Sometimes, I go outside without a coat on, just to see if my skin still knows how to make goose bumps. Sometimes, I close my eyes and then open them and look in the mirror real fast to check that my pupils still remember how to dilate. When I’m in the shower, I step backward into the water and let it pour over my face with eyes open just to see if my eyebrows have forgotten how to protect them. ‘Cause my heart gets confused, and my mind is never made up, and my words don’t always come, and sometimes, I just need to know that my eyebrows work so I don’t have to feel like every part of me is broken. I’ve been told that beauty rises from the ashes, and people pick themselves up by their bootstraps, but I know for a fact that no one is successful by accident. Behind every person who makes it, there’s someone there telling them, “you can do this,” or someone there telling them, “you don’t stand a chance,” and I’ve had my fair share of both, but no one seems to understand why I can’t just step in line. Confused as I may be, I’m not broken, that’s just society’s attempt to reconcile my abandon. “Why,” they ask me, “why won’t you work nine to five? Why won’t you marry a decent man, raise two point five children and sweat yourself dry to give them suburbia and a false sense of superiority?” It’s all so much sometimes that I think I won’t ever escape it, but my skin knows how to make goosebumps, and that reminds me that I’m okay. I won’t spend my days working toward some distant end because, maybe you’ve overlooked it, but every day has an end, and I want to arrive there daily in awe of some new person I’ve encountered, and inspired by my own liberation. ‘Cause I have tried, time and again, to sew down my ambitions into the pattern that society has printed for me, but the folds in my perception are made of something too solid to be penetrated by needle and thread; they are made of passion. I am not made to fall in line; I am made to question everything, and no one ever changed the world by playing along.