The clouds are heavy and low this morning,
as if it’s too cold to get any higher,
away from whatever heat the earth holds.

I feel as though I’ve never really lifted myself too high and always saw it as a deficit.
Panicked by the thought of living a life of quiet desperation,
without any context of what that actually meant.
I gave myself grand ideas of what a life should look like,
how it should be loud and splashy,
how it should be large and the fact that I wasn’t meant I’d failed,
that I’d missed opportunities,
that I’d shirked my duty to the spirit of whatever I had to offer.

And there were times when I shone and it was easy
but that wasn’t always the case
so I took that to mean I wasn’t meant for shining,
without any context of what shining actually meant.

I hold myself to these ideals on a whim,
without any consideration of what it actually means to do this,
to be that,
without consideration of context,
or what the reality of what I think I want would actually look like
and if I could find a way to make it fit into the life I’m already busy living.

I did a project in elementary school on the merits of success.
It started as a collage of big hair, limousines, brand fashion, chrome and alabaster swimming pools with a view.
It was the 80s,
success was measured in the height of your shoulder pads,
ostentatious and neon.
While dad binged on lifestyles of the rich and famous, dreaming of what he thought he deserved
without ever believing he did,
mum made vision boards balanced by opulence and horizon trajectories without ever thinking she wouldn’t
because she believed that she could.
He didn’t because he treated life and success as something that happened to you.
She did because she knew herself well enough to balance out what she wanted
with how the desire needed to manifest itself to suit her.

By the end of my project,
I had determined success was something far less tangible than previously thought.
It was less of a display, and more of a discipline,
a presence of mind,
an ability to adapt to a contentment which cannot be bought.
Removed from the context of marketability,
success seemed to be something not just humble, but accessible.

In this moment I’m living a quiet little life,
each day wrapped in little words like a good sweater which sometimes enfolds,
and sometimes hangs off me,
sometimes dropped and forgotten in a different room for a few days
and it suits me just fine all the same.

The sun is rising on a day which hasn’t officially started and I’m already one page in with more to come.
It’s a little thing, and not every day will look like this,
but today I’m playing dress up in dawn colours and my perspective is brightening with every moment.
I can convince myself there is a world of warmth
which benefits from my gentle whispers
that there is love to be found in a quiet life no one sees just as much as any other.