I Believe In Me Sometimes, But Not All The Time — And That’s My Struggle

MUSICAL SELECTION: GIL SCOTT-HERON|WINTER IN AMERICA

When a bird sings, it is lending its heart to you

Photo by kevin turcios on Unsplash

I am a purposed woman. I know I have a purpose. I am inclined to believe we all have a purpose. However, I struggle to recognize, grasp, and embrace exactly what my purpose is. I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I can tell you all the things that make me uncomfortable and put me in deep states of anxiousness, yet I can’t quite place a finger on a solitary thing to cause me to erupt more than something else. I have faults and flaws — upswings and downswings — brave moments and fearful ones. I am a walking contradiction who lives down the street from super-inflated candidness wrapped in a slice of humility.

The seasons blur. I cannot find my way through spring shifted from winter second-removed from autumn or passed down by summer. Every season carries its own pain and its own special directness as they enter my realm. Who should I be now? What should I learn today? Where will any of this lead me four to five years from now?

It is the tail-end of spring and the birds sing their joyous songs just outside my window — a congregation of like minds willing to harmonize their thoughts and feelings.

When a bird sings, it is lending its heart to you.

I tell myself this . . . that birdsong is God’s feathered creatures sharing their heart. Am I a great keeper of it? Can they trust me with it? I am not a bird person, per se, but I enjoy listening to their musical offerings. I carry their songs with me throughout the day. Sometimes, they are the only thing that can lift me out of a frigid mood — warm my soul. These days, I’ll take what I can get.


I have a mean gift of gab — I do.

If I am not willing to point out what I do well, who will? Without boasting or sounding arrogant, I remind myself occasionally, “You are an incredible words-worker. You can create anything using words.” And I can. I have. I hope to continue to do so as each year passes, but the world is shifting from what it used to be, and I fear many of us no longer want to sit with words. We want to be spoonfed by two-minute reels of one’s forty-year timeline or audiobook everything, including the Bible. We want the diet version of a memoir and the cliff notes to epic poetry and . . . I fear I will move out of my league with this new normal.

But, I have a mean gift of gab. I can land a poetic punch or comedic comeback in a heartbeat and not blink an eye. One thing I love most about working from home is sharing with my co-workers via Teams. At roughly about 11:10 a.m. every workday, one of my Workforce Managers will tag me in a Teams group chat casually blaming me for the call queue increasing because I took a break. I, of course, upon returning from break, will see my name tagged with the statement of blame and our tit for tat in comedic exchanges will begin.

Several co-workers will say in the chat, “I wait for this every morning! It’s one of the reasons I’m excited to log on!” or “Y’all two are so funny. This is better than my soaps.” I have to admit, on some days, this same Workforce Manager will give me a run for my money via a verbal comedic lashing, and I’ll humbly bow out. If I had to guess, though, I’d say we’re neck and neck.

But these exchanges and how good they make my co-workers feel are reminders of what I have done and can do with the English language.


I motivate others to be better versions of themselves

When I am at my highest level of confidence, I can motivate others to be better versions of themselves. It is not finger-pointing, and it is most definitely not, “Look at what I did — you can do it, too!” It is more like me simply listening to them, knowing what they can do and how often they have overcome obstacles to get where they are in life, and reminding them of this. It is me sounding a bullhorn in their ear that they have the power to be exactly who they wish to be. They must recognize it.

I take what I say to them and turn it back on to myself as well. I am not a stranger to self-reflection or honing in on integrity. We all have a little of something in us others want — they may even need it, and most times, it makes them happy for us to share whatever that little something is.


I struggle with my gifts and talents — with believing in myself

Knowing all that I know about myself and how I operate, I still struggle with believing completely in myself — with feeling as though I can be more — do more; provide more for my life. I have goals I would still like to meet and I aspire to be a better version of myself, too, but the weight of the world and some of my negative thoughts can create a conflict within me, and I play tug of war with myself.

Although I’ve been down the road of my life and have seen my many accomplishments, there is always this nagging voice poking its way into my thoughts if ever I stumble upon a new idea. It creepily says, “Are you sure you can do this?” And sometimes it gets rude with its statement and spits a, “But you’ve already failed at this before” at me, and I stutter-step with my next moves. It is up to me to continue to pour positive energy into this being of mine as I grow older — as I seek opportunities out there I know are meant for me.

I am going to be just like the birdsong — soon, a piece of my heart will be with you.


Originally published in CRY Magazine via Medium.

NaPoWriMo #26

Jernee, sitting in the car while I gathered our things so we could leave the Vet’s office.

Aging Has Its Place (a one-lined poem)

The cataracts have fully-formed, her hearing is sub-par, the cystic tumor on her back, right paw coupled with her age aren’t the best candidates for surgery, yet she continues to give me joy and affection on the roughest of days; she always forgets her pain for me.

NaPoWriMo #10

afraid but in need of love

Photo by Natalie Dobson via ReShot

Easter is the 42nd, and
I’m still alone–still afraid
to love.

I get tired of hearing,
“it’ll happen, just give it
time.”
“the one will come along.”
“someone is out there
for you,” yet no one has
showed up.

and even if they did,
how ready am I?
fear swims in the pit
of my belly, making it
its home, but I
still want love–still need love.

is that possible?

Your Poem From Me Request #4

The Giving Cause: This Is Me . . . Right?

This is me . . . Right?
I know me. I love me.
Everything about me is
different from anyone else.
My curves. My voice. The softer
and jigglier space that is
my middle. My hair. My eyes.
I know me. I love me.

It’s what I keep telling myself.
I have to do this.
I have to remind myself of
the goodness of me.
But I flit–fall into
the echos of my younger self,
lassoed by a time when I
was smaller, more headstrong,
and confident.

I try to push myself
through the present–try to
shift my mind to this
here and now, yet . . .
the past is a mistress.
She keeps calling me, you see.
I am weak for her.
She knows.

I look at NOW me–I
have doubts. I long to
embrace the woman who
smiles back at me in
the mirror–to make peace
with her.
I have to. I should.

If I don’t, what will
happen to me?

This is me . . . Right?
I know me. I love me.
I’ll keep telling myself
who I am . . . who we are . . .
And one day, the mistress
of a PAST me will
grow silent.


Thank you to Kathy Garland for allowing me to gift a poem to you. Writing this spoke to me in many ways.

To learn more about the Your Poem From Me: The Giving Cause, click here. Let me write a poem for you. I can give it life.

Your Poem From Me Request #3

The Giving Cause: My Power. Your Power.

Photo by Huzaini Husin via ReShot

At my age, I haven’t the energy
to argue over meaningless
occurrences–I spend my time
learning the mores of life–increasing
my depth of wisdom.

I no longer flit between strengths
and weaknesses–I know where
I stand. My power is in
the love I give my children–the
conversations I have with
old friends and new acquaintances.
My power is in every breath I
take on a bone-chilling morning–the
final words I say at night.

You can have some, you know . . .
My power. I’m happy to share it
with you. I can blow it
in your direction, corner it
and jar it for safekeeping, smooth
the wrinkles out of it, and straighten
it to your liking.

Does it fit?
Can you wear it?
Here . . . Try it on.

The world around us dwindles
down to ash–we can remain,
undeterred and immovable.
It’s up to us. Let’s merge our
powers and create a superpower
that will live on beyond
the impending apocalypse.
Let my power become your
power . . . Our power . . .
The world’s power.


Thank you to Mary L. Holden for allowing me to gift a poem to you. I truly enjoyed writing this one.

To learn more about Your Poem From Me: The Giving Cause, click here. Let me write a poem for you. I can give it life.