Series: Walking Phenomenally

“I’ve found a way to speak my hearts language...everyday. [...] I Imagine that through my words you will pick up pieces of yourself that you thought you could leave behind but your wounds are what make you powerful. And your scars are what make you human. [...] So, here I am. Writing to you- Writing for you. Hoping that now you can see the beauty within the transparency in “brokenness” or the importance in learning yourself, finding yourself, accepting yourself and eventually ... loving yourself. [...] and maybe you’ll choose to ride with me down this journey i’m taking to become a better me and my ambition to help you realize that you’re worthy. Of Everything.
— Intro by Interlude | Reyna Biddy

THE STRUGGLES

 

“I AM THE VOICE OF THE WOMEN WHO ARE
SCARED TO SPEAK UP, WHO ARE ASHAMED OF THEIR
FLAWS AND UNCERTAIN OF THEIR DREAMS.”

— BOUND TOGETHER | ALEX ELLE

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“I USED TO WONDER WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE LOVED, FOR ME.
I FELT LIKE IF I WERE TO LOOSE ALL THE ACNE, SOMEONE COULD SEE ME.
I THOUGHT THAT THE PRETTIER I COULD BECOME THE MORE OPTIONS I’D RECIEVE.
YEARS LATER AND I’M STILL AS LONELY.
ACTUALLY, I MIGHT BE MORE ALONE THAN EVER.
SOMEONE FORGOT TO TELL ME THAT MAC’S RUBY WOO LIPSTICK WON’T MAKE IT BETTER. 
THAT LONG HAIR, NICE SKIN AND ABS WON’T LAST FOREVER.
THAT THE MEN YOU LET IN ARE STILL OUT LOOKING FOR TREASURE. 
BEING PHYSICALLY GORGEOUS ISN’T A SAVIOR.
AND HAVING THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SMILE WONT SAVE HIM.
I FORGOT TO HOLD ON TO WHO I WAS ON THE INSIDE. 
I WISH IT WERE EASY FOR ME TO LET PEOPLE SEE WHATS ON THE INSIDE. 
I WISH SOMEBODY WOULD’VE TOLD ME I WAS ALREADY PERFECT ON THE OUTSIDE,
FOR THE PERSON WHO IS PERFECT FOR ME.
THESE BONES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN QUITE LOVELY.”

— REYNA BIDDY | 'BONES'

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It’s been a while since I finally accepted the end. But my heart still aches every time I think of how we ended. And if I could go back, I wish I could tell you: I stayed for so long, not because I was weak but because I believed in the good person in you. I left, not because you stopped wanting me, but because I no longer loved myself by loving you.
— 'I Wish I Could Tell You' by Najwa Zebian
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“OUR LOVE WAS A FIRE IT BURNED SO RAPIDLY. DESPITE THAT YOU WERE DESTROYING ME I CONTINUED TO BE MESMERIZED BY THE BEAUTY IN YOUR FLAMES. YOU WERE BREAKING ME, BUT I NEEDED SO BAD TO FIX YOU. SO I HELD YOU WHEN YOU CRIED AND I FUELED YOUR SENSITIVE SIDE. I WAS THERE BECAUSE YOU NEEDED ME; DESPITE THAT YOU DIDN’T WANT ME. A WOMAN SO WILLING TO SACRIFICE HER PRIDE AND HER SELF RESPECT. I DID THAT FOR YOU DESPITE THE SCARS THAT LAY BARE ON THE SKIN YOU HATED SO MUCH. I WAS HAPPY TO BE THAT FOR YOU. YOU HATED WHAT YOU SAW IN ME, THOUGH IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I LOVED IN YOU.”

— WES SIDE GLORY | KIRA

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“I STOPPED TO SMELL THE ROSES TODAY
SOME YET TO BLOOM, OTHERS SHINED WITH PRIDE…
AND SOME HAD WITHERED AWAY.

I WALKED THROUGH THE LAVENDER FIELDS IN SUMMER LIGHT
GAZING AT THE HORIZON UP AHEAD
AND CONTEMPLATING THE NIGHT.

WHAT WAS ALL THAT HAD BECOME OF ME?
AHEAD A WOMAN RUNS THROUGH LILIES WITH
HER DAUGHTER CRADLES IN HER ARMS SOFTLY.

A MOTHER I WAS A MOTHER I AM,
BUT MY BABIES ARE MEN AND WOMEN NOW
AND MY HUSBAND IS GONE; MY MAN.

