Sunday, July 22, 2012

day 365

The day has finally come. This is an open diary for all my readers, supporters, friends, lovers, and beautiful strangers.

My name is Princess M. Chan. I started this 365 project, well, 365 days ago. I was stuck at an airport after an amazing trip to the 2011 Youth Speaks Brave New Voices Festival. Before the trip, I honestly had no idea what I would experience. It was my first time being on a slam team. I was 17, excited, and very lost. Once my team and I reached our destination, I instantly fell in love. I melted. I knew that I would embark on an adventure that would change the rest of my life. And it did.

The 2011 Lowell Youth Slam Team (Suty, Em, Sara, and I) didn’t score amazing with judges, but we always pulled through whenever we performed our group piece, Awkward Swag. We performed that piece in our home town, Lowell, before leaving for BNV and we got… well… awkward feedback. Feeling discouraged, we decided as a group that we didn’t want to bring this piece to BNV. One of our coaches, my wonderful mentor Febo, kept telling us that he had a feeling about this piece. He knew it would bring us somewhere. Reluctantly, we believed him, so we brought it to the competition.

After spitting at late night open mics, we were half sleepy and half determined. Poets loved Awkward Swag! Eventually, we were asked to perform our group piece at a semi-finals bout as a sacrifice. Beau Sia happened to be there and he asked us to perform our piece…  on final stage…

We peed our pants.

I remember how all of us felt right before performing. Nervous as sh*t. This was our moment. The moment we had been working for. We had written a piece that was just so RAW and so BEAUTIFUL and over 3,000 people would be there to witness the love. We performed on final stage. Man, we performed on final stage… It felt so good to go on stage and have other poets cheering for you. (I remember meeting a guy named Tony, who was one of the Youth Speaks staff, his name was Tony. There was an inside joke between us where he would call me Tony, because I hate introducing myself as Princess, so I introduced myself to him as Tony. HEHE! In the video of the team performing, you can hear him scream out “TONY!!!”). Brave New Voices changed my life. It was a trip I will always cherish. I met so many beautiful lovers and I pretty much fell in love… with everyone.

There was Jamaica. And Henry Luke. And a beautiful boy with dreads in the elevator at midnight. And then there were friends I will never and have never lost touch with. There’s Victor and Jamarr and the rest of PYPM. There’s Shawn. There’s Joshua Nguyen from Texas. And of course, my beloved Canadians, Bri, Shoolie, and Miss Lex Leosis. The loves I’ve lost, and the loves I’ve loved and I have continued to love. There is no greater beauty than connecting with souls from all over the globe.

So yeah. There’s really no other reason to why this project was created. This has been my way of coping and adjusting to not being around such beautiful people all the time. Really. It makes me cry just thinking of it. I get so warm inside.

Aside from this 365 project, I have been on the road and on different stages doing what I love to do! I love to write. I love to share. I love to listen. This is my life, man. It’s difficult to not get corny, but I have to. Being young and being so sure about what you want to do is such a blessing.

And the blessings didn’t stop there. I’ve been eternally grateful to have grown so much as an individual and performer. I don’t think I can write like a pro writer 3000 Olympic champ, but I have the confidence that my words can change the world somehow. Or maybe just someone’s world.

I have performed for various youth organized events. I am a big supporter for my community, and I’ve performed at many awareness events.

My poem Year Zero was published in the Young Angels Midnight: Lowell’s Anthology. I performed Autumn #17 at the mayor’s inauguration. But my biggest work so far is my culture piece. As you read on into my project, I write about a certain topic for weeks on end, maybe even months, to create the perfect piece. To do my mind some justice. To put my heart to rest. It took me about three months to write When the Wars Begin! But I guess practice makes almost perfect, because that piece has brought me to such amazing places.

To name a few accomplishments I am extremely proud of: I’ve shared the stage with Robert Pinsky, Maggie Dietz, and Major Jackson. I was on Lowell’s first Louder than a Bomb slam team. I performed When the Wars Begin as a sacrifice for a semi-final bout. I was the grand slam champion for the 2012 Youth Slam Team. I am currently the first person to the on both the Youth Slam Team and the Adult Slam Team at the same time.

Some things I am planning to do in the next year: Perform at the 2012 Dance 4 Peace! Slam and land a spot on the Lowell Cupsi Team! Compete in the Ontario International Poetry Slam in November!!!! Build my credentials and do extremely good for my first year at college so I can transfer and earn a spot at the First Wave program at the University of Wisconsin Madison!

My future is pretty much in the air right now. I don’t know where I’ll be exactly, I just want to be a rock star. But wherever I end up, I will still continue to write, grow, inspire, love, teach, preach, and… breathe. Just breathe. And be thankful for being so blessed with such good opportunities and friendships.

You may be thinking, Now what? But I’m like, Shhhhh.

I have been thinking about what to do next for a good whole month. And I’ve decided what my next project will be… I will continue to use my 365 project. I will be interpreting my poems in different forms of art. As much as I love poetry, I love art and passion in general. I am also a musician, illustrator, dancer, and inspiring film maker (I’m actually studying film in college!!). My new project will basically be a gallery of my own art. Each form of art will incorporate one or maybe even a few days, weeks, and months worth of poems. This will not be a 365, so it may be a challenge to stay focused!!!

