There is no stutter

in the words that I write

There is little fear

not even a fight


I feel I say I scream

From mountain tops

indented phrases

elapsed in thought


No holding back

Once silent murmurs

The light of day they see

Words formerly unheard of


No coward stance

behind closed palms

Nails are strengthened

no more clenched jaws


The fear of failure

Is not even a thought

as soon as pen touches paper

fearlessness in foot


what makes you stutter?

what holds you back?

rejecting rejection

before it begins


Paper can crumble

it can be torn down

Yet it is a release

Of all my thoughts


To scribe is my calling

No matter the doubt

Every word I’ve written

Has somewhere to be found


By: Me (Johanna Arroyo 2/18/2015)


What is Love?

Sometimes I wonder if people ever give love a serious thought, no not a shot, a thought. Do they ever really ask themselves, “What kind of love do you want (self)?” Many years ago, I was one of those people who thought she had this whole love gig figured out, but I had never really asked myself what I wanted and when I knew. . .I was afraid. . .very very afraid.

When I was a kid, I saw everything black and white. I always felt there was wrong or right nothing in between. . .but things are actually blurred, grey, shady. . .what have you. The thing is that blurred, grey and shady aren’t always the worse things in the world they just indicate that not all things have a clean cut.

There is so much love going on in my world right now but I am still without that scary I am in love type love I decided I couldn’t live without and I know why. I have been loved deeply but I didn’t love back, I have loved deeply and it also was not reciprocated. Love has become so overused that it’s lost it’s true meaning. I love you…there I said it…but I don’t know you.

I love my son for none and a million reasons.

I love my puppy

I love myself

I love my car and the fact that I named it Dexter Dempsey

I love love

I love

Yup that’s me,  a bleeding little heart full of love. I dish it out so often I’m starting to realize I can’t take it.

Love is the best feeling in the world It’s a simple premise. We all want to be loved but very little thought goes into the type of love we deserve, sometimes or maybe all the time, we find the love we need!

I’m not just talking about the in love type of love that we’re programmed from birth to attain. I speak of love of life and everything in between inception and expiration.

I don’t write this little blog for the fun of it, heck I don’t even get paid (yet), Sometimes I write to deaf ears because I have a passion for writing. I am in love with the fact that my ideas or thoughts could inspire others or at a bare minimum entertain. This is my first love as it relates to careers but I have a second passion, social work and helping others, which fortunately pays the bills. With that being said I’ve worked for so long that I started to realize my love life sucked. There was rarely any love in this life. See when you work for a paycheck some things just don’t add up. When your kid is afraid to approach you because you look busy, that’s not love. The obligation of work goes without saying but how often are we walking into work shooting rainbows? I for one deserve to be happy at work, I need a paycheck, yes. . .but see the difference is the need and deserve thoughts. I found myself in a dilemma, my son was getting the short end of the stick, more work and less one on one time with him. More stress, more overtime and the hours I robbed from my son could only be flexed out during the hours that my son was already away from me. He and I could never get that time back. So I asked myself, “what kind of love do you want Johanna?” The answer is and always will be, “I want that can’t live without you kind of love,” a paycheck I can live without, but my sons happiness I could never do without. So I am doing what I know is right, I am fighting for my love.

Then there is the complicated relationship love. This type has challenged me in many ways. See, when you aren’t in love with a passion or a career you may be able to quit it, you can save up and plan ahead for the time in between your finding success but you can never plan ahead for the type of love that pulls on two heartbeats. There are people who come into your life that feel like they’ve left impressions of tip toes on your heart and others have done the cupid shuffle on you but all those grey feelings amount to something.

Some people are passers by and then there is that one person you tell your grandchildren about, that inescapable, pause before you say the next phrase as you smile and think about how amazing falling in love was type person. I want that love.

I don’t want the right here right now, I don’t want the you’re perfect but the timing is wrong, I can’t stand the let’s just see what happens type love. I want love. . .the type of love that comes with knowing you are the world to someone. That is a love I have yet to experience. I’ve experienced inconvenience, not ready for you, maybe there is better, what if I am missing out on something better type of love. . .those all pale in comparison to true love. These loves were preempted by needs, not what I truly deserved.

