There was a girl, I used to know her,
She was afraid of so many things.
People said she had potential.
But when she looked back at her life,
At all those things she was voted
“Most Likely” to do….
They were so much less than she’d imagined.
Accomplishments, in the eyes of the world,
Boxes checked, deadlines met, goals achieved.
Those things she could claim as her own.
But deep down, somehow, she knew
Those things had never really scared her.

So while she had the potential to do many things,
She hadn’t achieved,
In her own mind, greatness.
At the end of every day,
When she tallied the items of the day,
She couldn’t stop thinking about the fears
She had not yet conquered.
She found herself haunted by the dreams
She wasn’t yet brave enough to chase.
She was nagged by the notion
There were possibilities beyond the horizon
Which her mind wasn’t broad enough to imagine.
Today, that girl is still afraid
Of some things.
(Most of them are things she can’t control,
Like world peace,
And climate change,
Or the rising price of avocados.)
Other things she can’t control yet,
But she’s learning to tell the difference,
Changing for the better
Whatever she can, whenever she can,
And accepting what she cannot change
With minimal cursing.
But some of the things she used to fear,
Are now her very favorite things.
Now, she lies awake at night, reliving failures
That prove, in retrospect,
How hard she’s trying.
She loves counting every bruise,
She pictures herself falling,
And getting up, only to fall again.
She smiles at the thought that tomorrow,
She’ll fall less often.
Or, if she falls more often,
She’ll get up a lot faster, next time.
Her bruises are worth more to her
Than a check mark in a box.
When friends say “I can’t imagine you doing that”
She takes it as the greatest compliment.
Every time she Does the Thing
She was voted “least likely” to do,
It makes her feel unlikely,
Unexpected. Unlimited. Free.
And although that may not be
The textbook definition of “greatness,”
This girl I knew, or thought I knew,
Today, I think she’s pretty great.