Paved To Dirt

It feels like I’ve been – attempting –
to find me forever.
Saying I need to get better at this
or I need to get better at that
only to end up nowhere.

I’ve been looking for myself everywhere
there appears to be an availability.
I usually feel the high life of the change to come,
then before I know it, the paved road
turns back into the dirt road.

The Bible

All the self-help books derive from the Bible.
Every single issue of life takes up residence
in that “impressive book.”
It’s the only one that belongs on the bookshelf;
everything else is just entertainment.

Mom’s Diary

One day I will glance back on all that I have written
and giggle or murmur at my juvenile interpretations.
Who knows? I might even respond, “what was I thinking?”

One day my children will discover what I’ve been up to
all this time behind this computer screen.
I’ll get to relive those moments fresh off-the-grill
like I ordinarily do when I re-read my compositions.
I’m often amazed at the information I re-discover
years down the road.

Anxiety Speaks Volumes

Overlook the repetition; I was just spitting the poison out of my system. If you’ve ever experienced the hair-raising side effects of anxiety, you know it’s one of the most hell-raising battles you must fight front row and center in your life. Welcome to my world.

These are some of the thoughts rushing in my mind the moment I’m in earshot of reaching a significant milestone —the tug-of-war begins; these are the thoughts I’ve dealt with since the age of 12.

and by “they,” I mean “others.”

I don’t care how I look.
I don’t care if others think I’m ugly or gorgeous.
I don’t care if my eyes look like I got sucker-punched.
I don’t care if I look like I’d been sleeping or smoking weed.

I don’t care about the bumps on my face.
I don’t care about my tea-stained teeth.
I don’t care if I’m thirsty and still got to pee.
I don’t care if I’m abruptly hungry.
I don’t care if my breath smells good.
I don’t care if my thoughts are racing.
I don’t care how tired I feel, and yes, I am tired.
I don’t care how tired I look.
I don’t care how I sound to them.
I don’t care how I sound to myself, just speak up.
I don’t care about the bags under my eyes.

I don’t care about the way I pronounce my words.
I don’t care if I am not loud enough.
I don’t care if my words are not clear enough.
I don’t care if my voice is not calm.
I don’t care if my heart is racing; it does that a lot.
I don’t care if my head is hurting, migraines live here.
I don’t care if the words don’t want to come out.
I don’t care if my voice is at a whisper.
I don’t care if I’m boring or fun.
I don’t care if you are pleased with me or not.
I don’t care if you are happier than I am or just plain sad.

I don’t care if they can’t understand me.
I don’t care if I get/feel choked up.
I don’t care if I feel happy to speak.
I don’t care if I’m worrying over nothing.
I don’t care if my mind keeps reverting to old habits.
I don’t care if I feel like I’m about to faint and pass out.

I don’t care if my voice shakes.
I don’t care if my voice is weak.
I don’t care if I look like I’m about to cry.
I don’t care if I feel in the mode to cry.
I don’t care if you seem to know more than I do.
I don’t care if you speak better than I do.
I don’t care if you catch on faster than I do.
I don’t care if you have a higher job title.
I don’t care what you know; no one knows everything.

I don’t care who you know; my God is greater.
I don’t care that you are loud and love attention.
I don’t care if I’m shaking.
I don’t care if I’m scared/afraid of you though I shouldn’t be.
I don’t care if I feel sick.
I don’t care what they say.
I don’t care what they think.
I don’t care if they laugh.

I don’t care who calls my name.
I don’t care who speaks badly about me.
I don’t care if I get damaging emails, phone calls, or text messages.
I don’t care if I go to 100 meetings a day or none.
I don’t care who whispers about me.
I don’t care if they answer my questions or ignore them.

I don’t care if they think I’m dumb.
I don’t care if they think I’m stupid.
I don’t care if they think I’m smart.
I don’t care if they don’t think I understand anything.
I don’t care if I’m scared.
I don’t care how scared I feel.
I don’t care if I’m afraid.
I don’t care if they are right or wrong about me.
I don’t care if they don’t like me.

