A Poem About How to Love: What Gives?

“What Gives”


Giving more than I’ll ever get has been in me forever.

Imagine a littler me, shuffling to my garden as just a wee sprout myself,

With a watering can in my hand.

I filled their pots until they wept and overflowed with gratitude.

Kindergarten never featured crayon boxes completely full,

Because I wanted everyone’s vision to be more vibrant than my own.

I help others succeed in front of my own priorities;

At the time, it felt like a selfless act.

But really, it left me very little to build upon—

And it didn’t matter to me, as long as I was a strong foundation for others.

It’s always so much easier to want for someone else what you couldn’t grant to yourself.

Favors go unnoticed. Lended clothes go unreturned.

Time is borrowed, but minutes are as merciless as the masses.

Advice is given to perky, listening ears.

Gifts are bestowed to thoughtful friends.

I continue to give away parts of myself that make me who I am,

Because what I really want is for you to return the favor.


What gives?


Well, I’ll tell you what gives: me—but I’m giving to myself, too.

Because it’s not a bad thing to have a giving nature, but I have to get sometimes as well.


So while I’m watering those plants, I’m going to replenish myself so I can flourish.

My canvas for the future will be Crayola-bright.

I’m giving to myself—

Giving myself the time to fall in love with me,

Giving myself the benefit of the doubt,

Giving myself the attention and support I need,

Giving myself every opportunity to get all I want in this world…


The answer to what gives?

I give my all to those around me,

But I’m also giving my all to me.