Sunshine

You are sunshine

You are roses and buttercups

You are starlight and Saturn’s rings

You are a storm of beauty.

 

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Hold On

If you feel broken

Like things won’t get better

Like the ground is caving in

Hold on

.

If nothing feels right

If you’ve lost your spark

If nothing feels interesting anymore

Hold on

.

If your purpose feels empty

If you feel lonely

If your dreams fell apart

Hold on

.

If you need a friend

If the future seems hopeless

If you can’t get out of bed

Hold on.

You Deserve

You deserve to pause and feel the rain. You deserve guilt-free cupcakes and moments of laughter. You deserve friends who love you and people who respect you. You deserve peaceful nights and rested mornings. You deserve walks in the park and time to gaze at the stars. You deserve to hear your favorite music and to dance around your room. You deserve to smile. You deserve hugs and hot tea and warm blankets. You deserve kisses. You deserve adventures and new beginnings. You deserve to be happy where you are. You deserve to have your dreams come true.

Dreams

Dreams aren’t always about winning the lottery, getting the promotion, or wearing a ring. Sometimes they’re about moments. Some they’re about seeing the ocean, going rock climbing, or trying a famous ice-cream shop. Sometimes they’re about watching old movies with a friend or dancing the night away. Sometimes they’re about playing with puppies or eating three different flavors of cake. Dreams can simple. Dreams can be fun. Dreams can be giving yourself a reason to smile.

Attachments

I’d grow attached to friends

Like a vine wrapped around a tree branch

 

When I found a heart beating in sync with mine

A mind racing at the same speed as mine

 

I didn’t let it go

I gave it water and sunlight and time

 

Like anything in nature

Even good things fell apart or returned to the earth

 

But that doesn’t mean they didn’t matter

Some are still standing tall

 

They say you are the sum

Of the few people you spend the most time with

 

Investments in other people

Are investments in the self

 

I surround myself with kindness, cleverness, and humor

Ardor, empathy, ingenuity, and drive

 

But mostly truth

There are monks and gurus

 

Who say that we should seek enlightenment

By letting go of attachments

 

Maybe this is true

Maybe sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference

 

Between tattoos and scars

I nurture the good connections

 

And stand before the Sunrise, saying,

“This is who I am. I hope I’ve chosen wisely.”

 

The Forest Fairy and the Willow Tree

Mae was a forest fairy

Who had glittery wings

And wore a green gown

And was a friend to all the animals

 

She always had lots of work to do

From helping the flowers to bloom

To helping birds build their nests

To making sure the grass got morning dew

 

After a long day’s work

She liked to visit her friend

Hector, the wise old Willow Tree

He always told her stories

 

About kids swimming in the lake

About beavers that would play

And kittens that would fall asleep

Beside him in the grass

 

They were best friends

And no matter how much time passed

Each day brought more laughter

And more stories to tell.

An Invitation

Jill sat alone in the university library. This was her usual seat, at her usual table, tucked away by a small window where she could focus on her studies. She leafed through her anthropology textbook, taking notes so she could work on her essay about traditional medicine in Eastern cultures. Scribbling in her notebook, she was jotting down some information about the use of moxibustion in South Korea, when a shadow appeared over her on the wooden table.

“Sorry to interrupt, mind if I join you?” a guy asked. He was tall, wore a blue polo shirt with black jeans, and he had a shy smile. She didn’t recognize him at all, but she did recognize his voice. It was hard to know for sure, but she thought she had a class with him. Poly Sci? Biochem? One of those. Not wanting to lose her train of thought with her notes, she nodded, gesturing for him to sit so she could go on reading.

He sat across from her, diagonally. Placing his small backpack on the table, he started rummaging through it. She thought he was going to study, too, but instead he pulled out a sandwich resting in small plastic bag. Were people even allowed to eat in this room? Whatever. She didn’t really care.

He held out an open bag of chips, offering her one, but she declined. After stuffing some chips in his sandwich, he ate with a loud crunch and sipped from an apple juice box. For whatever reason, things started to feel awkward, like there was something he wanted to say, but wasn’t saying it. He put his sandwich down and cleared his throat.

“So, I wanted to ask you a question. But I don’t want it to come off as an insult. It’s not an insult,” he said.

Jill looked at him, but he was staring at the table, toying with a loose thread on his backpack.

“Um, okay. What is it?” she asked. He ran his fingers through his short, dark hair and took another sip of juice before he answered.

“The thing is, I kind of need someone to pretend to be my date. I have to go to this family friend’s dinner party. Friday night, at an event hall about twenty minutes from here. It’s semi-formal, but I’m not gonna know a lot of people there. I was gonna bring my girlfriend, Sasha, but she dumped me two days ago. I can’t cancel, and it would just be really awkward if I had to go alone. And I’d ask a friend, but I don’t really have a lot of friends here. I spent all my time with my, well, my ex.” He paused, pinching the bridge of his nose and shaking his head. “You know what, this is stupid. I shouldn’t have bothered you with this.”

Tears seemed to well up in his eyes a bit, but he blinked them away. He wanted her to be his fake date? To a dinner party?

“Um, I mean, maybe I could. But why are you asking me?” she asked.

He smiled then, going from heartbroken to carefree in a matter of seconds. “Oh, I need someone who’s good in French. Not all the guests speak English. As far as I can tell, you’re the best in our class.”

French class. That’s where she knew him from. She tapped her pen against her notebook, thinking.

“I don’t have any plans on Friday, so I guess I could help. Why did you think I’d be insulted?”

He shrugged. “Because it’s, ya know, not a real date.”

She laughed and this time his warm, brown eyes met hers. “Trust me, I can live with that.”