I’m writing this post because I want to remember today.

I wrote a poem today, a hard, ugly poem that really hurt to come out of me. I would’ve shared it here if it weren’t so terrible. It’s angry. Really angry. So angry that I used the “f” word. A lot. A day ago I didn’t believe in the “f” word and never would’ve used it, but today, I couldn’t seem to find any other words. I blamed, and blamed, and blamed. I cursed almost every way I know how. I came out astonishingly honestly with my hate and I didn’t know I was capable of so much of it.

Even as I type this I’m so frustrated I want to cry, though my brother can’t even tell and he was just right next to me. I still don’t know how to let it all go…

Future Michael, look back on this and remember how much you fought and hurt. Remember that your success was stained with tears that still won’t come and pain that just doesn’t want to quit. Remember the man that showed up at the bottom when you look down from whatever height you one day find yourself. Remember who lied in case they try to come back. Remember everything you feel because someone else will feel the same thing and come looking for compassion and if you forget these moments, they’ll have to look somewhere else.

Michael today, be the man of your future. All you can control is what you do in response. Do it wisely.


We finally talked freely and it seems some things never change:

As we sat in my car, I stretched over the center console to embrace her. We held each other more conscious than ever of the passing seconds. After a while, we freed ourselves, her face glowing in the low light. Sensing that everything was just as it had always been, I asked if a kiss would take us too far. We agreed it be our last one and indulged ourselves.

We kissed four more times that night. We slow danced in the street while she hummed some silly-sounding jazz song I probably should have recognized. I took her hands and we locked our gates together once more, traded raspberries and forehead kisses, licked each others’ faces, (don’t ask lol) told stupid jokes, and laughed, laughed, laughed at all that has happened.

She reminded me of how this all started with a conversation about my next birthday party (now tonight) almost a year ago, and then commented that it’s been a crazy summer. That’s no lie.

The entire evening wrapped itself around us wrapped in each other. And as I found it coming to a close, I told her, still resting in my arms, that no matter what happened, they would always be a home for her. She smiled broadly and as soon as had I said it, I saw the seasons changing and thought sadly that I have only been an extended summer home.

I’m just not the man she wants to build her life around. Nothing against me, nothing against her. At some point, wisdom must trump feeling if we are to live the lives we were meant to. I’m not angry with her in the slightest.

She’s free. I’m choosing to let go of her and be okay with that.

Not a second of these months was wasted, not a moment was anything less than vital for the both of us. No conversation pointless, no intimate moment, vain. This is not another weight, just fuel for the wait; God has done a good thing here and there is only better to come. Still, I’ll miss it.

Twenty-five is definitely going to be a good year.

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I was so angry last night. I was so angry that I just wanted to snap. I kept catching myself wanting to yell and I kept seeing myself throwing chairs through the sliding glass doors.

The rage was attacking me in flashes and before I could fight each one off more began blitzing. I felt like my insides would burst if I kept trying to hold it in, but I was so scared to let go. It wasn’t safe.

My organs seemed to be overheating and I swore something inside me was about to burst, but I wouldn’t let go, I couldn’t let go.

It’s never been safe to let go.

I started remembering all the times I’d let myself become angry, all the times people have told me that I scared them, all the times my mom told me it was inappropriate, I remember breaking Chris’ nose in elementary school for some reason I don’t even remember. I remember punching walls, bruising my knuckles, having to reseal and caulk the holes I made in my old bedroom.
You’re not safe.
You’re not safe.
You’re not safe.
You’re not safe.

My own voice in my head overwhelmed me.

You’re just not safe.

The last few times I heard it in the voices of my exes and it made me realize that they’re terrified of me. I’ve never raised at hand at any of them or made any threats, but I think they’ve each seen it in me and it’s driven them away.

