All Posts By: missdansie

Writer’s Block

Each time I sit down to write a post for this blog, I wrestle with finding the “right” words for the page. I find it difficult to decide which voice to write in, and I’m never quite sure how much I should edit because I fret over sounding authentic. I think about the unintended authority that may lay in my words, overly aware that someone might take my voice to heart. Overall, I intend to be careful, and sometimes the emotional toll feels immense.

This week I procrastinated harder than usual, never making space in my days to write. To be fair, I’ve been busy, overwhelmed, and distracted by the sun in the sky. But here it is Saturday, my post 6 (now 18) days overdue and I have barely started to write.

I compose my drafts first on paper, the ideas birthed (most of the time) by a .07 mechanical pencil and my hand. I began writing as a child by filling up journals and notebooks with poetry and thoughts. I have always struggled with getting big ideas to flow straight to the computer screen. Writing on paper has been integral to the development of my “self,” the part of me that is expressed through language and emotion. The view of the world you see through me.

Sometimes I think the reason I can’t find my voice is due to my process, but perhaps, right now, I’m unsure of what I sound like (which has been a recurring theme in my writing for this blog). The last five years have been a journey of learning how to pick myself up and keep walking with the pieces I do have. Through my education, I have learned to notice the way my behaviors and emotions have been impacted by trauma and changing those behaviors has been both strenuous and rewarding.

I think one of the hardest parts has been learning how to slow down and think new questions while also validating my voice has importance. Often, I want to clam up and stop talking, but my voice is important. Not because of the need to share it or even the need to be heard, but important because of the ripples it has the potential to create, no matter my intention. Slowing down to prevent using exclusive language is hard work.

The transition from listener to speaker, or student to teacher, has me feeling insecure. This process is vulnerable, and I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks while remembering to always be gentle (with both myself and others). I’m certain that my need for approval and validation is a piece of this puzzle.

This topic has been difficult to write about; hard to wrap my head around. I have questions rolling around in my head that are intersecting with my core sense of being. Where do approval and validation merge with authority and understanding? How do I change my perspective so I’m not wrought with feelings of inadequacy whenever I go to type on the page? How do I get comfortable with being uncomfortable? And when will I start to worry less?

Belonging in June

June was full of so much fun for me. I spent the first weekend celebrating my sister’s birthday (playing laser tag) and Pride. June 9th was mine and my friend Megan’s birthday, and the day began with news that my niece was born, bringing us another birthday sister <3. We spent the day at a festival of colors and later had a pool party with friends. The third weekend…

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Birthday Resolutions

For the last five years I have set my New Year’s resolutions on June 9th. I have always had a hard time being accountable to January 1st, but June 9th, the day of my birth, the day of MY new year, has made the perfect check-in point. I love my birthday and count down the days until I get to celebrate myself alllll day long, every year. Call it…

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Your Whole Heart’s a Village

On April 19th, the woman who I claim “sang me through college,” came to town for a concert. All of my life I have had a penchant for woman singers. My mom surrounded me with the voices of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Janis Ian, Melanie, Carol King, Reba McEntire, and so many others. I have taken after her taste by finding women like Brandi Carlile, Jewel, Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles,…

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Where I Come From

A few nights before I left for Germany I played a game with a few friends called Hot Seat. The setup and gameplay are similar to Cards Against Humanity. The person who leads the round draws a card with a question on it, and every person in the circle writes an answer including the person who pulled the card. Everyone’s responses are tossed into a box and drawn anonymously….

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A Short Poem

Drifting, floating, flying, leaping, My feet move across the Earth. Every day different, time being measured, By the passing sun in the sky. But what is time anyway, and why pay attention, and why use it to measure our lives? How can time be wasted when each passing moment will never again pass by? Tripping, falling, crashing, hurting, I catch myself down on my knees. Feeling fatigued by the…

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Book of Mormon Stories

A couple of weeks ago a girl I grew up with was interviewed on the Mormon Stories Podcast. She grew up down the road from me and is one (of many) girls whose parents restricted them from playing with me because of my parents’ lack of church attendance. She was always kind to me, but the barriers were clear. The podcast explores she and her husband’s religiosity and why…

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Getting What I Need

A little over a month ago I was sitting in my friend Tyler’s living room complaining about some problems that were playing out between me and my partner, Miguel. “But Tyler,” I pouted, after he gave me some solid advice, “I don’t want to do that!” He looked at me with compassion, shrugged his shoulders and said, “sometimes what you need and what you want,” he brought his thumb…

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We Live in Separate Bodies

It’s February, and I have allergies. The elm trees are pollinating early, and clearly, my body doesn’t like it. Allergies smallergies; April Dansie is sooo sensitive. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if someone else could crawl into my skin so I might share the world as I feel it; so they might sneeze as much as I sneeze. Do my feelings of isolation and being misunderstood…

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