Speaking to my own self,
I almost said aloud, "I feel happy."
I paused, to give it breath, but the word happy just couldn't come out--
No, couldn't isn't quite the word.
Yes, happy could not come out,
and happy would not come out,
because I was not sure it even should.
Instead, I said, just to myself,
"I feel... so full of life,"
and in that moment, I understood.
I actually can't recall the last time I spoke life into myself with just my unguided voice.
The instinct to utter such a sentiment has long been lost on me.
Heck, I couldn't even say I loved my own self without it being a conscious, practiced, very carefully crafted choice.
I have to plan my own self-affirmations because they do not come naturally.
I had begun to wonder as of late if hope still exists to me,
or perhaps I am just too broken to recognize it anymore.
Perhaps I am just too empty to still feel warmth,
even with the sun beaming down upon my face.
I want to smile back, but... can I?
Or have I already been erased?
Happy never did fit the bill for me because it never really meant anything.
It just feels like such a hollow word.
Committing to chasing it was like choosing to chase a ghost, and what's worse...
I was chasing a ghost because I simply didn't know I had a choice in the first place.
Now, though, I know what I didn't know I already knew.
I really just crave to be filled to the brim with life.
I want to feel,
and I want to be felt,
as sure as I feel the sun on my face,
because that feels like it means something to me.
"In that way, I feel happy," he said aloud,
speaking to his own self.