Cramped by the glass walls erected by my ego for self-protection

Shut down by fear, hoping no one will notice

Hiding in plain sight

Talking without speaking truth

Old enough to be old school, young enough to still act cool

Panic attack on the piano at the elementary school talent show

Fingers trembling, palms sweating, the music didn’t flow

My body no longer under my control, if it ever was

Prepubertal and desperate to feel loved

Didn’t imagine the amount of dicks that would line up before me, standing at attention without paying attention to my intention I let myself be violated without intervention

Too socially anxious to say that my anxiety created problems for me

I didn’t see that I was the one keeping myself in prison

I left the door to my open mind wide open, I welcomed everyone inside

Disturbed by the sound of my own voice, I avoided looking myself in the face

I am petrified that others will think that I am less than perfect, why am I so defensive?

Every now and then I embrace my stress, thank it for trying to protect me

Maybe I could suffer less if I lean toward more realistic expectations for myself

I am not a robot, I am human- part mammal, part divine

Praying and practicing to be calmer

Too long have I wrongly judged others to be less troubled than I, less deep and dynamic

I held their stable, happy childhoods against them

Citing that early advantage as the reason for their seemingly stable, happy adulthoods

I jump at the first imagined whisper of a whip crack, but I am the one piling pressure on my back

Gathering responsibilities like stones, I bury myself alive

I am swallowed whole by my energy

From the belly of the wale I write my tale

I edit out the inconvenient parts of the story

I simultaneously envy and lust after those who are more attractive, kind and skilled than I.

Life is a series of things not working out but at the same time things are working out

Losing battles, winning wars

My biggest war is within me, I fight against inner peace while at the same time I try to hold space for it

My anxiety has a hell of a hold on me but when I stop struggling the grip loosens just a bit

My train of thought makes a lot of stops

When given a choice, I choose first that which I desire the least

I wonder how I will wash off karmic stains

I had so little faith in my family’s love for me that I was certain they wouldn’t love a baby I had had with the wrong man at the wrong time, according to them

I wake up pillow drunk from my dreams of lost love

I am the woman who comes up in conversation when men’s wives are away at work

I feel the truth bubbling to the surface of my tongue, gnashing behind my teeth

I don’t have to keep moving forward endlessly, I can just be good enough here and now

Lining up my thoughts, words and actions

Some call me an angel for risking my life for others as a physician during the pandemic

Even angels get worn down and hangry when their work prohibits them from eating or sleeping

Stop spreading this virus, all we need is 10 days of staying home, I’ll be the first to volunteer

While we’re at it, stop the gun violence

We are unworthy of the America we inherited, our privileges should be adjusted to match our current reality.

Washington inoculated his revolutionary army with small pox so that he could focus on fighting just one war, at a time when inoculation was deadly and crude, yet patients tell me that they don’t want to get the COVID vaccine because they are afraid- it seems rude. Maybe we don’t know all the potential side effects of the vaccine, but we do know that the potential side effects of the virus include death, so pick your poison. I’m tired of the task of being responsible, brave and thinking of others fall on the overworked shoulders of essential workers only, please give us a hand, this burden is massively heavy.

I echo only myself in this chamber

Instead of my every action being based on the foundation of ‘please don’t hate or hurt me’ I want to start saying ‘I am love’, with those full moon eye.s

My shyness kills the authenticity of my relationships like a silent knife

Sometimes I wonder if I am screaming out loud without noticing because I’ve heard my internal screams for so long

Sometimes I am disgusted by my own emo-ness

If I were to write an autobiography of my life I might title it Wild Oats

I challenge myself to accept that everything is actually OK

This moment is exactly as it is meant to be

I am in the right place at the right time

Maybe that is just a nursery rhyme

But maybe it is true, and I can see it

When I look beyond the thoughts obstructing my view

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