as accents die

I have always hated the Boston accent.

I think because a lot of people I don’t like have it.

including me.

 

I know the problem with hating local accents.

It’s classist.

I get it.

But I think I’m allowed to hate the sound of my own voice

when I’m angry or drunk

and I drop my r’s.

 

my mother says

the boston accent

isn’t an accent, really,

but an attitude.

“come ahn, ked”

“pahk ya cah” and all that.

it’s angry, it’s drunk

just like me

when it comes out of my mouth.

 

i already feel gangly and too big

too noticable

(though I’m only 5’2).

I already don’t like to be noticed in person.

I only like my words to be noticed

when they are printed

and handed over silently.

 

i want people to read my words

and hear their own voice

not mine.

i want to be invisible.

 

i hate my accent.

“you don’t even have an accent.”

everybody has an accent.

even when i’m not drunk or angry

people at college knew where i was born.

i’ll never be free of this place.

my tongue remains a prisoner.

 

at least my fingers are free.

out of bed

i know that i should get out of bed

but who’s keeping score, anyway?

who but I will know

if i spend today

unmoving?

 

“spend” today

like a day is a handful of coins

given in exchange for something else.

 

it’s sunday.

i shouldn’t have to do anything

but i should do something.

according to who?

well i guess, me.

i guess i’m the one who will be disappointed if i don’t

get up

i will think to myself.

you’re wasting the day

the voice inside my head tells me.

is it wasted if i’m enjoying it?

is money used to buy candy wasted

or spent?

taking a step back

a big tip in writing is to “take a step back” and wait a few days, weeks, even months before going over your first draft.

maybe the same is true for trauma

to forget it for awhile

to tuck it away in the folds of your grey matter

to bury it in the bottom of your sheets with chilly toes

and sit on it for a few days, weeks, even months

before going over it.

maybe you need to let it stew

let it sit

let it tumble around in your brain without your consciousness getting in the way

maybe you need to see it with different eyes

older eyes

eyes more wise and steeled with time.

strengthened by distance.

maybe you need to forget a little

to be strong enough to step back into your pain again.

maybe that’s why i know my grandparents’ stories

but not my own.

2020: Word of the Year

At the end of 2018, I made a post about my word of the year–the theme, if you will, on which I wanted to focus my energy. For 2018, the word was “Renaissance.” I was just out of college and wanted to be “Reborn” into someone new.

I wrote this about the word of the year for 2019:

“For 2019, I think my word of the year will be “Release.” I have changed my life for the better. Now, it is time to let go of all the pain of the past.

“It is going to be a challenge, but a worthy one. I want to be able to forgive and forget, to move on, to let it go.

“I need to stop indulging in escapism and bottling up. I need to learn how to feel my feelings, acknowledge them, and let them go. I need to learn how to let go, how to move on, how to accept that people don’t change and things don’t change and all I can change is myself. I want to be able to let it all go. I want to be able to have my mind free of worry, both about the past and about the future.

“My worrying is the biggest threat to my life. It threatens to ruin job(s) and relationships all the time. I need to get a hold on it, and the best way to do that is to learn how to release.”

Did I succeed?

I think so.

I wrote a poetry memoir, and I released a lot of what was stuck inside me in those poems. Sharing them made me put into the world that which was stuck in my head for so many years. It was freeing.

While I still have pain, I have a lot less of it, and that’s really all you could ask for. I’m doing better at meditating and growing. I feel like a more completely healed person.

I think I did a good job of releasing.

So what next? What for 2020?

Well, I decided that I am done with my past. I wrote it out, I got it out, and–while I’m still going to try to get those poems published, which would be rad–I’m moving on. Enough of focusing on the past, enough defining myself by my fading pain. It’s time, finally, to take my healed and stronger self and catapult into my life, myself, my future.

Speaking of “stronger self,” well, that’s it. Strength. Strength is my word of the year for 2020.

I am interpreting Strength like the tarot card strength. An inner strength. A feminine strength, based on respect and the kind of power that doesn’t come from violence. I want to be strong. I want to be a force of nature.

