Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Am Nowhere Near My Last Bloom

For my writing group (which meets tomorrow night), it was my job to come up with the prompts for this week. I can't lie, they were not conjured from my imagination (as they usually are) but, rather, chosen after I googled "writing prompts". One of them was to choose the final line of a previous piece of writing or journal entry and to use that as the opening of the new piece. Suffice it to say, that's the prompt I chose. I ended a poem with the title of this one some time in 2014 and the line grabbed me now, as it did then. If you're curious, read on. If you enjoy what you read, I'd love it if you'd follow this blog (and join the HUGE group of roughly thirty like-minded folks who already have). If not, that's cool, too. 

I am nowhere near
my last bloom.
Fuck sorrow and fear.
There is no room for them
in my life anymore.
Of course
I am real.
I feel the pair. 
In my humble opinion
more than my fair share.
I cannot help but care
even about those
who do not deserve
my mind
my heart
my time.
I am not blind.
I recognize
when I am told lies
although sometimes
they take me by surprise.
I tend to trust
far too often
and for far too long
but damn it
this is not my swan song.
In spite of my open heart
and easily mislead mind
I find a way to get along.
Thank you
to those who love me
and thank you 
to those who lie.
Thank you
to those who support me
and thank you
to those who make me cry.
It is because of you
that I am strong
and know right from wrong.
This is not my swan song.
I am nowhere near
my last bloom
not when there is still 
so much room
to grow
and thrive
and be alive.

Monday, September 4, 2017

I Wrote a Thing

Taunting me
like a ghost
haunting me.
of years gone by
making me want to cry.
Fuck you
but also thank you
for pointing out
what is true.
The more bridges I burn
the more I learn
and my world once rocked
continues to turn.
I cannot forget
but I choose
not to regret
for I am stronger now.
My life is not over yet.
Trust misplaced
cannot be erased
but the knowledge gained
must be embraced.
Life is beauty and pain
loss and gain
sometimes a shit show
and sometimes exceedingly plain.
To those who have hurt me
you number many
but hatred for you?
I do not harbor any.
Catch and release
I unburden my heart
so the pain will cease.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Open Book

Wrote this piece for tonight's writing group. Took me about a minute. Still not sure if that's good or bad. The prompt I chose was "Open Book".

For so long
I lived in silence
afraid of how
my words and ideas
might be perceived.
I dwelled
in a shell
a hell
of my own making
just aching
to be believed.
But now
all that has changed
my philosophy
is rearranged.
But now you see
I am free.
My life
my soul
an open book
if only
you take the time
to look.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


I just did something big, today. HUGE, in fact. I deleted my beauty blog. Not my first blog POST, mind you, the entire thing, the big kahuna.

On March 30, 2011, I launched my beauty blog, then called "Got Polish?", with the following post:

Hello, dear readers. Welcome to my new blog! Some of you may know, I write a blog entitled "Kari On" in which I discuss all of the day to day chaos, turmoil, drama and occasional beauty in my life. However, I've been posting polish pics and, in essence, polish blogging on my Facebook page for several months now and I thought that perhaps it was time for a blog devoted strictly to polish (thanks to my friend, Michelle, for the suggestion). I've loved polish since I was a little girl. However, my spark of interest was rekindled earlier this year (thanks to my friend, Destany, for pointing me in the direction of Zoya nail polish). I'm looking forward to relieving some of my near-constant stress and hopefully providing a little bit of information and fun to all who choose to read and/or follow this blog. Without further ado...

Presenting...Tallulah (forgive me, Tori Spelling, for bogarting the name of your children's book. I do *heart* me some Tori Spelling.)

Tallulah was my very first Zoya polish. If you know me at all, you know how much I adore all things blue. I chose Tallulah as one of my three free colors during Zoya's first Facebook promotion, in which you could choose three free colors and only pay $6.95 shipping. SUCH a great deal. Application was a DREAM and this is only ONE coat *gasp*. A Zoya love affair was born.

To those of you expecting "woe is me, Kari", trust me, she's not going anywhere, despite my best attempts to ditch her. However, she will be joined by "polish Kari" who is generally a hell of a lot more fun. Enjoy, won't you?

*Update 3-21-15
As I look back at this, my very first post, just NINE days before the four year anniversary of this blog, I have to add a very important codicil.  I now DESPISE Tori Spelling.  Like, with a fiery passion.

Okay, as you were.

As many (okay, some) of you may know, I stopped writing on that blog months ago, deciding instead to combine all of my loves into THIS very blog you're reading (I hope) right now, "PerseveringStar" (aka "the artist formerly known as 'Kari On'"). I've got to tell you, that blog gave me a lot of joy, a lot of free swag to review and a great deal of satisfaction, for a time. But that time, my friends, has passed. Like life, blogs evolve and sometimes become obsolete. That time has come for "Got Polish?" aka "Butterfly's Landing". Now is the time for "PerseveringStar", here on Blogger, on YouTube, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you get the drift. So I hope that eventually, some of the people who subbed to that blog (in all honesty, many did so years ago as a sort of "sub for sub" exchange when I was active in a nail polish-based Facebook group) might find their ways here. If not, I certainly hope that others will. You, my friends, the few, the cherished, who have already subscribed, mean the WORLD to me. Your support, friendship and encouragement are a large part of the reason I even continue with these cray cray (as the kids would say) endeavors o' mine. I love you. You matter, truly.