At this point, I wanted to die. I couldn’t take it anymore, I felt like my internal organs were under so much stress they may explode, I hoped they would. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started yelling inside my head. I don’t know if I was yelling at God or myself, but someone had to know how angry I was. I screamed every negative thought that came to mind. Every thought, every feeling, I ran through everything I hate about my current situation and everything I hate about myself. I was honest about how angry I am with certain people and transparent about the fact that they’ve been treating me pretty badly. I said whatever came to mind without editing myself or forcing myself think rationally. (It seems that trying to tell the truth and being striving to be honest are two different things.)

Somehow peace came, quietly and reassuringly. I realized something, I’ve never really let myself be okay with how I feel when the feelings are ugly. I guess that’s why I’ve always been so intentional about letting people be exactly who they are when they’re with me. That’s why I try so hard to make myself a safe space for other people. I’ve not given myself any safe spaces, which has made me very unsafe.

I have to learn how to accept these parts of me or I’ll never get better. I deserve someone who accepts those parts of me, too. But, first things first, right?

The Vulnerable Journey

Some things that are really starting to change my heart from a video I watched this morning:



“That’s something people don’t think about often: For all eternity we are loved, and until all eternity, we will be loved.”

— Henri Nouwen


“My life and your life are a short opportunity to say to the God that loves you, “I love you, too.”

Life is an opportunity to say yes to God’s eternal love— and an opportunity you have every moment, every second; because sometimes you have something wonderful and you say, “Thank you, God, for your love.” And sometimes, you have something really painful and you have to say, “Thank you for drawing me closer to your heart, even though it is really painful.”

Life, in all its joys and all its sorrows, is a short time in which we can say to God, “Yes, we love you too,” in all our excitement and in all our depression, in our wholeness and in our brokenness, in our well-being and in our sickness. Every time, again, we have the chance to say, “Yes! Yes! Yes! I want to be your daughter! I want to be your son! Not only because You say it; I want to be it, too!””

— Henri Nouwen


“We need each other!! And we keep forgetting again and again and again and again and again that we are loved, and think,
“No, I’m no good.”
“No, I messed it all up!”
“No, I feel so guilty.”
“No, I feel so ashamed!”
“No, this cannot be good.”
“Look, I lost my dear mother.”
“I lost my job.”
“I lost my ability to walk.”
“I lost my eyesight.”
I’m gonna be angry. I’m gonna say, “No! No! No! No! No!”

And we need each other to say, “Please, keep believing— that all that you’re living can bring you to the heart of God.””

— Henri Nouwen

#57 Dirty Jobs

I can understand why people want to work long hours at impersonal jobs where they make lots of money. At jobs where you solve problems by tweaking inputs and equations, and where interactions with other people are somewhat safe and controlled.

People are messy. I’m messy. I’m a mess of hurt, and doubt, and struggle, and worry, and insecurity. My needs are never constant, and over the course of just minutes, my mood can shift dramatically. I can be so ugly, so ugly that I can look at my mess and not want to touch it. Dealing with other people doesn’t just mean that I deal with their messes, it means that they have to deal with mine. I forgot how scary that can be. I forgot how much I’m afraid of that.
I think we all are.

I’m terrified, and yet I’m desperate for it. Desperate for someone to dive deep into this mess and help me find my way out from it, or at least to make this place okay, and not just cover it up and pretending it is like I’ve been trying to do my whole life. Yet, as soon as someone comes and commits themselves to doing so, I fight to keep them from doing it.

I guess that’s where things really get messy, isn’t it?

#48 Going Through the Motions

Maybe I’m lazy
Or perhaps I don’t think it’s worth it
But something inside of me doesn’t want to try to fight this depression
To pick up the phone and ask for help
To talk myself out of these negative thoughts
When walking to work is the consequence for missing the bus
Asking for a ride is defiance
Even if it’s only 25 Farenheit

I can’t explain why I equate payment with pain
But I’ve trained myself by it;
Suffer in silence
Don’t see the virtue in whining

And I don’t know I see things any differently,
But halfway through my walk I made the call anyway

