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"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk to blossom. " -- Anaïs Nin

It’s taken me a long while

Since being evicted from the womb

(Read: a few decades)

To not cower under my shadow, but rather

Stand tall and own my conviction,

Grow some courage in spades,

Be willing to take up some room.

But truth be told,

It was a reluctant journey

Out of the protective cocoon

My shy, introverted self terrified

Of being forced to bloom too soon.

“I need more time, I’m not yet ready,”

My inner perfectionist kept insisting,

Constantly waiting for life to feel more steady.

Until one day, with plot twists ever persisting,

And forcibly plucking away some outer petals,

I finally came to accept that the only

Constant in life is that it’s always shifting.

And what a gift that’s been to embrace,

That this being human is just about

Navigating one adventure to the next,

Not about beating a race.

So grateful I am for every day I wake,

With a beginner’s mind curiosity about

What new opportunities and steps I get to take.

Especially on this Continuation Day,

One that's prime-numbered,

I’m feeling in my prime, in my stride,

Finally having shaken that long deep slumber.

Ready to blossom into my authentic being with pride

Unashamed, and own the scars, wrinkles, grays,

Displayed as loudly as a peacock’s plume;

I’ll take and proudly honor them all

As badges of honor I’ve collected along the way,

That show I’ve lived, loved, learned, and grown

And gotten up 10 times for every 9 times I fall.

What a blessing it is to experience this one precious life,

Yes, even one that’s marked with personal and collective strife.

What arises, eventually passes away,

And so every day I get to awaken

And blossom into new possibilities,

Is an opportunity to seize the present moment,

And of course, seize the day.

With much gratitude for my continued survival,

I aspire to spend the rest of my days optimizing

For our precious planet’s resilient revival.

Here’s to the next rotation around the sun,

And finding creative ways big and small

To celebrate between now and then,

‘Cause we deserve to have some fun,

Don't we all?

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