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  • Greatest Hits Vol. 1

    A college graduation ceremony,
    The celebration of
    Hours and hours spent studying,
    Working student janitor jobs,
    Barely sleeping or maintaining a social life,
    Driven by passion and encouraged by professors and peers.
    This a defining moment I haven’t experienced,
    My college journey cut short by
    A doctor’s visit,
    A new orange prescription bottle that felt like a cinderblock in my backpack.
    A series of events that I was sure would make everyone see me as
    A failure, lazy, without determination.

    I moved back into my parents home,
    Like a puppy without a treat,
    My tail tucked between my legs.
    I struggled to find my purpose,
    My place in a town I thought I’d left behind.

    As fate, or the internet, would have it,
    I met someone.
    They saw parts of me that I was ashamed of,
    And told me how bright they shined.
    They laid bare past relationships full of betrayal and heartbreak,
    And I held them when they finally gave themselves the space to cry for how they were hurt.
    We slow danced in the kitchen,
    To old school jazz,
    While sweet potatoes cooked in the oven..
    And I saw days stretching ahead
    With this beautiful being
    This other half of my soul.

    Wedding bells pealed,
    Vows were written and tearfully exchanged.
    Families drew together to celebrate,
    Dancing ruled the night!
    But not for me.
    I sat at another wedding reception, thinking of the text message
    Telling me things weren’t going to work out.
    Another moment I once thought would be so defining,
    Slipping away from my grasp.

    The more I grow,
    The more I discover myself,
    The more I lean into even the darkest parts of my mind and heart,
    The more I think that my “most defining days” may be made up of simple, quiet moments.
    Of the times I have held myself on the bathroom floor,
    And through all the loss remind myself
    I am worthy of love
    And great things are still ahead for me.

    Lauran Hirschi

    Voting starts June 17, 2024 12:00am

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  • Ideally Me

    For most of my life I have smothered myself beneath the ideals of others.
    These expectations pushed me into boxes where I did not fit, but I tried to contort and carve away at myself to appease the “rules.”
    I thought if I broke them, I would be broken. They were unyielding, so I yielded my will to their commands.

    And then one day I stretched out of my box. I worried what others would think, what would become of me, what of the people who were depending on me to be “the good girl” they knew?
    But as I stretched, I discovered that parts of my heart were sore.. and some were so weak from lack of use. So much of myself had remained unseen and untested in my box, and do I decided to slowly explore.

    I began to see that the ideals I’d chased–
    Perfect job, perfect shape
    Perfect family, perfect place–
    Weren’t what I really wanted.
    The fact was, I didn’t know what I really wanted!
    But even still, letting go of them was so hard.
    Allowing myself to change my expectations was met with a lot of internal resistance.
    It was easier in my box, safer.
    Don’t make a mess, don’t rock the boat.

    But would I ever be happy living someone else’s life? Someone else’s idea of “perfect?”

    Dear Me,
    I hope you know that YOU are ideal. Right now. As you are.
    You don’t have to measure up to anyone’s imaginary lines on the wall. Life isn’t about how tall you are, how skinny, how fat. Life isn’t about collecting diplomas or six figure incomes. Life isn’t about what your family looks like, how many rooms are in your house.

    Take up the space you need to. Even when you want to shrink yourself down.
    See your beauty, inside and out. Even when the world spins negative commentary on how you look.
    Value the lessons you’ve learned, and the ones that will come. Even when conventional school might not be your route.
    Know that you do not need another person to complete you. Hold on to the hope that you will find someone whole, who will see you as whole, too.

    When I picture you, I don’t see specific features or physical parameters that I need to meet. Life hacks or goal markers that I have to achieve by certain deadlines. Instead I feel a sense, a reassurance that you are someone who has let go of the weight of measuring up. Someone who makes choices based on kindness and light and love, not for the applause of the world.. but of the people around you. The ones who know that you are worthy of love now, not after passing tests or checking off requirements.

    There is no standard of perfection. You are perfection. Simply YOU.

    Love, Me.

    Lauran Hirschi

    Voting is closed

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    • Dear Lauren,
      You sound very strong. I am sure you can accomplish anythingnyou setnyour mind out to do.

      Lots of good luck,
      Shelley

      Write me back 

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    • Lauran, I LOVE this. I think when we don’t know exactly what we want in life it’s easy to use other people’s measuring sticks and milestones to influence our own goals, life, and decisions. It takes so much courage to look inside and say “What do I really want? Who Do I really want to be? How do I want to live?” You have done just that. You are…read more

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  • The Body that Holds Me

    Dear Body,

    I never know how to start letters.
    I’d ask how you’re doing, but I’m happy to say I think I’ve finally a pretty good grasp on finding the answer to that.
    For years I ignored your requests and even demands.
    Thought you were too much and needed to be less.
    Thought not eating would impress.
    Tried to squeeze you into boxes you weren’t meant to fit in.
    Tried to make you appealing to everyone but the one who was in your skin.

    I can’t say exactly when the shift happened, or what changed my mind.
    I think it was gradual, more like dawn than a light switch.
    A slow burn of self love growing brighter as I worried less about the size of the stitches that made up my clothes and more about the person who filled them.

    Instead of running from the mirror, I paused to Really look into it.
    To sit and stare at the human within, and not shy away from certain parts.
    To relish in the rolls, feeling each one with gratitude for how my body reminds me that I deserve all the space I take up.
    To lounge with the looser parts of my skin and not feel the need to suck it all in.
    To soak in the stretch marks and the story they tell of how I will not be contained.
    To find each freckle and blemish and scar, to let them remind me of how I’ve come so far.

    I’m sorry for the ways I have misused and abused you.
    I’m sorry for the times I put you in a position to let others do that, too.
    I’m sorry for how I starved you, even when you growled with hunger.
    I’m sorry for how I then turned around and smothered you with food, while you silently pleaded for me to find balance.
    I’m sorry for how often I told you that you weren’t enough.
    I’m sorry that I truly believed you would never be loved.

    You have taught me to choose you.
    You are the only body I have, and I am grateful that it’s you.
    You have led me through challenges and adventures that I thought people like me couldn’t get through.
    You have opened my eyes to the fact that I am more than what other people view.
    You have endured hatred and vitriol and strife,
    And still,
    You have held me more than any other person in my life.

    Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Me

    Lauran Hirschi

    Voting is closed

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    • Omg Lauran, This is incredible. Your last line is like a mic drop – just wow! You (and your body) have been through a lot together, but through it all, you have come to realize how strong you both are, and together you are unstoppable. You are beautiful but even more than that your power, attitude, and mindset make you UNSTOPPABLE. And any time…read more

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