Significance: a spoken word poem

It’s a little late to pull myself together, lace my shoes, and brush my hair,

Show up for where I’m academically needed and systematically expected.

See I went out last night, and debatably the night before, if you count shuffling drinks at a fraternity house.


So pulling myself together seems like quite the task for things that I’m not even sure matter.


Somehow I can always prioritize the “feels” though.


I welcome anyone into my life at any moment,

Typically scare them away with my abrupt need for love and excitement, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There’s this song I love that repeats the lyrics, “Sometimes my hands—they don’t feel like my own. I need someone to love, I need someone to hold.”


And that’s where I’m at.


See, I think it’s never too late to hold someone’s hand, maybe say sorry

Maybe ask them to coffee or dinner or a party where we’ll comfortable drink through the times we hurt each other.

It’s hard, but it’s never too late.


We get so caught up in the shame and guilt of things.

Brene Brown—one of my idols—says, “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”


So why can’t I walk away from this?

Why can’t I turn my back on the concrete education I’ve grown into abundance

And maybe use my hands like Marina Keegan says—build a cabin?


The honor societies, job opportunities, and career goals

That I’ve fallen into like a black-hole, holding me at the ankles—

And choose teaching or writing or…loving?


Why is that the hardest part for me?


See, it’s


That corrodes the part of us that believes we are capable of change.

The part of me that is capable of changing my mind.


Life seems too short to not do what we love,

But too valuable to not work for something outstanding.

But is reading or writing—loving—not outstanding?


Are the letters that will soon follow my name more significant than the words and challenges I left with the people I’ve worked with at addiction centers and homeless shelters, and a million other places?


The idea is flawed.

To think my degree is more significant than experience is a horrendously plotted scheme.

But to think my words—my words—are more significant than those experiences is just as flawed.


We are not significant.

There are 7.1 billion people on this planet, 6.5 million in this state, and 24 in this very room.

Granted, we are unique and beautiful and absolutely mind-boggling,


I’ve watched and loved seeing how some of you—are amazing writers

Some of you will be fabulous musicians,


Inspirational leaders.

but we—we are not at all that significant.


So what’s the shame in testing our capability for change & acceptance?


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