Like this waterfall I’m getting doused in.DSCF9209.JPG

I want to be able to be strong when I need to be, but gentle when I need to be, too. I want to be like water.

I have a lot of barriers to break through this year. I am taking three grad classes and doing a ton of editing (did I ever tell you guys I work for a book editing company, now? It’s so much fun! My days are filled with books<3), all while working my day job and tutoring creative writing. I have so much going on it’s crazy. I need to be strong to handle it all.

And that strength is already in me. I think I can use my newfound powers of release to bring it out.

Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s kill it.

Introvert Look Book: Gender Neutral Fashion Top Five

Gender neutral folks and other androgynous-dressing introverts, this is your day! It’s time to find that fashion balance an introvert strives for–stylish, without being too eye-catching. Without further ado, here are my gender-neutral top five.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 11.23.04 AM.png

5. Horizontal stripes

Simple stripes go well with just about everything, and looks good on just about everybody. Thin stripes like these look great in black (or any other color) and add just a touch of personality to your classic jeans-and-tee combo. This is a high-quality option for just $20.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 11.26.50 AM.png

4. Patch-covered flight jacket

Casual, classic, and unique, the patch-covered jacket shows off your individuality. Buy plain or half-decorated, then buy patches (from a craft store or Amazon) to add on. I have UFOs, Zelda’s triforce, and an LGBT rainbow on mine, among others.

Not into sewing? This is a great place to start.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 12.41.37 PM.png

3. Rose-colored glasses (literally)

Pink is making a comeback. Both showing feminine strength and masculine power, they’re a great addition to your gender-neutral fashion rotation. Plus, protecting vision is always a hot look. Here’s a good choice.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 1.04.47 PM.png

2. Dark floral button-down

Like the rose-colored glasses, this shirt encapsulates all that gender-neutral has to offer. The dark colors keep it grounded, while the floral pattern adds just the right amount of flair. Try this on for size! 

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 1.13.48 PM.png

  1. Detailed chest pockets.

While the bow ties in this photo might be a little too much for us introverts, I think the pocket detail is fantastic. What a neat way to add a pop of individuality to the button downs that likely litter your closet! If you sewed on those patches from number 4, this is a great next project for you. I found this photo from an article about a store that specifically sells gender-neutral clothing. They’re worth giving a look.

 

Best of luck, fashionista introverts!

Introvert Look Book: Men’s Fashion Top Five

Introvert men, you’re in a tough spot when it comes to fashion. Fashion for men seems to either be blah, boring suits or off-the-wall ridiculous.

I’m here to tell you there’s a happy medium between too invisible and too eye-catching: style.

If you would like to have a bit of style without feeling too anxious in those runway colors, look no further: here are my top five looks for introvert men.

Ladies, we’ve already done this for you. 

Non-binary/androgynous/enby friends, you’re next.

 

5. Proper Grooming/Facial Hair

This may seem obvious to many of you, but the facts are that women are typically more highly-trained in self-care. Many men don’t care about what their hair is doing, or if their beard is scruffy, or if they have a zit or two. It’s great to have confidence, but trust me: ten minutes of proper grooming in the morning can make both your confidence and attractiveness grow.

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.27.09 PM.png

I’m not saying you have to invest in mascara or anything, but a well-kempt beard goes miles. Simply styling your hair with a dab of gel or mousse will make you look great without standing out. Fair warning: this might feel strange at first, but after the first time you’ll feel great because you know you look great.

By the way, nothing’s wrong with male makeup. Coverup for zits is totally kosher–and while it may not be ubiquitous yet, male makeup is a growing trend. Check out this transformation–you can hardly tell he’s wearing makeup, yet he looks amazing, confident, and ready to face the day.Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.30.33 PM.png

 

4. Dark Green Jacket

Many introverts prefer darker colors, and I am no exception. A dark green jacket gives a pop of color without stepping too far out of an introvert’s comfort zone.

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.34.06 PM.png

Comfortable and adjustable to any situation, this looks great against the introvert palate of blacks and browns without clashing. Here are a plethora of options to choose from.

Not a fan of green? Try burgundy or navy blue instead.

