Its a new month which means its time for a new Badass Babe. I am delighted to share with you this month's feature, Kelly Bertzyk. Kelly is a Minneapolis based poet who has a degree in English & Women's Studies from UW-Eau Claire. Through poetry Kelly shares her journey of love, heartbreak and self empowerment. She will soon be releasing a book called 'The Typewriter Confessions'. I had the honor to read this in its entirety and I can attest to its beauty and rawness. Stay tuned because you need to get your hands on this! Below I have included some of Kelly's work as well as her advice on being a Badass Babe.
-What inspires you as a writer?
In terms of subject matter, I’m definitely inspired by my own life and the things and relationships that are happening in real time. While I do dramatize certain events or emotions, I still am mainly inspired by things I’ve actually gone through. I think writing is really romantic and impactful when it comes from a real and vulnerable place, and there’s nothing more real to me than translating love, heartache, and everything in between to poetry. What inspires me to write in general is the way it has the ability to reach people. There’s nothing more rewarding and humbling than someone reaching out to me to tell me I wrote what they are feeling. To be able to create art that helps others feel not so alone in an emotion is something I’m very very thankful for.
-What was your darkest point in life? What happened and how did you get through it?
I don’t necessarily know that I have one defining “dark moment,” but I know that I’ve had a handful of low points in life that mostly stemmed around the loss of someone, or heartache. I love hard and subsequently, hurt harder when that’s lost. To just use my most recent heartbreak as an example- getting through that was a process, and I had to take time to realize that healing wasn’t going to happen overnight, and that that was okay. The journey of mending a broken heart is a long one, a tough one, and for lack of a more eloquent way of saying it...it’s a bitch. But I learned to let myself feel. I let myself feel the sadness, the despair, the anger, the hatred, and finally, the acceptance. From there, it became a journey of reflection and forgiveness. I think something really important I took away from that breakup was that I am not perfect by any means. I think when we get our hearts broken we naturally want to blame the other person and find every reason why they wronged us. I definitely did that; I’m sure my ex would tell you I didn’t necessarily make the breakup easy, and rightfully so. However, in time, I realized that I was never going to love myself if I placed my focus on my ex, and on blaming him for the way he broke me. Instead, my focus had to shift to how I could pick up the pieces, and how I could be the best version of myself so that I could move on, being even better than I was before. I had to learn how to be softer and better for myself before I could even think about being good to someone new again. So ultimately, I think I got through that by realizing that it’s not about the people who hurt you in life. Stop blaming them, stop hating them; wish nothing but the best for them and mean it. Reflect on your own fault in the warfare; grow from that, and focus on what it’s going to take to make yourself feel like you again. From there, moving forward becomes easy.
-Tell me about your self love journey? What brought you there?
For me, I’d like to think that my journey has been an ever evolving one. I’ve always approached my life trying to love myself. The key word there is trying. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve had my stages in life where I haven’t necessarily loved the person I was, or where I was at in life. Most recently, the phase of the journey I’m at is romanticizing the hell out of my life as an individual. As a writer, and someone who spent a lot of time lusting over someone else, I got really comfortable being in love with my relationship, and centering my art and my world around that. When that came to an end, I had to start a new type of love, and that was loving myself without another being. I think society has this obsession with romanticizing love in the form of “relationship goals,” or picture perfect moments with a significant other. We think of love as two people posting Instagram stories of all the beautiful places they’ve visited together, and I sort of realized the flaw in that. I think love is just as romantic when it’s just the relationship a person has with themselves. I think we should write about waking up alone without that sounding depressing, or traveling the world with nothing but a pen and a notebook in hand. I came to the point I’m at in my self love journey by realizing that my past relationship was romantic, but what I have to offer myself is romance too.
-Advice for anyone on the journey of self love/exploration?
My biggest piece of advice for anyone on this journey is to first, let yourself unapologetically feel. For me, that was absolutely square one. If you’re anything like me, self love started from a low point, and that’s a point you have to work your way out of. You have to let yourself cry if you need to, laugh when you want to, and just relish in every feeling and emotion life throws at you. I think when you begin to do that, you naturally begin to self reflect, and self reflection is the key to self love and self exploration. When you’re in tune with your feelings and emotions, and you’re not blaming yourself for being the way you are, but rather, understanding the way you are, you can start to love yourself. No matter what stage in the journey you’re at, find the little things that make you happy and go from there. If you realize you like how you feel when you’re reading a book, give yourself time every single day to read at least a few pages. Latch onto those things in life that make you feel alive and immerse yourself in them. Just place all of your spirit and energy into the things you love and the things that make you feel enchanted everyday and I promise you, you’ll love yourself and your life so much more.
Oh, and on an only semi-serious note….do yourself a favor and delete TimeHop... A daily reminder of the past is highkey unnecessary ;)