That being said, it's "see ya later" (I prefer not to use that more permanent "goodb.." word, ever) to my "beauty blog" and time to respark my love of (for? fuck if I've ever been good at grammar) "PerseveringStar", the blog. (I feel like I'm in Spaceballs, the movie. Hope at least a few of you get that reference.) So, please stay with me if you're already here, encourage like-minded friends with exceptional taste to join us and hang on to your asses. It's going to be one hell of a condensed yet simplified ride.

Much love,

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish - Tipsy Gypsy and Carry On Blue - Spring Fling!

Hi, friends! Today I'd like to share my swatches and reviews of two GORGEOUS Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes, namely Tipsy Gypsy and Carry On Blue. First up, the swatches!
Bottle shots! The third is SH's Miracle Gel top coat, step two in their system.

Left hand! Two coats each of Carry on Blue and Tipsy Gypsy, alternating.

Right Hand, starting with Tipsy Gypsy on thumbnail.

You guys, these polishes are SO awesome! I'm a huge fan of their wide brushes which make application a breeze. I also adore both of these colors, which were nice and opaque in two quick coats. A quick top coat and I was off to the races rocking this fun spring mani that lasted at least four days before chipping. Honestly, I have yet to try a Sally Hansen Miracle Gel that I haven't loved!!

The products used in this post were provided free of charge for my honest review and consideration. As always, all opinions expressed are completely my own and unbiased.

Monday, April 10, 2017


Hi, friends! I shared this on my other blog, Butterfly's Landing, and now I guess it's about time I share it here. Because Blogger makes it next to impossible (at least for me) to condense two blogs' content into one, I will henceforth be writing on this blog exclusively. Butterfly's Landing will remain for archival purposes but from now on, all poetry, stories, reviews, etc. (in other words EVERYthing) will be posted here. I hope you'll follow and share my journey.
Much love,

Monday, February 20, 2017

Food Stamps

I have made the decision to share this very personal piece of non-fiction writing not because I wear my shame with pride. And yes, I am deeply ashamed. I am sharing it because somehow, this letter that will probably never be sent (pointless) might help someone else realize that he or she is not alone. Though we suffer "invisible" illness, we, the mentally ill, deserve empathy and compassion and yes, when necessary, financial subsidies, to live the most effective possible lives. I am not on disability. The system has made it nearly impossible for mentally ill persons to be approved, certainly those without the means to afford legal representation. It's the classic Catch 22. I am currently receiving not one penny from the state, the federal government or anyone else. Food stamps were the only assistance I have ever received and several months ago, those were taken away, too. The following is completely true, my truth, my heartbreaking plea on deaf ears. I hope it helps you understand, just a little bit better, what I deal with every day of my life.
Thanks for reading,

To whom it may concern,

My name is Kari Murphy and I am writing to inquire as to why my SNAP benefits were arbitrarily taken away. At some point, without an interview, without asking me so much as one question or offering me an opportunity to explain my situation, you decided that I am an “able-bodied” person who has apparently “chosen” not to work. This couldn't be further from the truth.

I had one full-time job in my life, from 2000-2002, when my mental illness was clearly not nearly as severe and life-altering as it is now. I suffer from Pervasive Depressive Disorder and Anxiety and have been on medication and receiving therapy for both. I am mentally ill. I am not, by any means, “able-bodied” and my not being able to work is not a choice. I had my last job of any kind in 2007. I have not been able to work in ten years, TEN years, through no choice of my own. I attempted a part-time job in 2010 while still living in Florida and on the SNAP program, as a cashier at a Publix grocery store. I made it, by the skin of my teeth, through three days of training and a few hours of actual work before having to quit. Each of those four days began with hours of uncontrollable weeping and terror, begging my husband and the God of my understanding not to make me go. But I went, because I felt I had to, and spent each and every one of those minutes, hours and days while at “work” wishing I could run outside, across the parking lot into the four lanes of oncoming traffic because being dead seemed easier than continuing to pretend I was a normal healthy functioning human being.

I never made the CHOICE not to work. It is not my choice. I am very ill and in desperate need of financial assistance, which I was receiving for years through the SNAP food stamps program. I didn't get healthier. If anything, my conditions have continued to decline since my last job in 2007. I received benefits for years from SNAP because the agents of the Department of Social Services understood that I was sick and unable to work. I don't understand why this changed. I am not better. I never will be better. Mental illness cannot be cured. I am on medication and seeking therapy in an attempt to learn how to function more effectively in this world but for me, that will never include the ability to work a full-time job or perhaps even a part-time one. I don't understand why, without so much as a single question, my humanity has been disregarded and I was simply deemed “able-bodied” overnight.

It is my great shame that I am unable to work. It is anything but the “choice” of an “able-bodied” person. If I had my choice, I would be healthy and working and not constantly plagued by my illness. But it isn't my choice. I thought that the very purpose of the SNAP program was to help people in desperate need, of which I am one. None of this is my choice. I wish that you would understand this. Ask my doctor, ask my therapist, they would be happy to further explain if given the opportunity. Stop judging me based on a serious lack of information. Understand my need, my illness, my desperation. I am a person, yes, but by no means “able-bodied”.

Thank you for your consideration,

Kari Murphy