I don’t care who throws me underneath the bus.
I don’t care if I get in trouble.
I don’t care if they are unhappy with me.
I don’t care who’s upset with me.
I don’t care who likes me.
I don’t care if they think I’m crazy.
I don’t care if they pretend like they don’t know
what I’m talking about when I finally speak.

I don’t care if I’m right.
I don’t care if I’m wrong.
I don’t care if they boo me.
I don’t care if they give me credit or not.
I don’t care if they recognize my efforts or not.
I don’t care if I’m their friend.
I don’t care if I’m their enemy.
I don’t care what they believe to be true or not.
I don’t care if they give me the side-eye/stink-eye.
I don’t care about their opinions.

I don’t care about the past though I appreciate it.
I don’t care that I am uncomfortable.
I don’t care that I am out of my comfort zone.
I don’t care if they don’t believe in my abilities.
I don’t care who believes in me.
I don’t care if they think I can handle it.
I don’t care if they think I’m good enough.
I don’t care if I don’t think I can’t do it, just do it, don’t avoid the situation.

I say I don’t care, but I’ve got feelings too.

But I paid attention to their words.
But I paid attention to their stares.
But I believed that they were accurate about me.
But I acted the way they presumed I’d react.
But I ran away from every situation.
But I did not see my self-worth.
But I did not think I was desirable enough.
But I did not even like the sound of my voice.

But I did not even love myself.
But I did not believe I deserved all the genuine things that were coming to me.
But I did not believe in myself.
But I did not climb out of my comfort zone.
But I attended to their opinions.
But I let them install their limitations on me.
But I pleased them when I didn’t speak up or defended myself.

But I let whatever they vocalized or produced bother me.
But I worried too much about how I looked/did not look, sounded/did not sound.
But I dodged every opportunity to advance.
But I went to bed many nights and could not dream.
But I dodged speaking to people.
But I bypassed any/every situation that could have developed me.
But I shunned the person staring back at me in the mirror.

I didn’t know my potential.
I neglected my abilities to please everyone else.
Do/did they notice my potential?
My blinders stuck to my face.
I couldn’t see past my fears.
My insecurities distracted me.

I just need to believe in myself.
I just need to silence the negative thoughts.
I just need to retrain my subconscious mind.
I just need to face my fears.
I just need to work on myself and practice, practice, practice.
I just need to brave it out and come out of my comfort zone.
I just need to stop making everything about “me, me, me.”
I just need to serve others.
I just need to speak up and be a leader.
I just need to do it.

I will not act scared anymore.
I will not be afraid anymore.
I will not make it about me anymore.
I will not let my insecurities win.
I will not let their opinions shape my life any longer.
I will not give up, no matter how many times I fail.
I will not give up, no matter how many times I fall.
I will not give up, no matter who thinks I will fail or win.
I will not give up, no matter who believes in me or not.
I will not give up, no matter who thinks I am capable or not.

I deserve to be happy.
I deserve to be free.
I deserve love.
I deserve to live a comfortable and fulfilling life.
I deserve to know that I am enough.
I deserve to acknowledge my self-worth.
I deserve to see how beautiful, pleasant, and unforgettable I am.
I deserve to reach my full potential.
I deserve to flourish out of my comfort zone.
I deserve to live a calm and peaceful life.
I deserve all the marvelous things that are coming to me.

I am brave.
I am bold.
I am courageous.
I am kind.
I am a loving person.
I am caring.
I am a confident leader.

I am a proficient public speaker.
I am a conqueror.
I am good enough.
I am calm and at peace.
I deserve all the right things.
I am okay with failing as long as I don’t give up.
I am equipped with the power to make positive changes.

I’m feeling calmer now; I think I dished it all out.

With This Gift

When I exercise my gift of written expression,
I’m tugging on my limitless potential;
the more I write, the closer I get to achieving my goals.
Writing is one of the few meaningful things I do
with minor effort,
it is my passion.

The Beginning of Greatness

I won’t settle at “too hard; can’t do it.” I won’t
lose focus and motivation when the going
becomes troublesome. I’m eliminating
all limitations and “placed” holds,
attacking my dreams until completion.
Finally, I see a finish line for myself,
the beginning of greatness.