I Wish…

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I wish that I could have it all…
I wish that I could feel the rise more than the fall.
I wish that I knew you well enough for you to confide;
I wish that you knew me well enough to let me inside.
I wish that my wishes would someday come true…
I wish that someday I might mean something to you.
Your words may claim
But your actions stay the same.
I bet that your mind never processes my name.
I wish that you’d think of me as the best,
I wish that you’d put me above the rest.
I wish that you’d wish for me.
I wish that you’d love me.
I wish that you would read this and know its about you.
I wish that you’d know, so I’d never have to tell you.
No matter how many times I wish on that star,
I’m pushed further and further from where you are.
I wish that someday I might mean something to you.
I wish that you’d care for me like I care for you.
I wish that you’d love me.
I wish and wish… but it just leaves me empty.

You…

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I miss… you.

No; I don’t.

I miss… the way we were.

Our hugs, our jokes, our shared time.

I don’t miss you.

I can’t miss you.

You hurt me;

I gave you my heart

and you threw it on the ground

Then walked away.

You let it lay there,

all shattered and broken.

I saw you walk away;

You looked almost relieved.

Yet I often see you pick up a little piece

of what is left of my heart.

I never see you walk towards me.

Or even away from me.

What if it isn’t your fault

that my heart keeps disappearing?

Maybe it’s me…

But I don’t miss you…

You hurt me.

You…

The Assessment

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Who am I? Who am I? If I were handed an assessment and stumbled upon this question, there is a high probability that I would turn in a paper covered with frustrated scribbles and dark remnants of tear splatters. I would surely hope that the teacher who made the first mistake of inquiring such a broad, self-assessing question would not make the second mistake of expecting his/her students to reply in a multiple choice fashion. No student – or teacher, for that matter – can summarize a person’s entity by shading in a bubble. Even attempting such a feat i s like inducting one’s self into an insane asylum. Then again, there is compelling evidence to argue that high schools these days resemble more of a looney bin than the public would like to admit. There are over-emotional, stressed, cryptic, obsessive, dangerous, criminal (and these are just a few examples) “inmates” (students) that have no choice but to attend the institute. Their main source of supervision can be divided into two categories: those that hate being there more than the inmates themselves, and those who get a revolting sense of happiness from the dismal atmosphere. The food can barely be labeled so, the rooms are small, the bathrooms reek of an unidentifiable substance, though I don’t know why anyone would want to know, and the inmates are often subject to assessments that are stacked against them. These are the kind of assessments that hold the question “Who am I?”

A) I am __________ (insert name here). If one reads the question only at face value, then their reply will reach only face value – there is nothing more to be said.

B) I am __________ (insert insulting cliché ). Selecting this response is as revolting as an innocent man begging for a higher voltage on the electric chair. Populations suffered through centuries of war, poverty, and hard labor; doing everything humanly possible to establish a more acceptable life than the dictatorial, dividing “brands” inflicted upon them. Then why, out of all the senseless actions that a human can perform, would one let society label them as a “dumb jock”, or “mentally insane”, or an “annoying nerd”, or “one of those art kids”? Whether or not we ask for it, those that surround us use analytic adjectives and nouns referring to our personalities, appearances, and actions. These words may or may not have bad connotations, yet can often be misinterpreted into insults. Accepting these invectives, donning the shame that accompanies surrender, can lead to self-hatred and lower self-esteem – since, as they have condoned, they are “ugly,” “fat,” “dumb,” “worthless,” and in some cases “such a bitch.”

C) I am ________ (insert a brief synopsis of personal history). This answer isn’t terribly offensive, yet would leave the inclination that the inmate who circled “C” uses their history to classify who they are. In order to judge oneself in such a way (a fast transition from past to present) would leave little time to reflect on their life events – only the major points would be highlighted. And, as most of us know from the news and other “informational” sources, events with negative connotations often become more prominent than the positive. Thus, this inmate would portray themselves by all of their bad memories, which would be presented in first-person. This exposes the opportunity to cast blame on oneself for occurrences of which they had little, if any, control of the outcome. I once had a friend that blamed herself for every minuscule incident. “It’s not his fault. He dumped me because I wasn’t pretty enough”, she’d say. Or “They didn’t invite me because I’m too fat to be popular.” And the most loathed thing I ever heard her say, “It’s my fault I was molested.” She never once offered any substantial reasoning as to why she believed that, but she let it dominate her self-esteem, her relationships – her whole entire life was consumed by that incident, and how it was “her fault”, never blaming those who were mostly responsible. She tried to use the fact that she had made “choices” that lead to the horrendous events of her past. One of the leading causes of self-reproach and strain is the fact that we humans have choices. There is not – nor will there ever be – a time in anyone’s life where there is not a choice to be made. While this appears to be the utmost representation of freedom, it comes with the looming fear of making the “wrong” decision. This “freedom” can be manipulated and disguised by corrupted puppeteers seeking out the most vulnerable, which then can spiral into an internal conflict that appears to be insanity to the outside world.

D) I don’t know who I am. Well then, it seems that this inmate really has no clue as to what it means to be them.  Then again, does any given patient really understand the complexity of their life? Would they comprehend that they have touched multiple people in a way that can never be erased, forgotten, or overlooked? Obviously my friend’s attacker did not. Obviously those that see themselves insignificant, who kill themselves because “no one will miss them” do not. Instead of just being captive in schools and work, we are all incarcerated in life. Life is our little padded cell block. Yes, I am stating that every human being is “affected with madness”. Yes, I am claiming that no one really knows (or can know) what it means to be them. But this is only an insult if one believes that they are alone in this insanity. Every inmate is “full of cracks or flaws:” there is no sanity in our little institutions. What, then, does one do to cope with life? They sit back, talk with the voices in their head, and muddle through the assessments handed to them – without fretting over who they are.

