Okay….I’m not trying to be sappy (not that fear of being sappy has ever stopped me before)…but at this particular moment, I’m feeling very blessed & I’m going to take this opportunity to express that.
First of all, I’d like to dedicate this poem to my parents (featured on this poem’s theme photo) & my beautiful sister, Ava; all of whom taught me that you can’t get by in life acting like you’re too cool to care. Thank you for being wonderful examples of true empathy, love, respect, & kindness. Ava & I are so blessed to have you as our parents.
Second, I’d like to dedicate this poem to my extended family, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., for being further examples of those same qualities…and for just being who you are. You all helped me grow & learn (and you’re helping me do so, *still*).
Third, I’d like to dedicate this poem to my darling, Jesse. Who has rekindled a fire & passion in me that was starting to dwindle. Thank you, sunshine.
And last (certainly not least), I’d like to dedicate this poem to the beautiful, loving Team Sawyer & all the other people who’ve supported me this whole time. Your encouragement, kindness, & friendship means the world to me. I could never ever thank you enough.
I love you all, to the moon & back.
Now, moving on to the poem:
People are mean,
Life is confusing,
And lately, I can’t tell if I’m losing myself or finding myself.
Constantly being hurt, misunderstood, & overlooked by disinterested misanthropists who are afraid of vulnerability,
Because everyone is too scared of the shallow judgements & stigmas that come with caring.
True bravery radiates from the ones who are strong enough to give a damn.
True maturity isn’t just checking off the silly list of expected responsibilities or social ranks.
It’s not just doing the usual things that people praise you for, to get recognition.
It’s not just doing things for outward appearance.
It’s doing the little things that make you a stronger, kinder person,
The things that only the important people notice.
It’s choosing to boldly be yourself, while also staying humble,
And knowing how to love yourself,
Not feel sorry for yourself.
It’s disposing of self pity & stubbornness,
And never pigeon-holing yourself into one way of thinking or living for the rest of your life.
It’s taking hold of every opportunity that comes your way,
It’s learning to accept that you may not agree with something that someone else does.
And knowing that you have to respect other people’s decisions, instead of trying to convince them otherwise.
It’s being understanding when someone reaches out to you.
It’s being intuitive enough to pick up on people’s feelings & know when they really aren’t “fine”.
It’s not belittling people for being tender-hearted & sensitive, & learning how to be sensitive yourself.
It’s knowing when to say thank you & I’m sorry,
Knowing when to say I love you.
It’s learning how to make people comfortable & going out of your way to do that.
It’s walking into a cold, stale room, & knowing how to make it softer & warmer.
It’s seeing someone crying on a public bench & being the one person in the world who stops to ask if they’re okay.
It’s seeing someone who loves you, crying right there in front of you & taking the higher road by choosing to be gentle in response.
It’s laying bear your soul to the ones who matter,
It’s being altruistic enough to accept changes & want to better yourself, not only for yourself, but for others,
It’s knowing that sometimes you have to journey deep within your own mind to face your biggest fears & solve your worst problems.
It’s learning to forgive & forget, but also knowing when to walk away from toxic situations.
It’s taking the time to be genuinely interested in others’ passions & concerns.
It’s learning how to be uplifting & upbuilding instead of making fun of someone for just being who they are,
It’s knowing how to embrace diversity, instead of avoiding or judging things because their different.
It’s going a step further to encourage someone’s unique vocations & characteristics even when they are hard to relate to.
It’s learning how to try to make everybody feel like a somebody.
It’s learning how to break the controlling, constricting ties of unrealistic expectations,
It’s learning how to respect yourself, but never bring others down in doing so.
It’s learning how to love freely.
It’s learning how to release yourself from the fear of being judged.
It’s learning how to tread ever onwards with purpose & good intentions.
It’s learning how to care.
It’s learning how to let go.
It’s learning to be real,
Learning to be human.
It’s learning to live, not just survive.
It’s living to learn.