also a time of grief
Of loss
Of coming to terms with the imperfections and disappointments
Of staring life in the face and seeing only yourself

But may you also find love
Not the knight in armor fairy tale kind of love
Unless that’s your thing
            As we are all hopeless romantics

But may you find the kind of love that cries as hard as it laughs
That is willing to share the last bit of food
            But let you keep all the good wine
The kind that is unafraid of your darkness,
Your bullshit mood swings, bad taste in movies
Or your non existent thigh gap

May you find the clumsy
Often misguided, sometimes disappointing
Imperfect love that we all operate in, really

We are all imitators after all…