To me, love is knowing you’re enough, not an afterthought.

That is why I love myself because, I. Am. Enough.

It’s what I do best

I write so often that I forget to speak. I feel through pen and paper as my heart beats out of my un-healed chest. 

People tell you it’ll get better but who’s to really tell how long it takes to pull yourself together after a heart break. 

You meet new people and you find renewed hope in their smile. They charm you into believing they are there to fix the gaping hole that replaced a once whole heart.

See I met someone recently who was kind, he was pretty amazing but he’s the guy who grows on you. He is the guy that time gives to your heart. It’s not instantaneous, it’s not at first site. It’s sweet and eventually you know can be love. But it’s ordinary and I just don’t feel like fighting for ordinary.

Immediately after his absence I wandered back into those moments when I said forever and I meant it. The only problem is that I didn’t tell him forever. My forever looked much different. He was a tall distant and unattainable forever. . .and even though he is no longer within reach, I find myself drifting off to the moment where we stood in the dark skin to skin, feeling down to our bare bones. I remember the spark of electricity that rocked me to my core, so much so that I almost cried. As my past held me and just as his lips left mine he whispered in the dark, “it’s okay.” In those moments I allowed my soul to escape me as it embraced every part of him. I knew, this is it. That was the moment that people kill for, that is something most will never feel and I did once, and I’m afraid to admit I may never again. 

I was driving last night. It is one of my favorite things to do because I can think and clear my mind. Unfortunately there is no distance in this world that will allow me to outrun the love I have for this man. It is inescapable, it is powerful and more than anything I ever felt, it is painful. When you meet someone you have no idea what they will mean to you, or how they will impact your life. I in many ways wish I had never met him. It is only because of my present that I wish for such things. It hurts and I don’t know how to fix myself. I wish I could put back all of the little pieces that so willingly threw themselves open for him. My heart is lacking and its pulsating and pumping to the rhythm of an open wound.

I feel like I am living two lives. The one where everything is just peachy and I work and work and work towards my goals but then there is this other me, the me I am when I am sulking in the solace of a broken heart. There are moments when I sit with my back against the wall and I think of his scent and I kid myself into believing I can draw a perfect memory of him. I touch my lips and I frown because the only reciprocity I have is that of my cold fingertips against my anguished smile. I hold my hands against my chest and I realize there is nothing there but pieces of anatomy. My heart is working but it is very much missing the one who once made it jump out of my chest.

No Better Than You!

Read me, I dare you!

It’s not about being single, it’s not about having a man or needing one. It’s not about being stubborn or unwilling to let people in.

I’m a single mother to a charming 12 year old boy. His smile lights up any room he enters. He is funny and makes me happy. But then there are those moments when I fail him, I fail myself and drop the ball. We aren’t perfect but we try.

I’ve been working since I was 14. I had him when I was sixteen and since then I’ve been a mother, a fighter a god damn warrior. I hold my head high even when I’m drowning. I look all put together when I’m shattered and torn to pieces.

When I say no, I feel bad. When I simply am stretched too thin and I can’t I feel bad for being unable. I make it to every conference, wipe every tear and comfort every concern or fear.

I’m shaping the heart of a future man. I’m setting the pace for who he should become. I don’t have testosterone, I lack manhood but still I try to instill the morals and conduct of a man to a little boy who is being raised by a mother who lacked a mother and father.

I stand head high, shoulders erect but the truth is some days I want to crawl into my own little hole because I’m my own army of one. I self soothe and tell myself every little thing is going to be alright but it’s not the same as having someone else tell you what you know to be true.

It’s not fair to tell a boy he’s the man of the house. It’s not fair to expect him to step up in more ways that he should. He shouldn’t be deprived of a simple childhood that simply requires him to be happy. So I brave the cold and put out fires on my own because he should never know of my struggles.

I’m not team single, I’m not team baby momma or daddy drama, I’m team mommy. I do everything in my power to keep my sons father involved and will no matter how tough it can be.

