by laurie howland
I can feel the weight of my foot on the pedal
As I merge onto the highway
My fear is felt in my hands
As they grip the steering wheel
Fear of the driving
Of the journey
And mostly of not knowing my destination
But I drive
I see the first exit
And because of fear I take it
I do not know if it is the right exit
But it is an exit
That gets me off the journey
A hope that it will lead me to something
But as I navigate the ramp
I see nothing familiar
It is the wrong exit for me
Despite my fears
I return to the highway
And try to relax into the driver’s seat
Telling myself that I am in control
For I am the one steering
It is my foot on the pedal
I see another exit
And repeat the same thing
I begin to wonder if every exit will be a disappointment
Showing no signs of comfort
Offering no hope for the future
Is there no exit for me?
As I repeat this process exit after exit
I start to become more aware
That my hands are loosening on the steering wheel
I begin to relax a bit
And start passing exits
I know they will hold nothing for me
Finally learning from my past
I even dare to move into the center lane
Leaving the comfort of the slow lane
Patience and courage will get me there
I just need to keep driving
Till I find where I want to go
I allow the music to play louder
Enjoy the warmth of the sun coming through the glass
I appreciate the scenery of each passing exit
For this is my journey
With so much to offer
Other than fear
My confidence grows that I will find the right one for me
And till then I can enjoy the ride
To leave this place
And find my home
One that I can create
That invites me in
And allows my soul to rest
My heart to heal
A house not filled with
But a home
To nestle me in
And provide me comfort
I can picture it
But more importantly
I can feel it
It allows me to sigh
And relax my shoulders
There are no more egg shells to walk on
No more curtains to draw
For the sun is allowed to fill each room
The warmth is felt on my skin
There is stillness in this house
That I have been searching for
There is no disappearing from this place
For it is where I belong
If only I can find it.
Finding the wisdom
in the wounds
you’ve endured is
one of the
you’ll ever have with
by L. Howland
I will no longer tolerate being disappointed.
“Oh, dear people will disappoint you all the time.”
Yes, but I do not have to tolerate it.
For I have promised myself that I will put on my crown and own my kingdom.
I have traveled a long way to find this crown and it was a struggle to take ownership of it.
The road to get here was not easy.
But now that I am here, I will not go back.
I will not be the person who allows lines to be crossed, principles to be ignored and disappointments to mount.
I am tired of being the one to always take the high road, to let things go unnoticed and to thus fail myself.
I am tired of being the broken one, the only one with consequences for their actions.
I am tired of being the only one disappointed.
I am tired of being told to not burn bridges and to give others a second chance.
For you see, I wasn’t the one playing with fire.
I was not the one who lit the match to burn the bridge.
And I am tired of allowing the other person to skip away while I watch it burn with the expectations that I will accept it and be the one to ignore it.
I am tired of their lack of consequences.
My crown is on and I will no longer tolerate it.
I will no longer be the one to bear the burden of someone else’s mistakes.
You will tell me that maybe they didn’t mean to light that match
And, thus you fail to realize that is where the disappointment begins
For they should have known
They should have expected the spark
And if they didn’t then they need not be in my kingdom.
No, I will no longer tolerate it.
That is a promise to myself.
One in which I vowed to be strong and to stop letting others get away with wounding me
Tired of being the one to ignore my pain lest I upset them.
I will from now on stand up for myself.
My crown is on and my head is held high.
I will not stand by and watch the bridge burn.
I am done with being that person.
Someone else can deal with the ashes.
For I am tired of being the one to rebuild.
I am tired of being the one to hold it all together.