When they used to ask me
What I wanted to be when I grew up
I always wanted to say…”Happy.”
Wanted to say “Anything but a coward.”
“Anything but a failure.”
“Anything but a person that settled
For everything they are now.”
But I’ve realized…
That happiness is not a destination. But a state of mind.
It is not the ribbon at the finish line.
Or the smile you stitch to your face in the morning.
The absence of the audacity you once had
To dream and be something more
Than what they said you can accomplish.
Or the empty promises to yourself
That you’ve built an empire out of.
Like the 9 to 5 that looks too much
Like a collection of could haves
And “I wish I was someone else!”
And looks nothing
Like the daydreams you used to call reality.
Or the “I’ll do it tomorrow”s
When you said the same thing five yesterdays ago.
So do not let your dreams run away.
Do not sweep them under the rug
Every time the fire inside you
Just wants to peek out and greet the sun
Like an old friend.
Let your aspirations sleep with your thoughts tonight.
Because if you listen close enough…
I promise you can hear your pillow talk.
Whispering sweet nothings in your ear
Seducing your body into doing things
That you brain was always scared to do.
Past the “I don’t want to do it right now.”
Past the impossible. The rejection.
The bend. The break. The shatter. The whirl.
When everything is going wrong.
Past the five minutes
After you learned you weren’t good enough.
The five minutes after they left you.
For the ten minutes immediately after
When you realized it just wasn’t right for you.
Like the single mother
That wakes up and feels her children’s dreams
So she says “I gotta do something.”
Like the man
Who wakes up on a weary Monday morning
And tells the weekend to wait a while
While he sneaks his soul from its slumber.
Like the girl
That dreams of being a doctor. Or an engineer.
Or an athlete. Or a president…Or a difference.
And she won’t take no for an answer.
Like you had the heart of a giant.
Like your soul couldn’t help but sing the gospel
Right out of your bones.
Like your footsteps could make the city shake
From the passion pumping through your veins.
Like the six year old in all of us.
That wants to shake the dust.
And sing their skeletons in the success
They finger-painted onto their refrigerators
All those years ago…
Dance! Sing! Paint!
Hug your mother!
Call yourself beautiful!
For a sunrise worth waking up to.
For the nights
When heaven on earth looks a lot closer
Than we’ve ever thought possible.
For the next wave.
For those who can’t help themselves.
For your six year old self.
So they can look at you, smile, and be proud.
So when somebody asks you what you are,
Not what you want to be,
You can finally say…”Happy.”