For years I've been lugging you around,
Brown and weathered around your corners,
No rollers for convenience, no fancy decorations that make you easy on the eyes
Yet, everywhere I go, I carry you with me.

You're heavy
And I'm tired.
I'm tired of replaying the distasteful scenes.
I'm tired of reliving the moments of complete embarrassment. 
Mostly, I'm tired of the questioning.
Questioning myself, my worth, and my sanity.

I'm unpacking you.
I'm unpacking the hurtful words,
Unpacking the drinks,
Unpacking the bored, blank stares,
Unpacking the neglect,
Unpacking the worthlessness,
I'm unpacking it all.
it all.

All I'm left standing with is an empty suitcase and lessons learned.

I'll be more careful the next time I pack you up.

I'll take my time,
I'll pack the most vibrant colors, the sturdiest denim, and the warmest wools,
I'll pack the softest satins and the kindest patterns.

I'll pack things that compliment me,
I'll pack things that want to be wrapped around me,
I'll pack it all with my lessons learned and head to the train station.

Where I'll stand, with a distinguished smile and deeper roots of understanding.
I'll take a deep breath and step across that platform.

Though, the shell of the suitcase is with me, onboard the train,
The baggage of you and me, that filled it, has been abandoned and turned powerless, as my feet hit the train floor.   

Everything's lighter now, nothing too tight.
Just as my baggage, my body and my soul;
We have a new beginning. 

I'll find my seat and confidently gaze out the window,
Headed in my new direction, with my new suit case, full of possibility, and lessons learned.

Our Pain

All sorts of eyes hold it,
Green, blue, and brown.
Even people, who wear actual crowns.
Even people, on the nice side of town.

The stay-at-home mom, sipping her coffee, up before the sun
The traveller, visiting new places on the run
The teacher, sketching out lesson plans
The business people, trying to keep up with all of their demands
The photographer, shooting at every angle
The police officer, trying to do well and not get tangled
The bartender, pouring the drinks to numb the bodies that he meets
The baker, cooking up tasty treats
The painter, adding color to everything she touches
The nurse, helping the man walk out on crutches

All these people ever so free,
All these people just like you and just like me.
All these people carry a pain.
All these people, keep it deep, like a heart-stain.

You don't have to be dubbed depressed, OCD, or alcoholic
We all have pain and that's what we can call it.

Worldly pain, from being alive.
Worldly pain, from watching humans not thrive.

We all have pain and it doesn't matter who you are, where you are, or what you know
When we can see we're all in pain, that's when we can grow.

When we can acknowledge everybody hurts the same.
That's when we can switch up how to play this game. 

That's when we can offer a lending hand.
That's when we can find our bravery to take a stand.
That's when we can make our Earth, a flourishing land.

Pain is carried in all nooks and crannies of the world,
Don't hold onto it alone, but rather unfurl
Shake out your pain and speak it out loud
And I bet, you won't be standing alone, you'll be in a crowd.

Pain has no power in a sea of hope.
So, speak it out loud and let's cope.

Your pain is here for a reason.
Not sharing and utilizing your pain, should be considered treason.

Treason to you and treason to us.
Acknowledging our pain, we must.

There's not a human you can walk by, who doesn't hurt.
Let's grab hands and stay alert.
Let's see one another and soften the blows of life.
Let's dim down the brightness of all the strife.

Your pain, is my pain, is our pain.
Let's start with that.

Look of Regret

I saw it. In a crowded room. The look of regret shuddered quickly over his eyes. All those years later and in just one glimpse, I saw it. He looked at her and it was like everything clicked and he saw where he could have done better and what his life could have been.

That's the funny thing about could-have-beens, they all boil down to very small moments, where very small decisions were made. And these very small moments and decisions pile together to make monumental life-altering reactions. 

But in that glimpse, he saw it. He saw the apology that was never delivered. He saw the flowers that failed to show up. He saw a lot of late nights, where she was left lonely in the name of "fun." He saw all the time dedicated to a lot of other people, but not her. He saw vices that he had turned into her guilt. And for the first time, he saw how tender she was. He saw how he had transformed her into the tough shell she had become and that all along, her tender-heart was waiting. Waiting for his trust and stability. This woman's heart had waited years for him. The gravity of that finally sank in and he blinked his eyes. The glance ended and they were both on their way. 

They both went on to lead pretty great lives. But yet, there, in that moment, was the look of regret. The look of little moments caught up to someone. The look of, "I should have tried harder," and, "What would it be like now?"

I saw it there. It was only a moment. It was only a glimpse. It was that look of regret.