For all of the women who were brave enough to share their story and were met with responses such as, “It’s a grey area.”

What about consent seems grey to you?

What about the length of my skirt or the dip of my shirt says yes to you?

How does the appearance of my skin come across as an invitation?

What if, what if, what if, the way I dress has nothing to do with men?

Maybe I’m hot, maybe I’m cold, maybe I just want to appear bold

Whatever the reason, whatever you see, keep in mind, it is only for me

-

What about my firm refusal seems malleable to you?

When I say no, you treat my words like play-doh

Molding…

The dust swirled around the soles of my shoes before gaining momentum and climbing its way up my legs. The cloud of soil and dirt surrounding me appeared to be the only cloud in the forecast, I thought as I squinted into the sky. My glasses, hat, and makeshift bandana face mask weren’t enough to keep the dry earth from settling into the creases of my skin and creating new cracks where there were none before. With a cough, I straightened my spine to stand up as I surveyed my surroundings. Rows of bodies worked diligently in the distance, the…

Even When They Say It Is Theirs

I recently found myself in an entirely new situation that felt all too familiar. Kind of like déjà vu except it didn’t take long to pinpoint other times I had felt it. Whereas déjà vu is unpredictable in the sense you might not know when you’ll experience it again, I knew at this time this wouldn’t be the last encounter I had with this feeling.

This occurrence took place on a sunny April day out on a short hike with my friend Adam. I had been really excited to take him out to see this waterfall, not because of its…

Even before my fingers pressed to the keyboard and my words began to appear on this page, my hands shook with the weight of this story.

Long before I had opened my laptop and the only existence of my intention to write lay in my mind, hot tears of anger began to take form in my eyes.

It has been a little over eight years since the following incident occurred and I am still taken aback at my bodies reaction to the memory I have swept under an ever growing rug.

Now I want to straighten my spine, take a…

The kind you seek out

Whenever I tell people my brother died in a motorcycle accident, I can see their wheels turning, envisioning a fiery crash or a head on collision. The reality is less dramatic, less gory. The truth is, it was a simple slip of the wheel at a mere 30 miles per hour that sent him spinning headfirst into a mailbox. But that was all it took.

My twenty two year old brother went from working, playing, riding, living, and breathing to…just breathing. In and out, the work of a machine, not even his own lungs, for a week before he was…

An honest telling of a time I felt real danger, the imminent kind.

I have always prided myself on being very intuitive in regards to the people around me. I feel their energy in the same amount of time it takes them to introduce themselves and keep it in mind as I continue to get to know them. I like to think I can see things coming or expect a certain behavior from someone based off my reading of them. I like to think so, at least.

The truth is, I was placed into a situation in 2015 that has made me very cautious of other people ever since. A situation that shook…

Viewer Discretion Is Advised

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Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

My relationship with being naked did not start out as boldly as it is now. The perfect example being even claiming to have a relationship with nudity would have mortified me in the past. Now, it just feels natural, kind of like being naked.

When I was in seventh grade, my family and I moved into a nicer neighborhood after my mom remarried my now stepdad. There weren’t just multiple rooms, there were floors, and each room contained a walk in closet. My standard of living was not very high at the time so I was already blown away before…

The sight of mountains slowly straightens the curve in my spine and my heart races, telling each vertebrae to align.

The urgent rush of water dissolves any trace of sleep remaining in my eyes and my lids raise with attentiveness.

I am awake, I am here, my body seems to say.

I’m not sure who I’m declaring this to.

The trees, maybe.

My hands clench the steering wheel, the white of my knuckles resembling the snow covering the tops of the hills.

My destination grows closer and I can already hear my boots crunching on the path filling a corner…

…to be my friends.

Back in 2017, I was given the opportunity to attend a restorative yoga retreat, free of charge. What would usually cost hundreds of dollars was offered to me as a gift by my yoga instructor at the time. I jumped at the opportunity, as I do with most free events, packed up, and drove out with no idea of what to expect.

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The view from my hammock

I packed light, accustomed to backpacking trips, and quickly discovered our campsite was only a short walk from the parking area. I nervously set up my hammock, taking note of all of the large tents surrounding me. My…

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Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Picture a litter of puppies, each one piled on top of each other with folds of blankets covering a head here and a leg there. Growing up with five brothers and a single mother, our start was much like this. When I was seven we moved into a small apartment with cold tile covering the floor of each room. At night we created a makeshift pallet on the floor, each kid grasping a handful of blankets, covers spilling out of our arms. I remember squealing with delight as I tossed a pillow on the pile and dove in headfirst. My…

Ama Garza

25 year old woman living in a Ford Transit Connect van. Telling honest stories of real love, loss and every experience in between.

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