for doors closing and opening
that is what i am most grateful for today

yes for doors and windows shut
and thrown wide, finally unbolted
for pages turning, novels ending
for fresh starts and detours that require path-making
for roads less taken and worlds less traveled
for hard choices, easy knowings
and endless surprising opportunities

yes for these things (i am thankful)…
even though it can be rather unpleasant
(for me) so many endings,
so much change often comes with
profound perfectionist paralysis
and debilitating overwhelm
fantastically freaky flood of fear
that i will make a poor choice
consistent concern about choosing
the untrue thing
because i am easily seduced (cringe)
because i still care what others think quite a bit (sigh)
and that, that clouds my decision making capacity
it keeps me just outside my truth
forever tracking those around me
for how to get
that oh so deliciously dangerous hit
of approval (validation really)

approval has been my drug of choice
for at least 525,600 minutes
i really do like when people praise me
especially people i look up to
especially the ones i fall in love with
and give my heart to

validation
confirmation
a pat on the back
a nod of the head
a like on a post
a “good girl” here or there
an appreciation of a job well done
= how i get my highs

i am like a dog here
i will keep fetching the ball
as long as it keeps being thrown
and when i bring it back
you pat me on the head
and tell me i am good

kinda uncomfortable to see
maybe even a little embarrassing
a very exhausting way to live
and a lovely way to stay
a doing machine
that doesn’t get distracted
by things like
my preferences
or wantings
or feelings
i am not so interested
in feeling

but the effects
of all the good girling
have begun to wear off
and i am needing
stronger and stronger hits
of good girl
to feel even a little satisfied
to know i am approved of really
so i think it’s time for me
to do things differently

now normally here
i would just up my game
i would do grander things
to get bigger hits
to make it impossible for people
to not validate me in some way

but i see the path here
and it isn’t pretty
so i think it is time
to do this differently

and it is comforting to remember
that saying people say:
when one door closes
another opens

because i get scared
really quite terrified
during transitions
especially when what is changing
is my way of being
because i worry
that the doors will close
and none will open
at least none
that i would like to go through

but if i look at my life
soberly
whenever i have closed a door
even an especially compelling door
soon thereafter a different door opens
and it gifts me treasures
i couldn’t have even imagined
and definitely couldn’t have appreciated
if i was busy tending to the other open doors

and so today
i am most grateful for doors
opening and closing
for opportunities
and even limitations

i am almost ready
to be eager to see
what is waiting for me
when i do close the doors
i am almost ready
to choose what feels most true
even if you don’t approve
yes i am almost ready
gratefully,

❤️ emily joy rosen

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