10 Things I’m Grateful For

Hey everybody!

Surprise– here’s a bonus post for Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US who celebrate. If you don’t, it’s still always great to take a moment and recognize some of the aspects of life you’re grateful for, especially after a trying year like this one. This year has been so insane that I figured it was even more important than normal to share my gratitude with the world and try to spread some positive energy on this blog. If you’re interested in reading a list of some things I’m currently grateful for, keep on reading!

  1. My family’s health during this time – My family members and I have been very cautious throughout this whole pandemic, and I’m so glad that we’ve managed to make it through it and that for the most part, we haven’t had to make many huge sacrifices to do so (my father is lucky enough to work alone/with only one other person in his office, and my school has been online so far this year).
  2. The (slightly) chilly weather – It never gets that cold where I live in Southern California, but it’s still nice to have a somewhat change of season and get to break out my favorite clothing items again: hoodies and sweatpants.
  3. Fresh flowers – My mom is obsessed with flowers and has taken refuge in working in her garden during this time, so between that and her getting flowers at the supermarket, there’s always some pretty flowers around my household to look at.
  4. Zoom – I know it’s silly and we all are getting sick with Zoom, but think about how wonderful it is– without it, where would we be with distance learning / working? Aside from school, Zoom has also allowed my activities to continue virtually.
  5. The presidential election result – I don’t want to get too into this, but if you guys have read my blog for a while you might now I’m very invested in American politics. I’m thankful to see a shift in our country’s energy and I think this is a step in the right direction.
  6. My teachers – I am so lucky to have such wonderful teachers this year! I wish I could thank them in person with handwritten notes and gifts for the holidays (still working out how to handle this stuff virtually with something more personal than emails…), as they have all been so wonderful and supportive and understanding and everything you always want your teachers to be.
  7. Poetry – This sounds cheesy, but obviously I love poetry and I don’t know what I would do without reading and writing it. Although I know I have a long way to go with my own writing, there is nothing better than discovering new poems, and there will always be endless amounts of writers and pieces to read. Nothing hits the spot like a poem filled with visceral imagery.
  8. Pie – I, a self-proclaimed insanely picky eater, was never open to trying pie until a few years ago. Now I am a full-blown pie lover (although I mainly eat it for the crust) and therefore pie is now my favorite Thanksgiving food! I’m thankful for food in general, and my family’s ability to have a nice Thanksgiving meal together 🙂
  9. Rainbows – I haven’t actually seen a rainbow in a pretty long time since it hasn’t rained where I live in a pretty long time, but I used to be OBSESSED with rainbows and all types of rainbow/brightly-colored clothing and decor. I still love rainbows, and I hope I get to see one soon.
  10. Calendars/planners/etc. – This sounds so nerdy, but I don’t know what I would do without my planner and calendar. I’m grateful for everything related to organization in general, especially with how crazy my schedule has been pretty consistently throughout high school.

I hope this inspires you to write out at least ten things you’re grateful for! Tell your family and friends you’re grateful for them, and have a wonderful holiday (if you’re celebrating) 🙂 Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Up & Off a Cliff – Poem by Me

My darling, we have expected too much
from the universe. Here we sit, enjoying

its offering on this mountain, watching 
the sky turn cotton-candy colors. If only

we could bite the clouds, lips rimmed 
with candied sugar. We are ready to fly,

but we won't jump. There is always 
the possibility that we could float before

we fall. If only we had more company up
here. If only we had a lot of things---

think about how different it could all be.
Dream up different ways we can rise

into the sky and finally touch those clouds.
Will it be balloons tied to our wrists?

I have always wanted a hot air balloon to
carry me away into the sunset.

We can migrate with the birds and forget
every bad thing that's ever happened.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! Finals are about to hit (my school is on the quarter system this year because of COVID-19) and I’m a little nervous, so writing this was therapeutic. I hope you all had a lovely weekend and are doing well. Hopefully my next quarter will be lighter (and my internship will be ending… Election Day is so close!!) so I can get some bonus content out to you guys. Please feel free to leave feedback or writing challenges in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Walks With People Who Don’t Understand – Poem by Me

The air is bitter with the change of seasons,
finally biting at our patches of exposed skin.

The grey skies suggest one must bundle up in
layers, but it never snows and hardly
ever rains here, so we won't. Long walks 
are meant for thinking, particularly in the cold
when it isn't so pleasant to go on walks anymore.

There is a purpose for everything in these times
of not wanting to go outside, and it is easier
to bear the cold with others. It is no longer easier
when that company invades your thoughts,
attempting to influence your beliefs as if 
they are territory to be conquered. 

I am not looking for debates, but a chance
to speak and for someone to understand.

Maybe that is too much to ask from someone
who believes that I talk too much and
am already understood by most, even if she
doesn't try to listen. It is my fault for asking

for too much. After all, you do ask for
disagreements when you speak, and you 
ask for confusion when you hope people
will understand the grounds you're speaking on.

They are just silent sometimes, that's all.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! It was inspired by the walks I go on with my family– it finally got a little chilly last week and I was so excited. When I go on a walk, I take an hour or so out of my day in the hopes that it will clear my mind. Sometimes, I just want someone to listen to me, and as you may gather, that doesn’t always work out. It happens to all of us! I’m aware this poem could possibly come off as whiny, but I don’t intend for it to come across that way.

Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments! Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

An Inkless World – Poem by Me

Imagine us, unable to scribble out our mistakes
quietly living on old crinkled pages, 
with the choice to erase or forcibly remember
all that we previously could coat in ink 
and forget.

The blunt tips of charcoal and pencil lead
smudged beneath our oily fingers 
would have to do,
no mediums of the black and blue variety
at our fingertips anymore.

You would go into hiding, unable to face
the temporary permanence 
and all the other oxymorons in this world
we used to ignore.

In this world, we'll fade into the background
no matter what words are written down.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! I’ve had some major writer’s block and frustration with my work lately, so it was interesting to explore writing in the actual subject matter of this poem. Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. I hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Soar to New Heights – Poem by Me

Good things are coming
and you can feel it when you're
flying high, clothes billowing out
like a roll of silk unfurled
with the wind.

Sweetness settled on your teeth
and in your gum line, on a sugar
high and ready to fly

Keep flapping the wings taped
to your arms, stretch out to full 
wingspan or else you may fall

The air will carry you even 
if there's smoke as long as you
keep going.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! It’s some cautious positivity for those of you who need it– I know I do. Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments! Have a great rest of your Sunday. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Let’s Talk: Quality Over Quantity in Blog Posts

Hello everyone!

Today I’m going to give you all a quick update on where I’m at with this blog and changes for the future. I know I’ve talked several times about sticking to a stricter posting schedule, but I always kept trucking along with my daily posts and various topics covered. Junior year has been overwhelming thus far and I want to make it easier on myself while still providing content for you guys. If you’re interested in hearing more about my thoughts on this and where this blog is going, keep on reading!

First of all, I would rather underpromise and overdeliver content for you all than overpromise and underdeliver. That’s why I’m somewhat disappointed but still going to say that for now, I will only be posting once a week on Sundays. Of course I’ll throw in bonus posts sometimes, but I want to have quality poems/other types of posts to share with you all, and right now that’s just not possible if I’m trying to post every single day. I’m also hoping this will motivate me to come up with new ideas for you all.

I’m choosing quality over quantity for the time being as I want to be proud of the work I produce for this blog, and this will honestly make it so much easier to write good content (or at least I’m hoping). I hope you guys are okay with that.

Additionally, I know lots of bloggers don’t actually post every day. I’m not trying to use that as an excuse, but it just makes sense that I would eventually scale back the amount of posts per week after over a year of posting almost daily and finding my direction on this blog. I don’t want to write half-hearted content just to get a post up, and I think I’ve been doing that subconsciously lately since I’m so short on time.

I’m so thankful for anyone reading this post (or anyone who has read any of my blog posts) and I hope you stick around to see what’s to come! I’ll still be taking requests and writing challenges as always.

This blog has been such a wonderful creative outlet for the past 15 months, and I know it will continue to be. I want to keep the content fresh and make sure I’m not burning out, and I hope you all understand that. Thanks so much for being here if you’re still reading! I appreciate you all. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

At The Desk – Poem by Me

The light streams in through the blinds,
but it can't kiss your skin from the window
when you're sitting inside, cooped up.
The work never ends if you don't cut it off,
and you'll end up waiting forever if
you're waiting for a time where you can 
sit outside in the sun without a care in 
the world. 

I hope you enjoyed this super short piece! At the time of writing this, I felt pretty overworked so I made it a point to give myself a break and try to have a more balanced weekend. Make sure to do that– this piece is more of a mini-warning than anything else. Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Yellowed Pages – Poem by Me

The one book on the shelf that is much
older than the rest-- yes, that one--how 
yellowed are its pages now? Crisp, clean
books fresh from the presses sometimes
already have that yellow coloring, but
there's no substitute to time and how
it crinkles paper. The dusty scent that
spreads through your nostrils and makes
you cough as you flip through the pages--
yes, that smell-- can only ripen with age,
old age.

I hope you enjoyed this short little poem! It was inspired by my bookshelf in my room, which has mostly new books on it, but a copy of The Catcher in the Rye from my mom’s high school days that is bent out of shape and very, very yellowed. Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Brewing Now – Poem by Me

The wind is blowing a different way today.
You can tell by the palm trees' screams--
the tide is turning, the page has been flipped
over. Every way you can think to say it,
insert it here: {it is a new day and times are
changing}. The sun is shining brighter on us,
and the sweat collecting on the napes of 
our necks is glittery and beautiful, no longer
disgusting. Let's not jinx it, but you know
what is coming.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! I thought it was kind of a fun one, and it’s a self-aware manifestation in itself. Good things are coming soon, people… I can feel it. Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Locked From the Inside – Poem by Me

Why did I trap myself here in this room
and why do I have the audacity to ask 
myself questions I already know 
the answers to? I tire of the tasks I force
myself to do, yet I could not live without
this stressful hum of the day's routine.
Please relieve me, please force me 
to do something different-- or don't,
because maybe this unhappiness is how
I find joy.

I hope you enjoyed this short piece! It’s kind of based on the idea that I (and many other people) tend to make things harder for myself. I’m extremely busy at the moment and have put a lot of pressure on myself to be doing so many things at once, yet I still never feel like I’m doing enough and attempt to add new things to my plate. So it goes! Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke