the sunlight you possess

I am extremely nervous to post this. Mostly because it’s poetry, which makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. I used to write poems when I was young and do it every now and then. I write them like a stream of consciousness. Whatever happens to come out of my mind and heart ends up on a paper and I call it a poem. This was more for me than anyone else, but enjoy nonetheless.

I hope for you when the dark feels too empty. When it feels so lonely. Like a well with no bottom. A ghost ship with no sailors.

I visualize you. In my mind. In my heart, when I know your breathing is ragged. Your breaths broken. I see your chest heavy and sagging.

I trace the lines on your face. Of victory, success. of failure, pain. The worn leathers of a ride too long.

Sister, take my hand. You can stand. I felt the earth shake with every step you took. There’s a power in those soles. One that rattles the world. Shifts the very ground upon which we stand.

Brother, lean on me. You are not alone in this. Shed your mask. For your face is pure and flawless. There is no shame in your struggle. It is this fight that forges strength greater than you’ve ever known.

Lift your head. To the sun. The stars. The sky. The expanse is more grand than we could imagine. But we try. There’s a hope in our hearts. A hope that cannot be squashed by the wicked lies in our minds and hearts.

For you and I will rise above the pain we feel. The love we will show the world, no being, mighty or small, we be able to hide from it.

Let the sunlight you possess touch every inch of this earth. Every speck of life will be alight.

When you feel your darkest, sister.

When you feel your darkest, brother.

The light in your stirs.

Open your windows. Your palms. Your eyes. Your heart. Let it out.

Let it out to share with the world.

But within you, still, it will burn brightest.

Much love,

Juliana

for when it feels too heavy

How does one not feel terrible all the time looking at the news?

Regardless of how you affiliate politically, when you look at articles or op-eds, or comment sections on any social media platform, it is truly horrific.
Aren’t we all the same? Truly just brothers and sisters trying to find understanding in this life? And I get it, there are people right off the bat that wouldn’t want to be considered the “same” as me or their neighbor or the family that lives halfway across the globe.
And I get that, too. Sometimes I desperately want to scream out, “please don’t affiliate me with them! We are not the same!”
But, damn it, we are. We breathe the same air and are made of the same stuff. What our hearts yearn for and what our brains think, is different. Many times, so different that it becomes difficult to comprehend.
So where do we go from there? How do we stay vigilant about those things that matter so much to us without losing our humanity?
I don’t really have an answer. I don’t always know how to check the news or read comments or overhear someone on the street without wanting to scream or cry. And, for the love of God, I am not always talking about Trump.
I’m talking about human rights violations in Syria and Russia and the Philippines. I’m talking about famine and near-famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. I’m talking about dictatorship in Venezuela. I’m talking about hunger and lack of access to medical attention in our own backyards.
How do I handle all of the information about those things when everything turns into an argument? And yes, sometimes constructive debate is the best we can start with. That is how we find the best ideas and solutions that may actually work. It’s how we call attention to institutionalized oppression and begin to address it. It is how we come together as a society, as human beings, to do what is best for all.
But yelling profanity, cutting down someone’s confidence, threatening abuse, alienating your friends… That’s just not how we do it.
How can I have any hope about a future of peace and fairness and equality for all when I can feel myself become darker and bitter?
What are we supposed to do?
We do something. You take a friend to coffee. You celebrate the little joys. You commit the acts of selflessness that feel embarrassing and weird at the time but do more for your soul than a heated debate ever could. You pay attention to the events in the world and force yourself to rise above and think “what can I do to make my little piece of this massive world a little bit better?”
You listen kindly and patiently to what people have to say. You acknowledge that even your worst enemy has feelings and an entire history of faults and joys. Maybe they don’t align with yours.
Well, maybe that’s how it has always been.
Stop reading those hateful comments. No one’s mind will ever be changed on Facebook. You’re not going to scream someone into submission. Stop wasting your energy on that.
Making your voice be heard, standing up for what you believe is right, and relentlessly working towards a goal: those things make sense. But even when everything else seems to be crashing down to the lowest level, maintain your dignity.
For when the time comes, those with their hearts still full and heads still above the smoke will lead us where we need to go.
Be that leader with a kind, compassionate heart and a soft, but firm voice.
Fill yourself up with the best things and leave no room for hatred and disgust.
Who are you? Democrat, Republican, Independent, unaffiliated? It doesn’t matter. We’ve all felt this way at some point or another.
Take a deep breath and steady your feet. We need you now more than ever.
Love,
Juliana
P.S. I’ve been feeling terrible about current events for a long time and writing out my thoughts finally helped. Even if my words bring you nothing and you disagree with me wholeheartedly, that’s okay. Try writing your own thoughts down and let it bring you peace.

running, recipe, recap

Happy Sunday! It’s a beautiful, and hot day in Virginia. I’m currently in a coffee/bike shop in The Plains, VA waiting on Patrick to finish his 80somethin mile ride. I rode 20 slowly and pleasantly because riding is now cross-training for me because I am running again!!


Yes running! It’s wild and I’m so happy. I ran 5 miles yesterday and it was terrifying and phenomenal. To say running is humbling is an understatement. Last week I was looking at pictures from my freshman year of college when running double digits multiple days in a row was no big deal. And now 3.5 miles is intimidating and a run that I have to pump myself up for. No complaints! I’m so grateful and have enjoyed every stride. It’s crazy because I’ve finally reached the point that each run is outside of my comfort zone again and it feels so empowering! Running rocks. This is the training plan I’m semi-following. It’s the most simple, beginner plan that Hal Higdon offers 🙂 


I’m so looking forward to this week because 4th of July (!!) and then on Friday Sabrina and Mathew are coming to town!!! It’s going to be so fun and I can’t wait to venture around the District with them, because I haven’t really done it myself to be honest…

As for this past week, on Monday and Tuesday I went to the American Heart Association’s Federal Lobby Day and met phenomenal people and a lot of the really cool Austin staff. I’m planning on volunteering when I return and am pretty pumped about it! 


The rest of the week was pretty standard. The AHA stuff was long and tiring so all I wanted to do the rest of the week was sleep.

Yesterday Patrick and I walked around Georgetown in search of coffee and ended up with pastries as well. 


This was at Dog Tag Bakery, which employs and empowers disabled veterans! Very cool and the chocolate tart was so so so good. My favorite kind of dessert by far.


Also. This finally happened. I love Wonder Woman. And now I get to pretend to be her. Life made.


We walked around for a while longer before the storm finally hit. We made it inside seriously moments before the downpour began.


I also made these stranger muffins yesterday that taste like fiber alone but apparently pair well with PB. I had originall intended to make chocolate chip zucchini muffins but that didn’t exactly happen.

The recipe is roughly:

1 zucchini, 1 banana, 1 pear, 2 T maple syrup blended together. Mixed with 1.75 cups of whole wheat flour, ~1/2 cups oats, and 2 T of flaxmeal. Baked for 12 minutes at 350. The batter smelled really sweet but they definitely taste healthy! I like them! But I also have been told my stamp of approval can’t be taken seriously. 

I did my 5 mile long run last night and it was hot and humid and wonderful. 


And now I’ll continue to wait for Patrick and hope that hanger doesn’t set in before then. (Sorry in advance, Pat.)

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday!

Love,

Juliana