I am proud of you,
But not for the things you do.
And I applaud you,
But not because I am supposed to.
I learned a long time ago that you would always do what you were meant to do,
But not because someone told you to.

You seem to be made of grit and rationale,
And always reach conclusions that are sound.
You drip with dedication and determination,
And reach for impossible heights that would scare a mere mortal.
You accept what life has handed to you,
And turn it into something that is true to you.

I am so incredibly proud of you,
But not because you got a piece of paper signed by a dean,
And not because you have an image that is pristine,
But because¬†you made it look natural —
Living a life that was bound to capture you.
I am proud of your strength,
And I am in awe of the length you went to to find what works for you.
I celebrate your place in life,
And I sympathize with all of your strife,
Because I know this journey was not easy,
And I know what you suffered,
I know that you struggled,
But I know that you inspire me,
And I know you shine blindly,
Never noticing the things you accomplish,
And never recognizing the strength you posses.

So here’s to you!
And here’s to everything you have the capacity to do!
Because you are one to be celebrated!
And one to be admired!
You are the one by whom we are all inspired!

I Have So Many Questions

How did I get here?
And how did I not recognize that this was happening?
How could I stare down change with such denial?
And how could I not be prepared for this?
What was I looking for when I found this?
And why was I looking in the first place?
Who was searching with me?
And could anyone actually be searching for me?
Or was I always just searching?
And did I stumble into this?
Is this a fall or a step?
Did I mean to place my foot there?
Was there something greater calling my name?
And did I just refuse to listen?
Or is this that great calling?
Can this be the opening that I have been looking for?
And can the me I am at this moment be the one I was meant to be?
Who am I?
Where am I?
How did I get here?
And what do I do now?

As Easy As Breathing

You judge and criticize,
And watch and listen.
You wait your turn,
And you take every moment as a moment to learn.
You are not patient with progress,
And you have a hard time accepting failure.
But you accept that you are human,
And you accept that you are flawed.
You are becoming the woman I have always admired,
And you are patiently waiting for the old you to retire,
Because the old you that you used to know,
Was an echo of pain and suffering,
And someone who embraced her vices to the fullest,
One who left her mind, body, and soul remiss.
But there was always a hint of the person you were meant to be,
And there was always a hope that one day you would allow yourself to be free.
You clung tightly to the things that helped you breath,
And searched for hope in what appeared to be a sea,
Of trial and error and the nothing that could compare,
To the dream that you held diligently in your head,
And the possibility that you had stored beneath your bed,
For the day that would come and the moment you would be free,
And finally be the woman you had always hoped to see.
Today is that day,
And now is that time.
You have waited and suffered.
You have listened and learned.
You have accepted that now it’s finally your turn.
And you take a deep breath,
And inhale the strength you know you have,
And exhale the life that you always wanted to live.

Celebration Rings Hollow

There was something missing in my celebration —
Something that conveyed a sense of hollowness in a moment of joy,
And something that did not allow me to feel a complete sense of accomplishment.
There was something nagging at my heart,
And it distracted me from the moment of pride that was supposed to overwhelm me.
I could not give it a name,
But I felt its presence like a shadow I could not shake,
Chilling my heart which was supposed to be filled with pride,
And subduing my excitement when it was supposed to be overflowing.
It dragged me every so slightly down,
Like a weight on a balloon seeking freedom in the skies,
And it tugged me back to a state of indifference from an attempt to feel elated.
I did not resent it though,
Because for as long as I have known its presence,
I have accepted it for what it is —
I have accepted that I cannot feel complete joy,
And I recognize that there is a hollow feature to my celebrations.
I choose to share my accomplishments with little to no one,
And I often opt for celebration in solitude,
Because there is someone missing from it all.
There is one set of eyes I want to see a reflection of pride in,
And one person I will never see again.
There is one mind that I am missing the influence of,
And one example that I wish I could follow.
There is one person I want to impress,
And I never will be able to share anything with them again.
So I am left feeling hollow,
And I am left to celebrate in solitude,
And continue to push away the feeling that something is missing,
Because life robbed me of my father too young,
And I will always ache to share my life with the man I miss the most.

