Vis

Hello all!

Rather than avoiding posting for another week, I decided to cut corners and post something that I wrote a few years back for a Creative Writing class. Please don’t yell at me, I’ve spent all of my words and energy on final papers and this is the best you’re gonna get for a while. Also, I’m perfectly willing for someone to take me back to the island of Vis. Taking applications…NOW.

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•••

I rested on my back with only the thin beach towel separating me from the smooth, rounded pebbles beneath. The sun poked its way through my closed eyelids, causing a kaleidoscope of colors to flit across my mind. Every once in a while a slight breeze would come along and gently blow on my exposed skin.

Minutes passed and I finally mustered up the energy to migrate to the Adriatic Sea. My toes welcomed the cool grip of the water and soon my feet were engulfed by the wandering waves of the water. My sweltering skin sought the refreshing embrace of the sea, so I dove into the beautifully blue liquid beneath. The familiar salt captured my senses and for a slight moment I felt as if I were one of the fish that made those waters their home, who darted past sunburnt legs and pruned toes.

The sunlight immediately warmed my face as I came up for air, reminding me of my true place in the world. Floating easily on my back, I opened my eyes to the never-ending blue sea above me. It stretched for miles with no trace of even a single cloud to interrupt its perfection. From the distance I could hear the faint Croatian melodies playing from the café next to the beach. It was a type of music that didn’t need the understanding of lyrics to be entrancing. It was mesmerizing, like a lullaby before bed.

Occasionally I would catch snippets of laughter in the streets and I’d imagine young kids with melting ice cream cones in their hands, kicking a ball back and forth. Their feet would be bare and encrusted with dirt, their noses dark and their smiles bright. In a few hours their mothers would yell from the doorsteps and they’d saunter to their separate dinners with promises to meet again the next day.

A new sound of splashes on top of the water was the new holder of my attention. I shifted my gaze to the young girl at the far end of the beach, skipping rocks. Each chosen rock danced across the surface of the bright blue sea until its journey was cut short by the too powerful hands from below that plucked it from mid-air.

I never quite felt the effects of putting an ear to a seashell, but on that beach with the small waves cooling the scorched pebbles and the sun warming me from the inside out, I felt as if I was inside that seashell

•••

I know it’s not much, but hopefully it makes you think happy (warm) thoughts! Have a wonderful rest of your week and I’ll see ya next time.

 ☮

Love Poem to Myself

Run your hands over your skin-

feel the bulges and curves.

Remember it’s just more to love.

That skin is your protection-

treat it with all the care and love you’ve got.

Feel the grass under your feet-

never stop walking.

You’ve got callouses for a reason-

they are reminders of your journey.

You are so strong.

Keep walking.

Smile with your teeth-

they are beautiful in their own way.

Your laugh makes the bad go away-

let it fill the silence,

the emptiness in your soul.

Laugh until your muscles ache

and your vision is blurred.

Do not put your heart in a cage-

it may be tender and afraid but it is beautiful all the same.

Protect it with love and learning and  joy-

put away the barbed wire and alarms.

You are wise enough to love yourself beyond anything else.

Always love yourself.

The wind in your hair is a sign that you’re alive.

Breathe. Smile. Love.

•••••

This is quite a different kind of post for me, but I was flipping through a journal and came across this little tidbit. I wrote this at a time when I was struggling to find peace within myself and I must admit that I’m a bit nervous about putting it on here. But it helps remind me to love myself so hopefully it will help you all, too.

Thanks for always being so great and supportive to me!

 ☮

Feminist Slam Poetry

It’s finally Friday! And, as most of you know, Fridays here on Riah Writes are focused on feminism. Just, um, disregard the fact that I’ve failed to post the past….few Fridays. Sorry?

I spend a lot of my time on the internet, as you probably guessed, and an unhealthy amount of that time is used for YouTube. Some days I’ll go on YouTube to watch a new beauty tutorial, or maybe a vlog from one of my favorite YouTubers, and I’ll end up on some sort of Harry Potter parody video. (Yes, that’s actually happened before…) But I also watch quite a few slam poems now and then.

For those of you who don’t know what slam poetry is, it’s basically just the poet reciting their original work for a competition. There’s some really amazing ones that give me the chills regardless of how many times I’ve watched them, so I fully encourage you to explore the depths of slam poetry!

But since today is about feminism, I’ve decided to make a list of my favorite slam poems that relate to feminism and other women’s issues. I sincerely hope that they give  you chills like they give me! (I’ve actually teared up through nearly all of these…I get emotional sometimes, okay?)

