Diamond Pair

FRESH

 

 

Just a little bit of poetry on this beautiful fall day- love & light, tess

 

with melodic symphony symmetry,

the diamond pair was formed

the fall foliage and gentle kiss of wind were the perfect canvas to glow

the glow of golden hearts, that is

breath stolen, fire breathing, electric chill changes

sunshine sprinting between blinds, barreling on to eyelashes, dipping into Bahama blue water eyes

golden fleck

highlight and glimmer

pigmented absence

the diamond pair tumbled into a world of their own

and impossible became impassible

and infallible became incandescent

and stone was grown into pebble

dream-like drowsy, the diamond pair

dream-like drowning, the diamond pair

biting the chilling wind, stars dripping in lipstick

blushing heat, heaven fiber for the diamond pair

heartbeat havana, smoke it if you’ve got it

hand running rapid, cold cloud exhale

lonely solid sheets for our favorite diamond pair

and where does the diamond pair dive gracefully from there?

The Young and the Selfish

 

the young and the selfish

I know I’ve been gone for quite a while; sometimes, it’s hard to write the things I feel because they’re just overwhelming. Being a highly emotive person with a few cute lil’ mental illnesses, sometimes I just can’t bring myself to do the smallest things- like write, or clean, or speak. (which, I know, you’re thinking must be a miracle)

You guys know I don’t write bullshit articles about “How To Get Your Crush to Pay Attention to You for Two Weeks and Then Ghost You,” or “You Can’t Take the ‘Fuck’ Out of ‘Fuckboy.'” I really pride myself on being *somewhat* original in my content, but today may be a little, as they say, basic.

I’ve always been told that love is sacrificial. That if you love someone, you sacrifice all the pieces of yourself that may be unfavorable to your significant other, or you at least try to do so. I’ve always been told that if a man loves you enough, he’ll sacrifice Sunday football, Saturday with the boys, etc, just to spend time with you when you’re feeling under the weather. On the inverse side, in the area that I live in, it’s pretty common for women to sacrifice their hopes and dreams to stay home to cook, clean, and “serve” their significant other. WHICH IS COOL, but not everyone should be held to such standard.

There are certain fundamental wants/needs in a romantic relationship that I consider non-negotiable. This list includes a love of animals, a healthy relationship with my best friend, a desire to get married AT SOME POINT, and lastly, the want to have a family. Now, I have been told that I am unable to have children naturally, (which, miracles happen, so crossing my fingers!) so the familial structure that I will more than likely have to yield will either be a surrogate or adoption. That being said, these are things that I am called to have. I am called to be a lover of animals, to be a solid and long lasting part of my best friends life, to grow and change with my significant other, and to care for children.

How do I know that I was called to do these things? I think the easiest way to equate the answer to that is this- remember the first time you saw something absolutely breathtaking? How you felt like you’d never seen the world before that very moment? It literally feels like your heart is going to explode- you’re awestruck in the absolutely terrifying, amazing beauty that God created. When it feels like this view, this moment was created specifically for you? That is how I feel about all of my non-negotiable needs; like I was born to love and care for people, that I was placed here to ensure that people feel as important as they are. That, my sweet friends, is how I know. Not everyone has the same feelings about my needs, which is completely okay. We were all placed here to feel passion and longing for something- whether that be painting a masterpiece or writing a song, there is something placed inside of you that is food for your soul.

Being the age that I am (24) in the place that I live, (Bible Belt South) I feel a pressure to be married. It isn’t uncommon for couples in this area to be married at 18 with children by 20- which is awesome, go you for finding your person. However, as I’ve gotten older, the pressure has taken a toll on my dating life (or lack, thereof.) I’ve realized that I began to settle and compromise my non-negotiables, just because I feel like a spinster in this area. I have friends who have beautiful families, marriages, houses, careers, cars.. and I consistently feel like I’m lagging behind- like there’s something I’m doing wrong. With that pressure comes the constant feeling of loneliness and self-doubt.

For a long time, I just believed that love was sacrificial.

We’re told that love is never selfish. I have to disagree.

There is a love before you find your forever person that is a vital love- the love for yourself. I hate the cliche bullshit that tells you that you have to love yourself before you love someone else- personally, I hate myself 89% of the time, but I have a ferocious love for others, so strong that I can’t even describe it. BUT– there is a time in your life when selfishness and loving yourself need to come first, and that time is before you meet your forever person. I have been compromising for 5 years. I’ve dated boys (obviously not men, but those are different stories) that never wanted to get married, never wanted kids, didn’t love animals, weren’t compassionate, hated Alyx.. I’ve dated all the wrong people, let’s just go with that.

I forgot my own rules- who does that? 

