‘Speak Until Your Voice Is Heard’ – My Thoughts On The #MeToo Movement

The day the ‘#MeToo’ hashtag hit social media, my mind was in a flurry. I was writing like crazy, spitting out poems and thoughts and words of empowerment that I wanted other women to hear. That I wanted myself to hear.

Over the last year I’ve gone through some pretty difficult things relating to this movement, and watching my Twitter timeline fill with personal stories, affirmations, words of strength and healing, and community support—I was awestruck. I was awestruck because there are so many people struggling in the world right now. So many people in pain, in suffering, in hiding, in denial. So many people battling demons they were previously too scared to face. So many people finding, for the first time in their lives, that they weren’t alone. And one of those people was me.

The revelation—of love, support, and healing—was powerful. For all of us. Continue reading

Being Yourself—On And Off The Screen

Who are you when no one’s looking? I remember my mother reading this quote to me. I was young, and for some reason it actually creeped me out. (LOL.) For the longest time I believed both Santa and God to be these forces in the sky, watching me with a telescope to see what I was doing every second of the day. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized both the significance of that quote, and that God was far less of a creeper than I had once imagined Him to be.

But the words stayed with me.

Who are you when no one’s looking? Even today I feel so connected to that quote. Being yourself—once you figure out who you are and what you stand for, that seems easy. You just choose all the things that are aligned with your purpose and heart. You just make decisions that sit right with you. You just do what you believe is the right thing. You just pick Instagram photos that match your theme, or quotes that match your vision. And because you’ve made a stance, gathered a following, become associated with a certain belief, people also hold you accountable. Which is scary, but good.

But when no one’s around to make sure you’re doing what you said you would? When you’re off the computer screen, the live feed, the Twitter rant? When you’re in the confines of your space, your room, your own mind—are you still aligning with that inner mantra? Are you still following your ‘rules’? Continue reading

Unbound

I’m sitting in my favorite seat of the coffee shop, listening to cars pass by, listening to the voices floating from customers around me, listening to the construction across the street and the hum and flurry of activity around me. There are so many people. People who are content. People who are fighting illnesses, or disease, or injury. People who are heartbroken, or overflowing with love, or trying to find their way, or learning to let go. There are people like me, trying to breathe and slow down and remember that everything will turn around. That we won’t always be stuck. Continue reading

Who’s Standing Beside You When It All Falls Apart?

These past two weeks have been weeks of personal growth. And it all started when I went to visit my long distance boyfriend in Florida (a place where cuddling, sipping drinks on the Cocoa Beach Pier, and laughing with him and his son were at the forefront of my mind…not character development).

But when you accidentally leave your entire purse (including all credit/debit cards, cash, ID, coupons, insurance cards, loose change, phone chargers, etc.) on the inbound flight, you quickly learn who you are, how you handle stress, and who’s there when sh*t hits the fan.

For me, that weekend was an eye-opener. I’ve always been someone who’s tried to handle everything on her own. I hate being a burden. I hate asking for help. I hate feeling like I’m letting other people down, or inconveniencing them in any way.

But when you lose (literally) everything you need to (basically) survive, you’re sort of forced to lean on other people to get you through.

And this is something I’m still working on—letting people in, letting people help me, letting go of the idea that I have to be perfect and have my entire life figured out all the time. Continue reading

On Christianity – What It Means To Be A Believer & Why I Share My Faith

The decision to write about my faith publically was one that took quite some time. I was scared of putting myself out there so vulnerably. I was nervous about my writing being stereotyped or seen in a specific way. I was nervous about what it meant to proclaim, to the world, that I was a follower of Jesus. But after quite a few months of inner turmoil and a push I felt came from God Himself, I started being open and writing about my Christian faith.

