The Inside of Out is a collection of poems and essays written by Jena Strong. First of all, I love this book. Second, I treasure it intimately. I can read it over and over and every time I read some of the highlighted verses, I'd feel comfortable and that is for sure. Jena Strong has written each and every poem/essay personally, and that is to say those are based on her life experiences. She voices out everything to the world through this book that when you read her words, you will be enveloped by strong emotions.
The highlighted verses are the things I need to hear, over and over --
"Do not curse your lack of fluency; no matter what you write or don't write, no matter what you craft or shape, no matter what you choose, life will unfold. She will find you, pursue you, and remind you to keep coming out, show up just when you start disappearing again to say: This is the yes, this endless ending and this beginning-less beginning, this openness to not knowing what you don't know and trusting what you do, allowing words to spill over and flow towards the sea without pausing or steering or second-guessing their rightness or destination. To know you did it once and now you will be called to do it again and again after that, to devote yourself to a life not of performance or perfection or completion, but of courage and faith and action. Of practice."
She mostly inspired me to make my own version of her The One Hundred Year Perspective which I have yet to write. Here is a part of the essay:
"In one hundred years, none of us will be here, not in these lives, in this form. We will leave traces, stories, cells, words, our actions and effect on others passed through people we met who met people who met people, through our children and the great-greats, if we are known at all."
As a weakling, it seems like she knows how I feel (mostly at the end of the day) thus reminding and hitting me with strong words such as "when some heavy weight is pressing down on your chest, pinning you down, making it hard to breathe, you have the power to turn that shit over. Get on top. Own it."
It's a book that can change things a bit. To be honest, I quite like her perspective on some things; to be vulnerable is not so bad if you know what you are doing, mindful in little things, and living life freely. Worry is just a waste of time but I can't help it sometimes. Then again at the end of the day, your life depends on how you deal with things. I may have made a lot of odd things in the past but those don't stop me from moving forward. Overall, this book is a good read. It kind of helps me in taking life lightly as much as possible.
Thank you, Jena Strong, for giving me a copy of your book. Your life story brings me some new perspectives in life, your voice is so strong it helps me realize where I truly belong, and mostly for being honest that you wrote down even the little details in your daily life which mostly inspired me to be mindful and somehow take things easy despite heavy loads of emotions. Thank you for those words and thoughts. Thank you.