189/365 Memories (+1 from martinak15 on Flickr

I am nostalgic.

I came across this poem that I wrote five months ago — I honestly completely forgot I had written it. Every word of it rings true to me tonight. It’s hard. But I’m sharing it, sending it into the void. I’m not sure why.

Content note: talk of serious depression and disordered eating.


I am nostalgic for a time
when people would say
“this place wouldn’t be the same
without you”
when I could have intense conversations
with everyone I knew
and people didn’t abandon me
because of my beliefs.
I am nostalgic for belonging.

I am nostalgic for a time
when my depression was coded
“depth of character”
and not weakness of will
when my anxiety was a secret
and I could push through it all
for months on end.
I am nostalgic for appearances.

I am nostalgic for a time
when people swooned for my curls
and complimented my curves
but only when I lost weight
when my clothes hung on my body
and my smile wore thin
and I only ate every other day.
I am nostalgic for “beauty.”

I have romanticized
every forced smile
every skipped meal
every submission to the will of other people
every detachment from
every emotion
for most of my life.
I have demonized the realities
by calling them “breakdowns”
by calling them “flukes”
by apologizing for taking up
space and time
and making anyone notice
that I was actually in pain.

I am nostalgic for belonging
no matter the cost.

I don't want to be

Love is hard work.

I don't want to be

From vavva_92 on Flickr. Click image for original.

Content note: talk of self-harm, sexual assault, suicide.


I used to be a songwriter. Or at the least, a writer of poems. Then I basically stopped for a long, long time. For some reason, though, lately I’ve been turning back to poetry to express some of my thoughts. So I share this with you all (though it was originally meant only for me, then put on Tumblr, but I think maybe I should share more personal things on here that might not be so polished). Continue reading

Acceptable Femininity: some rambling thoughts about gender roles, high heels, and makeup.

Lately, as I’ve been delving into what feels like a whole new world of heels and cardigans and makeup, I’ve been thinking about how my opinion of femininity has morphed throughout my admittedly short life. I’ve noticed a pattern, and I’d like to share it with you:

My acceptance or rejection of the feminine within myself and others is directly related to my acceptance or rejection of misogyny.

I do really want to stress that this is an introspective piece, and that what has held true in my life absolutely doesn’t hold true for others. After all, I’m speaking as a white cisgender woman* — I wouldn’t dream of imposing my experiences or conclusions for myself on others who have not lived my life.

*What this means is that I was assigned the gender of woman at birth, and I’m comfortable with that assignment. (For those for whom this concept is new, I suggest checking out Hank Green’s wonderful video on sexuality and gender that I’ve included here.)


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Learning the words: even the ugly ones.

I’m writing over at Defeating the Dragons today, contributing to her “learning the words” series. Hope you enjoy!

This post is inspired by Grace BiskieBethany SuckrowAddie Zierman, and of course Samantha (who, when first starting this series and asking for guest writers, responded enthusiastically and favorably to my tentative proposal of this particular topic).

The past few years, I have been on an intentional journey into freedom from the panic, rage, and fear that has been the constant undercurrent of my young life. A big part of that journey has included the freedom to look at the horrible things in life and to say with confidence and conviction, “Fuck. This. Shit.”

Read more at Defeating the Dragons…

Strange and unprepared.

This is a post that I don’t know how to write, because I am afraid.

I see them in my mind’s eye, wary, expectant, probably judging already. They’ve noticed that I’m not the Dani they used to know and like. I’ve changed, and they are not okay with the change. I share things and say things and write things that they think are seriously wrong. Maybe they hold onto hope that one day I’ll “come to myself” again, like the prodigal son did. The ones who try to talk to me appeal to God, to the Bible, to the tradition of the Plymouth Brethren in which I grew up, to the memory of the Old Dani who was so devout and sincere and earnest in trying to live a life pleasing to God, the Dani that they looked up to or at least respected in some way.

This is a conversation I don’t know how to have.

How do I write about no longer identifying as a Christian in a way that won’t turn my entire world upside down?

I guess I’m doing it something like this. But I’m not holding onto hope for keeping my world aright.

The language of Christianity is still my mother tongue. The culture of Christianity is still my hometown. I don’t know anything else.

This is a strange place for me to be.

I plan to explore my deconversion further in future posts as I continue to work out how to interact with my world in a meaningful, constructive, honest way. In fact, that’s a large part of why I’m writing this. I need a space to document my thoughts and experiences honestly. A large part of what has been holding me back from writing on this blog is the fear of what will happen when people I love find out that I do not share their faith. And I can’t keep living with that fear. I can’t keep hiding.

While I’m not going to talk about the whys now (in part because I’m still working through things and in part because it’s just not the time for it), I am going to set some boundaries.

Continue reading