I love Richard Siken’s poetry and if it wasn’t obvious by my earlier continuous posts of Sarah Kay’s poetry, I love her too. So even before I heard Sarah Kay’s The Type, I had read the brief details on the “about” section on Youtube and realised that it was inspired by the quote below in Richard Siken’s poetry, I already knew that I would love it. And I do.
“Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.”
– Detail of the Woods, Richard Siken
This rings very true for me and it is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I can’t say that I am fully there yet. There are still moments when I am tempted to find my place in someone and to make everything so contingent on another person, his affections and his opinions. But I am my own person. I am my own place.
I think this post is brought on because of late, I have seen a few people who are very dear to me that are hurting because of other people in their lives. And I really don’t know what to do or say to make them feel better. Because saying that “it’s gonna be okay” feels so cliche and forced and we all know that at the end of the day, maybe in a month’s time or in a year or ten year’s time, it will finally be okay. But right now, it simply is not. And I know no one can really do anything to make things okay. All I can say is that it is okay not to be okay. And because things didn’t happen the way you planned or wanted things to happen doesn’t mean that it is your fault, because it isn’t. You are more than enough. There’s no need to squeeze into a mould, to be someone that you think will live up to what another person wants. You are definitely more than enough, just as you are.
by Sarah Kay
If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at,
You can let them look at you.
But do not mistake eyes for hands,
Or windows for mirrors.
Let them see what a woman looks like.
They may not have ever seen one before.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch,
You can let them touch you.
Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for.
Sometimes it is a bottle, a door, a sandwich, a Pulitzer, another woman –
But their hands found you first.
Do not mistake yourself for a guardian, or a muse, or a promise, or a victim or a snack.
You are a woman –
Skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat
You are not made of metaphors,
Not apologies, not excuses.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold,
You can let them hold you.
All day they practice keeping their bodies upright.
Even after all this evolving it still feels unnatural,
Still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine.
Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you,
Admit they don’t have the answers they thought they would by now.
Some men will want to hold you like the answer.
You are not the answer.
You are not the problem.
You are not the poem, or the punchline, or the riddle, or the joke.
Woman, if you grow up the type of woman men want to love,
You can let them love you.
Being loved is not the same thing as loving.
When you fall in love,
It is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping.
It is realising you have hands.
It is reaching for the tightrope after the crowds have all gone home.
Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt.
If he leaves you with a car alarm heart.
You learn to sing along.
It is hard to stop loving the ocean,
Even after it’s left you gasping, salty.
So forgive yourself for the decisions you’ve made,
The ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night,
And know this.
Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You are born to build.