My Bravado Is Back! 

I have owned it.
I’ve identified with it.
I am Proud.
And I Celebrate.

In parallel,
there are still times
it almost seems like
it happened to a different person.
A universe on a lateral plane.

I see myself on a video screen…
It does not look like me.
It doesn’t feel like me.
It feels like someone
totally separate from me.

Sometimes I wonder,
who is this woman
who looks back at me?
I am proud of her.
I am in awe of her.
I am amazed
she is me.

She stands
before humanity,
completely exposed.
Emotionally.
Spiritually.
Physically.

Openly sharing the scars
that burned her soul.
Displaying the indelible
Purple Heart
slashed across her chest.
The remnants of
relentless mutilation.

Where was the turn?
When was the shift?
There was a time,
she could barely
have her husband look upon her.
Even the mirror
was her foe.
Now she’s poised
before the world to behold.

She. Me. Her. I.
broke through a protective barrier,
without even knowing it,
until stepping through the debris.
Brick by brick,
the Dividing Wall
melted away.
Almost imperceivable.

The Phoenix has risen,
soaring through
the majestic sky,
over the mountaintops,
to new heights,
and a breathtaking view!
Panoramic landscapes.

No more hiding.
Like a long lost friend,
my bravado is back!

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin
May 14 – 16, 2015
Poem #396
STRIPPED: Deconstructed + Reconstructed

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My Birthday Musings

My husband has pointed out to me, what I’ll call, The Perils of Math. While most people would think that as I turn 49 today, I am beginning the last year of my 40s, ramping up upon my fifth decade. Almost ten years ago, on my 40th birthday, my dear, sweet husband realized that on that day, I was actually entering my fifth decade, not my fourth. Lovely, right? Just what someone wants to hear as she celebrates her 40th!

With that thought, I realize that today actually marks the completion of 49 years, and tomorrow will be the first day of my 50s. Darn math!

The other day at the gym, first thing in the morning, the elliptical machine started poking fun at me. It asked me my age…then my weight. I mean really! I may see these machines multiple times a week, but we are not even on a first name basis! Yet they still have the gall to ask such personal questions! And their memory is awful! They ask me BOTH questions EVERY TIME I’M THERE!

As I complete my 49th year (thank you for the math correction, Chris ), I am in wonder of it all! Time flies by. It is an illusion. In my mind’s eye, 49 is still way off in the distance, only to be seen with a telescope — not drug store readers!!

When Chris corrected my math nine years ago, I had no idea what my 40s would bring. No crystal ball to see what was written on the pages yet to be turned. I look I back at who I was then, the road I’ve walked and the mountain I’ve scaled, and look into the eyes of who I am now. I am filled with such great joy and gratitude. Nancy Version 2.0! I’m happier, healthier, stronger, and wiser than I’ve ever been!

Bring on the the 50s! Take THAT, you elliptical machines! I don’t care whose math is used, what year I’m in, how we slice it or dice it, I’m just thrilled to be here to celebrate my birthday and EVERY day that follows!