No Need

Putting the limits on myself.
Not to give too much before the worth is proven.
Not everyone is worth it. Truly very few are.
Not sticking around out of obligation.
Not hiding yourself out of jealousy or fear.

I could easily feel overwhelmed as well as stagnant with the mindset that is forming but I am far from that.
I’m breathing in calm and breathing out love- I got this.

It’s okay to like someone even after you learn their true colors.
It’s okay to feel that hurt even before you know what’s coming.

I was born with intuition woven into my soul, my blood, my gut.
I feel it before I see it. Before I hear it, I know it’s there.

You don’t have to wait for something to transpire to walk away.
You owe no one anything.

Have the strength for yourself.
You don’t carry as much weight on other people’s emotions as you may think- so free yourself.

I’m content in the fact that I’m not finding any romantic connections as of late.
Sure at first, but shit passes quicker than an afternoon rain. Up then down. Hot then cold.

Sex for me isn’t the same without love. Sure at first, but shit doesn’t last.
My passion comes with consistency and depth. Deeper each time. Stronger with every step.

Some people get scared too easily. Maybe they lose interest too easily. Maybe they hold themselves back.
Either way- it’s obvious and it’s felt before it’s seen.

I’m losing track of the amount of people who have lost my attention.
The front you wear is more appealing than you. Guess we can’t all win.

I don’t understand people who have never been in love. How in the hell?
Love is the fuel behind every experience I have ever felt, ever been.

People who can’t give themselves because they’re afraid of themselves.
How do you live? Or do you just survive?

I can’t imagine a world without a fiery love and the soothing of pain.
It’s hand in hand. Love is grand but it can really hurt- not just at the end.

I can’t comprehend someone who wants to be in my life but doesn’t read my blog.
You want my body but not my mind- you do not fool me. Not anymore.

I won’t get mad at the ghosting tendencies of so many in my age bracket.
Go ahead. Disappear. You’re not needed here. But when you’re gone- stay that way.

I don’t do the flip flop. Get out and stay out.
Wanna be friends? Learn how to be a good one.

I’ve got strength measured in the humans who share love with me.
Immeasurable.

So just remember, I don’t need this.
No need for guilt on this one. You go your way, I’ll stay going mine.

Death on 35mm film

A Force of a Woman

Trimmed my nails to the brim so I would stop picking my cuticles to the point of open wounds. Driving to work I mindlessly fought a hanging skin with my teeth until the taste of iron reached my tongue. Dammit. Anxiety has been driving me for two days. For two days I’ve felt my mood slip from cheerful and carefree to defensive and dark. Returning responses of, No you should try it like this, with, But this way isn’t wrong. The man telling me not to martyr the feelings of others or my hair will turn gray- stop right there because this is who I am.

The man tells me not to point fingers, to think about what I say. How about you try and understand from a different point of view besides that of a man who doesn’t truly see the power play between the sexes. How about you don’t talk about a situation where I felt powerless and defenseless and say, It takes two- it is what it is. Don’t tell me what you would do, there’s no situation where you would ever be where I am. You are a man. The situation is different and though I understand your intention is to help, it hurts that you don’t see that.

I’ve learned that my mind reaches heights that just do not connect with most people. I can suppress and downsize what’s said and expressed but I can’t do that with what I feel. I can’t feel less or feel slower or keep from pushing and progressing and driving. That’s me. I like to do the most and do it often. I’d rather be open immediately because comfort is my goal. I won’t stay feeling awkward or judged. I won’t accept not being able to be me- fully and without apology. The man said, I can see how you can be intimidating, not everyone can handle what you do and how you do it- who you are. Honesty is important. I can see you cringe with certain things I do. Get used to it- I can’t shut me off.

I’ve lost the desire to change for any human. I’ve lost the drive to be anyone but who I know myself to be. I inspire most the ones who inspire me most- what a goddamn gift to the soul. And I’ve learned not to apologize for my feelings. Not to apologize for cutting toxins out of my life even when they don’t want to be cut out. I’m not apologizing because this isn’t an action to hurt you, this is an action to help me. Because you know how it used to go? “I’m sorry but you really hurt me and I can’t be your friend anymore. I’m sorry.” Fuck that and fuck you- I’m not sorry and I wasn’t sorry but I was weak. It’s like when you start talking and a man talks over so you stop in your tracks and your thoughts are never heard. Fuck that and fuck you. What you’re saying is not more important, of more value or more worthy of being heard- please remember that.