It starts off easy and fun, like hanging out with your best friend. Then, you start spending all your time together, you talk about deep issues, you decide to date. They make a comment about not wanting to get married – red flag. I can compromise, you say. I don’t want kids, they say – red flag. I can compromise, you say. Time goes on, you start to feel unfulfilled. You talk about it. They never change. So, here you am, finding yourself in a situation when you feel obligated to sacrifice something that you’ve wanted my whole life for someone that doesn’t meet up with your non-negotiables.

RED. FLAG.

When we ignore these red flags, we are being detrimental to ourselves and to the other person. We’re wasting our time on someone who doesn’t want the same things that we do- and they’re wasting their time on someone who will never be truly fulfilled with them.

I believe that none of us truly, deep down want to cause another person pain. I don’t believe that we have an innate need to break each other’s hearts. Sometimes we do it by accident, sometimes on purpose- we’re fueled by hurt.

 Hurt people hurt people.

It takes a long time to realize and accept that your sacrificial nature can hurt others, but sometimes being sacrificial is also lying to yourself and others. I don’t want to hurt or be hurt anymore, so I choose to be selfish.

I’m done compromising my whole life for someone who will probably date me for a year and then never speak to me again. I’m tired of being heartbroken of the reality, tired of unintentionally hurting people.

This is a time to be selfish. 

This is when love is not sacrificial- love is selfish.

There are so many definitions of love, but this particular love is selfish.

This is long-term love.

This is self love.

This is self care.

This is complete self.

And that is perfectly, selfishly lovely.

Negative on Positive

Today I did something that I didn’t think I would be able to do for months- today, I accepted the fact that some people will never change. 

In my past relationship, I was not perfect; actually, I was nowhere even minutely close to perfect. I have anger issues, I regularly deal with depression, anxiety, and OCD tendencies. (Yes, these have been diagnosed by a doctor, so fuck off with your theories.) I know that at parts in my past relationship, I was not always fair. I was not always compassionate, I was not always loving. I know that I said things I did not mean, did things that I should not have, and was not the best I could have been. However, I did not cheat on my significant other, nor would I ever have done that; herein lies the complete and total breakdown of the saying “people never change.”

I remember sitting at Outback with you. You ordered Jameson and some wings, two of your favorite things. It was a regular date night, that is, until you told me that you had cheated on every girlfriend you have had. At that point, I should have ended things, but I loved you. You shrugged it off like it was nothing as I told you that if you cheated on me, you would never see me or hear from me again. You swore that if you started having temptations or thoughts, you would tell me. Well, newsflash, people never change.

I remember defending you going out all the time, just saying that you liked being away from me since we lived together. I should have ended it the first night you didn’t come home- St. Patrick’s Day, in fact. You told me that I had known about the party and just never listened to you. I know for a damn fact you never told me about that party, but I let you tell me what I did and did not know.

Finally, I woke up alone in the bed we had shared for almost a year and a half. I got ready for work. I walked into the living room, you were asleep on the couch with your phone in your hand. I hadn’t seen you in days, it felt like. At this point, we were drifting. The night before, I had went out, but came home early so that I could spend time with you. I fell asleep waiting for you. I should have ended it then. I went to wake you up so you could sleep in bed vs the couch, your phone was in your hand, illuminated. I went to plug your phone in by the bed. And then I saw it. Something that I have tried to bleach out of my brain for the past two months, something that makes me sick to my stomach to think about- the very graphic text to a girl I told you I didn’t feel comfortable with, telling her that you had a great time with her last night. That the sex was great, and you couldn’t wait to do that again.

I remember feeling my heart physically break in my chest. I remember it so well because I haven’t stop feeling the shrapnel from it since that day. I continued to pour through your phone (something I am not proud of, by any means.) I found 5 different girls. 5 girls who were getting parts of you that I was not, all while I sat up waiting for you to come home and pay me 5 minutes of attention. I should’ve ended it there.

I have never been so hurt, so sick, so fucking pissed off, so broken in my entire life. Not when my mother told me she never loved me, not when the person I was engaged to hit me, not when I found out that I couldn’t have children.. never. But I let you have that power over me and you are not even worth the effort to type out the things you did to me. 

We had a home together. While it may not have felt like home to you, it was everything to me. I worked hard to make sure that our lives would work and yet, that wasn’t enough. All of my life, I’ve heard people talk about how “love conquers all” and “love can fix anything.” That is bullshit. The love I had for you never conquered your narcissism- how quick you were to tell me all of the things that were wrong with me. It never conquered your excuses- there is no excuse for hurting someone. It never conquered your choice to have sex with a random girl instead of coming home to have sex with the woman you had built a home with- but we both know that you are not a man that is worthy of a woman so beautifully broken as I. You brought a dark cloud to the paradise that I had been living in for so long, you brought negative to a positive.

I continued to let you hurt me and string me along. After you moved out, you helped me with some of my moving expenses- thank you for the obligatory compassion you showed me. You are trying to buy me out of my emotions and that will never happen.