My son is a great kid but he is anxious and worries about everything that is going on, if he’s cornered he feels the need to fight back. He’s emotional and strong but he’s no Goliath. He’s not a straight A student but he’s the best student he can be. He’s facing a major block with attention but I always do my best to rear him in the right direction. He is not medicated but diversion and planning with a child like him is complicated. It’s tough, it requires effort and constant diligence.

I work, I study, but above all else, I parent. I don’t want pity and I’m not complaining I’m just stating facts. The facts about the walk of my life that most others will never know.

Simple facts that people who pass judgement may overlook for others who have their own stories to tell. I very rarely make comments or statements about arguments I know I’d lose to an idiot but enough is enough!

Welfare, drug screening and government assistance are hard topics but everyone is a critic and everyone has an opinion about a matter that they may have never experienced. Or perhaps they may have experienced but because they are no longer in dire straights they feel the self imposed right to give advice to families benefiting from their hard earned tax dollars. Suddenly because people have their best foot forward they forget the shit they had to step in to get there. People become insensitive and unkind all because, “if I did it you can too!”

Well here is something you all do not know. I lost my job in February of 2012, I spent almost a year unemployed before I found a job. I had a brand new 2012 Kia Soul and prior to I was doing pretty good for a simple girl from Tampa who wore hand me downs as a child and got her first kid sister doll from a garage sale. I had a good reputation and long run in the child and maternal health field. I was Johanna Arroyo, a member of my community, a link to families and resources. I trained peers and worked with families from all walks of life and adversities. People let me into their homes and allowed me to touch their lives without judgement or superiority. I did it all because I loved it and suddenly after a decade of working in non-profits and social services I became the under served.

Was it unfair, sure but I wasn’t dying. I had my health and I had my boy. Things were different and I suddenly could not just rely on myself. You all are my friends, you know me, you encourage me and see the kind of person I am. I’m not lazy, I don’t mooch off the system, I don’t live off of others. In the year I spent unemployed I never missed a meal, the power remained on in my home but my dignity fell at the seams at times because of people much like all of you and me.

I went grocery shopping and as I pulled out my EBT card from my purse I saw the smirks of strangers because I clearly was living off of “their” hard earned money. I was a vagrant who was pulling my government assistance card from my Juicy Couture satchel. They didn’t know I spent $65 dollars on it at the outlet store as a simple gift to myself while I was still employed. They didn’t know I was putting my groceries into my brand new 2012 car that I had purchased again when I was employed. They didn’t know this because they were so concerned about how hard they’ve worked in their lives they couldn’t lower their noses to realize that I too had busted my ass. They were simply focused on the negative stigmas of the needy. If I had wandered in looking torn and dirty I would probably have been more deserving. But no, I’m a proud woman in my character and appearance. I painted my nails with the polish I purchased, again, when I was employed and when I didn’t have enough money I washed the cute name brand clothes I owned by hand in my bathtub at night along with my sons school uniforms while he was sleeping. Clearly I wasn’t deserving of wearing some of the things I wore because I should be too poor to live off of them, those people who didn’t know me. See you all read my life, my posts and everything through your own eyes, you know of m footprints in the sand but they didn’t. The same is said for every other person out there trying to find their way back into self sufficiency, there exists someone out there who knows her story too. While we all try to figure out how and when they could afford it. They had to explain their expenses and have their life scrutinized down to every detail just to get a handful of assistance for their children.

The government should cut public assistance, the homeless need to find jobs because handing them a little bit of chump change is above us, I guess that is what everyone says but guess what, your hard earned money will be taken from one and will be redistributed and given to another. Instead your money, your tax dollars can build roads and construct buildings that the poor and less than privileged will ever be able to afford. That all somehow makes sense and keeping food on the table of families doesn’t because they didn’t earn it or work for it?! You all have mothers and father, if there is no struggle in your present or immediate history look above your parents and get to know your roots and figure out if you’re still willing to turn the other cheek. — feeling no better than anyone.