fly underground

neophyte-escapist asked: Wow, you graduated from Swarthmore.

I was lounging in bed, re-watching episodes of Pretty Little Liars, when I absentmindedly scrolled through my tumblr app on my phone. That was how I read this message: in my pajamas on an early Saturday night, a friend from Swarthmore crashing at my apartment, my mother making dinner, my focus on a trashy television show. There is a pile of thick GRE prep books in another room of the house. I am in the midst of correspondence with three of my favorite professors from college, negotiating recommendation letters. My inbox is full to the brim with information for my AmeriCorps job, things from NYC Service, things from my fellow NYC Civic Corps members; information from my host site, Hour Children, Inc. It has been about two weeks of this life. Waking up at 6, closing my eyes after midnight. It is unbelievable to remember that only a year ago, this hustle would have seemed quiet. Swarthmore was this bright, warm, hard thing. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t have something weighing down on me, an impossible reading, an intricate email chain I had to navigate, some piece of my distant future that peeped out, like a lost child: will you ever come find me? There were days when I worked so hard and days when I carried around heavy books all day, never opening them, instead laughing with friends. I miss my friends. I miss that unified sense of purpose, how if I walked into our only dining hall, I could make eye contact with anyone, anyone, and they would know what this pressure felt like. In the real world, the laughing is strange. People don’t carry big books. My purse always feels like it should be heavier. My mother tells me that I should take things less seriously, I should relax. But even that feels wrong, not like me. I have never wanted a life that is quiet or soft. I like my hustle, even this one, that presses down my eyelids before I sleep. I like my coming-closer future, like a stray cat: you fed me once, now feed me again. I graduated from Swarthmore. Wow. Wow. Sometimes, I still can’t believe it happened. Sometimes, I think: how could it not have happened? 

amanda-oaks:

We are all really stoked about this event! We will be reading round-robin style, all of us will have books there that wouldn’t mind going home with you. ;) It should be a blast!October 18th at 6pm @ A Poet Art Gallery, 4032 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104(Check out some of us here on Tumblr: alonesomes, brandonspeck, fly-underground, amanda-oaks + fleurishes!)We hope to see you there, bring your poems for the open mic! 

You’re probably thinking IS THIS REAL, so I just want to confirm adamantly THAT THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. It’s going to be an amazing night! You should be there!
(special note to all my friends and readers in the Philadelphia/Swarthmore area: you should DEFINITELY be there!)

amanda-oaks:

We are all really stoked about this event!

We will be reading round-robin style, all of us will have books there that wouldn’t mind going home with you. ;) It should be a blast!

October 18th at 6pm @ A Poet Art Gallery, 4032 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

(Check out some of us here on Tumblr: alonesomes, brandonspeck, fly-underground, amanda-oaks + fleurishes!)

We hope to see you there, bring your poems for the open mic! 

You’re probably thinking IS THIS REAL, so I just want to confirm adamantly THAT THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. It’s going to be an amazing night! You should be there!

(special note to all my friends and readers in the Philadelphia/Swarthmore area: you should DEFINITELY be there!)

inklustt asked: Happy birthday (in advance) to one of the most inspiring writers I've ever had the privilege to encounter. x

oh my god, this is such a flattering message, thank you!! i wish i could say that i’m doing exciting pre-birthday things, but i’m literally just organizing my room and rewatching the early seasons of pretty little liars. i figure once i’m 22, i’ll start living a more ‘grown up’ life, mostly because i start working the day after!

I’m turning 22 in 2 days!

Only two days until my birthday and I’ve been thinking loads about what I’d like. My best friend is going to hate this list, because the one I gave her was organized into type of accessory and mostly featured ASOS links.