#6 These Hands Weren’t Made For This

So, apparently I have really long arms
So skinny
people think I must hit with all the intensity of wet spaghetti,
Because in fights I’d never strike back
In 2nd grade, Derrick Coleman told me that I didn’t deserve my height after smashing my plastic Batman lunchbox into my left eye
“That’s what you get big head”
“You the tallest nigga in class,
but ain’t no one scared of your skinny—”
Icepack from the nurse helped my head,
But today,
15 years later, those words still hurt.
So I started chasing strength
Refusing to be weak
And not just for me:
for every nerd and outcast,
every fat girl with an attractive sister,
every hard-hearted little boy beaten up standing for what he believed in;
The world is not worthy of your stories.
But they still leave us lonely, don’t they?
I’ve lost feeling
Searching for something to fill me
To build me into buildings that never fall,
Call me anything except what I am.
Conceal me until I can deal with these bruises
I’m gonna relearn how to use these hands:
They weren’t made for fists.
I’m so sick of being told I’m broken
And I know I’m not the only one.
I’m done waiting for someone to save me
Last girl who stepped into this wreck trying to stop it
Got caught instead
She offered her body to please me
Too easy;
lighting fires we couldn’t control
[Can’t hold coals to your chest without burning your clothes]
We were thieves,
attempting to steal meaning from one another
But these hands weren’t made for that.
Don’t we all share these stories though?
We once took pride in our lives.
Dreamed of all the things we would be,
but somewhere in between then and now,
we settled for what we got:
I’m not Dr. King like I thought I’d be.
Or a samurai….
Jet pilot, jedi, or a dinosaur.
But I am still something.
I am a miracle.
My mom had six miscarriages before I was born
Almost quit trying to have kids…
But she didn’t.
And she did!
She believed in miracles.
I am God-sent.
Ninety percent chance of down syndrome;
Born without a hint
I believe in those miracles.
You are a miracle.
Light dances in your eyes like ice skaters
Your glow is Aurora Borealis
Can’t you see how important your now is?
We are miracles
of vision and near-death experience.
Of chance meetings and dead writers whose words still inspire
We may sometimes take the hard-headed road
But where we find ourselves does not define us.
We were designed for more,
Step forward.
We have room to grow vast as oceans and galaxies
So set these broken ships to sea.
We’re NOT hopeless.
I know this.
And I know this:
No matter how many times I grope you
These hands will never hold your heart,
It’s hopeless.
It takes more strength to give than to take:
And hands can’t be measured by inches:
only what they hold in them.
The hearts of queens are larger than double D’s.
That can be hard to see.
I know.
But that’s what large hands are for
They’re for seeking God
And I’ve been trying;
But I’ve fallen too far to reach Him:
Still, He sees me.
Meets me here right where I’m at.
Like a swan wading through swamps making pristine springs
I never needed to reach Him.
He’s been reaching for me.
You need to know the same thing.
We were designed for more,
Step forward with me
Everything we’ve waited for is not so far away
I promise,
We can find
why you and I were designed.

#5. Perfection is a Lie

From the time I started high school, I have been somehow romantically involved with 18 different girls. I only officially dated 8 of them. I only had real feelings for 3 of those 8. I dated the other 5 because I had a low view of my worth and would date anyone who gave me attention. All 3 of the ones that I actually had strong feelings for left me for other guys.

That hurt me a LOT.

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Branded [Regal.]

The next time someone tells you that you’re worthless,

That you’ll never matter to anyone

When your lover leaves you

When your parents turn their backs on you

And your best friends don’t want to talk to you

Let it burn

Let the pain sink in deep

Let it cook like an oven inside of you

Let the blood leak freely

Take it on your finger and taste it

Let the bitterness find rest on your tongue

Let it mix with your tears

Swallow, then stand.

May your heart remember its ache

The pit of your stomach reflect upon the flames that licked it like the pit of hell

As the scars fade, may the lessons remain

Wear them like crowns with pride, signs of nobility

I sometimes wonder

Who am I that God would write His love right into my pain?

Call it beauty marks, branding, tattoos, or carvings

I only see His name

I am forever His,

Marked Divine.