My Inner Scold

live your life

stop asking when your life begins
and live your life, you’re in it
the days roll past as though you’re
marking time, but that’s not living

you climb so fast to reach the top
but find there’s nothing waiting
just those who blame the thinner air
for all their hesitating

afraid of heights, you freeze in place
you fear your dream is ending
so face the sheerness of the drop
it’s time to stop pretending

the life you want lives deep inside
you’ll find it when you face it
no mountaintop can give your life
the meaning that you’re chasing

This isn’t what I want it to be, but since I’ve done so little writing lately, I’m posting it anyway. I can blame the virus I’m still fighting, or the migraine that’s come along for the ride, but neither really matters. I haven’t been writing. My heart hasn’t been in it, and I know it shows.

I need to accept my life as it is and find a way to engage more fully with each moment. I have lists of things I want to do, more lists of things I need to do, and one nagging list of things I ought to do. I ignore them all. But life isn’t slowing down while I avoid it, frozen here like a statue in a park watching all the real people rush by, wishing I had somewhere to go.

There’s not going to be a moment of great revelation that spurs me to act. I’m not going to wake tomorrow suddenly enlightened and sure of my purpose. I need to accept that life is about living, being alive, moment to moment. If all that means for me is taking a shower and cleaning the house, then so be it. And if it means sitting down daily to write, because I enjoy writing, then that’s great.

I can’t force myself to like myself when I’m feeling this way. No matter how hard I try to imagine a different me living a different life, I still face the same person in the mirror. She wants to change, but is afraid of what that really means. And she feels inadequate when she compares herself to others who have “real lives.” She’s letting herself grow old inside. She’s letting her dreams die. And I don’t know how to save her. Maybe a little gentle scolding will turn her attention back to the good things in her life.

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