I am not my illnesses.
I am not what happened to me.
I am the smiling soul that I feel
in the moments where I feel free.
I am not the things I like.
I am not the things I love.
I am not what I say when I’m angry.
I am not what I say when I’m sad.
I am not what I say when drunk.
I am not how I feel.
I am not my pain.
I am not the expectations of my family.
I am not the expectations of my friends.
I am not the expectations of my community.
I am not the expectations of my employers.
I am not the expectations of society.
I am human. I am imperfect.
I expect nothing of myself except to be kind.
I am me.
And that is all I can ever hope to be.
Flaws and all, I choose to still stand tall,
even as the winds of life try to blow me down,
and I cry out to whoever will listen to such sounds.
I can choose to cling to joy and hope right now.
I can choose to wear a smile and not a frown.
I can choose to cry when I need to let it out.
I can choose to laugh instead of shout.
But I know sometimes, it’s just best to feel
even when all you feel is down
with the mask of a clown.
Because clouds, as they do,
will pass over me and you.
A better tomorrow is waiting, too.