Finding Old Poems Unexpectedly

Have you ever come across a piece of your writing from back in the day and wondered what the hell you were thinking at that time? I mean really! I’ve been writing for most of my life and it still amazes me how far I’ve come not just as a writer, but as a woman. I was searching through my email trying to find the photo of my tattoo I mentioned in my previous post and came across an email with a poem I had submitted for a contest on December 3, 2013. This is what I wrote for my biography:

My name is Ariel Damali Hollie. I’m from San Bernardino, California. I’ve grown up using poetry/writing as one of my forms of venting and expressing who I am. I’m all for self-discovery and taking chances. I’m for community- Big and Small. I believe in starting over; I believe in love.

Here is the poem:

Us. One Road. Two Lanes.

I don’t affirm the love I have for you
until you affirm the respect you have for me.
This two way street is only one road
but our lanes have come together.
Don’t ride or die for me.
Let’s both drive.
We ride and die for us.

When I read this poem, it excites me – the depth. But it also makes me sad because I remember being this young girl, yearning for this deep, deep love that was based on authenticity and not standards set by social media, hence the “ride or die” reference. I was so lost when it came to this topic yet so found. 2013. I was 19. Crazy, huh?