What you did was fucked up in so many ways. I was nowhere near perfect, but I bled my fingers raw for you. I cooked for you, cleaned for you, payed bills, helped you take care of your mom. I washed clothes for you, I cared for you, I made you gifts for EVERY holiday and you never once gave me a single thing. Most of all, I loved you more than I thought was possible. You told me that I was “the real deal.” I am.

So, today I decided that it is time for you to go. It is time for you, and everyone who works at that godforsaken store, to go. You do not deserve a place in my life anymore, and I don’t believe you ever did.

I loved you so much. Thank you for teaching me that what I put into people will not be wrong for the right person. I hope you find happiness and purpose in your life, but I also hope you find pain, frustration, and guilt. 

The Flame and the Fat Girl

As most of you know, the mobile app Tinder is somewhat of a phenomena within the millennial generation (excuse me while I puke in using that term). For those of you who don’t know, Tinder is labeled as a “dating” app. If you’re a Tinder user, you know for a fact that the last thing that most of the people on Tinder are looking for is anything long-term.

Logo-Tinder.svg

I’m not saying that there isn’t one person that’s on there looking for a relationship… but the statistics that CEO Sean Rad has given to sites like Bustle are pretty unbelievable to anyone who has a brain. According to Rad, 80% of users are looking for a long term relationship. Maybe it’s the area that I live in, surrounded by two universities and many community colleges; maybe it’s the fact that the marriage age has increased in the last few years. It could be because everyone is an asshole, who knows? What I do know is that Tinder when you’re a fat girl is vastly different terrain. How is it different? Let me count the ways. Side note: If you don’t like things in numbered lists.. you don’t have to read.

  1. What You Have to Disclose In Your Profile/Conversations
    1. You’ll see below what my profile looks like. A picture that makes me look like I’m the grand duchess of hot fat girls, typical. But you’ll notice that the next picture I have is a full body picture of myself. Not only that, but in description, I have “chunky, yet funky, which means I’m plus size.” This is to just let boys (you aren’t a man until you prove such to me) know that I am not skinny. I am plus size, a big girl, chunky but funky, a fat girl, a fatass.. all the horrible things you could call me. I do this to protect myself from being harassed. If I don’t put these in my description, apparently no one can use their damn eyes and can’t see that I am not said skinny woman. (WHICH IS TOTALLY FINE AND I LOVE YOU ALL THE SAME, NO MATTER WHAT) My best friend in the world told me that she “warns” boys, telling them she’s chunky. What the fuck?
    2. I changed my featured image to the picture below of me in a bikini – my percentage of matches went down 43% in one week. 43%. That’s insane. I have a sweet, sweet friend that told me that I was just “weeding out the little bitches who can’t deal with a real woman.” In my mind, I was just being my true self. Someone who isn’t afraid of who or how she is; this choice was something that we’re all afraid of. What if no one likes me? What if no one thinks I’m attractive? As my matches all but stopped, I began to realize that even I, someone who doesn’t give a shit what people think, was guilty of worrying about this.

       

  2. Serial Swipers/Unmatch Response 
    1. So, there are people so deemed “serial swipers,” which don’t look at anyone, they just swipe through to see what they can get. I will admit, I have been guilty of the serial swipe, once or a lot. I understand the math behind it. Now, what happens with these serial swipers is this: I hear the Tinder chime on my phone, the screen reads “Congrats! You have a new match!” I think “cool, here we go.” I open the app and there is either A) no visible match or B) they smoothly disappear from my match cache in a matter of seconds. They have unmatched me- this happens at least twice a day. Which is cool. Preferences are everyone’s right, I get that. But also.. don’t make me think I’ve somehow bagged a 12 when I’m a very blatant 10, come on now. 
  3. Fetish Finders/Chubby Chasers/ Etc
    1. Okay, so here’s my issue. I am a person. A nice person that is pretty accepting of others, even if what they like it strange. But I am not a fetish, I am not something to “chubby chase,” I am not a fantasy, or something to pity. I get messages from boys, suggesting horribly disgusting sexual acts that they’d like to perform on me because “I like fat girls,” “more cushion for the pushin’,” or because “no one likes fat girls, I might as well do you a favor and f**k you.”
    2. OKAY BYE. I am totally disgusted by you and will be unmatching you because I AM A PERSON WHO DESERVES LOVE AND RESPECT.
  4. Match for Torture
    1. This happens more than I would like to admit. If you know me, you know how hurt I am when people make blows to my character. You can call me fat all day, but if you tell me that I’m a b**ch, have a horrible heart, that I’m stupid, things like that.. I will cry. I’m not afraid to cry, it’s who I am. I’ve been told how stupid I am for loving who I am. Stupid for “letting yourself get so fucking fat and gross.”
    2. These garbage boys match me to make fun of me (are we 12?) Not only are they the first to throw stones at my looks, whatever, but they like to tell me that I should just kill myself. I’ve had every comment from “eat a salad” to “fat bitch, I hope you burn in hell because you’re so fucking disgusting,” and everything in between. I just have a question for our match for torture males- who hurt you? Who made your life so miserable that you need to hurt someone you’ve never met? If you are reading this and this describes you, please do us a favor and go to a counselor. They will help you, I promise. I go, as well.
  5. The Golden Pony 
    1. As many horrible experiences as I’ve had with boys on Tinder, I’ve also found people that I’ve come to love on a deeper level than I could even begin to understand. In fact, my two most recent exes are from the Tinder-sphere. I loved both Wes and Nathan more than I knew how to understand. 
    2. There’s just something about texting someone, talking to them on a deep level before you meet face-to-face. Our brains and hearts are wicked adversaries; they love to act on things like lust, primal instinct, and judgement. While our souls are more likely to actively listen to someone’s personality, their passions, interests, things like that. Our souls connect on a deeper level than our eyes ever could. 

