Dear Sister

Poetry

Dear Sister,
This is about a girl who just caught her bus.
She is one of us.
She wants to be everything at once.
But mostly feels like nothing at all.

She wants to be tall.
She wants to be taken seriously,
But is usually taken for granted,
And now is being taken to the corner
of Grant and Avenue D.
She is part of you and me.
Her hair is a mess
And she’s wearing a dress
That hasn’t been washed in a while.
She cracks a small smile.
At the boy in the front
Who just shot a glance her way.
But he’s not looking at her.
Instead he looks at the seat
Next to hers where he meets
the eyes of a girl
Whose dress is clean.
He wasn’t being mean.
But she felt in his eyes
a life’s worth of lies
She’d been telling herself in her dreams.
The lies that crept in her head
When she laid in her bed
Wishing the sun not to rise.
Clenching her eyes.
The lies that said she wasn’t good enough.
Not smart enough. Not pretty enough.
Not tough enough.
Her heart was rough.
The soft tissues that grew
Were now black and blue
From the beatings she gave to herself.
She put her dreams on a shelf.
Since she’d never achieve them
She’d much rather leave them
Far out of reach.
If she only knew
That the lies were not true.
But they tore through her like bleach.
Fading away, a bit everyday,
her marvelous, colorful hue.
This girl is me and you.
Constantly bombarded
And hopelessly guarded
from a world that demands nothing less
Than perfection and grace
Power wrapped in lace
A maiden who’s not in distress.
Because heaven forbid we feel stressed
And wear a dress
with hair that hasn’t been washed in a while.
Heaven forbid that we smile.
If the world only knew
All the things we could do
If left to achieve our own dreams
But the world isn’t as cruel as it seems
If we stand hand in hand,
Change from ask to demand,
We can finally go the extra mile.
We can learn to truly smile.

My dear, dear sister
we all have grown blisters
from where the world has rubbed us
against the grain of our souls.
So let’s make some new goals.
Be messy.
Be graceful.
Be crazy.
Be tasteful.
Be your own kind of strong.
Together, we’ll right the wrong
And tomorrow’s sisters can live the lives we wished for all along.

Turkish Delight: Day 1

Travel

istanbul

Tonight I leave for Turkey. I booked this trip last May in a spontaneous moment of wanderlust with three guys from my church small group. What began on a lark, has turned into two-week adventure in a country I had never dreamed of visiting.

turkeymap

Over the next 11 days, I will post updates on our whereabouts, activities, experiences – and of course – the amazing amounts of food we’ll ingest.

Below is an overview of where we will be and when. There’s WiFi in all of our hostels, so I hope to post as much as possible (plus I need to keep up with my 365-Sentence Story project). Feel free to follow along as I explore one of the most breath-taking and unique places in the world.

turkeysch

TurkeyMap

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Poetry

Success isn’t counted up in dollars,
or measured out by your acclaim,
It doesn’t depend on colored collars,
or how many people know your name.

It isn’t marked by job or title,
Whether on a card or plaque,
It’s not position that is vital,
It isn’t based on skill or knack.

Success is knowing you’ve done something,
Tacked it down and signed your name,
It’s never losing faith or doubting,
even when you’ve lost the game.

It’s believing that you’re worth it,
When everybody says you’re not,
It’s trying even when you’ve failed it,
And always giving one last shot.

It’s persevering in times of trouble,
Even though you know you’ll fall,
It’s working hard and doing double,
When you haven’t got the strength at all.

Success isn’t based on fame or glory,
It’s built by living well each day,
It’s being brave enough to live your story,
With all your will, in every way.