THE SUN BEGINS TO DROP AND MY HEART BEATS
AND MY EYES WATER AT THE FEAR OF THE DARK
MEMORIES SWIRL IN MY MIND AND THE TEARS ARE SWEET.

I LOVED THEM ALL THEY LOVED ME SOME.
I RAISED THEM RIGHT BUT THEY CHOSE WRONG
AND HERE I STAND ALL BY MY LONESOME.

I WISH THEY KNEW. I WISH MY BABIES WERE HERE
BUT A WOMAN BUILT ME STRONG AND I LEFT HER TOO
AND NOW HER FATE HAS BECOME MY FEAR.

A MOTHER I WAS AND A MOTHER I AM FOREVER
I BURIED SONS AND GRANDSONS, LOST TO THIS SYSTEM.
I LOST LOVE AND STILL ENDEAVOR.

NOW AS THE SUN SHRINKS AWAY FOR AWHILE
AND THE NIGHT BEGINS TO RISE ON MY TEAR STAINED FACE,
THE HEART BEATS SLOWER…AND PRIDE GRACES MY SMILE.”

— FORGOTTEN MOTHER | KIRA

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THE BLESSINGS

LIKE THE FLOWERS IN SPRING, YOU WILL ALWAYS COME BACK TO LIFE.
NO MATTER THE STRUGGLE YOU’LL FIND A WAY MAKE IT THROUGH.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY AND COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.
— ALEX ELLE | WORDS FROM A WANDERER
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“I FOUND MYSELF EXACTLY WHERE YOU LEFT ME, BUT YET I WAS STRONGER WISER; BETTER THAN BEFORE. YOU BROKE ME... BUT I FOUND THE STRENGTH IN ME TO FIX WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND. AND I REALIZED YOU CAN’T BREAK A WOMEN WHO WAS BUILT THIS STRONG.”

— 'BRACE MYSELF' | KIRA

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I AM NOT AFRAID OF MY TRUTH ANYMORE AND I WILL NOT OMIT PIECES OF ME TO MAKE YOU COMFORTABLE.
— HONEST | ALEX ELLE
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“DEAR SELF,


I KNOW YOU STRUGGLE SOMETIMES BUT JUST INCASE I DON’T TELL YOU ENOUGH, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL. THANK YOU FOR BEING SO STRONG AND TRANSPARENT. THE WORLD SEES YOU EVEN WHEN YOU FEEL INVISIBLE. I APPRECIATE YOUR HEART AND STUBBORNESS. YOUR WILLINGNESS TO LOVE EVEN AFTER BEING DISCARDED AND FORGOTTEN IS ADMIRABLE. I AM SO PROUD TO KNOW THAT YOU’VE GROWN TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR WORTH.
WITH LOVE,

SELF”

— WORDS FROM A WANDERER |  ALEX ELLE

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I HAVE NEVER KNOW HAPPINESS LIKE THIS.
I FEEL WARM, COMFORTED AND WRAPPED UP IN A VIBRATION OF JOY.
THERE IS NO LANGUAGE THAT CAN DESCRIBE THIS LOVE.
— THE LOVE OF SELF | ALEX ELLE

end note

I wanted to tell a story. Not just about myself, but a story of every woman. It's the tale of our experiences, what builds us, the things that breaks us, and make us into these resilient beings we are. We carry the world on our shoulders, and we never complain. We expect these burdens because we witnessed the strength of the women who bore them before us. Whether they are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, or aunts. Women have always been warriors! Not warriors in battle, or some "Wonder Woman" in a comic series, but warriors in this thing called life. We raise families and give life to generations. We've lost love and found it again. We witness life and bare the agony of death. This is my ode to women; to our growth, our struggle, our beauty, and all that makes us who we are. Many of these pieces reflect my life experiences and those of the women I know. However, I'm sure any woman who reads this will find a piece of herself within them too. These images are raw, real, and reflective. Here's a story of us, through what I believe to be the purest form of words...poetry.  | Kyra Iverson

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Poetry and Contributors to this years piece:

Elle, Alexandra. Love in My Language. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2014. Print. 

Elle, Alexandra, and Ashleigh Kinsey. Words from a Wanderer: Notes and Love Poems. San Bernardino, CA: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2013. Print.

MAYS, REYNA. I LOVE MY LOVE. S.l.: ANDREWS MCMEEL, 2015. Print.

Shire, Warsan. Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth. London: Mouthmark Series, 2011. Print.

Zebian, Najwa. "I Wish I Could Tell You." Mind Platter. United States: CreateSpace, 2016. N. pag. Print.