Photographs, Poetry from The Well

Winter Mornings


Have you one person

knocking at your heart?

She has grown too big

for the space you cleared out

years ago.

You feel her nudge

on winter mornings;

across the mountains

her body rests

warm and safe in bed.

But her dreaming eyes

soak up secrets leaking

through her dreams –

she is being chased –

she is trapped at the very top –

she is lost – she is slipping –

Is that you chasing her?

You just wish her thoughts

spun soft,

light as the tapering snow.

Beneath the blanket

she grips hot sheets

with sweating hands.

Poetry from The Well

whether here or there

I followed you

then I hid you


kept my back near the outskirts

by all the ways out


Couldn’t stick to the speed

of your orbit


so here I go – floating off –

            planet alone –

farther away – I mourn –

            what it means to be inside –

your hive –


from here I hear

happy laughter gushing

like a waterfall


whether here or there


it remains to be seen


if I remain to be seen

Otaki 037

Photographs, Poetry from The Well

Coming Undone

Burke Lake

Moist air lifts your hair up

off your scalp, and you finger

the stray pieces but it’s pointless.


On the lake it’s easy

to bob with the boat

as the sun tints your dewy chest

a warm pink that will

ebb gently as the sunset.


On the lake there’s no need

to hold your spine

so straight.


The water will

caress it tender

as you float sideways

to the shade.


What I’ve learned (so far) from saying no and trying to be assertive

Whether or not it’s true, I like to think that I am becoming more assertive. I know it’s only been one week since I started taking anxiety medication, but I swear my badass factor has already ticked up several notches.

I’m learning to see patterns in my behavior that are the manifestation of my people-pleasing mentality. Things such as saying yes when my mind and body are howling nooooooo, letting people drain me of time and energy, and not spending enough time doing what’s important to me.


Decisions that made me miserable (or rather, make me – because this journey is not nearly over!) were motivated by fear. Fear of being judged negatively is a big, sort of all-encompassing one; more specifically, fear of being seen as not nice, selfish, or stupid. Fear of losing friends is another. Fear of being the person who “caused” a problem or conflict, or worse – me being the problem itself!

I’ve spent a lot of life unwilling to accept that things could possibly be the fault of other people or factors that have nothing to do with me, and nothing to do with how “good” or “bad” of a person I am.

As a result, I have had, like many other passive sensitive people, an unfortunate tendency to attract narcissistic and downright irritating people into my life. More generally, I’ve tended to let things go rather than confront anyone after I’ve been offended or hurt. In fact, my conflict style is really easy to explain: I generally don’t get in conflicts at all! Because I keep quiet about how I feel!

Through noticing habits of mine that allow people to shape the way I spend my time or energy, I’ve started to make some progress in maintaining stronger boundaries and sticking up for myself. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. The worst part about saying no is the dread you feel before you say no. Then you’ve said it and the ball’s in their field, and you feel better for making a choice that was good for you.

2. No one hates you when you ask them to be more considerate, or turn down their offers, or ask to reschedule things now and then. People understand, and doing what’s best for you only makes you a more desirable person.*

*People who DO decide they hate you or “punish” you with the cold shoulder or other passive aggressive behavior should raise red flags. One explanation of these types of people is that they’re emotionally stunted. This is something for another blog post. . .

3. The more time you devote to doing what you actually WANT to do or enjoy doing, the happier you’ll be.

4. When you decide to dictate more of your own schedule and preserve your time for things and people that matter, it becomes a lot clearer who really does matter, and who helps you enjoy a better quality life.

5. Finally, it becomes easier to see that it isn’t worth much to quantify parts of your life. You will think less along the lines of: I managed to see three friends this week, and get to the gym four times, and eat a home cooked meal three nights, etc. You can be happy whether you see five friends in a week or none, or whether you go for a run every day or every other day.

What matters is doing what you want to do when you want to do it. If that’s spending two hours every day alone reading, and it makes you happy, then that’s what you should do.

Within reason, of course. I understand there are things in life we just have to put up with. Ahem, like jobs. And sometimes commutes. And distant relatives. These are long-term problems to work out.

But we have a lot of power over little things. Life’s made up of little things. I’ve learned that taking the reins over the day-to-day stuff, the little stuff, makes you feel bigger – a badass, if you will.



Don’t Break Your Smartphone — Do Break These 5 Annoying Habits


The guy on the right broke his annoying smartphone habits.


5. Calling multiple times in a row without leaving a voicemail or text.

Within reason, of course — I’m not talking about emergencies. Calling your friend every twelve minutes until you get a hold of them is a waste of time, and it adds a degree of urgency that is not necessary. Plus, I am 78% more likely to respond to a text than a series of missed calls. (If you are calling from a number I don’t recognize, forget it. I am guaranteed not to call back.)

4. Sending one word texts.

At least send two words. “Hey girl!” is better than “Hi”. Do not send “Hi”. I will not respond.

Okay, I will respond, because I would feel too guilty ignoring you. However, I’ll be responding with a deep grimace, unbeknownst to you.

3. Looking over someone’s shoulder at their phone.

Kindly keep your distance, and keep your eyes out of my inbox. And if you catch me texting about you, that’s your problem! Should’ve minded your business! Hmph!

Personal space: the most underrated value of modern time.

2. Sending a series of texts to convey one simple thought.

Yes, I understand most of us have phones that put our texts into message bubbles. Still, it’s the principle of the thing.  I don’t want to feel my phone vibrate ten times waiting for you to make your point. I’m impatient. Life is short.

Sometimes it’s perfectly appropriate to send several texts. I enjoy text convos now and then. All I’m saying is don’t do this:

Text 1: H

Text 2: Hi*

*two minute pause*

Text 3: Sup?

Text 4: Omg

Text 5: Have u checked FB yet?

Text 6: lol

1. Using your phone the entire time you’re hanging out with friends or family.

I’m not innocent here. I find myself at restaurants, laughing and talking, one hand stuffing fries into my mouth, as the other hand stealthily begins to slip unnoticed into my purse, rummaging for my phone, opening the notifications, and next thing I know I am staring blurry eyed at the glowing screen, thinking of an answer to someone who’s texted me something non-urgent (“Hi”), ketchup smeared across my face, completely absent from whatever real conversation I was having moments before.

These days, getting coffee with a friend who gives you their full attention is a rare treat. We need each other’s quality time and attention.


This coffee tastes terrible but at least I can add an enviable filtered picture of it to my Instagram.