You've been waiting for life to begin
not realizing it's already begun.
You've been waiting for love to let you in
only to realize you need to let love in first. You've been waiting for a chance to win
not realizing you've already won.
If you've gotten this far
and still haven't found what you're looking for, take a closer look around.
You might have had it the whole time.
I have decided that today,
I'm going to try.
I'm going to try to not be afraid
of what people say to me.
What they have to say about me.
My strategy is simple:
anticipate, accept, and understand.
If you anticipate someone will say something mean or disrespectful,
you can prepare yourself.
Then, if they do say something, you accept. Accept that's the way they feel about you. Finally, the most important part: understand. Understand that it is not your responsibility
to try to make them feel differently
or prove them wrong.
I did all this today hoping that tomorrow,
you find the courage to try and do the same.
People won't always be there
to tell you what you want to hear.
What you need to hear.
So let me take the opportunity to be clear.
Even if no one tells you,
it's okay to be proud of yourself.
You can't change how people see you.
But you can change how you see yourself.
I can't see the future.
But somehow, I have a feeling that someday, you won't struggle when you have to decide
if you should stay or go.
And that's a day you'll never forget.
Because that's the day you'll realize
that you don't need anybody
to make you feel like somebody.
Your birthday is important.
The day you die is important.
But so is every day in between.
A single act of violence
A single act of kindness
A single act of love
Can make all the difference
When push comes to shove
If, today, someone walked
up to you on the street and asked "would you rather be seen or heard?", what would you say? Would you humor them and stay? Would you simply walk away? Growing up, I always heard kids say "I wish I was invisible."
Maybe it was because
they were shy.
Maybe bullies made them cry. Maybe they were embarrassed about how they look.
Maybe they just wanted
a safe place to read a book. Whatever the reason,
I can't help but wonder...if, today, someone walked up to you
on the street and asked "would you rather be seen or heard?", what would you say?
Would your answer be different than what it would have been as a kid? Or would it be the same?
Time will come
Time will go
There will be a time
You won't know which way to go.
You'll wonder if there's a way up
You'll wonder if there's a way out
At times, you'll be overwhelmed
And find your head filled with doubts.
"Am I enough?"
"Do I look good?"
"Am I worthy of love?"
"Am I misunderstood?"
But if there's one thing
We have in common,
It's that we all have time.
So, don't worry. Take your time,
and it will all turn out fine
it's not about the pain.
it's not about the price.
it's about the sacrifice people are willing to accept
to get what they want. to get what they need.
understanding they're willing to do more than bleed.
because understanding is the first step to earning respect.
and a world with more respect
brings us one step closer to a world of acceptance.
silence can be...awkward.
but it can also be a powerful tool.
depending on your intention, it can represent respect.
it can help you grieve.
it can make it easier to breathe.
and in a world that can bring the brutality of war
into the safety of your home,
when you feel lost for words,
like there's nothing you can say,
the sound of silence can say it all
it always seems that life is happy to remind you
that it doesn't owe you anything.
it doesn't owe you happiness.
it doesn't even owe you an explanation
of what happens at the end of your story.
but guess what?
you don't owe life anything either.
you don't owe anything to anyone except yourself.
it's your time. your happiness. your choice.
because it is your story.
it's easy to criticize people
for how they deal with pressure.
but it's important to realize that pressure,
like people, come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes;
they affect people differently.
because he doesn't drink just to drink.
and she doesn't smoke just to smoke.
they're trying to forget how broken they are inside.
trying anything to escape their minds.
escape their lives.
and, at the end of the day, that's all we want to do too.
In a world where power is the ultimate reward, remember: you can be just as effective
with a shield as you can with a sword
Negativity. Positivity. Opposites? Perhaps.
But they have more in common
than you'd think.
They both affect
your interpretation of situations.
They both require energy.
Both are choices.
It's up to you to make that choice.
"Don't run with scissors."
"You have to walk
before you can run."
So many things to teach us.
So little time.
I'm not a parent.
But if there's one thing I would say,
It's that "it's OK to fall."
Because, if nothing else,
Life is repetitive.
First, you learn to crawl.
Then, you stand.
Then, you fall.
You stand again.
Then you walk, and finally, you run.
And just when you think
all is going well,
Life knocks you down
And you find yourself
back at square one.
Falling will always be painful.
But if you can remind yourself
"It's OK if I fall,"
it'll be that much easier
To get back up and over the next wall.
if you gave yourself half as much credit and praise
as people give you, I can't even imagine how much you could do.
take it from me.
it's easy to put yourself down.
but the only thing that will do is make you frown.
so, instead of saying "anyone can do that"
try saying "I did that!"
see how good it feels to give yourself a win.
then, maybe you can start to work on feeling comfortable
in your own skin.
like everything, it's a process.
so, don't be discouraged if you don't get the hang of it right away.
but, for what it's worth, I believe in you.
