musings

The Last Time I’ll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza

Have you ever felt that someone is just stuck in your mind long after their last steps have taken them walking out of your life?

Have you struggled with letting go of something that may have been toxic, that may have been a complete and TOTAL mess? I mean, you’re better off now. Right?

Have you found yourself reminiscing over all the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens? Are you stuck there? Or have you convinced yourself that you’re no LONGER there?

the last time i'll write about you -dawn lanuza

The Last Time I’ll Write About You resonated with me for that reason as I happen to know what all that felt like.

Love can be a wonderful experience, an emotional connection that takes us to the highest mountains and fills our heart and lungs with the elixir of life.

And yet, love can also be a very complicated thing. Another entire being that can dictate how we view the world, how we interact with it.

Breakups can be so messy because of this. It leaves us vulnerable. Wanting to close in again. And if you’re the one with the heart broken, anything can remind us of that person. Anything.

Dawn Lanuza pens a series of poems that speak to personal experience of such things. While a little rudimentary in style compared to other poets I’ve been reading lately, I think it’s still a collection worth browsing through.

For some people (including me), writing is cathartic. It’s like we have permission to feel the things we do once we pen it all down from our very cramped hearts onto paper (or a screen). And once it’s out there, it hopefully frees up some space inside the 4 chambers of our hearts to start healing.

For some other people, it’s cathartic to know that someone else understands what and how we feel. That we’re not alone in our feelings. That it is okay to be feeling this way. We’re not broken and weak. We’re just human.

This book reminded me of these things. That it’s okay to find it hard to let go sometimes. That it’s not just me who was dumb enough to hold onto something that was never meant to be.

Maybe it can do the same for you.

What resonated the most with me were these 2 poems that I’ll share with you.

1) sometimes the world around us may be reminders of that person in our life – and that’s okay

THE WORLD IS OUR SOUVENIR

The world remembers
What we try to forget
It’s in the embers
Of the things we left

It’s in the concrete,
The streets we used to tread
In the halls we used to meet
When we had hours to spend

It’s in the book you carried home
In this umbrella we shared
It’s in the stars you wished on
In your skin, your palms,
Your fingers: playing with my hair

It’s in your unmade bed
The wrinkle, the weight
It’s in the distance to the door I traveled
In the silence, partings unsaid.

2) hope that we can love again – and love again BETTER

EPILOGUE

Despite everything
I still thank the universe
For blessing me with you
As my first

If I could love you this much
For this long
– And on my first try –
Then surely,

I could love someone else more
Far better
Far longer.


I hope this finds you well in a moment where you may need the encouragement, the hope, that love can come again. Maybe even in a better form. It took me years to get out of this slump, and years where I denied the fact that it still held my heart captive in some ways.

But the freeing feeling of crying over that last poem showed me that maybe those last dredges are gone, and in the meantime, I have learned a lot more about myself through it all.

So whether you needed this encouragement or not, I ask of you today: what is love? And does it have a place in your future?

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musings, YA

Musings on Love, Simon

A week ago, I had the pleasure of going with a friend to see a greatly anticipated movie based on a hit novel that shook the YA community a few years ago. I’m sure you can probably guess what this movie was – aside from the title of this review that totally gives it away, right?

Yes, it has to be Love, Simon based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. And for a blogger who sadly hasn’t finished the whole book (I know, right??), I still chose to watch it.

And it shook me. Absolutely shook me.

I don’t do movie reviews. There’s no time and place for that in my life. I watch things to just zone out and enjoy for the sake of it. I rarely have many bad things to say about what I watch as the whole purpose of going out and choosing this movie to watch suggests it was of some interest to me in the first place.

Yet, I find myself needing to write my thoughts out here. Even after more than a week since I saw the credits roll, something lingers.

Love, Simon was carefully crafted in who they chose as their protagonists and with great timing as Simon’s story moved along. Nick Robinson as Simon Spier surprisingly was perfect. I wasn’t sure initially as I’ve watched plenty of other movies Nick’s been involved in. But there’s something just right about his played-out inner fears, stoic outer charisma, and narrative voice that easily drew out empathy or sympathy from the audience. The secondary supporting characters were also really well chosen. From the hilarious Spier family – starring some familiar and big names like Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner – to the best friend, Leah (whom I cannot unsee as the infamous Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why, can you?), I think the movie had already made it to the point of halfway decent by choosing the right cast for the story.

What truly carried this movie for me was the amount of empathy I felt towards Simon. I will admit that I haven’t dived in much into the world of LGBTQ stories – whether in YA or any other genre really – but this felt like a good place to start. I have friends who are same-sex attracted and that is just who they are. Without getting into any arguments of specific beliefs, I know at the end of the day that I love these people in my life very much, and romantic love does not make life easy at all.

While you may know how the story ends for Simon and his anonymous exchanger-of-emails friend, I sat in the theatre for a moment just processing it all. The lights came back on, the few groups who watched it with us started trickling out of their seats, and my friend was sniffling at the happy ending. Love had triumphed after all. This was great! Absolutely heartwarming, right?

Yet, sitting there, eyes unseeing as the credits moved on the screen, it made me contemplative. Maybe it’s just where I am in life right now but how often does life reflect what we read and see on a screen? Sometimes I wish I was a protagonist who could flip to the end of the book and see how it all turned out. Sometimes I wished I could control more clearly what would happen. But just as an author controls what would come next for our favourite protagonists, life is the exact same way. We don’t always get to choose what comes our way. We’re just fooling ourselves with how much we truly control in our own life.

