Age 28

I am brave.

I imagined this but never believed it possible. The need for money, security, was too keen. It felt like life was nothing but something to cling on to. To hold but never truly have.

I walked away.

I have been ill. I have been recovering. I have been everything I thought I was leaving behind when I left the relationship which shaped and broke me simultaneously. I am not thankful for this. I am grateful I am here. I am grateful to be closer to thirty because ageing does not frighten me - dying does, and the relish I have for it, even when I am getting better.

If you had asked me

at twenty if I'd still be here. I would not have known. I would have hoped so and hoped not all at once.

If you had asked me

if I'd be writing, if I'd be pursing passion instead of the job I thought I had to do. I would have smiled with wistful delight, the same face a child makes when they know it is something they cannot have.

I am here.

I am in love.

I am successful.

I am sober.

I am free.

I am everything I never fully envisioned I would be. I am not perfect. I am becoming - think of any metamorphosis and that is me. The flower, the butterfly, the land and sea.

I will not change

for reasons beyond my recovery. I have learned people prefer me small, with oceans of empathy without even a scale of protection on my back.

I am the boundary.

Rainbow fish. Duckling.

I am the flightless bird

growing out its wings

and I catch dandelion fairies on my tongue

before letting them lift, leave, with knowledge rather than wishes.

I am here.

I am here.