A Year In Doodles

Doodles, Everyday

As I mentioned in my last post, 2013 was the first year I ever made any New Year’s resolutions. After having sworn against doing “silly resolutions” for most of my life, a friend of mine encouraged me to do some, just because. This simple challenge became a yearlong project I like to call The Daily Doodle. For 365 days I drew a doodle a day. Subjects varied from what I did that day to random things in my head, and ranged from goofy to obscure. I posted these doodles on a Tumblr and shared through social media.

tumblr_mi2mzdrV4B1s2wxcvo1_500

Little did I know how big my little project would become. Over the course of the year I received hundreds of likes and reposts on Tumblr, 83 Tumblr followers, a Tumblr “Featured Artist” tag, hundreds of likes on Instagram, comments galore on Facebook, and multiple favorites on Twitter. I even got requests from friends and family for custom doodles. But, most importantly, people told me that they looked forward to my doodles every day. Suddenly, something I had never expected happened: my personal project became a social community – purely because people were able to interact and engage with my doodle process.

tumblr_mtjzkpSpia1s2wxcvo1_500

So, what did I take away from this year? I’ve learned that people like to be involved. They like to engage, interact, approve, “like,” critique, and share. I’ve learned that people like watching other people achieve something. By acting as an audience, they feel a part of it. I learned that 365 unique doodles are hard to come up with, no matter how creative you think you are. And I’ve learned that I like challenging my creativity every day, even if it’s a little thing like a doodle.

tumblr_mqrqy0Ayjb1s2wxcvo1_500

With the year ending and a new one beginning, some people have asked what will happen to my daily doodles. Do I keep going? Do I extend the project? Although my compulsive doodling will never end, I’ve decided to end this project as planned. But that means it’s time to start a new one. On January 4th, I will begin my new adventure: a 365-sentence story. Follow along.

Oh, Myspace.

Everyday

I used to have a Myspace — like every millennial in the early 2000s. It took me a while to jump on the Myspace bandwagon because I was a prepubescent hipster and didn’t want to abandon my Xanga for some “fad.” But I eventually did. One of the things that I most remember about Myspace, other than the fight-inducing “Top Friends” feature, was the ever-present and often “TMI” Myspace survey. To pay homage to a long forgotten past and to relive a bit of nostalgia, I have included a Myspace survey below (answers are current, though questions are not).

Survey Retrieved from MyspaceBulletins.Com (because it still exists).

What is your favorite Kool-Aid flavor?
Red. Yes, it’s a flavor. Shut up.

Do you have a wireless keyboard and mouse?
Yes. It’s connected to my fancy MacBook Pro in my office cubicle.

Last sporting event you watched on tv or in person?
The Cowboys game on Thanksgiving.

Who makes the best fudge?
My Nana, Helen Gatewood-Kenny.

Do you like it when toothpaste bubbles in your mouth?
Toothpaste bubbles? Thankfully I’ve never had to experience this horror. Am I using it correctly?

Do you believe that the world is gonna end at 2012?
Yes. I actually don’t exist right now. I’m typing from a computer that I implanted my psyche into.

How many songs are on your iPod or MP3 Player?
I have one iPod nano dedicated to my 900 Broadway Show Tunes.

Can you swear inside your house?
I’m 23. I can swear anywhere I want.

Have you ever had a pet goldfish?
No. But I recently lost my pet Betta fish, Hamlet. He was almost two years old. He probably died because I didn’t feed him while I was out of town. Or because the food I was feeding him was also two-years old.

When did you last eat waffles?
Um… 4 years ago? Someone get me a waffle.

What is the most overrated thing in your opinion?
Twerking. And Aeropostale.

What color is your bed comforter?
It’s a floral print – dark pink, light pink, green, yellow, and cream.

Does being in love make you gain weight?
This question makes me uncomfortable. And hungry,

Dumbest person you know? and why?
I don’t associate with dumb people. Kidding. But really.

Do your parents have home videos of you as a kid?
Yes. Several DVDs worth. It’s like I’m famous or something.

How old is your oldest cousin?
23.

If you HAD to get a tattoo, where and what would it be?
I would get a freckle tattooed on my freckle.

Do you think Obama has tried drugs?
I know he’s tried drugs. I read his autobiography.

What color is your bra or boxers?
Nude. This question also makes me uncomfortable.

What is your favorite radio station?
KLTY in Dallas, the station for 60s, 70s, and 80s music. Houston seems to think it doesn’t need an oldies station, which is mega lame.

What brand is your refrigerator?
Old.

How many people do you know that are pregnant?
Too many.

Do you have a picture with your middle finger up?
Yes. Accompanied by my other four fingers.

