Celebrate: Express Yourself Day

Although I’ve always had an affinity for poetry, I have not penned many verses nor am I well-educated on the topic. In many ways, poetry feels like a lost art to me—sequestered away to lyrics on a page or the occasional public reading.

My Great-Grandmother, on the other hand, adored poetry. She tucked away hundreds of lines and verses into the corners of her memory and could recite her favorites with ease well into her 80s. Any short string of rhymes I can conjure or quick facts on Emily Dickenson I can recall are byproducts of her influence.

This week, in an effort to make space for both celebration and expression (i.e. – Express Yourself Day on March 7th), I wrote a few lines instead of journaling.

Across the Highway

There are places I claim,

but they don’t claim me.

When I left, they left me.

Tried to store both away,

the memories, the momentos. 

Yet time stole me away.

From every lamp post,

from every sunset,

from every cherished thing.

Although I’ve never lived outside of the country or made a cross-country move, the smaller relocations—whether a few states or a few ZIP codes away were rather difficult for me. Because these changes didn’t seem major at first blush, however, I didn’t let myself grieve. I didn’t let myself process. Essentially, I didn’t let myself feel.

At the time of each move, I simply thought the change was more parts excitement than challenge. Try as I might, however, each time I relocated, the feelings slowly came rolling in. Scratch that—they came barreling in.

More often than not, I got angry. I made snarky comments about a picture a friend posted when, in truth, I was hurt because she went out to one of my favorite local haunts, and I couldn’t be there. In this murky, sensitive place, I typically assume the worst in everyone. I feel forgotten and dismissed.

Everytime I move, I vow to handle the transition a little better. I plan to be a little kinder to myself and others. Yet, as a creature of habit, I let the ignore-anger-sadness cycle inevitably ensue.

I wrote these few, meager lines as a way to let myself know it’s okay. It’s okay to hurt, and it’s okay to admit that things are hard. Although we haven’t all experienced the same changes, we all have experienced the sour pill that is transition and that, essentially, is life.

Through connection and creativity, I pray to be more patient with myself and others as life ebbs and flows. And who knows? Maybe a taking a few cues from my Great-Grandma and Emily Dickensen would do me a little good as well.

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