Into the Light

For a long time I thought I had my life figured out:
Where I’m supposed to go,
What I’m supposed to do,
Who I’m supposed to be.
I watched as smiles would spread across people’s faces
When they realized that I was following society’s footsteps.
I was going to spend entirely too many years in school
So that I might be able to buy my happiness.
Those smiles convinced me that I was right.

But one day I woke up and saw that I was so wrong.
I realized that I’m just walking along this path blindfolded,
My arms outstretched,
My feet carefully sliding across the rocky ground,
Just trying to stay alive.
Each small step gets me a little bit closer to some unknown destination.
I don’t know where I’m going,
Or what I’m doing.
And I don’t know who I’m supposed to be.

I know who people want me to be,
The expectations that they have for me.
That’s what I thought I wanted.
So I tried to conform and
Fit into a mold that was entirely too small.
I tried to cram all of my flaws into a shoebox
To put into the dark shadows of my closet.
The light was only supposed to reach what was accepted.

But eventually that light began to blind me.
I could no longer see myself as me.
I looked in the mirror and saw a stranger.
And I hated her.
I hated everything about her:
The way she dressed,
The way she talked,
The only thing that I wanted from her was an end.
The real me seemed so far out of reach,
That I knew I would die trying to find me.
So I questioned whether it was even worth it.

Then a still small voice began whispering in my ear,
Telling me not to give up.
I saw a calling placed in front of me.
It's a calling to change lives,
And to show love.
It's a calling to the red dirt of Africa
And the less fortunate students of America.
It's what called me out of the darkness.

The more I reach toward this future,
The more I feel the blindfold slipping off.
My steps are still careful.
My arms are still outstretched.
I am still just trying to live.

I can’t tell you who I am, yet.
And I don’t know exactly where I’m going.
But the light is shining on my path.
I wish I could sit here and tell you all about me.
But for now I’ll just say,
“Hello, I’m Kalie.”

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