What is the best thing to happen to you this year so far?
I met someone special.

Do you read a newspaper daily?
Does Twitter count?

Anything you’re really afraid of?
Failure. Abandonment. And disappointing people.

Do you like your peanut butter crunchy or creamy?
Creamy. Though I can do both.

What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?
Gravity. No lie.

Have you ever ridden a skateboard?
If “fallen off a skateboard” counts as riding one.

Do you drink enough water on a daily basis?
Probably not. But I pee enough to make me think I do.

Would you burn the American flag for a million dollars?
No. Because I wouldn’t go to prison if you paid me a million dollars.

The main thing you can’t leave your house without?
My iPhone.

When was the last time you read a book?
I’m currently on track to read one book a month for all of 2013.

Where did you get that shirt you’re wearing?
Hand-me-down from my Step Mom.

Do you play pranks on April Fools Day?
My mom’s birthday is April Fools Day. So yes. Obviously.

 

Internal Processor (Or “My Life In Graphs”)

Doodles, Everyday

In light of my last post, I’ve been thinking more about the way I think. Most of the time my brain works like a computer, inputting data from the outside world, compartmentalizing people and places, and spitting out “solutions” to my daily tasks. I often call my brain my “internal processor.” It’s just how I think. So, I decided to present to you a bit of my life in the way I tend to see the world: in graphs and charts. Enjoy:

image

image

image_1

image

 

Photo Sep 19, 9 00 38 AM

The Awkward Files #4

Everyday

Awkward Files #4

My Houston-iversary

Everyday

This week marks the one-year anniversary of when I packed two duffel bags into the back of my Scion and moved to Houston to start my first job. I can’t believe it’s already been a full year since I came here. In some ways it seems like I just got here yesterday, and yet, sometimes I feel like I’ve been here my whole life. I’ve learned so much in such a short time. But, most importantly, I’ve proved to myself that I could do it.

When I first told people I was moving to Houston, I was met with different versions of the same emotion: shocked. Some were excited for me, others skeptical. Most people told me that they never expected me to do “something like that.” Apparently, moving to a different city to start a new life, although a cliché scenario in my book, didn’t seem to be the type of thing that Haley Gatewood would ever do.

It was through these conversations that I discovered that many of my friends and family had grown to see only one part of me – and it was a part I didn’t like. They knew me as a quiet, timid girl who was too afraid to swim too far from shore. That Haley is very real and defined the majority of my life for a long time. But while they grew accustomed to that perception of me, I was developing the side of me that I did like: a brave, ambitious, independent person who didn’t need training wheels anymore and was willing to go wherever God sent her. That was the part of me I had grown to identify with. That was the part of me that accepted the challenge of starting a new life from scratch in a city I had never been to before.

And so, while others doubted my ability to blaze my own trail and expected me to move back home as soon as I could, I set out to prove them wrong – and prove to myself that I really was this person I had kept hidden for so long.

So, it’s been a year. My trail has been blazed. And I feel like I’m finally getting the chance to express the part of me I knew was there all along.

And it’s just the beginning.

 

13116_10151464089911585_1680392944_n

Home (A Simple Poem)

Poetry

Home isn’t where you lay your head,
Or where you keep your clothes,
It isn’t where you make your bed,
Or where you blow your nose.

Home isn’t where you brush your teeth,
Or where you sit to eat,
It isn’t even where you sleep,
Or where you rest your feet.

Home isn’t where you first were born,
Or where you went to school,
It isn’t where your jeans were torn,
When kids thought you weren’t cool.

Home isn’t hidden underground,
Or in a building nice and tall,
It may not be in just one place,
Or in a place at all.

Home may not be where it once was,
Or where you thought it’d be,
It may be far from those you love,
By more than one degree.

Home may not be here nor there,
But it isn’t very far,
Home is having friends who care,
And love you for who you are.

So whether you live down the street,
Or far across the sea,
Home is knowing you are loved,
And that’s all it needs to be.

VLOG: Snow Day

Everyday, Videos

I had an amazingly productive and interesting day today. I would write about it, but I got lazy and decided to tell about my adventures today in a video instead of writing it all down. Hopefully, it is semi-entertaining: