My Best Friend

We sat under the harsh light of the city.

An older man with eyes like the stars passed by.

He saw only her.

But why did he have to look through me to tell her she’s pretty?

My translucent skin is nothingness beside hers.

She shows no mark, no scar, no flaw.

Her skin looks warm and inviting under the street lamps.

She glows.

She will act like she doesn’t notice,

She will act like she doesn’t care,

But I always see the way she smiles when she thinks no one is watching.

She eats up their attention,

Like they eat up her beauty.

She walks taller when they stare, and they all stare.

I can’t even resent her.

If just one person looked at me with that much admiration,

If my beauty was enough to stop traffic,

You’d never see me walk with my head down again.

I don’t want the 2 a.m. men with too many drinks in their stomach,

The ones that I never invited to stand so close.

I don’t want the desperate old men standing on the sidewalk everyday,

Telling any young thing with a heartbeat that she’s extraordinary.

I don’t want the backhanded compliment:

“She’s an odd kind of beauty,”

As if admitting that I am simply beautiful is too difficult a concept.

Maybe I’m rarely the last choice,

Maybe I never am,

But maybe just one person could see me as their first.

Maybe they will notice my best friend after they’ve already seen me.

Maybe they won’t hesitate before saying the simple words,

“You are beautiful.”



 

Inspired in part by the story I’ve been working on for NaNoWriMo in which the main character (Grace) sees her best friend (Penny) as this other-worldly kind of beautiful, inside and out. Grace isn’t exactly wrong, though. Men and women alike stare as Penny walks by. It wears on Grace, causing insecurity about herself, feeling incredibly inferior.

Instagram: gabriellegillispie

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Quote #2

Happy Monday, y’all!

Last week, I started this series in hopes to spread some joy and cause a bit of reflection in others (as well as myself, really). Aside from simply wanting to share some positivity, here’s the reason why I find it necessary:

If you meet me in person, I am happy pretty much all the time. I might not look like it at first because my natural expression looks really sad for some reason (People, please stop telling me to smile!! I’m okay!! It’s just my face!!), but as soon as you talk to me I promise I will laugh too much and smile the entire time we talk. If you come to me with a problem, you’d better believe I will listen intently and do my best to offer genuine, positive advice. If you’re sad, I’ll be extra (probably annoyingly) happy and ready to give you all the hugs you may need so that you’ll feel better. I like to leave people feeling better than before, or at the very least, not worse than before we met.

If there’s one thing I can say I know I’m pretty good at, it’s that I am genuinely concerned with how I treat people. I don’t always get it right, but I honestly try with every person I meet, even if we only talk for a second.

However, I am also a very emotional person. Sensitive, if you will. I feel a lot of things and I feel them very strongly. I cry at the sight of a cute puppy, I cry at even semi-sad movies and books (I had to actually stop reading Me Before You because it was too emotionally painful for me to finish the last chapter, which I eventually did several weeks later and then took at least thirty minutes to recuperate), I cry when people get married, I cry when I accidentally run over a bug or lizard on my bike, etc. etc.

So, because I am sensitive, I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I don’t know how not to. If I’m having a bad day, you’re probably going to know it. I make sure to never let that cause me to be rude to people, but I will get extremely quiet and not smile or laugh as much and I become very reclusive. If I’m having a good day, I say hello to everyone I see and I sing along to the radio and you can’t get me to stop talking. There isn’t much of an in-between.

You’re probably wondering how any of this is relevant. Here’s how: when given a chance to be completely honest and to express how I feel, i.e. writing, I generally take it. It’s so unbelievably difficult to write and not be honest about my emotions. It feels like a lie. It feels like the words I am putting on paper, or in this case on the internet, are completely B.S.’ed. Writing is how I cope. I rarely verbalize my emotions, only acting upon them through my writing. If I can get it out, I can move on.

Then that leaves me coming across as a very negative person online. It makes it seem like I have all of this bottled-up emotion in me and that all of the positivity I try so hard to maintain in person is just a front. And it’s not.

So, the purpose in all of this is to keep me on track and so you all can see the happy side of me too. Maybe that’s selfish, I don’t know. I write a lot of poetry on here and it can get a little depressing, but it’s just simply how I cope with emotion. I can’t keep anything bottled up or I will go crazy. I hope you do like my poetry and I will continue to write it, but it’s not a reflection of myself. Yes, I felt all of those things at a time, but I probably don’t now or I don’t feel them as strongly or maybe I do but it doesn’t consume me.

One thing I have learned, and maybe what you can take from this, is that happiness is a choice. I can choose to let my emotions get the best of me, to let them rule me, or I can use my innate sensitivity to my advantage, and deal with it in my own ways.

I met a man today who works at the garbage dump, just sits in the sun all day everyday telling cars where to go, and he has to be one of the most positive people I have ever met. He is surrounded by the smell of garbage, sitting all day long in the heat, probably not getting paid enough, and yet he smiled and joked around with me like we’re best friends. Likewise, I have met many people who have wonderful jobs and a family that loves them and seemingly all these wonderful things in their lives, who are terribly unhappy. Regardless of your situation, a mental illness that makes it much more challenging, whatever it is, you can be happy. How you get there is entirely up to you.

Everyone has their struggles. I’ll tell you one of my biggest ones right now, why not? For the past year or so, I have been incredibly insecure in a lot of ways and for several reasons, both in my looks and personality. And it shows, but I’m working on it. I’m going to pretend I exude confidence until I actually do. That’s the choice I am making to be happy, to be more positive. Whatever you struggle with, be it an internal thing or something outside of your control, you have the power to choose to be positive. It’s not easy, but what’s easy is rarely what’s right.

 

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Instagram: gabriellegillispie, todayithoughtthis

 

 

 

 

This Time

There was a time

When meaningless words flew from me

Without a care for what they could do

Or the power each may possess

But these days

I speak with a careful eloquence

A limitless tongue of possibilities

No room left in me for a facade

When I am an open book

Because I want this to mean something more

Than the others that always felt unchanging

Because this time could be different

And I need to speak

Only the way I should.

 


 

Instagram: todayithoughtthis, gabriellegillispie

Quote #1

We’re nearing the end of a Monday, and oh boy was it a Monday. The skies have been grey, work went by slowly, I can’t seem to accomplish anything today because I’m so tired. So, in an effort to lift my spirits and I hope yours as well, I’m starting a new series titled “Positivity” where I will occasionally share an uplifting quote along with some of my thoughts on it. If you’re anything like me, there is no better motivator than scrolling through a bunch of inspirational quotes on Pinterest for a few minutes each day. (Speaking of which, I post a lot of quotes among lots of other fun stuff on Pinterest here.)

This quote in particular stands out to me because I take it as a reminder to not be so self-centered. Everything I do, say, go through, etc., is not always for my own sake. We are all inevitably put in some very difficult situation, trials that are seemingly impossible at times, but you can find the motivation to keep moving forward when you consider the fact that trials not only have the power to make us stronger, but that we can use our strength to help someone else.

God puts us through trials to make us better people, and if we’re doing it right, everything we experience becomes an opportunity to learn and grow. Pay attention, consider what you are experiencing from all perspectives, why it may be happening in the first place, and listen to what God is trying to tell you.

Humans are made for a sense of community, to interact with other people; it’s the only way we can truly be supported, by offering support in return. Even in situations outside of our control (like an illness or a death in the family), you may be experiencing it in order to relate to somebody going through something similar. You can help pull one another through the situation together, with God beside you both the entire time. Maybe you are the one that needs help getting through it and as a result, you will know how to help someone else get through their own difficult situation when it’s over, and the cycle continues.

Your trials are not meaningless, nor are they simply the result of a cruel world. They are indeed the result of a broken world, but you have the choice to maintain positivity and you have the power to turn a difficult situation into something useful. Even if you don’t always see an immediate result, or maybe you don’t see a result at all, your trials and lessons learned are never in vain if you know how to use them positively.



Instagram: gabriellegillispie

Poem: Wise Women

Girls wiser than me won’t fall in love,

But the wisest women of all,

They love relentlessly,

They love unapologetically,

They love and love even more,

They leave a trail of happy hearts,

Instead of broken ones.

Those women are strong.

I am like most girls,

Falling somewhere between,

Unable to strike a balance,

Leaving broken hearts while being broken-hearted too,

And to cut loose from the endless broken cycle,

I can’t figure it out,

But the best women know how.

 

Poem: Morning Light

I bask in the morning light

Where I feel held,

Safe,

Covered in a blanket of pure golden light.

Everything seems brighter

Like there’s something still

To look forward to.

I am happy here.

I could live in this moment.

I’m reminded of the childhood days

When my mother kept me from school

Just so I could have this feeling every now and then.

I am that child again,

Smaller and filled with heightened emotion,

Familiar and exciting

Like I belong right here.

Sitting in the bedroom of my old home,

I realize this is all I’ve longed for

Ever since the reality of growing up washed over me,

When the excitement turned to fear,

My eyes grew weary,

My heart felt uncertain.

Now it’s only sunshine and warmth,

The white clouds that hold a promise of something good.

It’s a beginning,

And sometimes the beginning is the best part.

 



 

 

Instagram: todayithoughtthis, gabriellegillispie

Poem: Upward

I have searched everywhere to find myself,

To find where I am meant to be,

To find who I belong with,

But realized that the only place I had not yet looked

Was upward.

That was where I found,

Not only what I was looking for,

But where I needed to go.



 

Instagram: gabriellegillispie, todayithoughtthis