I’ve got good men in my life but I’ve encountered a shit storm of shitty ones as of late as well. The way the cookie crumbles. Good with the bad. I’m not butt hurt about it but I’m sure as hell annoyed. Works out though because the more I see what I don’t want, the more I know what I do want. What I seek from a human- romantic and not- and what I deserve as a woman full of fire and strength- never ending. And I hope this doesn’t find anyone as a sense of bashing because that’s not what I’m after here. I’m just working through my shit. My thoughts and feelings and trust me you’d rather have me do it here than out loud with you because we wouldn’t see eye to eye. You would talk over me and I would dismiss my thoughts- fuck that and fuck you.

So here’s to being a woman. It’s hard and we’re challenged in ways no man ever is but god damn is it worth it. My best friend told me, Danielle you are a force- when you’e doing your thing up in someone’s face, full and vibrant, you are giving them a gift. When they can’t handle it, it’s not you that they can’t handle it’s the force within you and everything you do. I am a force of a woman, she says. I can feel that. With everything in me I can feel a burning passion to do and keep doing. To fight and scream and never shut up about what’s eating me or fueling me. To share my passion for life and spread it like butter on everything I encounter.

This is me. Revealing who I am in every step I take because I can’t allow the people around me to even begin to be confused about who I am, what I do and what I want. I’ve removed ‘can’t’ from my vocabulary. It’s a key step into removing the fear in my soul. It’s been, ‘I can’t so I won’t’ for so long that my soul is embracing my mind in the newest and freshest way for now it’s ‘I can and I will’. Whatever comes, I will continue. Whatever goes, I will continue. I am the force that moves and evolves and is forever becoming. To my women, thank you and continue to continue.

A force of a woman on 35mm film

The Gift of Vulnerability

Finding the strength to speak my truth with others in order to feel my truth within myself. I’ve been inspired by the strength of a man as of late. One who listens and accepts- does not judge or overlook. Patience is a virtue that not all have but it’s one for the books. To soothe a fear of abandonment with security and strength- not expectation or commitment but warmth and care. Honesty and kindness. Truth.

I’ve had a few heartaches in the past month and not by a life changing standard but it’s been mind altering, heart aching. I’ve realized there’s more to a friendship than a connection. There’s more to a connection than passion and attraction. Those things mean nothing. It takes open honesty and unguarded truth to see who a person truly is. To trust their intentions with your heart and soul and body. To know that you will not be taken advantage of or used but rather celebrated and praised- as friends should always do.

The man told me, Danielle- friendship first. We’ve got to know each other. I wanna see you mad- the maddest you can be and I want to know how you handle it. He taps my head talking about my brain- he likes that shit. He feels the depths and knows my gaze- I like that shit. It’s little things like being honest with your feelings and asking the questions that need to be asked that bring you closer to someone. Thank you for that.

I think most people get scared when things move fast, I get scared when things move slow. That’s a flaw. Sometimes I wake up thinking, Okay they (anyone- nay everyone) are obviously completely over me because obviously I am way too much of a human for anyone to handle so I will just go frolic alone in hell. *DRAMA* It’s a defense mechanism really. Like okay this isn’t going anywhere, better go break my own heart so I can avoid anyone else doing it. I’m over that shit. As I always say, vulnerability is a gift. Even when it’s scary.

My friend told me, Relax- just breathe. So I tell myself, keep breathing. Breathe through the emotions because they are real but they are not forever. You choose what you give weight to. The man told me, Wouldn’t you rather it take time than have this fast moving passion of infatuation just to have it dissipate just as quick? Yes, yes I would rather that. Thank you for helping me see clearly for, god, one of the first times I think. He said he pushes through the infatuation phase, the “honeymoon”, because he wants to see what’s in *here* (taps my head). Good, I want you to see that too.

So it takes time, who knew? Scary for a different reason but I like it. Friendship that could blossom but may not. Friendship nonetheless- that’s important to me. Expectations drown hope. It removes the magic of what is and puts in skewed ideas of what could be. Why imagine the unimaginable when you can live and breathe every moment of now and feel every depth around you. True beauty. Real magic.

