I grew up being told lots of things,
how I should wash my hair by people who had none,
what kind of partner I should have
by married couples who couldn’t look each other in the eye,
that the worth of our happiness is valued by the price of the things we own,
I grew up being told who I wasn't,
and who I should want to be.
I grew up being fed a prescribed life,
that my goals were to be beautiful,
get a job,
earn lots of money,
fall in love,
get engaged, marry, have children,
and to achieve them in this order.
I grew up to design my life to appease others,
an orthotic life moulded by the footsteps others had taken
and now expected of me to follow in,
a constant correcting of my weak and invalid instinct.
The blueprint of my life included empty rooms
where my expanding ego could grow to fill the dead space,
doorways cemented in by the acceptance of others ,
or better yet,
I saw a statue of myself as the centerpiece of the design,
sitting so gracefully others would try to mimic my expression and empathic aura.
I grew up to expect others to love me the way they do
in a close up shot of a cinematic scene,
I grew up to demand too much of myself,
only talking to myself like a workout instructor
whose aim is to tear my muscles not stretch them,
I grew up knowing how many hours in a day I should work,
what my children's names would be before I had them,
how my husband would look on the day he married me,
a tear swelling in the corner of his eye,
his vows full of sentiments I wish I had the courage to say to myself.
I grew up.
I grew up to realize the blueprint of my life
was not one that I actually thought would look any good once built,
it's architecture did not suit my moral aesthetic,
it's foundations flawed,
and values set very far from my own.
So I scrapped my blueprint,
the blueprint that I should strive for greater beauty,
to be thinner in most places and plumper in some,
that I would be the perfect ‘mum,’
supporting my child in every right way to undo the wrongs done unto me,
the blueprint that said that i’m destined to change the world,
that i am superior and different,
ignoring, that having differences is what makes us all so similar,
the blueprint that said i should go to bed now,
I should eat now, I should exercise now,
I should study, I should earn, I should pay my dues,
I should do anything,
I should have a plan,
I threw it all away.
I threw the blueprint I had drawn into the bin
and I did not draw another,
instead I sat and waited for life to inspire the pencil I held in my hand,
the pencil that would move only in the moment it was needed,
and not before,
never to erase what was already etched with lead either,
but to only create a new room or hallway when life asked me for a design.
I choose to live my life without a map
navigating purley from my compass within,
changing direction as I saw fit,
blazing new trails that my forgotten blueprint did not comprehend.
I forgave myself for betraying myself
for listening to the inherited beliefs others had inherited also,
for not taking responsibility of my choices, of my part played, of my time spent,
of my contribution to this world.
I had denied my true self.
Denied my true voice permission to speak and to lead my life,
denied it permission to exist,
to bring me joy,
to fill my heart,
I had forsaken myself, more than anyone had done before,
the greatest of sins,
breaking my own heart by simply not listening to it.
I grew up to realize that agreeing with others,
and remaining silent,
keeping my true insight in,
in attempt to keep the peace,
was never going to serve me,
because the antonym of belonging is fitting in.
I found resolution with self
and once I found home within,
I vowed to be loyal to it,
as I moved through the rest of my life.
once I had grown
and done all my living
I knew I had done it right
because I had felt my way through it,
I had consulted myself consistently by asking,
“Hey what do you think?”
At each crossing I looked to myself for guidance and not another,
I looked to myself as to weather it was time to cross,
or if I was going in the right direction at all,
I looked to myself for the neon green to set my path alight.
I listened to her,
or at least I did my best to,
I heard her voice and followed her lead
because I had faith in myself
I decided I would,
and I made that decision a long time ago.
deep down I knew what was best for me.
And so I listened to the part of me
that is life’s best guide,
the part that is always more grown up than the rest,
my soul, my source, my being,
the place I belong to,
the place I love from,
and the place I have lived my life from
as I vowed I would.
- From Epiphany