ALMOST ALL OF THESE VIDEOS CONTAIN PROFANITIES SO PLEASE CONSIDER THAT BEFORE YOU WATCH THEM! :)

1. Shrinking Womenhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQucWXWXp3k

This is quite possibly my favorite slam poem. In my interpretation of it, it’s based on the expectations/stereotypes/gender roles that women so often face. The line “I asked five questions in genetics class today, and all of them started with the word ‘sorry’,” hits home so hard for me personally.

2. Rape Poem to End All Rape Poems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wu7Ax78hXo

This is definitely one of those that gives me the chills. It accurately describes rape culture in our society. I can’t even properly describe it- just watch for yourself, trust me.

3. The Period Poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vu2BsePvoI

Although this one is unfortunately not inclusive to all women, she brings up a good point that our *gasp* periods make us strong and that to mock them is to mock so much more than just blood.

4. To JK Rowling, From Cho Chang: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFPWwx96Kew

When I first watched this one my heart really hurt, considering how big on Harry Potter I am. But it’s such a great poem and message; that minorities are rarely written about or represented in mainstream books, movies, tv shows, you name it. And, if they are, it’s usually heavily stereotyped and straight up discriminating.

5. Bitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0Sv-DSGCss

I’m not sure that “Bitch” is the actual title of this slam poem, so don’t quote me on that. I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH! Their reclaiming of this word that so often is used to demean women is powerful to say the least.

Well, there you have it! Watching these poems again makes me so extremely proud to be a feminist and to feel so passionate about all of these sorts of things. I can only hope that they have a strong affect on you as well!

December Encouragement

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IT’S DECEMBER! IT’S DECEMBER! IT’S DECEMBER!

If you didn’t already know, the holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. I love everything about it; the music, family and friends, hot cocoa and tea, decorating the house, festive sweaters, I LOVE IT ALL!

As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve realized that the holiday season isn’t merely fun and games. I now have to do a lot of work before I can start celebrating. Yep, you guessed it: finals.

It’s awfully hard for me to focus on school when the holidays are so tauntingly close, and I often find myself losing focus when I need it the most. So, I’ve compiled a list of assorted hints and advice that will hopefully help you stay focused, energized, and organized during these next few hectic weeks. Unless of course you are a professional at handling these sorts of things with complete ease and if that’s the case, teach me your ways. Please.

1. Make lists.

Put your planner to use. Find some way to de-jumble all of your thoughts and deadlines and schedules. I always make lists when I’m feeling stressed out or down in the dumps; it helps to put everything into one spot. My lists are usually quite random, but they never fail me. I’ve got lists ranging from to-do’s all the way to things I need to look forward to in order to keep my spirits up. Writing things down is relaxing to me so go ahead and give it a try!

2. Don’t overload.

Too many times I’ve caught myself trying to do everything at once and it’s very overwhelming. Now I will admit that I can be quite the procrastinator, but that’s a habit most people can’t seem to break. So I’m here to tell you that it’s okay if you left that paper til the night before it’s due, it happens friend. Just try to make sure that you don’t leave every little thing to the last second because you will certainly regret it when it’s 3 in the morning and you don’t remember the last time you blinked.

3. Take breaks.

This correlates to the last point I made in that it’s perfectly okay (and probably even healthy) to take a break every once in a while. Take a nap, watch an episode on Netflix, bake some cookies, whatever. It’s pure torture to sit and do homework or study for hours on end without taking a step back. Rejuvenate your mind! And please try not to feel guilty in the process.

4. Stay hydrated.

This one doesn’t necessarily have to do with studying, but it’s something that I’ve found is really helpful in all aspects of my life. They (who exactly are “they,” I’m not sure) say that you should drink about 2 liters of water every day. I’ve very recently started doing this and I can attest to all the benefits of it. Not only do I feel healthier and my skin looks clearer, but it also keeps me energized.

5. Stay social.

I understand that it’s difficult to maintain a social life when you’re so busy that you hardly even have time to breathe, but I find it really helpful to just simply keep in contact with friends or family. Shoot your friend a text, ask them how they are, strike up a conversation with someone, any little thing helps. I personally enjoy the presence of a close friend when I’m feeling overwhelmed, as it’s very calming for me. Just try not to isolate yourself because that’s when the anxiety and loneliness start to creep in.

I hope these are of help in these next few weeks! And remember, I’m always here for a chat if you need one. Good luck to everyone and just think-we’re one day closer to the holidays!