 

3. Hooded Flannel

Not only is a flannel an introvert must, with an added hood you’ll be able to adjust to any situation, no stress needed. It’s easy to wrap up and read, watch a movie, or chill by the fire. The hood allows comfort without needing to completely fade into the wall. I love the red and black, but flannel colors are nearly endless.

Try this on for size.

Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 9.51.00 AM.png

 

2. Tan Hiking Bag

It’s hard finding a bag that is both masculine and efficient, but I think this has both covered. The hiker look brings style and substance to this outfit essential, and the classic tan color goes with almost anything. Best of all, it’s big enough to keep all you need easy at hand without bogging you down. Whether you’re toting your laptop across campus or your convention necessaries to a music festival, this bag has you covered.

Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 8.01.08 AM.png

 

  1. Simple Black Watch

It may seem like a small detail, but when it comes to style, the devil is in the details. It’s the little touches that can elevate your look from ignoreable to just the right amount of stylish. This is a higher end choice, but there are plenty of cheaper options that are easier on your wallet while looking just as sleek. I like the black, because it goes with everything and looks great without catching the eye.

Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 8.04.38 AM.png

 

There you have it, gentlemen! Hopefully these tips can help you male-identifying introverts find their niche in the world of style.

Introvert Fashion Look Book: Ladies Top Five

How do I look good when my anxiety keeps me from wearing anything too wild? This Look Book should help you get on track.

We’ll start with the ladies. Men, we’ll get to you in the next post, and afterward, gender neutral/androgynous style for those enby introverts.

 

5.  LBC (Little Black Cardigan)

Girls, this looks good with almost everything.

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.15.00 PM.png

It’s perfect to adjust to your changing moods. Feeling a little confident? Roll up those sleeves and get to business. Feel that introversion coming on? Wrap yourself up and read  a book in cozy comfort. Enraptured in a rare burst of energy? Tie it around your waist and transform instantly from cute librarian to 90’s rocker chic.

To be honest, I could fill the ladies’ fashion guide with cardigans. They’re so perfect. They give you just enough style to feel cute without standing out of the crowd. If black isn’t your thing, try a brown or crocheted cream.

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.14.33 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.09.58 PM.png

 

4. Plaid flannel

Is anything more classic than a plaid flannel? I love how they give you a pop of muted color without ever being too bright. I’m a fan of this one with its rich red and slight fit. It keeps close enough to give you shape without feeling like you’re “showing off.”

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.16.13 PM.png

Just like the cardigan, the plaid flannel has options. Unbutton it over a tank top for a more relaxed look, or tie it around your waist in case you’re nervous that movie theatre might be cold in late summer. Wrapping up in one of these always makes me feel at home. It’s like a security blanket, in the shape of a lumberjack essential.

 

3. Natural Makeup

I avoided makeup for quite awhile. Bright red lips and blue eyelids made me feel pretty, but seemed to attract attention–exactly what I didn’t want it to do. Makeup can be a huge confidence booster, but doesn’t need to be eye-catching. Instead of passing on it or going all out despite your anxiety, give natural makeup a try.

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.16.51 PM.png

This article has some tips and products to get you started.

 

2. Infinity scarf

No matter what time of year, fashionistas of the world have made scarves a staple. Introverts may feel strange keeping this winter wear on indoors, but the right scarf can look great both on the ski slopes and in the office. Try an infinity scarf in darker colors–it’s cozy, not too eye-catching, and goes great with the black cardigan or flannel (so long as the colors don’t clash!).

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.17.22 PM.png

This is a great place to start.

  1. Low-heeled boots

This is my number one because it looks good with just about anything. Low-heeled boots are professional and date-ready, badass and adorable. They match with a short summer skirt just as well as thick winter jeans. You never have to worry about how your shoes match or don’t match or will hurt by the end of the night–these boots are always a stylish, comfortable pick.

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 12.17.58 PM.png

These cute boots will have you comfortably stylish in any situation.

 

These are my top five favorite introvert fashion tips for the woman who wants to look great without standing out, but the world of comfortable fashion is endless–share your favorite looks below!