Ground Swell

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Last friday I got my results back from a survey I took over the summer to measure my personal qualities, college preparedness, and I guess my general aptitude for life. My results said I scored a 22/100 for “Career Closure” which is a bunch of fancy words to say “I have no idea what I’m gonna do with my life”. So I made an appointment with the career counseling center at my school to discuss my options. I walked into her office, sat down on the other side of the glass surface, and waited for her to essentially tell me what I should do, who I should work for, where I should live, and who I should become friends with in order to get to the top. Instead, and more realistically, she asked me. She tucked a piece of her blonde hair behind her ear, folded her manicured hands in her lap, and asked me this: “So who do you want to be?”

I smiled a little and looked at my folded hands in my lap, the paint stains still hidden in the corners of my fingers and my sweatshirt marked with the charcoal we’d used in my most recent drawing class. I realized then that who I’d always viewed myself becoming (in terms of my career) and who I want to be as a person were two different people, unfamiliar with each other, and likely to never meet.

This little rhyme is inspired by that moment.


I could write for hours upon hours
Of all the people I wish I could be
Their lives and their dreams and spirits
They’re a part of me.
But the truth of the matter is that
I am not
nor will I ever be
a simple lyric, a simple line
A piece of poetry
I hope I never fit between two lines
With a period at the end
I hope I never live a timeline so simple
With a beginning
A middle
And an end
I know I’ll have to live each part
And experience what each may bring
But I hope I don’t fit into simple stanzas
Without blurred lines or meaning
I hope I live of a life of adventure
With little regard for the risk
I hope I buy the ticket
and set sail into the wind
I hope my feelings are defined by experience
And not by what I’ve read
I hope I’m not one big metaphor
But a series of events
I hope my story is bigger than the next
Full of rhymes and lessons, all complex.
I hope I feel like a word not yet defined
Always searching for the rest
I hope I remain
the person you love
Knowing each day
You’re mine
I hope I get to ask strangers
‘so what’s your story’
and hear their reply
I hope I get to capture moments
And freeze them in time
But I also hope that I am captured
And completely overwhelmed
By the small things that become big things
And a growing ground swell
I hope my life is filled with good things
So one day when I’m squeezed
It will be good things
And good things alone
Released into the breeze
I hope I leave a legacy
And abandon everything I’ve become
With the people who loved me most
And the small things I have done
I hope I am defined
By my moments of deepest love
And not the moments I was left in fear
My fears of the unknown
I hope I am brought to my knees each day
by the love
and the grace
and the forgiveness I’ve been shown
I hope I live a life by the river
With the prickly trees
And a crackling fire
And the weather beaten stones
I hope I hike the backbone of the earth
And dig my boots into the snow
The mountain ranges that stretch across
Much farther than I’ll ever know
I hope I am the adventurer
I know I was created to be
A daughter. An explorer.
A Beloved Masterpiece
I hope I am never trapped between the lines of a notebook
But I hope that’s where my words remain
I hope I feel everything
And love the difference between love and pain
I hope I never forget the smell of fresh-cut roses
Or the smell of lake-water hair
I hope I spend more nights camping in a tent
While feeling the change of midnight air
I hope my title and my career
Don’t describe who I will be
Divide me from the rest
And let me tell you what I’ve seen
I hope I never strive for fame
Or wealth or cash or earthly things
But rather growing my love for
The Creator who sculpted me
I hope I become this person
And get to know her well
I hope I spend my days and my years
Loving and being loved well.

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