With all of this being said, you’re probably wondering.. “Tessa, why the hell are you on Tinder?”

The simple answer doesn’t exist. We’re on Tinder because we’re lonely, we don’t have time outside of work to meet someone, we like the attention, we want to increase our dating pool, but most of all, we just want someone to prove us wrong. 

Follow Up

For those of you that don’t know, I do spoken word poetry. (slam poetry) I haven’t gotten to write in a hot minute and now I’m back at it. You don’t have to like it, but it’s who I am. I hope you do though. 💖 this piece is called “Follow Up.” It’s about the aftermath of my recent failed relationship.

 
It’s been about 600 hours, I think, but I was never a mathematician. 

Obviously so because I thought you, plus me, equaled stained glass in a beautiful cathedral, the hymns with organ twang that made you feel like my southern baptist, fire and brimstone home. But remember, I’m not a mathematician.

   Not only am i not a mathematician, but I am not a scientist. I do not have the answers to the chemical components that make up the brain. The chemical components that made me forget how to use my fucking brain when I met you. No amounts of neurons and transmission and dopamine could ever make me forget the way you graced my face with your callouses and kept my lips in a constant quiver. But I am not a scientist.
   

Not only am I not a mathematician or a scientist, I am not a witch doctor. I cannot voodoo you into picking the doll fashioned to look like me again. I cannot sacrifice anymore of myself to make you believe that I am good, I am compassionate, I am serene, I am gasoline, I am combustible and believable and.. I am a fucking bonfire. I could stick needles in a doll of you, but the face changed from yours to mine in a matter of seconds and I am only stabbing my own eyes so I can no longer see those messages and picture your body giving what has, for so long, been our own ocean wave. But I am not a witch doctor. 
  

     There are so many things that I am not, but the thing I am can be summed up in this: I am too much. I am too loving, too open, too sarcastic, too soft, too big, too far, too depressed or anxious or too perfect or imperfect or too.. authentic. 

     So no, I am not numbers, chemicals, or spirituality. I am not a spreadsheet, a hallelujah in white pill form, not the prayer of a small child who hasn’t yet understood that religion and reality don’t sync.. 

    But I am a poet, and these words will pour until there is none of you left in my blood.

Go With the Glow

The rustic kitchen (6)

 

So, I have some beautiful, encouraging friends who actually think that the clothes that I throw on in the morning/the makeup I throw on in the morning are something worth talking about; in other words, this is a fashion sector of my otherwise really deep, hardcore blog.

First and foremost: WELCOME BACK, SPRIIIIING! 

Spring is one of the best seasons, not solely because of the weather, but because of spring styles. Now, remember, I am pretty eccentric, so my outfits may differ from the traditional “spring styles” that you see in magazines. *You don’t see girls like me in magazines, so that makes sense.* 

ANYWAY: All of these photos are courtesy of my incredible friend, Gunnar Widowski. Google him. He’s an amazing photographer, videographer, and an even better friend. See his gorgeous freakin’ mug below.

gunnar

Obviously, spring is the time for florals. This season is riddled with different floral prints- most that I’ve seen are in the pastel color family. This is very Easter-esque, which is fine and dandy, but my style is slightly different.

I’ve always been attracted to darker prints and more mid-tone colors, aka oranges, pinks, reds, tans, transitioning into more nudes.

That being said, this burnt orange floral tie blouse from Forever 21 Plus  is like heaven on eath. I paid $19.50 for this top back in.. I wanna say January. I know that this was not purchased “in season,” but that’s the best part of these awesome malleable pieces- they can be used anytime!

View More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davis

There are so many good things about this blouse, so let me just list these bitches out.

