Wake Up

girl in leaves, wake up, live your life, be fearless
Sam Burriss

If you knock on my door — be warned
I’ll work to wake you up
from your “I know I should” and “I wish I could”
from your unfollowed dreams of faraway things
from your slumbering hopes and imposed confines

I’ll work to wake you up
and refuse to sit idly by
watching another pair of eyes briefly light up
at talk of passions that’ll never be pursued
simply because they are deemed impossible
before they are even truly acknowledged.

And why?

Why is it that we freeze and stumble and stutter
looking for our words, our voices
when asked what it is we wish to do with our
one short and precious life?

Why is it we so often first give answers
we think will score us points?
Answers that are in line with expectations
that show we are sensible
responsible
rational
mature.

And when I hear those answers
I can’t help myself but ask
What is it you would do ¬ —
if everyone you knew, and all the world, would tell you
go — go and do what your heart is calling you to do?

Shake off the shoulda coulda woulda’s and just go
No expectations, no judgment, no resentment, no guilt or regret
We’re setting you free —
Just. Go.

And then my heart breaks a little when those eyes light up
And those voices speak shyly, nervously
and with a hint of shame
of passions so palpable, so worthy
so immensely possible and within reach
that I can envision them taking shape right in front of me
Only to be so easily, so instantly and ruthlessly dismissed
by those same voices
as silly dreams
as foolish, as naïve, as selfish, as impossible
as “I know it’s stupid”
as “if only” and “too hard” and “no money” and “oh, well”

And for what?

So we can feel trapped in lives
we don’t want to be the main character of?

So we can feel like we are watching life play out
like a movie
we don’t have control over?

So we can let supporting actors
plot out a storyline
straying so far from our hearts’ desires
that what could have been a thrilling adventure
filled with love, growth and resilience
turns into slow, silent, boring
drama?

Fuck that.

No, really — fuck that.

I want to shout from the audience
Reach through the screen
Grab these stars by the shoulders strongly and tenderly
Shake them with all the love I have inside of me

I want to shout of all the thrills they should chase
Scream of all the endless potential they have
Of how there’s always the possibility of taking a first step
even if it’s just a tiny one
into the right direction
no matter how far the destination still seems

I want to holler from the top of my lungs
that they’re never too young or too old
to choose to go after what they want
Never too broke, too inexperienced, too unqualified
never too early
never too late

And then I want to whisper opportunity softly into ears
that have been taught to hear only problems and obstacles
that have learned to listen to shoulda coulda woulda’s
and have been conditioned to think it’s silly, foolish, naïve ¬
or stupid —
to trust the voice that speaks from within

I want to whisper vigor and awakening
into ears that have been yearning to hear it
and see a flame kindle that will soon spread like wildfire
the kind that won’t be easily
quenched

No —
I don’t think I have the stomach for “I wish I could”
Anymore

You wish?
No — wake up!
You. Will. TC mark

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