  • Buy my book, Until I Learned What It Meant. Seriously, this is probably a strange request, because it involves buying yourself something as opposed to getting something for me. But it would mean so much to me. Think of it as me completely forgiving your book-buying gluttony.
  •  "But Yena I already bought your book!" – you say. First of all, a deep heart-felt thanks to you! It means so much to me and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. You can review my book on the Where Are You Press Etsy page, you can rate it on Goodreads, or you can do both!
  • "But Yena I did already did that too!" – you say. Thank you! It means a lot to me, to know how people felt about this book. I’ve read all the reviews and have scrolled through all the ratings: it makes my heart swell.
  • "That’s really all you want?" – you ask. Yes, friends. I’m really very lucky. I couldn’t ask for more than this. 

fly-underground turned 5 today!

i don’t normally celebrate my tumblr birthday, probably because it’s six days before my actual birthday (september 3rd helloooo), but five years is a long time! longer than college, longer than high school. my tumblr is old enough to be a kindergartener. it’s weird. it’s kind of cool.
fun fact: i first got a tumblr to have a place to post my poetry. it was initially only a poetry blog. no personal posts, no gpoys, no reblogs, nothing. my dashboard wasn’t a very interesting place, probably because i was only following friends from my real life, probably because five years ago, tumblr wasn’t as cool~
fly-underground has become a part of my life in a way that i didn’t think was possible. certainly my book wouldn’t have gotten published if not for this platform, but beyond that, i wouldn’t have ‘met’ so many really interesting, kind people if not for tumblr. i’ve learned a lot on here. it’s been a good place for me. 

fly-underground turned 5 today!

i don’t normally celebrate my tumblr birthday, probably because it’s six days before my actual birthday (september 3rd helloooo), but five years is a long time! longer than college, longer than high school. my tumblr is old enough to be a kindergartener. it’s weird. it’s kind of cool.

fun fact: i first got a tumblr to have a place to post my poetry. it was initially only a poetry blog. no personal posts, no gpoys, no reblogs, nothing. my dashboard wasn’t a very interesting place, probably because i was only following friends from my real life, probably because five years ago, tumblr wasn’t as cool~

fly-underground has become a part of my life in a way that i didn’t think was possible. certainly my book wouldn’t have gotten published if not for this platform, but beyond that, i wouldn’t have ‘met’ so many really interesting, kind people if not for tumblr. i’ve learned a lot on here. it’s been a good place for me. 

Anonymous asked: Hi! I think your poems are awesome.. I was just wondering how do you pronounce your name? It seems like a beautiful mouthful.

hello! thank you for this really kind message! hahaha, it’s funny you ask about the pronunciation of my name, because many of the people i first meet online all struggle a bit. i know it’s not out of malice or anything, my name is probably exactly how you described it: a beautiful mouthful. 

yena is pronounced like henna or jenna but with a y: YEN-a. 
sharma like karma: SHAR-ma.
purmasir, the toughest name in the bunch, has an emphasis on the first syllable: PURR-maa-sir. (when i say “sir” for the last syllable, i really do mean like the english word “sir.”)

i hope this little pronunciation guide helps! i am trying more and more not to take mispronunciations too personally and also to correct people before it can become too awkward.

My sickness is there when I look in the mirror. It is not all that I am, but it is an inexorable part of me. I am finally beginning to accept that. Which is to say, I am learning to accept the world in all of its contradictions and live as best I can within them.

Clementine von Radics, “A Polite Way of Saying ‘Incurable’”

(via twloha)

You know how they say “Be the person you would have needed as a teenager?”

I just got published by To Write Love On Her Arms, an organization that does amazing work to present hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self injury, and thoughts of suicide.Their recourses were so helpful to me, and to be able to contribute was an honor.

Huge, HUGE thanks to my editor Claire Biggs and to TWLOHA for reaching out to me.

(via clementinevonradics)

So much love and support and respect for Clementine! Read her whole piece here!

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.

—Gilda Radner (via a-thousand-words)

Don’t be someone that searches, finds, and then runs away.

—Paulo Coelho (via kari-shma)

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.

—Stephen R. Covey (via quotebookshelf)