Some Days, I Find Athena

Last year, I was asked to write a letter to my younger self for our women’s employee resource group.  It wanted to be a poem…

Sharing it here in case any of the messages resonate in this time of reflection and intention-setting.

***
Finding Athena (a.k.a. Letter to My Younger Self)

Little girl, don’t worry.
Perfection’s an impossible reach.
“Be Miss Agreeable,” they’ll tell you,
But they know not what they preach.
Little girl, you’ll be taught,
What counts is your date to the ball.
But when you grow up, you’ll realize,
That sh*t doesn’t matter at all.
You’re beautiful, they’ll say, then they’ll tell you,
All you need is a tinier waist.
You didn’t know then but you know now,
Such a burden makes life hard to taste.
You’re smart, girl, and clever,
That was always worth more than your looks.
I’m glad you followed your passion,
Letting yourself get lost in your books.
School, you did that, you nailed it.
True grit, never shied away.
Why then do you feel an imposter,
If we’re honest, sometimes, to this day?
Fall seven, rise eight, it goes each time,
Even when you are sometimes unsure.
Sugar and spice on the outside,
But, deep down a warrior.
You’ve always stood up for others,
Something in you that’s just innate.
But when advocating for yourself,
Why do you hesitate?
Relationships will shape your life,
Some will inspire you, some will sting.
The hardest one is with yourself,
Yet it’s the key to everything.
The dark days, they will find you,
But you’re strong, you will persevere.
There’s no shame in feeling blue.
I know that’s something you need to hear.
Hold on, girl, you’ve got this.
They say in hell, keep pushing through.
Plus there’s a whole world out there to explore.
What a shame that you never knew.
Don’t give up, girl. It’s not too late.
Life is yours for the taking.
Stop judging yourself and aiming to please.
Get to memories you should be making.
Take risks, defy expectations.
Being bold is a claim that’s worth staking.
Don’t worry about what others think.
Many molds are overdue breaking.
Do things that scare you. You must, girl!
How else will you constantly grow?
Where curiosity and courage will take you,
It’s impossible for you now to know.
But I know one thing, I do now.
It’s that each moment is a new chance.
Go forth then, Athena, and conquer.
Don’t give doubt another glance.

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