Unsteady Nineteen

At nineteen you should hear every moment what
I wish now someone had said to me, even once
Back when unsteady as you now are in the belief
Of your worthiness beyond and instead of what seems
The judgment of others, oftentimes from the
People surrounding us who love us most but who,
Unable to overcome their own shortcomings,
Build a mountain of doubt we must climb over
Stumbling and scraping on the sliding pebbles, weary
In our search for what the other girls so easily
Enjoy, a glowing protection against the loneliness
Of failure to be the best at something, anything
At nineteen I want to tell you that as a young woman
One can only be the best at being what the girl
In you has forgotten, has shoved away thinking,
If no one wants me now, no one ever will
I tell you this is an absolute untruth, a lie
Not to be believed for the splitest of seconds
You with the easy smile wrapped in wariness

At nineteen, when legal doors begin to open signifying
A feeling of adulthood and responsibilities around the corner,
I remind you loudly and with my help if you ever need it
To pull as hard as you can on your anchor in the sand
Move yourself out of a dry dock if others place you there
I would say God Dammit! Shove off from this pier of self doubt
Based on what others keep telling you in small daily increments
Of unthoughtfulness. I would say it just like that too
With cursing and spittle flying so you took seriously
My passion for your cause and need to sail on waves
Churned from a sea of your own belief, a rudder
Moving by your own hand, those of us who love you
Blowing quietly and diligently on your sails if you tire
No one can successfully sail your ship like you can
But you have to give the final shove and wave farewell
To that landscape that says this is all there is for you
You, in the end, must cast away from the other belief
You have to say to yourself every moment, I love myself
I will be my own best friend, so at twenty you will be closer
To being the woman that little girl in you always dreamed of

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