Rules

Throughout my life, I have found myself sitting and waiting on others. It wasn’t because I needed them to fulfill my life and make me happy or entertained but I was a good girl. I always listened and obeyed every wish and whim. But now I’m older and I have a decent enough mind to realize how ridiculous it is to always be good. Besides, who determines what is good and bad?

I’m living a superficial life that leads to no meaning or purpose. Doesn’t that sound rather dull and boring? So show me someone who wishes to live by the rules and wait on others. I’ll show them the door. Not the door out but a door to a new beginning, a different story, a true life.

Everyday friends and family tell me to be careful and cautious because the world is big, scary and filled with the unknowns. But why?

Isn’t part of living just more than being aware of the fear of it?

Yeah, I could be kidnapped with every person I meet but I could also find another chapter in love or maybe I’ll find that so called one person “you can’t live without”.

Yeah, I can fail and lose everything I have but don’t you have to experience the failure in order to know that you want better?

Even though I’m just beginning my trek out into the real world, I’m faced with the hardest step in life, the beginning. Everyone tells me to enjoy myself now because I’m young, able and have the time to fool around.

But if thats the case, then when is it ever appropriate?

There is no exact or rough idea of a time scale. The things that you wish or allow to happen are up to your own schedule.

So I may be young and rushing into things for some but I can say that I’ve experienced alot.

Though I may be naive with my experiences compared to others, when did life ever become a compare and contrast essay?

As a matter of fact, when did my life become everyone else’s epitome concern? What I do only affects my future because at the end of the day, the fact is that everyone eventually dies. My parents will be gone before me and even some of my friends as well. So if I keep living like a “good girl”, then what will I do once everyone is gone?

I just might as well give all of you a good story or laugh to share while you’re alive. And hey, I may actually inspire some of you to do the same.

© 2015 Jessica Santos

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Doubt Doubt

Put me in a crowded room
Abandon me on the streets
Take me to a party
Or drive me across the nation

I can be anywhere
Surrounded by anything
And you’re all I see

He says that if you’re not in my heart, you’re on my mind
And if you’re not on my mind, you’re in my heart
But the man who said
Is a man who is dead

Dead with a life of tragedy and heartbreak
So why question to be or not to be?
Just shut the fuck up
And stop reading into it

© 2015 Jessica Santos

Their Bitch

See her there? She spins and twirls with no rhythm but that of torture. Haunted by her own demons, she rears. Crashing down on her own two feet, she stands. Unaware of whether she is safe or endangered, she thrusts herself again. Eyes darting like a wild child, she is lost.

Shackles clink at her wrists. Her eyes follow the chains to the cold barren wall. Like lightning, she suddenly jerks her arms up to have them clash against the cement floor. Sparks shatter the darkened room littered with blood, her blood.

A pen drop is heard in the distance. She perks up. Listening intently, her bright brown eyes narrow on the details.

Staying low to the ground, she crouches. Lips lightly brush the battered floor smearing red upon her even more. Looking feral, she watches the door as it creaks open.

Out of the shadows, a figure dressed in a tux confidently strides in, not fearing her untrimmed nails. She cares not for his fear or confidence though and strikes anyways. Yet, just as she begins to pounce, he effortlessly steps aside and jabs her in the ribs. Screeching, she falls to where he once stood moments before.

Whipping her head up, she quickly regains composure. He hardly inflicted any pain; he merely angered her further. But instead of striking once more, she patiently rests upon her haunches. A good hunter waits for the kill. Yet, he makes no further movement other than to toss a box upon her bed before turning to leave.

Once he disappears, she creeps to her straw mattress on the floor and glares at the cardboard container. Jumping into her nest, she raises one hand and swats it off her place of comfort. As it lands, it jingles.

The sound catches her attention and she quickly moves towards it. Knocking it once more, she listens for the ringing. Reaching down, she tears at the seams unleashing it’s contents.

A black smoke slithers into existence. Choking the poor girl until she stumbles against the wall. Held by invisible hands, she fights his plague. And just when eyes begin to fail, she hears the familiar creak of the door and jingle of the box. But she would never know what was next to surprise her.

© 2015 Jessica Santos

Call for an End, for a Beginning

I don’t typically do this but I’m going to use the cliche “there’s always a first” to start. All of my mentors whether young or old have told me in some form or another that life is a roller coaster. I always believed them and I still do. Not once do I question my mentor’s teachings.

Here’s another cliche: “no one passes through life unscathed.” And one more…”everyone has a story, a lesson, a moral.” So as you can tell or already know, I’m filled with cliches, old sayings and popular teachings of the “golden” days. This isn’t because I’m wise or have experienced the most for a person of my age but I listen.

