Summer grabs me by the shoulder,
Turns me around and looks me up and down,
Laughter burns into my ears,
Jealousy occupies my eyes.
What defined features, goddess tell me your secret,
A secret so perfect, that makes you less imperfect,
A feeling of power, without the taste of bittersweet sour,
Why can’t it be me?
Yet, are you happy?
Making me submit to the faintest gloom
Inside my mind’s bedroom, regretting every reason that makes me,
I try and try, but at the end of the night,
the voices still defeat me.
I sweat with drips of hardworking tears,
Breaths shorten with music as my heartbeats mimic the beat in my ears.
Where am I running to?
I’m doing this for someone, but I don’t know if I’m that someone,
I eat and I eat, my meals limit themselves and I feel myself get sick with every bite,
Why oh why does it feel this way?
Is it something I ate or just a stomach ache? Maybe it’ll get better.
Moments I’m happy, looking down on my body,
Times I frown, not believing the body I own,
A temple and soul, with no feeling of the whole entity as one.
Times age like wine, and I must decide how to love every inch and
Cherish every kiss, because hate lives on forever,
a tiring case to keep forth, so I must send my voices back,
And move onto a new stage.
High School Survival Guide
The whole high school process holds a standard so high that many teenagers feel they can't seem to reach it, but by taking a step back and creating a concrete plan, anything is possible. Starting high school is a nerve-racking thing; a bigger school, shifted personalities, new students, different mindset, and inching closer to university can hold an anchor of weight over you, but I am here to be your guide throughout this experience.
On the other hand, if none of these methods work, you must take it upon yourself to aid your mental state, and there are many ways to do so! For example, you can write in a journal, read a book, or enjoy some of your favorite music. These examples are some things to ease the stress and give yourself an outlet for whatever is affecting you.
Trust me, there is so much strength in you, and I believe you can do amazing things, so don't let something like high school stop you or make you belittle yourself because it is not everything. Believing in yourself makes everything matter, and there is no better pathway than that, so good luck!
The Dual of Self-Acceptance
Everything around me shifted to pixels, and the world began to seem like an imaginary map that could be manipulated at any instant. Where am I going? I shut my eyes, trembling with fear. Maybe it will go away? When the pixelating sounds faded, I opened my eyes in hopes of being back home, but I was someplace worse. Stuck amid an empty fighting arena, I screamed for help, begging for someone to hear me, hoping someone would, but only silence answered me.
Sweat trickled off my body, my blood pulsated within my heart, and my thoughts cascaded throughout my mind. Is this a game? When will it stop? How will I win? Coming out seemed like a fever dream, a game where I could be immersed and lose myself, but what I found out was I would have to fight my way through a never-ending nightmare to reach it.
The word echoed with a husky undertone throughout the arena. Swiftly, a black figure began approaching the ring with its features slowly shining under the light. I saw that it was a broader, more prominent, grey-colored version of myself; terror polluted my eyes. I glanced at my own body; I was scrawnier than usual and dressed in various colors from the rainbow. What is this?
"Why can't you embrace me and stop thinking like a homo?" The question left a nasty taste on my tongue. I knew what this was about, and I froze. Suddenly, he sprinted towards me, and I could not move a muscle. My adrenaline surged, but my controls felt broken. He leaped, and his prodigious fist struck my jaw, making me fumble backward. Along with the aftermath, I gradually began to regain my body's senses; now, I was ready. I ran up and launched a punch directed to his lower abdomen with my instincts in complete control, causing him to hurl in pain.
"I'm tired of you trying to define me. I am not scared or ashamed. I am gay, whether you like it or not," I screamed, hoping it would do the trick to help recover my lost confidence. Before I could breathe, his leg swung across my body, almost slicing me in half. I suffocated in agony as my ribs crushed. I wanted to give up, and every fear inside me was urging me to, but a voice inside my head cried for me to stand back up. With every inch of strength I had, I sprung back up and hurdled towards him. We both locked hands, hindering one of us from striking and struggling to move.
