Using newly coined names for your gender(s) is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s something to be proud of.

It takes tremendous courage, creativity, and diligence to examine yourself so closely that you come to realize that there are few (if any) existing terms that describe you. And taking on a new term (one that many people may not even know of) requires great bravery.

These new terms are are badges of such strength and ingenuity.

Carry your labels proudly.

When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to read Harry Potter. Someone in my class told me I couldn’t because it wasn’t in my level and I wouldn’t understand it. I read Harry Potter just to spite him. I’ve reread it a million times, it’s one of my favourites. I realised after reread and reread that I didn’t understand it in fourth grade.

When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to read the classics. I read the Bell Jar, Red Badge of Courage, Shakespeare, and as many as I could find. I couldn’t tell you what they said. But I looked like I could read at a higher level than I could. I read the same books and plays in high school. They made sense, I enjoyed them, I read them not to prove something but because I wanted to.

When I was in eighth grade, I only read murder mysteries and criminal books. That’s what more advanced readers read. I wanted to prove that I could read as well as someone twice, three times my age. I enjoyed them, but it was because I was proving something.

When I was in college I reread the series of unfortunate events. I loved every single book, every single line. I’d forgotten what it was like to read a book because I wanted to. I read young adult novels more than anything because I like them. I don’t care that they’re below my level, that they’re ‘too’ young for me. I don’t care that people see me reading them.

I realised something. I was taught to read because I needed to. Intelligent people read, that’s how people become smart. Reading isn’t a waste of time like television. I wasn’t taught to love to read. No one is. I found a love of reading by giving up the idea that people gave a shit if I read or not. I enjoy it more than I should. I realised that instead of instilling the idea of doing something because it’s expected or because someone should do something, instill the idea of doing something because you want to. Instill the idea that happiness comes from what we choose, not what others have chosen for us.

I realised that when I’m happiest, when I have the most joy, it’s when I do something for me. It’s when there are no expectations, no drive to prove someone wrong. I realised that my happiest when all inhibitions and perceptions are gone. Maybe that’s how we should enjoy our hobbies.

—  KJS // Advice for someone hiding themselves

“The memories I have with Seth could fill a whole book. When I left SNL, I gave Seth a badge of courage, like Dorothy gives to the Cowardly Lion. The props department helped me make it. He kept it in his pocket during “Update” until he didn’t need it anymore. Now it sits in a box on his desk at Late Night.”

anonymous asked:

Bad books--_The Red Badge of Courage_ is well written, but wow is the protaganist a clueless self-absorbed ass who learns nothing. I wrote a blistering report and got an A. OTOH, _Pamela_ is so obviously some obliviously privileged dude's idea of what women want. To be fair, the teacher agreed with me. As for _The Scarlet Letter,_ I actually said to the teacher, "We all know how this ends. Is there anything in the story that makes it worth reading?" and she let us skip it.

You are the hero we all deserve, nonny. I would have paid money to skip ‘the scarlet letter’.

Warrior Hearts

For those beautiful souls who struggle every day just to feel whole
For those whose lights dim as if covered in coal
Whose hearts feel as if they will never piece them back together again
This ones’s for you.
For all of you who are broken beyond relief
And scarred oh so very deep
Who think that hope is for fairy tales and love is for the naïve
This one’s for you.
For those who see a monster when they look into a mirror
For those whose demons rage within, barely contained
Those who are trapped inside the voices in their heads
This one’s for you.

Those beautifully bruised souls and patchwork hearts a plenty
Those shattered dreams and tattered loves
Those broken wings and scars soul deep
Those monsters you fight daily and the demons you face head on
Those voices in your head that are wrong
They are your badges of courage
Your tiger stripes of pain
Your warrior’s battle wounds in healing
They make you who you are today.
Every day you take another breath especially when you don’t know why
Is another battle that you win.

Hope can be found again
Dreams can be remade
Love comes in forms you don’t expect
And monsters can be tamed.
Demons can be banished
Bruises in time will fade
Voices can be silenced
Courage saves the day.

Smile for me sweetheart
Tell today it hasn’t beat you yet
Take a breath and hold on tight for me
And know that you are braver than you feel
You are stronger than you seem
You are beautiful in your brokenness
And it does not define you
Not for one painful moment.
You are my warrior hearts
Fierce and shining bright.

© Courtney Turley 2016

I don’t know that I believe in
Soulmates or “the One”;
The converging universe or
“Things happen for a reason.”

I’ve never known if any of that was feasible.

But I believe in the way she looks at me, like my smile in a grocery store aisle is all the sunshine she needs in her day, like my kiss on her shoulder is a badge of courage she’s proud to wear, like my every clumsy impassioned stream of consciousness is worth burning blue ink into this novel we’re co-writing.

I believe in the slide-latch-lock of her palm skidding, line to line over mine, her fingers lacing clean on even the briefest car ride to nowhere, warm puzzles I’ve been working out for months, lifelines and fingerprints and praying this story unfolds into perpetuity.

I believe in the tangle of her legs, the pillow of my head on her chest while a superhero movie plays, and the way her heartbeat kickstarts mine as it slows beneath the crushed shell of my ear, as she dozes through the penultimate scene.

I believe in the red scrape of her nails along my hipbone, in the hissing grooves her teeth draw upon my shoulder, in her laughing breath on my lips, in the vibrant bone-deep pulsebeat that craving for her has become, even in the anxiety-thrum of my busiest day.

I believe in how she dances in the kitchen while the water boils, and how she nestles close after a bad day at work, and how she laughs, a blue-smoke teenage revolution in glorious blue-green-endless eyes, and even as I’m swimming upstream against the black dog chaos living behind my own skull, I believe every patient repetition: “I love you, I love you, I love you, you gorgeous person of mine.”

I believe in the exhilaration, the first nature, the skin on skin so exquisitely reflective of home when she tucks in behind me at night, a cradle of hips and hands and lips tracing blessings into my spine, and I believe in waking wrapped in her strangest dreams, and I believe in sidewalk crack-tripping long walks, existentialist star-gazing porch conversation, idiotic cat photos, late night wine breath, fingers carving gentle promises into my cheekbones, every kiss, every shiver, every new brick of this family we’re building. I believe. I believe.

I don’t know that I believe in
Soulmates or “the One”;
The converging universe or
“Things happen for a reason.”

But oh, I believe in her.

This is all the faith I need.