During the few family gatherings, instead of sitting with the little kids glued to the television, I seek out the individuals conversing, sharing stories and actually having some form of interaction. As I listen to their conversations, I can’t help but smile and revel in where I am.

You know those popular questions that surface when there is doubt?

Am I living my life how I should? Am I missing something? Why haven’t I reached a revelation yet?

Well, I ask myself these questions but it’s all for a waste of time.

In life, I am exactly where I should be, facing the challenges I need to face and dealing with the ups and downs in the best way available for me. What I endure is no less or greater than others, it simply is my own. Everyone gets casted from their family. Everyone gets heartbroken. Everyone receives a life crippling pain. But no one experiences or learns from it in quite the same manner.

When I was a little girl, my parents would push me academically and socially to no end. Eventually, as school grew harder, the importance of academics outweighed my social life and they encouraged a sharper focus on school.

One may begin to think that I ended up “hating” school but what happened was quite the opposite. I ended up loving to learn. I find that a part of being human is to have the ability to learn and grow no matter the age.

Often, my father would sit me down with my brother and we would pour over COLLEGE level textbooks. Don’t get me wrong, it was rough and a struggle and it didn’t help that he would get frustrated like any other and exert his frustration in the form of yelling but I can’t blame him.

Now that I’m a tutor and mentor for others, I understand and feel his frustration but use my experience with him to guide me into being a better teacher for future generations.

However, at the time, those lessons with him were exhausting and purely resulted in me gaining an exuberant amount of knowledge at the price of being afraid.

For years, I worked hard in my academics just to please and satisfy others instead of myself because I didn’t believe in myself. Rather, I believed that I would amount to nothing and go no where.

I was lost, confused and afraid.

Then one day, I got my “Hogwart’s” letter saying I’ve been accepted into some college and it is here where one may think that was the day I stopped feeling lost but no. People congratulated me and said a job well done but I still didn’t believe in myself. I still worked hard for others.

It wasn’t until the end of my second year in college that I began to realize how great I truly am. A grade, a congratulations, a pat on the back was only a fool’s goal. The real goal is in the act of doing and accomplishing.

By working hard, learning, and gaining, I am succeeding. I am getting somewhere.

With this realization, I began to have a voice. I spoke up; but, to my disbelief, by speaking up, I ended up losing several connections that I thought the world of. All summer I lived in a struggle between what I thought was there and what really was there.

As the new school year began, those connections still remained mangled on the floor by my bed in a pool of tears. I started to believe that those connections would remain there but then I received a major accomplishment.

Obviously, the first people I wanted to tell was my partner and my mom but I also wanted to tell the individuals at the end of those crippled bridges. So did I? Nope.

I remained just as stubborn as those individuals who could not accept who I am and what I feel now. Yet, days passed and I found myself thinking back upon them more than I would like to admit.

It wasn’t until one morning I awoke and a voice over my shoulder told me to stop being stubborn and to focus on my own enjoyment that I realized I hadn’t quite learned to live in the moment just yet.

So here I am taking a long winding path to say that I am still learning and I am still hurting but I’m willing to mend. Only this time, it didn’t take fear to teach me this lesson but love.

As my day approaches, I can only hope that my out reached hand won’t be rejected; and once it is grasped those connections will begin to believe in me too. Because, at the end of the day, the life I’ve lived so far is not half bad. It has its ups and downs but more importantly it has its lessons. And it is with those lessons taught by the very people who destroyed those bridges that I have grown to believe in myself. So why not grow with me and believe in myself the way I believe bridges can be mended?

© 2015 Jessica Santos

Abstract for A Window into Women in the Feline Form

Literature in the 18th century is riddled with the author’s purpose of writing. However, this purpose is often covered and hidden by the usage of one’s poetic wit and humor. This is done so as to attract readers and not seem too direct to protect one’s reputation and career. Thomas Gray’s “An Ode to the Death of a Favorite Cat” is of no exception. Using the research of fellow critiques, scholars and journalists, Gray’s purpose is brought to light. However, his purpose is often questioned in regards to whether or not he is referring to more than just a dead cat. After some research on the matter, it is left to be understood that Gray is indeed alluding to women. Gray’s purpose is to highlight a fault that women hold; specifically, women are materialistic and superficial. His usage of metaphors and imagery in the form of word choice help to portray this purpose. Also, like several other writers, one should not simply use their talents to entertain but to showcase as well. By using his poetic expertise, Gray successfully alludes to one of women’s greatest fault.

© 2015 Jessica Santos