Why I Don’t Want To Live My Best Life

by Anna Breslin

I don’t want to be my best
living my
best life
for Instagram.

If I smiled all the time,
my frowns would get lonely.
I’d have to start
using Botox to smooth out
all those laugh lines
my best life would bring me.

No, living like that,
I’d have to suppress
all that is contrary
in me.

Besides, I am allergic
to positivity,
everything cloying.

I want to question every-
thing and one
in authority.

I want to know why
and why not,
and maybe I want to
reserve the right
to be very rude
and very loud.

I want to ache and feel
the unbearable pain
of reading the news.

I want to feel everything
in me shatter as I read stories
about lives lost,
refugees imprisoned,
children cheated of enchantment,
safety, and food.

I don’t want to be a best-life
living influencer,
white, trite, and shallow.
I don’t want to be
a paler smiling shade
of white supremacy
in thousands of social
media feeds.

All I want is to do
whatever, whenever,
without compromise.

I want to be an unfiltered,
comma splicing
woman of a certain age.

I want no one to tell
in some maudlin
life-affirming confessional
all that burns in my soul,
or how I tuck away problems
in the back of drawers.

I’m not even certain
I could live my best life
if I wanted to.

I have wounds that won’t
scab over and I’m always,
always expecting
another catastrophe,
sometimes I almost crave
that full body-brain
rush of adrenaline.

Trauma is a thread
of my identity
woven too tight to pull
without unraveling
my entire self
and I love my flaws
too much to offer them up
to be someone else.

Best living
sounds so full of denial
and half-selfing.

I think the term was invented
by a marketing team
to sell online courses,
podcasts, and lip gloss.

No, you can take your best life
dream and shove it
on someone else.

© 2019, A. Breslin. All Rights Reserved


Image credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

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