Passion flows out of me naturally and fully- in everything I do. I’ve avoided situations of heartache the past month but now is the time to address so I’m doing so. It hurts because I care. It hurts because even when I’ve been hurt, I don’t want to hurt those who have hurt me. I don’t want them to know they’ve hurt me because I don’t want them to see the weight I’ve given. To see what they had and what they lost. Though this is exactly why they should know. To see the effect of their cause. To see how the cookie crumbles on the other side of things. Vulnerability gives me strength but only when I accept it in it’s full glory. It fuels me and reminds me of my passion and strength and the fact that even with my open heart, I am stronger than steel. I can and will endure whatever comes my way. Vulnerability is a strength because it allows me to allow. It lets me feel even when it hurts. That’s what I’ll never give up.

Thank you to those who let me be vulnerable, who too are vulnerable in return, and who do not take advantage. Not ever.

The shadow of someone who took advantage on 35mm film

Deep Breaths & Progress

Notes to self look like this:
Breathe. Keep breathing. Deep breaths now. In then out, not just in. In then out. Let go a little bit, it’s okay to feel. Nothing is 100% – everything falters. Your strength lies in the clarity of these moments. Don’t let it slip. Keep breathing.

Some people make me so mad not because of what they do or how they do it but because they make me FEEL. In my mind, they dare cross some imaginary bridge I’ve built to separate my mind and heart and somehow they’ve not only crossed it but ceased it from existence. To create some mesh of mind and heart where laughter comes from the belly and hugs come from the soul. Who said you could do that? Who said I wanted that?

I’ve yet to find consistency in another human. Maybe that’s not a thing. I guess to put consistency in someone is to put some sort of dependency on them and that’s something I can’t stand for. Shit drives me insane. So maybe consistency isn’t the thing to look for. Honesty honesty honesty, I’ve found. I’ve found and not found. Some people fake honesty better than I could even imagine- but the gut always knows. The gut fights what you want to believe and stabs you in the stomach until you either believe it or you get slapped in the face with truth and your gut says, I told you so. Why didn’t you listen? When I don’t listen to my gut it’s almost always because I want to believe the lie of honesty from the person feeding it to me. They’ve painted a picture of vulnerability and truth and that’s something that exists in myself. To see in another person is a song unsung but forever ringing in my ears. I’m learning not to give weight to fairy tales. Not to have faith in the faithless. It’s not a tainted way a viewing, rather a clearer way to see who’s there and who’s true. Who really stands for what they scream about.

You don’t have to be in love with someone to be hurt by them. You just have to trust them. To trust their intentions and their fight and believe that what they do, they do with integrity and honesty and love. Love always. And people don’t have to be bad people to hurt you. They just have to carry dishonesty in their heart filled with pride but disguised by imagined flaws and aches. Your pride is your true flaw- vulnerability is a gift that only those true to themselves are lucky enough to experience and reap upon. Because vulnerability is a reward to yourself. It’s your mind telling your heart that finally, it is okay to be this way. It is okay to feel every bit of what you feel without shame or fear or pride. You don’t have to hide.

Notes to self repeat:
Breathe. Keep breathing. In then out.

My soul is on fire with possibility lately. My life is lighting with drive and passion and everything in my realm and beyond. Things I can reach and things I can not- but I will. Fear is something that has driven me for so long but I can feel it being dismissed more and more every second of every day. My friend told me, you can let the fact that you didn’t tie your shoes in the morning ruin your day if you let it. Mind over matter- we have a choice. Our minds are more powerful than comprehensible and that should empower you more than anything tangible could. Nothing is out of reach if you have the drive and belief to make it happen. Nothing can hold you back if you hold that belief as close to your heart as you hold your goals, your strength, your love.

I feel fueled by myself and all those I allow into my life. All those that show their colors true and bright, dull and honest- they fuel me with love and hope and belief in myself and in them. Incomparable beauty, my friendships have blossomed into the most beautiful connections I could have ever imagined. I am forever grateful for the love I have received and for the love I am blessed to give. Without limits I will give and unconditionally I shall continue to love. With my strength burning the insecurities inside of me and my love drying any tear that will ever fall, I lean on myself. I fight for me. I am strength. I am woman.

