The road not taken

I spent many years afraid

Because the society we lived in told me to be

I spent many years wearing many masks because

The society we lived in instilled in me

That in order to belong and in order to fit in

I had to be the same as she

I tried very hard to squeeze into a box

I shied away from what I truly was

Only after I hit rock bottom did I

Finally slowly quietly find

The strength and courage to take the time

To travel the path less travelled by those in suits and ties

And once the fear was broken through

The life I dreamt was in reach too

One that allowed me to explore and find

That true power really lies within the mind

I no longer believe I couldn’t and can’t

I now see that mentality plays a part

In shaping my life, wellbeing and happiness

And the path to achievement and success

But this is something that is not taught

In our schools and homes, this is where we fall short

So we spend years thinking we are broken

When really, it’s the skeleton of our system

And the infrastructure of our culture

Preying on our weaknesses like a vulture

One that tells us we are not beautiful as we are

And by a certain age, we should have reached this far

And the alphabets printed on a piece of paper

Defines our intelligence, labelling us as achievers or failures

Never mind that intelligence is to forever grow and change

And that life is a journey filled with losses and gains

We need to wake up and question things

Are we actually living or just existing?

We need to become researchers, thinkers, planners and speakers

If we want to, we can become brilliant leaders

It starts with using our common sense and trusting our intuition

Making decisions for ourselves and practising compassion

 

Because change begins with oneself before it becomes a movement

Chains

I do not miss the chains of academia

The longer I am out of it

The more I think freedom does not lie in civilisation

But in the wilderness

Life is not meant to be lived in a lecture hall

But felt

On a dusty road

With the sun beating down

On the back of my bare neck

And my eyes drinking in greedily

All that my soul has been starved of

You went back to what you know

Don’t go back, she had said

You should get out of your comfort zone

But I felt sad

And yearned to be somewhere I felt safe and comfortable

I have been out of my comfort zone, I had replied

Sometimes it’s okay to take a small step back

Going back to what you know does not mean you are giving up

It can mean taking the time to heal until you are ready to move again

Sometimes

I hate how we are encouraged and praised

For having the ambition of being a wife and a mother

And challenged and silenced, or simply ignored

For wanting to experiment and explore

I hate how our bastard fathers

Have suppressed our mothers

And how our pitiful women

Have limited our children

As difficult as it may be

Some stories are so ingrained

That to unwrite them

Would take an entire lifetime

That I do not have

To give