If I learned anything from last month’s month of play it was that I deserved to be happy and that I got that right just by being here, in this time and space I occupy right now. I don’t have to do anything special at all to earn that right. It’s time I claimed it.

Poem a Day #29

I have seven shelves of books
devoted to the art of helping me
become a better person.
This month I’ve reread one a night
and yes, I read that fast.

Some I’ve had for years,

Most of those I can let go of now.
I’m in a different place
than I was back then.

The last pile by my bed
is full of books on how to fix
something in me that’s broken.

For years I was attracted to the idea
that if I could just fix
all the broken pieces of myself I would, at last,
be whole
be healthy
be happy.

Then I read a book where the author
(the nerve of him)
said he didn’t think we were really broken,
he thought we were all in hiding
with layers and layers
of guilt, of anger, of pain
weighing us down
and he wondered if the secret
to finding our true path in life
wasn’t as simple (and as difficult)
as removing those layers and saying to the world
here I am, just as I am, take me or leave me.

Fifteen years ago I would have scoffed
at the idea of peeling back those layers
and showing my naked soul to the world,
(scoffed and cried most likely)
because I would have been sure
that the world would laugh at me,
begging me to put the layers back in place,
telling me the world didn’t need one more
overly emotional, touchy-feely, takes things too personally
kind of person.

Perhaps this is the gift of getting older
but I don’t feel that way anymore.
I understand my way of looking at the world
is uniquely mine and the world,
well it’s lucky to have me.

I haven’t quite managed
to leave all my emotional baggage alongside the road
but I’m packing lighter these days.

I am tired of not feeling like I am enough
and tired of not letting myself feel enough
I am tired
of not being me.

© 2011 Susan Taylor Brown.  All rights reserved.