Coming Alive

One of my final projects in graduate school was to capture the evolution of my identity throughout the program.   I chose to create an album – 11 songs that could map out a life that intersected my research papers & chapters-to-be-read.  Though deeply inspired by my year in 2006, it’s not a bad playlist if you need car-ride company.

On the inside cover of the album, I wrote the following…

I recently dusted off this lyrical map in search of a spot marked “YOU ARE HERE”.  This time, my mixed tape clarity showed up in one freeing form…

I am funny 
and the one liners I dropped last week 
are literally
suffocating me
in boomerang giggles right now.

I am smart
and I should already believe this
by the sheer number of times
Jon Locker tells me
alongside his ‘you are beautifuls’.

I ugly cry
as much as I smile
and I have accepted that life

is never going to gift it to me
any other way.

I am confused by commas,
exclamation points steal my joy

and I am currently
punctuated discernment. 

I have a heart that shines
when I read the headline
“World’s Kindest Person Gets Pissed Off”  

and I ride open-eyed and screaming
because “Subtle & Quiet Doesn’t Mean Unexcited”.

I runway jumpsuits, stocking hats and heels
and trust the spirited stylist
who once told me
I look good despite
all my coffee-spilled fumbles.

I shut down to create space for  Folding the map back up, I have realized that I don’t have to be Ali or Allyn.  I get to be both and everything in between.  Ponytail, curls or straightened.  They are all me because my names are the bookends of my soul.

I found the X – I AM HERE.


  1. Congrats on post 4. Excited to see what the future of holds.

    ( I hear you on commas. Don’t get me started on semi-colons (or hyphens for that matter) )


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