And I think you'll be okay.
there's nothing wrong with living in the moment
when you know you're dying by the second.
and, while it's true that you can get hurt
if you let your guard down,
there's nothing wrong with living like tomorrow's going to come.
because it will come whether or not you're here to see it.
but you never know when your time will come to an end.
so why not let yourself hope?
let yourself dream.
because life isn't always peaches and cream.
the goal was to survive.
but the dream was to live.
I was ready to give it my all.
I just had to stay alive.
then, one day, my whole world came crashing down.
first, I lost someone I loved.
then, I lost myself.
cutting through my grief,
the demons in my head suggested I was better off dead.
but another voice said "you know that's not true."
that's when I remembered.
she always told me
"the goal is to survive but the dream is to live."
I was ready to give up.
but if it means I can keep her dream alive,
I will live. I will survive.
It'll never be easy
To say what you have to say.
To do what you need to do.
But that's why it's so important
that you see it through.
Not everyone has a mother or father.
Some don't have a sister or brother.
Some feel they don't have anyone.
Some worry they'll always be alone.
Like no one will ever love them.
Fight for them.
But what they don't realize is they have had all of that all along.
Because everyone has a heart.
A heart that beats for you.
Breaks with you.
Heals with you.
A heart that dies with you.
You always wondered
how you keep going.
It's because the heart is a fighter.
And you have a heart.
Which means you have
The heart of a fighter.
But it's up to you
to do something with it.
I wonder how much would change
I wonder how much we could do
If we stopped trying to rewind time.
Would you be happier?
Would your soul be more whole?
Would you feel more or less in control?
The truth is, nothing good can come
From living in the past
In a world where nothing
is meant to last
So many things went wrong.
So many things went right.
So many things keep me up at night.
But they aren't memories of us
or what we've been through.
What keeps me up at night
are the last words I said to you.
It's not easy to be me.
I don't imagine it's easy to be you.
It's not easy to be anything or anyone.
It's not easy to follow through.
It's not easy to give up. It's not easy to give in. It's not easy to keep people
from getting under your skin.
My point is, nothing is easy.
So, it's okay if you fail. Everyone's done it.
And just look where they are now.
Keep your head up, and you'll go far.
Dear stranger: it's no secret
that times have been hard for everyone.
But you're not everyone, are you?
Maybe you lost someone.
Maybe you lost yourself.
Maybe you've been asked to do more
than you signed up for. Whatever's going on,
I know it may seem like you're losing control. Like you don't have a choice.
However this poem finds you,
I hope you come to find that you DO
have a chance to have a choice.
A chance to raise your voice.
I hope that someday, you accept
that you are worthy of love.
That you stop feeling guilty you survived.
But most of all, I hope that someday,
you wake up and find yourself grateful and happy to be alive
"You don't understand"
"No, YOU don't understand!"
The truth is, none of us
can ever truly understand.
Because despite our need to be social,
to connect with each other,
our experiences, our feelings,
are ours alone. But that doesn't make connections we have with others any less meaningful. One more thing.
For what it's worth,
your feelings, your experiences, are valid.
Today, I'm conflicted:
I don't want to remember you
But I don't want to forget either.
You'll have more bad days than good.
You'll experience more pain
than you should have to.
At times, you'll feel broken; weak.
But you're stronger than you would think.
And when you find that strength,
that reason to stand,
you will come to understand
you have new responsibilities.
Responsibilities to yourself.
To the ones you let in.
Even responsibilities to the ones
who get under your skin.
You've come so far already,
but there's still so much to do.
I'll leave you to it.
I just want you to know I'm proud of you.
What does it mean to take a chance?
What does it mean to make a change?
What does it mean to be strange,
and why is it so scary?
"Where should I go? What should I do?"
"How should I know? I'm not you."
So many questions. So little time.
I guess the good thing is,
you get to decide the answers
The past is not the present
The present is not the future
Which means you can be
more than your past
To the dancer in the dark: what you do
isn't a walk in the park.
So don't be afraid to let someone
shine a light on you.
To the singer in the shower:
you know as well as anyone
how music can heal.
So let people hear your power.
To the sketchbook artist:
one person's trash is another's treasure.
So, please: don't throw something away
even if it doesn't give you pleasure.
To everyone else:
you all had dreams at some point.
If you're friends with artists, respect the hustle. Respect the passion.
Help keep the dream alive.
Because dreaming is still
how the strong survive.
But they can't do it all alone.
Someday, I may start moving on.
I know that's what you'd want.
But I need you to hear me when I say
"I ain't going nowhere."
I may grieve, but I'll never let
the memories leave. I'll never let the music die. And when times get tough,
I'll never forget I have an angel on my side
We all make mistakes. It's just a fact.
