I am from hazelnut coffee with extra whip
from Indulgio and Home Brewed.
I am from crimson walls and plug in lights, enveloping the heart of my home,
from picture frames and Bible verses, plastered up against the drywall.
I am from watching snowflakes fall, and water touching the tips of my toes.
I am from Cleveland and Polish Polkas,
from Grandma’s spaghetti, caramelized onions, and cheese pierogies.
I am from departing Cleveland at four years old, salty tears saturating my face.
From grasping my grandma’s hand asking, “Are we going home soon?”
I am from the growing fondness of a distant heart, knowing they are one call away.
I am from my favorite Babolat 23 racquet,
from striking a ball with more force than my body withheld.
I am from sweat and tears, winning and losing, tiebreakers and blow outs.
From deciding what I love more, telling Mom, “If only this day wasn’t coming so soon.”
I am from crisp fall air thrashing, the last serve escaping the strings of my racquet.
From the time I laid my Babolat on the court, a sweet and sad “Goodbye.”
I am from letting go of what I loved the most.
I am from stage doors, where I fall in love portraying someone other than myself.
From my eyes smiling and heartbeat quickening, each note escaping from my lips.
I am from competing, waiting for my name to be called accompanied by a first place ribbon.
From 12 hour weeks, perfecting my arabesque and lifts in Once Upon a December.
I am from realizing hard work will pay off in the end.
I am from mixing dry and wet ingredients in a floral bowl,
from the smell of dough rising and sugar rushing through my taste buds.
I am from smiles popping up upon Jack’s crumb filled face,
From “How do you make this?” and “What is your secret?”
I am from doing what I love, and loving what I do.
I am from the Pink Flower basket from Thirty One.
From cards and pictures, bringing tears that drip down my spotty cheeks.
I am from the clammy-handed, butterflies in your stomach first date at Pink Mocha,
from staring into his emerald eyes with anxious, forced smiles accompanied for encouragement.
I am from the first ping pong kiss and dad jokes,
from the pink jeweled promise ring around my left ring finger.
I am from the promise to make it through anything.