Lifelong Learning

I wish I’d known

That mad is just sad’s bodyguard

And that it wasn’t my job to abandon myself,

Or twist myself into whichever shape required

To be loved (although I did figure it out in time)

I wish I’d known

How to better advocate for myself 

To say “no,” or ask for what I needed (it’s not audacious after all!)

Instead of living to fill in the gaps – holding it all together –

Left by everyone else

I wish I’d known

That life isn’t a contest

And there’s no due date for the big parts – 

No official checklist to rush through, no crossing items off in an efficient manner –

Hell, we don’t even all have the same items anymore. 

I wish I’d known 

How to give myself a little grace

There was a time I’d prefer to throw myself in front of a bus,

Rather than ask for an extension or disappoint anyone

It took me a long time to learn, I’m worthy of my own kindness

I wish I’d known

That past traumas aren’t grown up excuses

For deplorably bad behaviour 

And using them as such is akin to manipulation.

It’s never my job to fix anyone. (Now I’d say, do your own work)

I wish I’d known

That people are self-centered – not in a bad way, just in a way

That means they’re too wrapped up in their own lives, to worry about me

Half as much as I imagine them to be 

(you’ve forgotten about when I called off that engagement, right?)

Or maybe I don’t wish I’d known it all,

For in the learning, 

There’s been a messy, grand adventure

Filled with pain and anxiety yes, but also growth – and ultimately joy –

And isn’t that why we’re here?

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