  • quality: most of the things you buy from Forever 21 last for all of about 6 months,(hello, you get what you pay for) but this material is SO nice and such a solid quality. I’ve worn this 400 million times and washed it just as much and it is still the same as it was when I bought it. $20, worth it.
  • versatility: in this photoshoot, I’m actually wearing this with basic black leggings.(Walmart, $5) I normally wear this with a dark jeans and either a flat or my favorite, badass boots from Urban Outfitters. Lately, I’ve been wearing this blouse with a high-waisted black skirt for the empire-style pinup look, which is freaking amazing, if I do say so myself.
  • affordability: once again, $19.50, probably $21.75 (?) with tax. I’m a definite “I’m not buying it unless it’s on sale” person, but everything at Forever 21 is so reasonable and honestly adorable- aka why this whole shoot is Forever 21 HA

Overall, I absolutely love this blouse. There’s so many options for makeup with this as well.

Let’s rock and roll to the next piece, ladies and gents.

I’m honestly so surprised at myself for being this piece, but I felt like getting out of my comfort zone and kicking some ass in this Forever 21 Plus Size Floral Maxi Dress. My reservations on this range from UGH my tits are gonna show to I’M SO SHORT. Both are continually true, but I decided to just not care.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life, it’s the simple fact that IT IS YOUR BODY, so wear whatever the fuck you want to wear, regardless of your weight. Mkay.

I can’t even say enough about this dress and how it makes me feel- I’m such a hippie at heart and this is the PERFECT dress for a free spirit like me.View More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davis

As you can see, this dress is phenomenal. It has all of these beautiful nudes and yellow tones, mixed in with a very slimming black. What I love about this dress is:

  • cut: this piece is the perfect cut for us curvy sisters. It has slits going up both sides of the dress, allowing you to show some thunder if you’d like or keep it concealed with its maxi length. You’ve also got the cross chest cut, allowing for some awesome cleavage if you’d like (I normally am down with that) or room for a bralette or cami to conceal the girls.
  • pattern: this is not your mommas floral print- it’s big and bold, making it a more flattering print for my shape. The flowers have amazing detail and are not fuzzy looking at all.
  • price: $27.90 is not shit for a dress that I can wear for the rest of the year, probably until mid October. If you divide that out between February 7 and October 15, you’re looking at roughly $0.12 a day. Freakin. Worth. It,
  • accessory: this dress comes with a black tassel belt that gives me life. You can double wrap it, single wrap it, use it as a necklace, whatever you want.
  • overall joy: I feel like a hippie goddess in this dress. It fits my body type, has beautiful coloring, has SO many options for makeup and other accessories.. pretty much it’s my favorite thing in the world.

 

My last piece is a little.. well, risque. There are many different ways to wear this Forever 21 Peplum Romper in black (which is no longer available, but this works with many different romper styles)

If you’re like me, aka a big girl, you know that rompers normally make us look like the Pillsbury dough boy- not in the cute way, either. I’ve been terrified of rompers because honestly, comparison is the thief of joy, and that’s all the rompers make me do.. BUT this romper is seriously a god send. This is an outfit that I would wear to the club or out on a date, if I went on those.

View More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davisView More: http://gunnarwidowski.pass.us/tessa-davis

Things that I adore about this piece:

  • cut: yaaaaas queen, this cut is 10000% what I needed. Everyone knows that peplum cut normally looks good on bigger girls, but jesus, this is nuts. The super deep v makes the greatest opportunity to show off your sexy self- you go girl. You could obviously wear a bralette with this, or you could just rock your bra like I have in like all of them. No shame in the bra game. No cold shoulders for the boulders.
  • color: okay, so most of my closet is black, I get it. But the reason that I love black so much is because I have blue eyes, man. This outfit makes my peepers pop and I’m all about it. Not to mention that black is SUPER slimming and I need that shit.
  • scandal: I love the fact that this is not a “typical” plus size piece. This piece has no sleeves, a deep v, it’s short.. It’s everything that we’ve always been told we’re “too fat” to wear. Well, fuck all that noise because this is giving me life. I honestly feel so sensual in this romper, not to mention that my tattoos look amazing in it.

I promise that this is in no way sponsored by Forever 21, (I freaking wish) it’s just my first haul of clothing that is “spring” appropriate.

My only encouragement for the spring season, and really every season, is to go with the glow. 

The glow that I’m talking about isn’t Jeffree Star, Anastasia Beverly Hills, or Colourpop; its the glow that you have as a person.

Your glow comes from the person you are in your heart of hearts. It’s your compassion, your love, and the light that people can see radiating for you. 

Make sure your soul is well groomed.

As always, wear whatever you want and make your life like a runway- I always do. 

Hippie love,

Tess

Hallelujah, by and bye.

Syd loved Christian music. She also loved the Backstreet Boys, but that’s a different story. I got the pleasure, the blessing to have her in my life for the past 4 years. I don’t know how to write this, if we’re being honest. I don’t know how to say goodbye to one of the best people I have ever know, but I’ll try.