Living The Dream

How did I get here?
And what am I doing?
How did this happen?
And who decided to trust me?
What do other people see in me that I don’t?
And how do I keep ending up with responsibility?

What is it within me that keeps on going?
And how do I thrive on a lack of sleep and a night filled with seemingly impossible dreams?
Who said that I can’t do this?
And why did I ever think that I never deserved recognition?
How can I continue on in life and not demand the attention I deserve?
And can I really be proud of anything I don’t set my mind to?
Who said this kind of life was not possible?
And who said that dreams don’t come true?

The dreams I dream are achievable,
And the life I want to live is within my reach.
The feeling of achievement is not foreign to me,
But the joy of celebration is something I rarely allow myself to feel.
Because I know I can always do better,
And I know I can always do more,
I know I draw my own limits in life,
And I feel the pressure of my ability to dream exponentially.
I know this life holds experience I am unaware of,
And I know that there will always be a will for me to carry on,
Because I can’t imagine life without the chase,
And I don’t know where I would be without my dreams,
That keep my feet moving and keep my brain churning,
And the fire within me forever burning,
And the mind within me forever yearning,
For the life that I breath into myself.

How can I not continue on?
And how can I not accept this opportunity?
What is a life without challenge?
And who said that dreams were reserved for fairy tales and children?
How can I not embrace this wonderful change?
And how can I not celebrate the person I know me to be?

An Addiction To Life

What makes me love the things I fear?
Why do I love the rush of doing the impossible?
Who convinced me that I should face my fears?
When did I become addicted to contradiction?
How do I satisfy this urge?

It’s the rush of feeling alive,
The power I feel when I conquer a fear,
And the knowledge that I can achieve what I truly work for.

It’s the denial that I am human,
And the belief that this life can hold much more than I dreamed of as a child.
It’s the pride that I can find strength from within,
And the bragging rights I claim when I look back at the mountains I climbed.

They are the friends who have always stood by my side,
And the ones who will join me in the future.
They are the family who always believed in my strength,
And the strangers who inspire me from afar.

I manage my crippling social anxiety every day I work in Hospitality,
And I anonymously share thoughts I try to keep hidden from myself.
I let go like an extrovert and allow alcohol to shatter my pristine image,
And I embrace my awkward body by dancing like I don’t have a care in the world to drag me down.

I live life every day and do not allow obstacles to delay me for long.
I carry on in the only way I know how and do not try to stop life from moving on.
I embrace change and see it as the rush and opportunity that life gifted me.
I dream of the impossible,
Take every day one step at a time,
And have faith that one day I will look up and be baffled by how far I’ve come.

A Battle With Inertia

I wanted this change,
I even craved this change,
But in the end I’m fighting this change.

I am resistant to finding a new way to live,
And resistant to dropping bad habits I have leaned on for so long.
I question if change is necessary,
And cloud my own judgement in moments of weakness,
When I cannot see past my immediate future,
And I am left to trust myself.
It is easy enough to tell others to change their ways:
Drink in yoga instead of alcohol.
Breath in fresh air instead of smoke.
Trust your own voice over any others.
Speak your truths and practice what you preach.
But it is more difficult to embrace change than I anticipated:
Spend less time doubting myself and more time moving forward.
Recognize that life does not stay the same and make the moves I need to make.
Look to the future and do not allow the past to pull me backwards.
Allow myself to let go and trust in life.

I knew this was coming.
I knew I wanted this change.
I knew it would be difficult.
But I know I will survive.
I know my ability and strength to carry on,
And I know that one day I will look up and see,
That I became everything I could possibly want to be,
Because in the end all I really want to be is me.

An Attempt To Be A Morning Person

Today all I have time to write is a poem,
Because all I wanted to do was further rest my dome.

This morning all I have time for is a quick smoke,
Because I do not know a morning without a toke,
To settle my stomach and calm my nerves,
And convince myself that this is something I deserve.

This moment all I have time for is a brief thought,
One that passes with the rising of the sun and leaves me caught,
Facing the rest of my day,
And wondering when the next chance would be for my mind to play.