Me on 35mm film

For My Women: Don’t You Fucking Forget It.

​Dancers dance. Players play. Singers sing. Predators prey. See the dilemma here is that we have a verb for most nouns. We have a direct correlation between what you are and what you do. Painters paint. Photographers photograph. But predators? They prey? They hurt? They abuse? Where is the verb for the ones not spoken for. For the ones who have been preyed upon, who have been hurt by a predator, a friend, someone in hiding. I think we avoid giving weight to things like this because we like to pretend this isn’t a real thing. That just because someone isn’t ripping you open physically doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally. Emotionally. To prey is to hunt and kill for food. Predators hunt and they may kill but not always. Sometimes they just touch. Sometimes they just antagonize, push their limits of power and hold it over your head. This is predatory. This is not okay.

It’s easy as a woman to blame yourself when unwanted acts of sexual orient transpire. I have two legs. I could leave, I could walk away. And I promise you next time I will. I promise I will stand for myself before I ever kneel for any other again. I’m scratching my skin in memories of things I don’t want memories of. Things I do not like and am not proud of. One of my best friends told me, Danielle you don’t have to let these people who have hurt you back into your life. This is not your fault. Men have a socially acclaimed power over women and they will use that shit up even when they don’t see it as such. See these things we know, but damn I’d be lying if I said I don’t need to be reminded regularly.

My power as a woman is greater than any power this society could bestow upon a man. My power as a woman pours out of my soul through my pores and melts onto everything I put my fingertips on. Everything I place my gaze upon, becomes all that I could imagine it to be. That is my power as a woman, alone. My power as a woman full of life and love and struggle and triumph and I will always fight fight fight for the power that I hold and I will harness it and channel that energy into the most beautiful souls mine could find and the deepest art my heart can create.

And I’ve had people hurt me in ways I’ve never released. Never opened up about because shame is real in this country and I swear I’ve been shamed into believing my story was different than the truth for far too long. I know my truth and I will speak it, I will scream it until I have no voice. When I have no voice, I will write it, I will type it, I will paint it until I can no longer move until I am dust and nothing more. And this isn’t just for me, this is for my women of this Earth. My women who do things out of obligation and out of fear. My women who don’t do but are done upon, I speak this for you. I fight for you and for me and with me here, you will never be alone. We are an army of strength and power and beauty in every form. All forms.

So like my friend told me, the blame is not on you. We could play the blame game all day but when it comes down to this or that, men have an inherent power over women that creates a fear and dominance which immediately puts us in a vulnerable position. What I have to say is protect yourself. No friendship is worth your heartache. No silence is worth your peace of mind. Do not think you are not believable. Do not let status shame or scare you into denying your truth, denying your worth. You are everything. You are the sun that shines and the rain that pours. You are life. You give and you can take- don’t you fucking forget that. You give and you CAN take. Your power is yours and the real fear lays in the men who shame us into believing power is resigned to them only. They can’t even imagine what we are capable of and THAT is how we succeed. That is how we win. How we gain our power back. Don’t you fucking forget it.
My only true male friend on 35mm film

So Beautiful, So Raw (not so much)

What pains me most about mental illness in the art world is when I see it discussed as a romantic part of one’s process. To see someone seemingly pouring their heart out only to gain a like or a comment from someone saying, Wow, so beautiful- so raw. Is it that? Is speaking openly about struggles without any drive to free one’s self from them really beautiful? Is it really raw? To me beauty comes from fight and perseverance. I recognize my struggles but I go through depression and in these times, I do not share my writings because it is not beautiful, it is not raw. It is clouded by disgust of self and poison of the mind. Depression is not a state of mind rather something that creeps on you like a sickness. It’s something that can stay dormant for months and surprise you on a rainy day. My friend told me, Danielle you are not depressed, you feel depressed. I am not what I feel. I am more than that.

