Wednesday, 15 May 2013


I've always wanted to be older.

Part of this stems from my personality, I think. I've always been a bit of an old soul; quiet and thoughtful, reading books I barely understood because I was too young and always sitting in on adult conversations just to listen. When I was younger, I had a picture in my mind of who I wanted to be when I was eighteen. It was a blend of all the best parts of the people I admired and what I thought I wanted to become. I naively assumed that simply growing older would change me into that person; I thought I would achieve it with maturity.

Now that I am eighteen, I'm thinking of that image, that girl I was supposed to become, and she seems so foreign and untouchable to me. If I had tried to become her, I would have compromised who I am at the core of myself. I wouldn't be myself anymore, and something about that doesn't appeal to me because I actually like who I am becoming. It's a subtle development and yes, I have flaws, but I realized that I'd rather become more of myself than turn into a bad imitation of a fabricated image. It was a mental shift: focusing on who I am and how to develop that rather than focusing on who I am not and how to obtain it.

In a little over a month, my time as a high school student will quietly close. Lately I've been thinking back over these past four years, drawing up old memories and wondering what I would have done differently. I hated most of high school, but this past year has been so different and I'm discovering why. At the beginning of the year, I knew I wanted to end well. Previously, school had been a place of tension manifesting between me and myself. It was a battle ground in which I subconsciously set impossible expectations and failed to live up to them, lending to a subconscious feeling of failure (because a 100% average is an unrealistic goal that, now, I am not ashamed that I never achieved). I wouldn't think of judging others by their GPA, but somehow I didn't escape my own criticism.

With a subtle shift in focus, this has become one of the best years of school so far. I slowly gave myself permission to be genuine, lowered my expectations a little, intentionally tried to focus on other people and, in exchange, I gained personal freedom, achieved the same GPA without all the pressure, and had so much more fun. I love setting goals, but only goals that are attainable and in keeping with who I am and who I want to become. At the beginning of first semester, I prayed about very specific areas of school and life that I knew I wanted to change and I've been surprised and blessed to watch them take on a new dimension and depth to me. It was a process: I didn't wake up one day completely changed and I'm still not completely changed, but it's a healthier way of living.

Now I am finally the age I always wanted to be and it seems silly now, because it's just an age. It will fade away like all the others and my spirit, the core of who I am, will be the same. I can't change that. I interact with elderly people on a regular basis, and many of them will lament to me about growing old. In some, though, I can see a youthful spirit shining through their eyes, the energy that vibrates within, and I tell them that they are only as old as their spirit feels.

I should listen to my own advice.

Monday, 13 May 2013

For Mothers

The song of your past
can still be heard;
the ebb and flow
of a melody
on some distant wind
that ushers you
into now.
a string of mothers
have led us here.
Birthed and grown
to birth and grow.
Raised to flourish
to flourish in the raising.
Give rise to the future:
that is your calling
stretched out in the long hours,
bound by your words and
carried by your example.
You can sweep the home clean, but
you can't sweep away the home.
We filled you and
emptied you
Blood and spirit and life
poured out
from you, tangled in us.
raised to
from you.
You are the song and
we are the harmony,
lingering on,
casting foreword
for you.

*Written for my own mother.