Syd loved Christian music, we used to jam to it all the time in her black Nissan. (Pepe was his name) Worshiping God in a non-traditional setting was easy with her- we’d just roll down the windows, turn up the music, and sing (neither of us sang well, but Jesus doesn’t care.) We talked about God a lot; how we didn’t understand how “he works,” wondering how he picked the color of the sky, how his word could be so misinterpreted, how we didn’t understand Him…. I still don’t understand any of those things, especially the last one. God, I don’t understand why you took Sydney, but there’s one thing she taught me about you- I have to trust you. She always trusted you, through every relationship, every test, every day- she trusted you. That was always hard for me; I rarely trust you. But now, I have to because my heart is splitting inside my chest and I have to trust that your plan is sovereign, I know she did.

Sydney and I met through the Peer Leadership program at WT in 2013. We were doing a team building activity and she and I ended up on the same team. I don’t know why, but we just gravitated to each other and that’s where our friendship started. Pretty soon after, we were completely inseparable- you couldn’t find us apart because we couldn’t image in. It’s so hard for me to talk about her in past tense because she never was past tense. Anything that happened before, she would tell me to let go of it because this is the present and life is a present.

Of course her and I fought, there’s no pair of girls that haven’t fought in their friendship. The beautiful thing about the friendship we shared was the elasticity of it. Whenever we fought, we’d be mad for 24 hours max and then one would text the other and say sorry and it would be done. Having a friendship like the one we had helped me realize how friendships should be: compassionate, forgiving, unconditionally loving. I am so lucky, so incredibly lucky to have had Sydney in my life.

We had a friend that had cancer, a cancer they hadn’t found an effective cure/treatment plan for. Since Syd was going to be a nurse, she researched this cancer and educated herself on every treatment, every side effect, every possibility. Our friend decided to have a surgery that no one had ever come out of alive. We stayed up all night praying for him, waiting by the phone for a call. The next day at around 11, he called. He was alive and they had gotten the cancer- he was alive! We screamed and cried and thanked God for his mercy and his faithfulness. I’m having a hard time having faith in God right now.

Sydney made my whole life better. When we had to wake up early in the morning to do peer leading stuff, she always made sure to put on music while we both straightened our hair- neither of us liked to talk in the morning. We ate lunch together every day. Her students were mine, and vise versa. She loved sweet tea and macaroni from Chicken Express- it was our Saturday night ritual. We loved to make people laugh, we made each other laugh until we cried. We listened to the Backstreet Boys ALL the time, and I can still see her, hear her yelling “BACK. STREET’S. BACK. ALRIGHT!”

She was out of town for my graduation, but she texted me and told me how proud she was of me and that she loved me- it meant the world to me. As we grew, life got complicated and we didn’t get to see each other much; nevertheless, we always texted each other to catch up. We always made sure that the other knew that they were loved and cared for. I’ll miss those talks so much.

I could write a hundred million words and tell you a hundred million stories, but that won’t make her come back. I just want her to come back. I know that we all do. I feel so guilty that we drifted, that we let life take our friendship into text messages and missed calls, but I don’t regret our friendship. A friendship that always felt like coming home- a compassionate, loving, never judgmental, heart warming friendship that I will never regret.

I wish you weren’t gone, Syd. I wish you were still here with Cody, making the world bright and shiny. But, God gave you your wings early. I’m sure they’re turquoise and leopard print, just like we joked about them being. Even though you’re gone right now, I still feel you. I know you’re comforting me as I’m writing this, telling me “good job!” because you know that writing is the only way that I know how to express myself. I know that one of the rays of the sun is you- shining on the prairie, dancing on the ocean. I know that when you left us, you trusted God’s sovereign plan. I know you sang, “hallelujah, by and by..” and you flew away with God.

syd2

 

I will always miss you, my sweet friend. I know you’re resting easy, probably on a cloud with some sweet tea, Cody, and that big ol’ smile you were famous for. I love you, Syd.

syd

A Guide to Being Extra

 If you’re wondering “extra.. what, Tessa?” then you’re probably in a good place in your life and not like the rest of us, who live in memeland- but stay with me here. 

 

The Urban Dictionary definition of “Extra” has many different forms, some of which are the following:

  • “over the top; excessive, dramatic behavior; way too much”
  • “An unimportant person that takes up space in the script of life.” (This one makes me mad, tbh.)
  • “When something is just… so… extra…”
  • “to behave in a way on occasion or consistently in a way that is deemed unnecessary or inappropriate.”

My friend Alyx and I are consistently calling each other “extra” because we seem to be that way. Our friendship has always consisted of over the top outfits, amazing makeup, shopping until we drop, and a lot of trips to the VFW Post here in Amarillo. If this is what people consider EXTRA, I’m all about it.

alyx

(shameless plug of our perfect friendship)

Looking back on my life, before “extra” was something that people called each other, I was already being told that I was too much. I was too loud, too out there, too conversational, too opinionated, wore/ wear too much makeup, too weird with my fashion choices.. I have been extra my whole damn life. So, here’s a seasoned veteran of the term’s guide to EXTRA.