So when I see someone saying, I give everything only to have it backfire. I love and love only to hurt and hurt. This is not beautiful, this is not raw. This is a scapegoat. This is someone saying, I am too weak to admit my flaws and because I struggle with mental illness, because I can’t control my anxiety, I am forgiven, those actions are dismissed. This is wrong, this is hurtful and to dismiss those actions that you have put onto someone else is a slap in the face in a way you could never see but feel deeper than any physical interaction could begin to touch. And I see you all praising these people, congratulating them on their bravery and I look at you and I look at them and I wonder how they can put this out there, knowing who they’ve hurt and still feel confident in what they write. Still feel pride in accepting false love from strangers. It’s false because you’re false, because you can say you tried but when these words are only ever seen on the internet, you didn’t try for shit.

I’ve learned that the beauty I seek and the passion I have almost always comes after my depression has passed, after I’ve begun the fight and struggle out of my hole. Out of my cozy home depression makes for me. I love these times, where I am blooming, becoming, growing but I know that to get there, I go through the worst of times, and that’s something I could never wish upon myself or anyone else. When depression hits me, I do not think of the blooming to come, I think of the destruction I’m in and that is how you stay there. I am blessed to know myself and have people around me who know and love me deeper than I could have ever imaged as a child and that’s what pulls me out. That is what helps me bloom. I could never do this alone. Strength is accumulative and every soul I’ve ever met has added to who I am now and who I will become.

So to end this on a different note, thank you. Thank you to those I love and those that love me. Those that speak openly with me. To those who are honest, even when it’s hard. Those who fight, for me and against when need be. I love you and thank you. Thank you for inspiring me and pushing me. I will never give up. I will never stop fighting. I will never romanticize this illness because it is not beautiful, it is not raw. It is clouded and misdirected. It is a lie. I am not depressed, but at times, I do carry depression. That is one truth, but nowhere close to the entirety of me.

Real beauty on 35mm film

Damaged Goods

Fighting, fighting, fighting. Always for inspiration, always for hope. For belief that if I keep going, things are bound to turn around, for tables to turn. And they have, god have they. Constant circles of here then there then back around to here again. 

Nothing is broad enough in my heart to speak on. Nothing is solid enough in reality to give weight to in my mind, though I do it anyway. My heart aches these days. For so much, never something simple. For the love I lost and somehow continue to lose. To gain and then lose. To stick and then rip away again. Duct tape on seran wrap, I am ruined. For my friends who’s hearts are broken, that I can not heal. Who’s minds are sick, that I can only relate. Advice means nothing when it comes to the wellness of ones mental state and emotional being. Advice means nothing when you’re doing what you want to do anyways.

I don’t want to stop writing- to stop creating- but depression tells me I’m not good enough. That nothing I ever do will be able to amount to what I’m actually feeling. To express what I actually see and how I see it. I don’t know if this is true but I’m doing my best not to believe it. I am not depressed but I feel depressed. This is an emotion, not a label. This is a sickness and a disease but I am not defined by something I carry. I simply carry and battle just as a man wearing suede in the rain, YOU are not ruined suede but you now carry it.

Fortunately and not, I don’t have time to hide in my hole as I so wish to do. The past few months of clarity have set the next few months up with adventure and experiences. I’m doing my best to absorb my heartbreak(not vice versa) in order to be present with myself and my companions, my friends and my Earth. 

It’s sad how you’re always nicer at the end of things. How you can act like you don’t give a fuck but when you see it slipping away it’s all, Oh better step up-go this extra half inch to prove myself. I’m sure you care. Sure that your love is sincere in the mindset that you carry but you just don’t do this shit to people. It takes a level of maturity to be able to leave someone you love but you can’t half-way leave, that’s selfish bullshit. Leave or stay. Stand up or sit the fuck down because this emotional whiplash is killing me. You will be the death of this version of me. She is leaving me now and it’s a moment to be remembered. A moment to be cherished because I look at myself saying, Good she was too weak anyways. 

It’s time to rebuild. Sometimes you break a bone so bad that the doctors have to re-break it completely in order for it to heal entirely. Maybe that’s what I like to do. Let someone half way break my heart but I see an extra mile left to run so I take it and I run as hard as I fucking can, as quick as I fucking can to create as much pain so there’s no more left to experience after I’m done. After you’re done. We’re done. 

So yeah I’m finding myself and creating myself and always destroying myself. But only the past self do I destroy, never the present and never the future, she’s got too much to figure out.

35mm film