But I accept this morning,
And I move on from that thought.
I attempt to appreciate the moment,
Because the day goes on no matter what I do,
And presents an option to lose or choose.

An Unnatural Reflection

I woke up angry this morning,
Well not exactly angry but more in a mood,
And I didn’t wake up this way,
It was not until I looked at my phone when the mood overtook me.
It assaulted my restful peace with the demands of the day,
It alerted me that I had missed moments of faceless social interaction,
And reminded me that I had so much I still wanted to do in this life.
It held my tasks lists waiting to be addressed,
And dragged me down into emails I had to read,
It reminded me that there are billions of other people out there living life,
And it evoked the competitive side of me that wants to do better than everyone else in order to feel value.
I wanted to be able to brag to it about the mountains I’ve climbed,
And entrust it with secrets that need to be lifted from my chest.
I wanted to be honest with it and tell it my truths,
But I knew it would not have reaction I am seeking.
It would not applaud me and it would refuse to encourage me,
It would remind me of my shortcomings and glare at my flaws,
It would crush my spirit before I was ever brave enough to recognize it,
And give me an overwhelming amount of evidence that I could do better.
It was a constant reminder that I am just one in the sea of billions and that I have nothing to boast about.
It served as a one way mirror,
And this morning it showed me that I held no value in the face of so much in this world.
It proved that there are others who live life better,
And exposed me to all the things I don’t have in my life.
It showed me that I am out of shape, lazy, and lacking imagination.
It proved that I am not brave, beautiful, or intelligent by a variety of standards.
It reminded me that there is so much more to see, learn, and accomplish in this life.
And it made me angry and depressed before I ever set foot on the ground.
I hated the reflection I saw in its touch screen and despised my lack of input to make it better.
It showed that I had naively thought I was ahead of the game while I was actually trotting along in last place.
It reminded me that I have years to live still and nothing figured out in the scheme of things.
It served as a lifeline to all possibility and the executioner’s drug for confidence.
I made the choice to wake up angry,
Because I knew that my phone held disappointment.
I know that I have an unhealthy relationship with it,
But I cannot help but remain addicted to its presence.
I hate that I rely on it in moments of boredom and the I reflexively check on its activity.
It seems to be living a more worthwhile and productive life than I am,
Always busy and always listening,
Accepting information and processing it for use,
Projecting necessary information and accepting ten times more of it all at once.
Of course I felt insignificant and unintelligent in its presence,
It was a computer and ten times more capable of computing than I ever would be.
And this is what angered me.
The thing I relied on to make me smarter and more connected with the world,
Was the one thing that reminded me I would never be good enough,
And it would always be one step ahead of me.
I was angered by myself,
But it was spurred by a jealousy of a machine,
And impossible standards that I would never be able to live up to,
Because I am only human.

I Hate Poems

I never liked poetry.
I find it fanciful and romantic and woefully unrealistic.
It breaks the rules I love to follow and allows the flow to expand in all directions.
I know it is art but I do not understand it.
I hate that there is no structure
And I hate that every form of poetry is written correctly.
I am uncomfortable with the rhyme every time I attempt it.
And flow is something I never seem to find.
I attempt to appreciate it and I attempt to embrace it.
I am in love with rap lyrics and remind myself that they started as poems,
But there is something that I still hate about poetry.

I have read the greats and witnessed their art.
I have attempted to join their ranks and allowed my words to flow freely.
I tried breaking the rules and feeling satisfied with what resulted.
I tested the waters and played with words,
But everything I come up with seems absurd.
I hate my lack of rhythm and dispise my lack of vision.
And I wish that flow was a gift I possessed,
But I am a rule follower and step taker,
And have never been a rule breaker.

I never felt that poetry served me,
Back when I felt that I had no feelings.
I never allowed the words to work inside my heart,
And I never saw the value in unstructured sentences.
I valued Grammar and played by its rules,
And clung onto its structure to validate that I am no fool.
I needed outside confirmation that I possessed skill,
And poetry is too free form to allow that will.
There are no rules,
And that intimidates me,
Because it leaves me to be,
Who I truly can be,
And to see all that there is to see.