 

  1. First order of business in being EXTRA, expect your significant other to treat you with the utmost respect. Also treat them the same way.
  2. Wear as much makeup as you want.Blue lipstick? Do it. Pink eyeshadow? Go for it. No makeup because you’re okay with looking like you do? Cool. Whatever colors, whatever style.. whatever. It’s your face, who gives a shit what anyone else thinks?
  3. Wear some really weird outfits, preferably with patterns that don’t mix normally, but your je ne sais quoi makes it seem perfectly alright. Make people incredibly uncomfortable because they can’t seem to have enough confidence to pull it off; therefore, having them ridicule you and paste their insecurities alllll over you.
  4. Voice your opinion, be in unpopular or not. Make sure that you have no qualms in doing so, because this is America and we have the blessed beauty of free speech. (Learn the First Amendment verbatim)
  5. Always challenge your own opinions and others opinions. A little cognitive dissonance may make you, or others, uncomfortable; however, it is crucial to true understanding of your opinions.
  6. Talk to people you don’t know and compliment them on something about them. This may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll soon learn that their happiness is sometimes more important than yours. 
  7. Don’t be afraid to tell someone that they are wrong. Use Google to find valid, academic sources for your arguments. Admit when you’re wrong.
  8. Understand that you are allowed to be “EXTRA.” You are allowed to take up space, to be the person you are, and be proud of that.
  9. Love people regardless of the things they say about you. Be EXTRA compassionate.
  10. Be as damn EXTRA as you want, because you are allowed to be whoever the hell you want to be.

 

true

When We Wilt

I have a heavy heart today. I started my day as I normally do, woke up, got ready for work, drove to work..

And I got on Facebook. On the right side of the screen, there are trending news stories. Some are fake, and I wish what I saw today was.

“Cedarwood, Georgia,” it read. I thought maybe it’d be a flood, something about peaches.. but no, it wasn’t.

“Twelve year old streams suicide on Facebook live.” 

“Girl kills herself in live online video and police cannot stop footage being viewed by millions.”

“12-Year-Old Girl Live-Streams Her Suicide After Alleging Sexual Abuse.”

 

My heart stopped. My heart has been stopped for the past 20 minutes as I read about how hurt this girl was, how many signs of abuse and depression there were, I even watched a clip of the video as I scrolled.

I can’t even begin to talk about how devastated this news makes me, how breathless it left me, how broken my heart is for her, Katelyn’s, family.

Imagine how sad God is in this moment; think how heartbroken he is that one of his most masterful, perfect, precious treasures decided to take her life, to exhume her soul from the masterpiece of her human form.

God knows everything- every move you make, every thought you will ever have.. he gives you the free will to feel and do as you please, even though he knows what you will do. That’s how much our God cares for us. The brokenness of ourselves can come from a variety of sources; for some, it’s genetic, others, it is a symptom of live events, and some- devoid of defining the source.

With Katelyn, there were signs of distress. She had reached out to online friends, begging for help; she had spoken to members of her friend group about her horrid living conditions, her immense loneliness, and the abuse that she encountered from her stepfather. The hardest thing about suicide is that we, as humans, are not very observant. We get so caught up in our lives that we can miss these vital signs of depression and of suicide; we miss the things that could save someone’s life.

knd

*source: facebook.com*

I know how it feels to be abused. Coming from a verbally, mentally, and physically abusive home, I understand the feeling of dread when you walk in the door, the fear that accompanies any rise in voice, the loneliness of being in a place where you are told how worthless, ugly, broken, and unwanted you are. The place that you begin to take solace in is your mind, however, your mind can turn on you.

This is hard for me to talk about, it’s hard for me to re-read this after I type it out; this subject is always hard.

I came home from school. It was a good day at school, I made an A on a trig test. I was ready to brag about it. I came home to my mother, strung out on whatever drug she deemed appropriate that day. As I opened the door, my mood changed. I became the smallest I could be, I was not worthy to take up space.

She began to yell at me, telling me that I was fat and useless and that I might as well just die, since I wouldn’t ever amount to anything. I didn’t have the energy to say anything in response, which was the wrong move; I was slapped, punched, and kicked for my inability to say anything in rebuttal. I went to walk to the bathroom and was yanked down to the floor by my hair, and kicked once more.

My grandma finally told her to leave and “cool off.”

There was nothing left for me there. No comfort, no peace, no heart. My mind, once my solace, was now my worst enemy.

I walked to the kitchen in a fog and grabbed a butcher knife. I didn’t try to hide it; no one was interested in paying attention to me anyway. I walked into the bathroom and locked the door, took a deep breath, and moved to look at myself in the mirror. “This will be the last thing I see before I won’t feel this way anymore,” I thought. The last thing- blue eyes, swollen from crying, a red face, flushed from being slapped. An empty stare, the only thing I had left to give.

