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Don’t tell me who to be
I didn’t ask to be liked
To be put on a pedestal and worshipped
Maybe that was yesterday.
I stopped rushing through the milling crowds one day
As they bent their shoulders
Glued their eyes to their smartphones and
Dumbed down their minds
Adjusted the masks of expected behavior
And walked in straight lines in one direction.
I stopped and turned around
And walked a lonesome walk
Pushing against jarring shoulders
And judgemental eyes
I shrugged off years of conditioning
Painfully peeled off the “need to be approved” layer
Rolled up the “such a good girl” into a crumpled paper ball ‘n threw it into the river.
Where it bobbed for a while, seeking permission to float
Before sinking into oblivion.
I invited the mighty river in me to break banks
Spill over, flood, and roar into majestic existence
Wash away expectations, nods, definitions.
And it rushed forward with complete abandon
To embrace me, in its entirety
It’s one life we have, you and me
I didn’t come here with your approval
Death won’t seek your nod to whisk me away one day
So is it not just madness to live my one life based on your approval?