Reflecting on these things, it felt both relieving and sad at the same time. Simon got his happy ending – although he almost could have not, really, as it was ultimately up to Blue to change the course of what happened next for Simon – but do we all?

Love is a fickle thing. Do we choose who we want to love? Or does it choose us?

I think that’s what I connected most with Simon. That inability to control what we feel at times, and the inner torment it can play out on us. And while not all of us can fully empathize with the hardships that the LGBTQ community goes through with regards to love, I think this movie had something in it that reached out and made me empathize anyway. That is a true mark of a good story.

Image result for love simon

5 star, musings, YA

Bending the Universe by Justin Wetch

While this is based on the book, Bending the Universe, by Justin Wetch, I find myself not wanting to write a traditional review on this. Is it because this is the first poetry book to be featured on my site? Maybe. Yet, there’s just something about this piece of work that seems to understand parts of me that I can’t eloquently describe as well as Justin did here.

Split into 5 sections (Society, Love, Life, Personal, Nature), Justin pours his heart and honesty from his own life into 100 poems. I can always admire people who pour out their soul into their work – I mean, I also write out my feelings especially when they’re overwhelming me as it has been more lately – but what makes this extra special is just how much they resonate with me.

Each section has something special that just makes me go, oh wow, I completely get that. That is ME too. The below will hold snippets of his poems and why they resonate with me so much.


I pour out myself to others, and it’s been a taxing toll sometimes. I call it like leaving a piece of myself with them as once I do so, I won’t take it back. It’s theirs to keep. It’s been important to me to love others, to share life and all that is good with them.

Like a candle giving its flame to another

Selflessly, spreading light and colour

It takes nothing of ourselves to inspire

goodness in others, to speak life and new fire

into existence. (Candles – SOCIETY)

Heartbreak. Ah, to feel the burning passion that seems to consume us. We know it’ll hurt to get so close to the flame, yet there’s something poignant and real to be so close to something we deem worth the pain. Ah, it goes back to the old saying. To have loved and lost or to have never loved at all? Which is better?

What is this sickness within me

That longs to be burned to ashes by a fierce passion

And hates this peace?

This dreadful, meaningless, horrible, good calmness.

So in the middle of the night

I awaken in a cold sweat

And without a plan, leaving everything behind

I flee to a foreign city

Where I don’t even speak the language

Where the doctors don’t know my name

Where the Lithium will soon wear off

And I will soon be free again.

I don’t want safety or guarantees –

I want a life worth living.

I want to jump off a skyscraper

And fashion a parachute on the way down

Out of my fears and trepidations

Because sometimes survival

Isn’t the most important thing

And surviving

Isn’t the same as living. (Lithium – LOVE)

In those darkest nights when I lie in my bed and wonder or despair – sometimes consecutively and around we go – and sleep abandons me to my endless train of thoughts and anxieties.

Hope is a foolish disaster, ending

All realism and rationality, lying

Always promising too much, trying

To blunt the painfulness of life, muting

Dark thoughts and catalysts for weeping.

Sadness is the cruelest of emotions, crying

Deep sobs into the canyons of the mind, sinding

Broken songs of torment and death, sending

Echoes at random into the future, requiring

All happiness to be punctuated with mourning. (Midnight – LIFE)

Yet from all these above poems, nothing resonated as much as the poems in the Personal section. It’s like Justin gets me – or vice versa. To understand someone I love, to live a life that’s meaningful with no regrets at the end of the day, and to love someone wholly with all that I truly am.

I wanted to ask you

What thoughts plague your mind

When you stay up past midnight

And allow your brain to think freely;

I wanted to know, truly I did so,

But I merely wanted, and did not do.

I wanted to ask you

Many a thing, telling it true

I wanted to delve into your soul

And find out what makes you, you;

I wanted to, but I guess I’ll just settle

For a “I’m good, how about you?” (I wanted to ask you – PERSONAL)

What does it take to please me?

How will I learn to be happy?

I could be the greatest things

And still yearn to be better

Because, in truth

My greatest fear on this earth

Is to be on my death bed

– Hopefully at an old age –

And to look back upon a life

That I didn’t live to the fullest. (Eternity – PERSONAL)

I cry out and scream

Demanding answers, any at all

What does any of it mean

When will clarity call?

Will I ever give my heart

To love without reservation?

Will I ever learn the art

Of waiting with true patience? (The weight of the future – PERSONAL)

And last but not least, I too feel the same weight of nature on my heart. I could be outdoors all the time, really. But most of all, I can spend eternity staring up at the night sky with all those stars staring back at me.

When the brightness of one star

Is lost in the multitude of its brethren

It makes one feel so insignificant

But simultaneously irreplaceable.

Thoughts of chance and destiny

Burn into my retinas

So when I close my eyes

I see only profound thoughts.

Under a night’s sky

Filled with a hundred billion stars

Is it so crazy to believe

Our paths were destined to cross? (A hundred billion stars – NATURE)

I probably shouldn’t go on much longer but this book is filled with poems such as these. Honest, real and heartfelt, there was so much connection found in these pages. No matter the heartache, sleepless nights or other experiences that come our way, we are connected to one another through it all. This book proves it. Now go and see how much of these words resonate with you too.