So here I am! 18, crazy, in love, inspired… happy. I am so happy. This 365 project has helped me cope with my depression, anxiety, rape, and doubts. I thank you for reading so much. And I am SO grateful for your spirit, soul, and interest. Without you, this project wouldn’t have flourished the way it has. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today. So thank you. Thank you so much, friend. You have no idea how much you mean to me.

Warmth & Comfort,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

day 364

I feel so
many emotions
right now.
It's almost 3 in the morning.
My heart is 
five different senses.
I am so in love
with this project.
With all of the words.
They are my children.
And they're all just
a vision of yesterday
and yesterday's tomorrow
and tomorrow's last week
and these could be my last words.
It is day 364, loves.
Thank you for the eyes
Thank you for the way
you have made me feel.
My passion is a passion
because you support me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

day 363

Confessions of an introvert:

  1. It may be wrong
    but some days I pray for my cell phone
    to lose service
    to lose life
    to lose the fight to stay alive.
    I just don't want to talk to anyone today.
    Most days.
  2. I try not to sound dramatic
    whenever I ask for a day to be alone
    but I end up making a huge scene.
    I need time
    to recharge
    It's extremely exhausting
    talking to people
  3. I just don't prefer being surrounded by people
    I hate big crowds
    I hate long conversations
    I hate people that only prefer to go to
    the mall, big dance parties,
    or small cafes
    just to be alone
    just to talk.
  4. You honestly don't need to talk so much.
  5. I honestly don't appreciate human beings that
    ask me
    What's wrong with you?
    Why are you so quiet?
  6. ...
  7. Why are you ignoring me?
  9. I just don't have the energy to speak
    too much time feeling uncomfortable
    and not enough time to feel happy
  10. I am, too, uncomfortable when I am quiet.
  11. I don't think anything is wrong with me.
    I have just learned to appreciate small talk,
    close friends, and good vibes.
    I don't think it's wrong to ask to be alone
    and I don't think it's wrong to prefer not to respond.
    Sometimes people say the darnest things.
    I'm not afraid of people.
    I just get burnt out.
    I'm so full of energy that it tires me.
    Drives me insane sometimes.
    I don't plan on changing this. This plays a huge part in my life.
    In who I am.
    If I wasn't an introvert, I wouldn't be the same.
    I wouldn't love what I love,
    and love who I love.
    I wouldn't be as lovable.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

day 362

Poets are some sort of unknown specimen.
It's the new thing
the new trend
just grab your thoughts
and courage
Be brave
don't choke
don't forget
be brave
show them your soul
don't forget
don't choke on your nerves
the nerves are there for a reason
for two reasons
one to remind you to be scared
be brave but be fearful
don't choke
don't forget your lines
don't forget
don't forget why you wrote this poem
to the thinker behind the words
to the creator
you are a God
you can become your own savior
lose yourself in lost moments
find yourself with your own soul
your groove
you can make people dance
play puppeteer to bad structure
bad grammar
and bad spelling
don't forget
don't forget it doesn't matter
don't forget it will never be perfect
be brave
be who you are supposed to be
be your own creator

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

day 361

You must be under 6'3" to be an astronaut.

Thoughts of a 6'4" NASA employee named Houston.

They always told us we could be anything when we grew up
We could be doctors

rocket scientists...

I just wanted to fly.

I just wanted to help my Earth
my planet

I didn't want to play with fire
or save super heroes from evil villains

I just wanted to fly.

I worked my way up the ladder
from intern
to employee
to almost maybe
to almost an astronaut
to sorry bud,
you're just a little too tall
to the "Houston, we have a problem"
to the Houston,
we do have a problem
to the
you're just a little too tall
to almost maybe
to you could be whatever you want to be
if you just put your mind to it
to the Houston, we have a problem
to the Congratulations
we're promoting you
to the job as a technical engineer
to the
we have a problem
to the men stuck on the moon
I just wanted to fly

You wouldn't let me

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

day 360


Thank you
to the

to the
Are you sure
you can commit to something
like this?

to the
you're already blessed
with writing
this will probably be a breeze

Thank you
for the doubts
the growth
the eyes and the ears
the interest.

It has helped me
in too many
I can only sit here and think

What's next?

Monday, July 16, 2012

day 359

Reasons why I love to dance

  1. My body hasn't felt this healthy in avalanches,
    mud slides and tornadoes
  2. Quitting all of my jobs has got to be the best
    decision I've ever made
    I've been able to eat less grease
    drink less sugar
    and think more positive
  3. A clear mind clears gunk in the soul
  4. Dancing enforces shaking the dirt out of my skin
  5. It feels good to be tired for a reason
  6. It feels good when people underestimate me and
    feel proud of me
    when they realize I could do something
    if I just put my mind to it
  7. For a really long time,
    I finally feel together
    all of my mind, body & soul
    with beautiful bass
    with beautiful faces
    with love