Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Letter to My College Self | Collaboration Project with Elizabeth Sensky


Allow me to preface this entire blog post by saying I am absolutely terrified to publish this blog post. I cannot recall ever putting my poetry in a public space. However, today I am sharing a poem that means a lot to me. I have spent weeks mulling this over in my mind. I was approached by my dear friend, Elizabeth, to do collaboration with our blogs. You should go see her blog over here. Let me explain my friendship with Elizabeth with you.  She and I met at the beginning of my third year at university in a Buddhism class. She asked me if I had been in the annual fashion show the previous Spring, which I was, and she replied with, “Oh, yeah, I had a girl crush on you.” The guts it takes to tell someone that! She was a girl after my own heart. In hindsight, I see that she came into my life exactly when I most needed a true friend. You see, Elizabeth is an incredibly genuine person. You will see plenty of evidence of this on her blog, where she shares so much of who she is through the way she writes. Elizabeth has been inspiring me since the day we met. 

Due to our different life paths, she and I have not lived in the same place in five years. Regardless of the distances between us, whether it’s a state border or an entire ocean, we have remained connected. We have sent each other numerous letters, Facebook messages, emails, anything at all to remind each other that we are and always will be friends.  I suppose it makes sense to make a soul connection with someone in a spiritual class. And I don’t know if I have ever told her this directly, but I am so grateful to know her and to have her in my life. She is humble, intelligent, funny, and relentlessly courageous. A couple years ago, she told me she bought a one way ticket to another country. I wished her all the luck in the world, but I knew she wouldn’t need it because she is capable of anything and everything. She is the fearless archer to my restless lion. I adore her and I think you will, too. 

Now that I have been sufficiently mushy I am going to get back to this blog post. Elizabeth asked me if I would be interested in writing a piece as a letter to my college self. I obliged and really began thinking about what I wanted to share. Being the private person I am, I cringed at the thought of revealing too much. I went through a lot of emotions in those four years, some of which I rarely speak about. However, thanks to Elizabeth’s inspiring bravery, I started pouring it out. It all came out in some mumbling prose style, but it eventually turned into the poem I am posting here. I am glad she approached me with this idea because she has no idea how badly I needed this challenge. I have had poetry trying to fight its way out of me for quite some time now and I haven’t been listening to it. I will occasionally write in my journal, but now it’s time to put it out in the open. It’s time to be brave with the words and world I protect so dearly. 

I do not know if you necessarily “dig” poetry, but it is something I grew to appreciate and eventually fell in love with while I was in college. I don’t know if I will ever be completely satisfied with anything I write, but I haven’t written an actual poem since my poetry classes in college. I think it’s time. If you feel you want to critique, inquire, comment, or anything please feel free to do so. Poetry is fun in the way it is up for interpretation and it presents itself differently to whoever is reading it. I would like to know what you think!


Autumn leaves crunch under your feet
while you sing the same sad song.
A tune that hits you in your heavy heart,
every note comforts your nervous bones.

You have allowed yourself to believe
that you do not deserve to take up
s           p          a           c           e—
but you are an entire universe.


You see a boy with a face
like Elvis and blue eyes to match
his blue moods. Your heart will
never beat like it did around him.

Sweet spring makes you brand new
with long hair and bare feet, you
dance while he sings your favorite
songs. You become his sun, and

he is your moon. You learn to love
the night sky, discover your howl.
You run together through the woods—
his named carved on all of your trees.

A summer of salty tears and screams;
you wake up to find it wasn’t a dream.
You spend years with dirt under your nails
from digging to bury your broken heart.

The timeline of your life is now
divided into two parts;
before him and
after him.


You must begin the journey of
loving yourself the way you love him—
and like all living things
you need some space to grow.

There is light peeking through
the trees. You are gaining strength in the
wings you forgot to flap. Fly
away to new places when you can.

Up, up into the sky that calls for you—
you miss your moon, but the stars are
lining up to show you something.
You must listen and you must learn.

Ocean water teaches you ebb and flow—
to let go of losses, to understand some waves
may go, but the ones meant for you
will always find their way back.

You continue to grow stronger each day
that you fill your lungs with air.
Follow the rivers and foot paths you find
and share the shaken stars from your hair. 

I plan to follow up this post with what Elizabeth writes to her college self. Be on the lookout for that. And if she decides to have me share something I have written on her blog, I will be sure to let you know.

Until next time,