to the ones that hate

 

where does it lie? this hatred that is cultivated from fear of not knowing, of difference, of change.

you carry your fear around as a weapon while the armor of white privilege protects you

you carry your fear around as a weapon while black lives fighting off the chains and locks that have kept us down insults you

you carry your fear around as a weapon as the hope for freedom and opportunity for better life is fought for

you carry your fear around as a weapon as lovers unite

you carry your fear around as a weapon in a land that claims it is for the free but free comes marked with a footnote

you carry your fear as a weapon and your hate as a vest as you pull the trigger for the things that are different from you.

________________________________

you see, you and I are both simply beings.

beneath the skin and bones – the physical – we have souls with stories, with life, with strength, and with pain. you have yours and I have mine. you have your heart and I have mine.

it seems though, hate blinds your heart and love fills mine if only you could see.

GIRL 2016

I have held off on writing about this experience for a little as the words still do not quite surmount to the emotion and possibility that was felt on that weekend – October 14 to October 16 in Los Angeles for I AM THAT GIRL. For this, I will try my best to capture it all…

The heart was overfilled and the tears overflowing as the coming together of badassery from around the world occurred. I had no expectations after all these years of following an organization that has become my heart and soul except to be ready for many heart claps and smiles. Well, reality was more than any expectations I could dream of.

The opportunity to meet badasses after only connecting through social media and having that little heart to heart to be sisters and have shoulders to lean on from across the world is what THAT GIRL is. To meet the women who have encouraged and uplifted you and being able to hug all of them so tight as in “I got you, you’re here, and you’re enough” is the heart of it all. To have a family and those lovely friends that love and support you wholeheartedly in your endeavors is more than a girl could ask for. To not want to leave and say “see you later” to girls you met only twenty-four hours ago is grace and beauty.

I could say thank you for lifetimes, but none of them would suffice. But, I do know that this experience was one that gave me that push to fullheartedly believe in myself and the power of girls; I understand why the love I have for this organization and movement and purpose is so profound. I lived through beauty that is needed in an oftentimes ugly world.

I say it is a hope in a world too dark. It is a light to the souls of girls who so very need that empowerment and encouragement. It is the building and lifting up of humanity. It is the strength that in the midst of chaos and pain there is beauty and growth. It is the knowing you are heard, you are seen, and you belong. It is knowing you matter because of your story, your fears, your lessons, and your mistakes. It is your enoughness of simply taking up space for miles because of the beauty that is your heart and mind. It is knowing you are living your life how you need to. You are where you need to be and as long as you keep fighting for what you want and believing in yourself you will get to exactly where you want to be. It is for knowing you can no longer hide and be quiet because your voice matters. It is not about changing this world or someone; it is about learning about yourself to grow and evolve and heal whatever dearly needs to be healed in order to give this world just the amount of love it is missing.

You have to promise darling, that you can not hide anymore. You have ideas and mountains to climb or move. Do whatever your heart requires to be filled. Go out and love wholeheartedly because honey this life is no damn lie, it is yours and yours only.

Xo Olivia

 

 

 

you are enough

You’re not enough?

 

Let me ask that again,

you…think you’re not enough?

 

Who in their right mind made you believe?

To what are you not?

Since when did that thought creep?

 

Since those curious fingers wrapped around the magazine

With every fiber in you, eager to hold what’s inside

Only to find doubt and shame

Never realizing that beauty was not contained in a definition

That worth was who you were, not the thought of it.

 

Oh, well honey!

You are magnificent

With no need for pages to tell you what you should be doing.

 

Darling,

You are a work in progress

Wrapped in stories of hurt and love and triumph.

 

Absolutely nothing,

Nothing

Adds up to the space you consume

And the ideas in your head.

 

Xo Olivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

it’s hard

Everything will be okay I keep reminding myself. It will. But right now, oh man, is it hard. I don’t know if you are a twin, but I am. I never realized how close we were until yesterday when we moved into our separate dorms and the first night was so quiet and lonely – I think the second night was a little bit harder. We’ve shared a room for eighteen years and every night we would just talk to each other about our days or anything, but now we don’t have that. It’s hard and I’ve cried probably multiple waterfalls, but change is good. I can’t stay in the same comfort place forever, so I’m breaking out of my comfort zone even if it means crying myself to sleep or calling my parents crying or just breaking into tears randomly throughout the day. I miss home and my parents and my dog and all the people I love, but I have to grow. It’s hard.

“I know that things are changing and I know they can’t stay the same
She’s the reason for who I am today
Time zones, different roads
If I ever lose my faith, I’m not alone
One will do but we’re better off as two
‘Cause home isn’t a place, home is you”

 

advice on college

Nothing ever seems real until it’s in your grasp and even then, sometimes you’re still in a daydream. I remember the days of childhood when I would think about being a teen and having it all right or dream about growing up and living life only to get there and realize no one has it figured out and everyone is still growing up until they part. Here I am less than a week until I’ll be eighteen and moved-in to college and nothing seems as if it is happening.

All of it is exciting as well as nerve-racking. I have seconds of happiness and then seconds of doubt and fear as to what will happen, but I have to remind myself that there will be opportunities I can’t even dream of now. Even more I remind myself of the advice I received from Emily Greener, co-founder I Am That Girl to “look at it as an adventure. Have a curious heart and an open mind. Be open to being alone…it doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Discover what comes up in the silence.” I remind myself of how Susannah Beth Hutcheson so wonderfully said it, “join things. Take your headphones out while you’re walking around, and don’t look at your phone on the way to class. Talk to the people sitting next to you. Don’t ever be afraid to feel alone, it’s good sometimes. Try to make new friends but don’t compromise yourself for it. Choose friends that you WANT to be friends with. Go sit at coffee shops and people watch, it’s a great way to gauge your surroundings.” Change is good and it will be odd at first, but it will be so worth it and I’m ready for it!

a puzzle

the world, a puzzle.
opened, with the pieces taken out of the box at the beginning of time
while everyone that happens to live upon it or has lived taking different pieces to fit together.

except. the pieces have never come together.

never come together – to create the whole, finished masterpiece – only corners and sections pieced together, but taken apart because of what others thought was right.

but the puzzle stays opened and the earth remains with this kind of false hope that we’ll finish the puzzle one day, we’ll be as one humanity – one day, someday.

the world, a puzzle.

Life…

I don’t know – that phrase repeated too much and the tears rolling out too often as if it’s routine. I don’t understand beginning to become a foreign phrase. Life – a word said over and over that it seems to become just that, a word, not someone’s place here. Lives you thought and knew mattered but are being taken away every second and again you begin to question reality and humanity and this place you call home or planet earth. You begin to wonder your place in this universe. You begin to think of all the wrongs, all the rights, all that could be, and try as hard as it might to remain hopeful and do your part. So may I leave you with a piece from Rupi Kaur as a remembrance of all we’ve lost and for the strength to fight because enough is enough, love is love, and a life is a life – valuable, worthy, and fragile: “I am sorry this world could not keep you safe, may your journey home be a soft and peaceful one.”