"Give up. Everyone will hate you, queer. You're not gay."
"Yes, I am gay."
"Accept it already."
"No!" He shoved me forward, both of us plummeting to the ground with him on top of me. Left vulnerable, he began thrashing my face, over and over. I felt my senses start to drop, and my consciousness begin to fall. No, this can not happen. Quickly, I twisted my body, causing him to sink to the ground. I sprung on top of him and struck him with all the rage I possessed.
"I," my lusty right uppercut sliced through the right side of his cheek. "Am," my sloppy left blow struck his stomach, causing him to hurl in agony. "Gay!" With all my might and passion powered within one strike, I launched my fist towards his face, rendering him unconscious. Regaining my balance, I expected him to rise, but he did not move. I counted to ten seconds in my head, and there was still no movement, and everything was silent.
I defeated my fears and my worst enemy: myself. The next battle's capability persisted in my fingers, and that enough fulfilled the confidence I regularly display as I play vice and virtue inside my head. The strength of my next move, the words I speak, and the feelings I feel all rest in my control panel. I will never lose again.
Fly little butterfly.
You hold the secret locked away in my chest,
A chest filled with ache and love,
Ache forever present as I age with days,
With love maintained throughout all my domains.
You finally were set free,
To explore the world as someone new,
Something who could change the whole meaning of “you.”
Fly with your pretty rainbow wings,
And expose yourself to the unknowns outside.
You were once stained dull, now shine so bright,
Trapped me with darkness, now my source of light.
Shine little butterfly and fly so far away,
‘Cause now you have fate within your own wings.
You take yourself where you want to go,
And feel what you need to feel,
Love is a scary place with your drastic colors,
But I promise you will find your one.
Experience the beauty of nature as you are,
Forget about the evil storms of words and judgment,
Find shelter in the ones you confide in the most,
Find the confidence you first started with,
‘Cause you will lose your say but each day blesses a new way.
Beauty is only as beautiful as you want it to be,
So, remember to find love in the better things,
That make you realize your purpose for flying,
And your purpose for existing,
Because with those colored wings you will stand out,
But standing out can only make you suffer if you let it,
Fly away from the scary weather and find a pretty flower.
Rest on it and think about yourself little butterfly,
Cause you are beautiful no matter how anyone sees it.
A moment moves so quickly,
In an instance you appear, and another you’re gone with the wind.
Two years have passed and your ghost still haunts me,
And the memories still hold a weight over me.
My dreams remind me at night,
Of the constant smiles you once had,
Those eyes that I fell into once upon a time,
And I always end up waking up in a pool of sweat,
Staring at my ceiling, day-dreaming you’ll come back,
A moment passes so quickly,
I’m walking down the street, and a painting appears before my dull eyes,
They glisten one more time as the panting’s details remind me of yours.
A perfect split of hair falling between each side of your face,
And a deadly smile that makes your heart tense and skip a beat,
All your love comes back to me at once, please go away.
A memory moves so slowly,
And your face appears on the stranger walking towards me,
But this time, it isn’t a stranger, it really is you.
My heart tiks like a time bomb, my breath quickens with nerves,
What next? Please look at me. Please don’t.
Inches away and your eyes catch mine,
Those green eyes always had a particular shine,
I fall in surrender because I know I can’t win,
You defeat me slowly as you kiss my lips.
Your eyes are watery and you say you’re sorry.
My vision goes blurry and I can’t hear a thing.
A moment moves so perfectly,
Rose petals fell from the sky,
They turned rotten once you said goodbye.
My mind told me to stay away,
My heart told me to keep it this way,
But I can’t get over that beautiful face,
That broke my heart on Valentine’s Day.
Influencers, models, celebrities, and every one of us are victims of social media's wrath created in society today. All around the world, people see these elegant pictures or moments captured but do not dive deeper into the darker side of "beauty." As it may look almost close to perfection, the camera does not always catch everything, including the harsher and more realistic versions of these humans we glorify so much. Next time you say, "Why can't I look like that", remember those looks do not always come easily, and those pictures are far from perfect.
These beauty standards are practically imprinted onto us as we grow into young adults; society suggests women remain skinny and men to be more muscular, but why are these standards in place? Why do you have to look a specific way to be placed into the spot society plants for you?
These are all questions that can not easily be solved because there are no answers. If you think about this, it is all a social construct. A social construct means that it is something created by human interaction, and objectively is not real. As humans, we created this unrealistic beauty standard within social media that most of us expect to reach, and it is up to us to defeat it once and for all.
In my experience, many demons follow me around when it comes to my appearance and laugh when I feel unworthy of my looks, especially when I am on social media. There is always a voice in the back of my head that asks why I will never have those muscular arms or tone abs many guys have, and it breaks me. Sometimes, it affects my entire mood and puts me into a state of mind where I feel like nothing I do will ever amount to me feeling good in my body and appearance.
Some advice I could give to counteract these demons is to:
There is such a diverse spectrum for the process of self-care that it can include anything, only if it makes you feel good. Doing something you love or that makes you feel better will only boost your confidence and mentality for the rest of the day, and if you keep doing these routines daily, it will become a habit. I suggest doing one of these things at the beginning of the day, so you set yourself in the right direction for the rest of the day.
The vision of beauty that society has pushed for so vigorously provides you with a stance to manipulate the process of what beauty is and create your own standards, so you have the power to change it. Never will it be easy, but if you focus and move forth your efforts, you could find a whole new level of self-confidence and beauty you have never seen before within yourself and others without social media standing in your way.
I hope you have a fantastic day! Julius :)
saving the day
A wicked feeling born within that clings onto your shoulder can always be defeated and saved. When coming close to cornering your sexuality and finally embracing it, internalized homophobia might attack you by surprise. Still, with the right amount of stamina and faith in yourself, you can defeat it like any other superhero.
The ideology of internalized homophobia defines itself as the negative self-reflection one's self has about their sexuality, possibly influencing their future relationships with potential partners and themselves. One cannot express self-love if something is within them, causing destruction, resulting in that individual unable to love anyone else. The phrase "you can't love anyone else until you love yourself" is a prime message here because it is true. Can a flower flourish with no tender or care? Will it grow into a beautiful sunflower with no assistance at all and live an ordinary life without deteriorating? Most likely not, which showcases the same type of message when it relates to self-love and acceptance. Your heart is its own seed that blooms under extraordinary love and care, developing into a magnificent flower, signifying your happiest state of mind.
However, internalization is normal and happens to almost everyone who is questioning or even entirely out. Never imagine yourself being at fault here, because with the process and social construction of our society, we are meant to be out of place, but it is our job to normalize these differences within ourselves and others, creating a new normal. No matter who someone loves or who they are, we must find ways to normalize their experiences and give them comfort, showcasing nothing changes about how we view them. We as superheroes aspire to save everyone, including our own villains because each villain holds some form of positivity and worth within them. With the constant repetition of heterosexual and cisgender representation within almost everything we see, it is harder to believe that others are just like you outside of this reality, no matter where you live. But, there are. There are communities, millions of people, so you are not an outsider, but you are a fighter. Absorb the negative energy and release as much positivity and love as you can, just like a plant, eventually changing your mentality and perspective on yourself and your life.
My extreme battle between internalized homophobia ended some time ago but still has its aftermath and lives on with me. Some days are better than others because, with my mentality, I realize that I cannot change who I love, but accept it. With my struggles of growing up seeing no normalization of gay people, I couldn't realize that I was gay myself for a long time. I felt like a fish surrounded by a circle of sharks with no way out. I hated this part of me that made me feel so out of place with everyone. Still, I matured, and with time, I gained valuable knowledge and exposed myself to normalization that helped me fight my supervillains, save that humanity left in myself, and turn that internalized feeling into something positive. I took chances that sometimes backfired with my parents but made me more comfortable around my friends. I am not saying this fight will be easy, but with time, maturity, risks, and self-love, you will see a big difference now and who you were before.
Book of Advice