So why beat yourself up when it seems someone's always ready to kick you
when you're down?
Give the fires in your head a chance to die.
The stress and fear already make you
want to cry. But you know what?
It's okay to take a minute
and try to forgive yourself.
To let yourself off the hook.
Because you aren't responsible for everything that happens in your life.
And one more thing.
Remember that you'll never get the full story
on the first look.
Take a chance. Take a bow.
Take a walk with me now.
Take my hand. We'll take this world by storm. You will never be ignored again.
Take this life. Take control.
Who cares what the future holds?
Burn the bridges to the past.
The memories were never meant to last.
All we have is all we need.
Living in the moment feels so free.
But like all good things,
the time has come to say goodbye.
"Goodbye, 20s! We sure had one hell of a ride."
You can work until your fingers bleed,
but that won't give you a sense of pride.
You can cry til you can't see the sky,
but nothing will change
until you're ready to try again.
Sometimes, doing something too much
is worse than not doing it at all.
Like everything else, it's all about balance.
So, for your sanity's sake,
take the time to find your limits,
and listen to your body
when it tells you to take a break.
You will forget.
If you don't already, you will have regrets.
You will struggle. You will fall.
But you'll still keep going in spite of it all.
You will get angry. You may not understand. But that doesn't make you a failure,
or any less of a woman or man.
I know I'm not telling you anything new.
I just hope you take it easy on yourself
for going through things
everyone goes through.
You built the walls
to keep yourself safe.
But the question isn't
"will they come down."
The question is
will you LET them fall on top of you,
or MAKE them fall next to you?
Candles light the way to your destiny.
Will you lose yourself in the vision or the flame? The candles light the way to your destiny.
But you decide whether or not
you want to continue the game
Forgiveness will mean nothing
If you will not forgive yourself
Because it's okay if it's your fault.
In dreams, I've lived. In life, I'll die.
In dreams, I get to say "hello" again.
In life, I have to say goodbye.
In dreams, I'm not afraid.
But in life, I'm terrified.
Terrified of what I don't know. What I can't see.
Terrified I won't be who I'm meant to be.
But what if that's by design?
What if dreams are visions of heaven
and nightmares visions of hell?
I could sit here forever hypothesizing,
so I'll leave you with one final thought.
We tell each other to follow our dreams.
If dreams are visions of heaven,
maybe all of our failures, our efforts,
are not for naught.
Let me be clear: it will never be easy.
But it can get better.
But only if you give yourself a chance.
A chance to breathe. To grieve.
To love yourself.
To believe that things can get better.
A chance to believe in yourself.
In the end, it does come down to you
to take the first step.
But once you do, take your time.
You have the rest of your life to follow through.
I'm not going to ask you
to try to believe in something,
because I don't know what I believe myself.
I won't ask you to stop doing something because I don't know
what you're going through.
But what I will ask is for you to consider
that there are no right or wrong answers
to questions you have.
Because every life is different.
We may share similar experiences,
but we learn different lessons
from those experiences.
So, next time your views are challenged, instead of frustration, consider empathy
I'm sorry; I don't mean to pry.
But could someone please tell me why
it's so embarrassing to cry?
How many times have we said "I'm sorry"
only to say "babe, don't worry"
when it's the other way around?
Why do we have empathy for the wolves
when we cry for the same reasons?
Why are we so afraid to show our feelings
that we make up lies, like,
"it's the changing of the seasons"?
The behavior of a generation
won't change overnight.
But we need to start working
on being comfortable with expressing ourselves when something's not right.
Why am I still standing here
When there is nothing to stand for?
Because I hope someday there will be.
I saw the world the way I saw myself:
a reflection. A reflection of how I thought people looked at the world; me.
I thought everyone else knew better than me. So, they had to be right.
But I realized that's not healthy.
Because they are not you.
Even if you tell them,
they will never understand
what you are going through.
Because they are not you.
Your decisions, your life,
are yours and yours alone.
But make no mistake.
If you ever want help, please,
don't be afraid to pick up the phone.
You seek Opportunities
But if you work hard, be patient,
Opportunities will look for you.
Don't worry about trying to change the world
by yourself; that's a job for all of us.
If you want to change something,
try changing your world first.
And even if it seems small, celebrate it. Because any change you can make
is often the biggest change of all.
I didn't say "I love you."
I didn't say I cared.
I didn't say much of anything because, honestly, I was scared.
Scared I'd say the wrong thing.
So, I thought it'd be better
if I said nothing at all.
BuIt now, I'll say everything.
Because you deserved to hear it all.
The beautiful, albeit sometimes annoying
part about people, is that there are so many different perspectives. So, while it may be true that it seems like everything's
been said or done, don't let that discourage you if you have something you want to say. Because it hasn't been said or done by you
What I saw didn't change me
What I believed didn't change me
The people I let love me changed me.