But something that I wrestle with quite often, and a question I think all believers face is what it really means to be a Christian. Continue reading

On Making Time For What Really Matters

I’m sitting on the pier today. The water is billowing on all sides and I swear, sometimes I can feel the structure move ever so slowly beneath me. I’m busy this afternoon. I’m always busy. Today’s list consists of the same – writing, projects, emails, social media, planning, brainstorming, writing – and to be honest, walking to the pier took too much time in itself. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but sometimes I feel like I’m forever running out of time.

I was trying to filter through some last few emails before starting on a new piece of writing when I stumbled across this article on Medium by Joshua Earle – an Unsplash photographer, commenting on his decision to let people use his photos for free. I was intrigued, and well, in typical Marisa style, I figured I could carve out a few minutes to read.

I’m glad I did.

The article was beautiful, and even though I knew I had 57083 things to do, I decided to take another minute to give him a personal shout out on Twitter. This act was so small, but to my surprise, he responded. And in that moment, damn, it felt good to have done something meaningful, rather than simply share the article quickly, or even brushing it off altogether because I was ‘too busy.’

The situation (simple as it was) inspired my Thought Catalog piece, “Make Time For Meaningful Things.” (Which you should definitely check out because it’s wayyy better articulated than this.)

But I can’t stop thinking about the fact that sometimes I’m so ‘busy’ being ‘busy,’ I forget what really matters.

In the rush of my daily life, it’s so damn easy to push aside anything that’s not on my to-do list. I have articles to write, social media feeds to schedule, emails to respond to, pieces to edit, manuscript ideas to plan. I simply don’t have time for anything else…right? Right?

Sometimes I get so caught up in the rush, half my day is over before I even take a breath. I spend so much time online and ‘talking’ to people, but I can go hours without an in-person conversation. I write about feelings, and yet, I don’t express mine aloud until I call my boyfriend before I go to bed. I preach living a good life, but sometimes I have too much going on to check in with the ones I love.

And that’s silly.

Because honestly, what’s the point of having all these things to do but never feeling like I’m ‘done’? I’m moving from the moment I open my eyes to the moment they close, but I’m not quite fulfilled.

Not until I make time for those meaningful things.

So, I don’t know if you’re in the same boat – doing, rushing, working, being ‘busy.’ But I constantly have to remind myself that it’s not accomplishing everything, crossing all the items off my to-do list, or being the best that makes a good life – it’s about the relationships, the conversations, the little moments. And I don’t want to take those for granted anymore.

 
 

 

Featured Image Credit: RawPixel

Longing

Your lips
have already written stories
into my skin,
stories that taste
of both freedom and roots.
Like ripe fruit
on my tongue.
I have already started
longing
for your mouth
to speak more words to life
over my every cell.

And that is to say
don’t let me fall
from your vine. Continue reading

You Messaged Me Again

You messaged me again. And all I can think about is the human-sized hole you left in my heart months ago that I’ve been working so damn hard to fill. The hole that’s (finally) only the size of a small donut hole. And yet, whenever your name flashes across my screen, I imagine a whole box of double-chocolate glazed sitting on my bed, and us, cross-legged, watching some stupid show on Netflix with the California fog floating lazily through my window. And would I be happy there? Continue reading

Reflections: Letter To Myself – On How It Feels To Publish My First Poetry Book

What you hold in your hands is your story, your truth. Do not be afraid of it – of the words you will speak, the thoughts you will construct, the blessings you will bring and carry. Continue reading

Self-Love And God-Love: Why I Choose To Celebrate My Body As A Christian

The topic of self-love is one that I’m very passionate about. For me, learning to love myself has been a process, one that I’m continually working on and learning about. One that I feel will never be finished, as I’m continually changing and growing and becoming different versions of myself.

In my search for ‘self-love’ (whatever that means—it seems to take on so many definitions from this crazy world) what I’ve realized is that loving yourself doesn’t mean you’re continually striving for perfection, or can only fully care for who you are when you’re whole and complete.

Self-love isn’t waiting until you’re perfect, or building up to perfection before you accept and appreciate who you are. Self-love is loving your mess. Continue reading