"At the end of my life, how pathetic would it be
to have checked all their boxes at the expense of being me?"
...but I’m not happy here. 
That is a luxury afforded to children, if they’re lucky, and idiots who don’t know any better. 
Reality replaces fanciful words like “happy” with maturity, responsibility, and duty. 
What you need to do is consult this template,
check these boxes,
climb this ladder. 
You feed that longing with stuff;
bigger house, better car, upgrade,
more stuff. 
…Still not happy? 
I know, it's time to marry!
Let’s see here…
tall, dark, handsome,
resume checks out
Never mind those significant character flaws
or the fact that something is seriously lacking by way of basic connection & conversation. 
It’s time.
Look around you.
It. Is. Time!
Yes, and now for the kids,
Kids to put in the best schools,
best clothes,
best grades,
choose their profession,
give them the template.
Kids to compare to their kids
and let them know that what’s most important is that they measure up
and make mommy proud cause whoever checks the most boxes wins!   
And this is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Come now. Have a seat,
cause clearly you've missed the memo. 
How will you know who you are
if there is no title on your business card to remind you?
And how will anyone know your worth
if it’s not spelled out on your bag?
or shoes?
or your car? 
You get the point.
I mean really Naomi. 
What are you going to do?
Major in being you? 
How much does that pay?
And what exactly does that look like on a resume? 
And who's going to invest in this "you" 401K savings plan?
I know you think you’re special
something you read about being individually, fearfully, and wonderfully made.
First things first,
that faith stuff,
yeah...that’s just something we say. 
In reality, that kind of thinking just gets in the way
And when you do have a thought that ventures outside the lines,
you must first pour it through the filter of what your friends might think,
then measure it against what your family will say,
weigh it on the scale of public opinion,
hold it  against the backdrop of “normal,”
and once you’ve done all that...
trust me, there will be but a mere morsel
of a fragment,
of the instinctive urge,
anointing, gift, or call that brought you to question to begin with. 
And don’t fret,
cause on those sleepless nights
when your goals and dreams slip past the filters into your subconscious mind,
I’ll be here to mute them. 
and I'll remind you that you are sleeping on a California King Bed
with one thousand thread count Egyptian linens,
in your home on a hill
with perfect hubby,
2.5 kids,
and a white picket fence to boot...
and what more could you possibly want than that?
How about purpose? 
How about life? 
How about performing the assignment on earth that’s uniquely mine
and exposing this light that’s been begging to shine,
or trusting the Word that you merely recite,
allowing my passion to keep me up at night? 
How about making my own template
to design my own existence.
Is that so radical?
Because, I simply can't believe that the God who created my mind,
my cells,
my mouth,
these words,
this unique set of fingerprints unlike any other,
did so
just to fit me into a cookie cutter standard paper doll existence?
To please who?
Who the heck is this mysterious “they?”
And why should I care so much what they have to say? 
You should know by now, your voice means nothing to me. 
When have I ever succumb to what you say I can’t be? 
Doesn’t matter who you recruit to plead your case,
cause their rules have no power over purpose and grace.
And at the end of my life, how pathetic would it be
to have checked all their boxes at the expense of being me? 
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