Just Keep Swimming

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Imagine that you are in a dark, dreary ocean: The waves are lapping against your chaffed and broken skin, drenching you in icy cold water. There is a frigid breeze that whips your hair around, causing you to lose sight. You spin around and around, only to see green water and grey sky. There are no birds, no boats, and no noise other than your heart beat and the rolling of the waves. You tread water for a while, trying to think. The water around you is oblique, concealing the bottom. You have no idea how deep the water is, how far away the nearest shore is, nor what may be lurking right under your feet. It doesn’t matter, though.

You know that you can get through anything and this is just a hard time in your life. So you swim. You know not whether you are swimming East or West, closer or further, or how you got where you are now. But you just keep swimming… because that’s all you can do. There comes a time in everyone’s life when the waves get too big or the current gets too strong. You struggle to keep your head above the surface. You kick and claw at everything you can, but ultimately your head slips below the waves and you are forced to accept that things have gotten worse. When life gets like this, there are two options.

The first would be to just stop trying, to let yourself slowly sink lower and lower and feel the relief flood your heart as the water floods your lungs. Then there would be no more pain, no more hurting, you might even be happy. The dark colors in your life will be replaced with fluorescent white and you will float into what seems like a room full of that feeling that you always wanted from life, yet never could achieve. You close your eyes and dream about this saving grace as your heartbeat slows, stalls, then ultimately gives out.

Then you remember the second option, and you let your eyes snap open, seeing all of the other bodies sinking and sinking lower around you. You know that swimming won’t do anything but drown you faster. There are others that are trying as hard as they can, and they’re only a few strokes above you. It’s hopeless, everything that you struggle and suffer through is just to prolong the decay of the body you’re tortured in. Why even bother anymore?

Because there is just some sick little parasite inside of you that makes you want to try your hardest at everything. You reach above you, kick a little, and wonder how you’re even accomplishing this without air. You see the people who gave up sink lower, while you stroke harder to go higher. Your heartbeat pumps faster and louder with each movement, and others watch you swim past them. Just as you’re about to reach the surface, you feel your body start to falter. Your arms shrivel, your legs cramp, and you freeze.

“No. This, this can’t be it…” you think. You use the last fighting power that you have to urge your brain and all its might towards the surface. Your lungs feel as if they are going to cave, your heart is beating faster than seemingly possible, and your brain is working so hard it feel like it’ll burst out of your head. With your last fighting pulse, you push your fingertips to breach the surface. That’s it, you’re done. There is no possible way that you can resist anymore — you’re too weak.

Air bubbles cascade out of your mouth and towards the surface, which is looming further and further ahead of you. You close your eyes again, for the last time, coming to terms with the end. What you didn’t know is that someone saw your finger break the surface, saw the air bubbles and struggle. It matters not who they are, but what they are doing. They dive under the water, a place most people would never voluntarily go, and grab your hands. You feel the dense, cold water move against your sore skin. Then, you feel the water peel away from your face, then neck, until you’re bobbing along above the water. And breathing. You can feel your lungs expand as you choke out a few cups of water, then gasp for the precious air that seems endless yet you still can’t get enough.

You’re okay. You’re alive. No matter what happens, you can get through any storm… as long as you just keep swimming.

Hush

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Your brain likes to wonder

Before you go to sleep

And I know that you’re seeing

A monster at your feet.

 

Just blink three times

And then, you’ll see

It’s all alright now

It’s all alright…

 

So hush, my dear

Be still, my darling

Don’t be scared

The night is calling

Your name

 

And I promise

No, I swear

When you close your eyes

I’ll be there…

When you close your eyes

I’ll be there

 

To hold you tight

And wipe your tears

I’ll shed some light on

All your fears

So just breathe…

close your eyes and see me

 

And just hush, my dear

Be still, my darling

Don’t be scared

The night is calling your name

 

And I promise

No, I swear

When you close your eyes

I’ll be there

 

We just have to

make it through

the night

 

So hush my dear…

Be still my darling…

Sharing a Blanket

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Her thin, slender fingers

Fumble through notes,

Wearing a melodious blanket in the air.

Her little brow furrowed, her brain working hard,

Sweat pooling down from beneath her hair.

 

She looks up to me for guidance, strength;

And other things I’m not sure I can provide.

But when she’s working so hard, so sweet,

I build up my courage and swallow my pride.

 

My little sister and I may fight half the time.

But look out when we work together!

After all of this time, hard work, and pressure;

She may not be perfect…

But at least she’s getting better.

My Babies

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They may not be mine, but my heart is theirs.

Even if only for a while.

Instead of my summer being submerged in laziness,

My warm days are smothered with their smiles.

Toothless, covered in chocolate and drool,

They tug on my fingers and pants and shirt.

I smile when they smile, laugh when they giggle,

and run to them when they are hurt.

When the time comes,

In a matter of days,

School will absorb me,

Make my life a haze.

And their little fingers, their little smiles,

Their little lives, their little hearts…

Will fade away for a while.

Please don’t let them forget me.