My #BeReal guest today is Nicole Marie.
Nicole is my favorite poet. She writes things that whisk me into other worlds. BUT it was her picture that first drew me to her. Her tattoos and the stories they told me about her. She is a storyteller both with her words, her dress, her hair, the pictures she takes.
Now before you think I am too totally in love I will ask you to fall in love with her too.
Be poetic. Be real.
What am I passionate about?
I’m almost ashamed to admit I just hurried into our kitchen to ask my husband this very question. “Writing, running, image,” he spouted off before my brain could even begin to conjure up any possibilities (perhaps more proof that he knows me better than I know myself, and in turn is oh so perfect for me).
I’d never thought of these things before as passions but as parts of my very being, and maybe therein lies the answer I’d been looking for.
I write, but I don’t write every day. I run, but sometimes a week passes without logging any miles. Image – the reason we’re all here – is something I am constantly fussing over, down to what yoga pants I’m going to throw on for a gym session. Regardless, all of these things are important to me and if I had to choose just one, the voices in my head would tell me to choose my poetry.
Just as it is for all writers, poetry is my escape. It’s how I gossip and vent through vague metaphors and flashes of painful realism; it’s how I work to create a conduit for relating to others on a very human level. It’s also a very fun way to play around with the stories that consistently float through my head. No matter the reason behind the piece, it is the very best form of free therapy. I’m not always completely satisfied with the quality of the work I share but I am always hoping that someone, somewhere will find some sort of comfort in a line or a phrase, and that is one of the things that keeps me writing: the very real concept that You Are Never Alone.
To me, being real means owning and embracing all of the beautiful things about ourselves as well as all of the ugly things. It means learning the importance of compassion and empathy, in order for us to be able to observe and embrace the infinite variety of human beings that surround us and interact with us. After all, what fun would it be if everyone thought alike?
After flipping through some images the one I settled on here best depicts me as I hope others see me. It makes me squirm to say these things aloud in fear of sounding conceited but for me, this image represents beauty, intelligence, maybe a bit of edgy mystery; I hope it says “find me attractive, but don’t doubt my abilities”.
It’s difficult for me to admit what I think most people would be surprised to discover about me. I hope – and think – others find me to be a generally happy, easygoing person, but the truth is I have a short-circuited attitude that I often find hard to shake. Searching for the worst in every situation is exhausting yet my brain continues to do it, and I struggle every day to break away from those yucky ill feelings.
Hasty was kind enough to ask if I’d like to include an original piece of poetry, and of course I had to take her up on it. It’s the most comfortable way I can truly represent myself here. Thank you, Hasty, both for the opportunity to be featured in this beautiful series and to be able to share my words.
I might have been seven
– Nicole Marie
when I’d grown old enough to know the
between love and
I started about fashioning
the most beautiful smokescreen
bits of old velcro
the first tears that ever made me aware of every muscle in my body
in one single, fleeting motion
you know it
the kind of hurt that rolls in and out like violent ocean.
I might have been seven when I realized I didn’t like me.
I kept all those costume bits in a pencil box
with my name scrawled in immature
loops on the front, the “e” half smudged away
like my heart.
I am a woman now
or some novel version of one
who on occasion takes aging bits of herself she’d rather forget
and mixes them with words, with her husband’s sweet empathy
with anger, resentment, and all the other ugliness
she can’t seem to detach from her sorry ribcage.
so, a woman now
a mother, even
plotting self against self.
Three links to Who I Am:
Nicole Marie is a poet, bartender, and new mommy writing and slingin’ drinks in New Jersey. You can read more of her work at her personal blog, Words&OtherThings. Follow her and she’ll follow you back.
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