I sat on the edge of the bathtub and looked down at my left wrist. I would have chosen my right, but I always liked the color of those veins a little better. I looked at the blade- it shined, I remembered sunshine in my childhood. I placed it on my skin- it was cold, I remembered a Christmas I had spent with a friend after being locked outside in the snow. I took a deep breath- it was slow, like the calculated breathing I used to jog every day. 

I looked down at my veins and decided that the blood in them was not worth anything, that I was doing the world a favor by leaving.

I took another breath, pressed the blade to my skin-

And I was still.

Just like God calls us to be- still.

I was still and God whispered into my ear, “you are not finished here.”

I had never heard the voice of God, I haven’t since. I’ve felt God in the sunshine, in the waves of the ocean, in the shape of the Andes.. but I have not heard God like I heard him that day.

God does not yell at me, God whispers to me. He whispered the exact words I needed to hear in that moment:

You Are Not Finished Here.

Katelyn, I wish that the world had not decided to be so cruel to you. I wish that someone showed you the love that you, and every person, deserves; the love that our God has placed in and on us to protect us. There are so many things I wish for you, sweet girl. People love to say “those who wander are not always lost,” I hope you are not lost now. I pray that the light of the Father welcomed you home and he wrapped you in his arms and told you how loved and missed you are. I hope that you are warm in the wings of your newfound freedom. 

If you or anyone you know is in need of someone to talk to, if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, if you feel lost.. please don’t hesitate to call me, 806- 654-3457 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255. 

 

When we wilt, the light of God will bring our eyes upward and his truth will water our souls. You are now a beautiful rose, and you have been comforted.

mourn

Holy Hands

So, I’m in the Dillard’s dressing room trying on, well, dresses. I have a rehearsal dinner next weekend and I’m trying to keep up with the other perfectly beautiful bridesmaids, who look equivalent to the Snapchat filter with the flower crown-aka flawless.

As a plus size woman, finding clothing is sometimes a chore instead of a party. If you know me, you know how much I love clothes. I love fashion, shoes, makeup each enough.. but I LOVE clothes. They’re expressive and interesting and look different on every single person; individuality at its finest.

This particular day was a chore-  nothing looked good, I didn’t feel like the beautiful queen that I am on the inside, the prices weren’t right.. pretty much it was a massive flop.

There were teenage girls, probably 6 of them around 16-17 years old in the dressing room area with me. Normally, I would be slightly annoyed with sharing a small dressing room area with 6 other people because, well, I’m extra that way. But it was not a normal day, so I didn’t care.

I started listening to their conversations, thanking God the whole time that I was not in high school anymore. (it’s crazy these days) And then, I hear a whimper. I know that sound, I make that sound when it’s a REALLY bad shopping day. I know that feeling- something doesn’t fit and you thought it would, you feel like a nasty, horrible blob, regardless of your size.

By luck, and I’m sure divine intervention, the girl’s friends were all outside taking selfies in the three way mirror. So, me being me, decided to ask her if she was okay. “I’m fine,” she whimpered. “I know I don’t know you, but you are a beautiful person- God made you in his bright, shining image. There’s no one like you, you know? Sorry if I sound preachy, I just want you to know that you are loved, no matter what,” I reluctantly say.

There’s silence on the other end, I have obviously embarrassed myself- shit.

“My boyfriend wants me to be in athletics next semester because he thinks it’ll make me skinnier. I have a double chin and I’m fat,” she sniffles. My heart is breaking for this young girl. Not just this girl, but every young girl in this new generation of women.

Disclaimer, this is not a feminist rant. This is a self rant- why do we feel like we need so much validation from the people who claim to care for us? There’s a thing that we always forget, it’s called true love. True love isn’t always romantic. True love is pure love; love that is not determined by a number, a stitch, an opinion, or a demand. True love is a lot like the serenity prayer-

Serenity to accept the things that we cannot change, 

Courage to change the things we can, 

 Wisdom to know the difference between the two.

What we can accept is that there are people in your life that will offer you conditional love– not everyone is always honest with you.

What we can gather the courage to do is change- change how we see ourselves, how we treat others, how we look, how we feel.

We can gain the wisdom to know the difference by being honest with ourselves; is this person who claims to care being actionable in their promise?

You are being held in holy hands– hands that are loving, instructive, callused, bruised, strong.. hands that were constructed to hold your heart and to keep it safe. These hands were crafted to hold precious creations, of which you are one. 

I left that day with a Jessica Howard dress (it’s adorable and looks amazing on) and a need to write out what I am worth in the hands of God. The thing about the hands of God- they are ethereal. They are untouchable, indescribable, and ever-present. In the hands of God, I am an angel. I am the brightest light, the rarest ruby, the sweetest sent- I am so treasured. Treasured in a way that Nathan, my friends and my family could never fulfill. It’s a magical love that is unconditional- regardless of size, appearance, stitch.. a love that is incomparable.

So, to all the girls in dressing rooms hating themselves because the dress doesn’t fit-

There are other dresses. There are other stores, other cuts, other styles, other colors..

But there is not another you. 

rubies