I was looking through some of my teen poetry. I started writing poetry at about age 11 and I have over a hundred poems I wrote as a teenager. Looking through them I see snippets of the me I have become in development. Every now and again I would see a line that, though I know I wrote it, would surprise me that I was thinking that way even then. What surprised me even more is that so many things have not changed. If teen Kelene were to see me now would I still recognize me? Would I be happy about how I've turned out? Would I be okay with how drastically I've changed on what used to be the major values in my life? I'm in a country I never particularly cared for, I'm not in medical school, I didn't get married forever... would I be disappointed?
GROW UP? (age 17)
You, world, say I should grow up to be
a useful member of society
who conforms to unspoken rules of normalcy;
who stifles her individuality;
whose fake smile replaces genuine laughter;
who marries, gets a job, and lives happily ever after;
who settles for dull despair in place of genuine pain;
who ignores a real problem and tries for a quick fix gain;
who loves only for better and runs from the worse;
who thinks life is for pleasure and that pain is a curse;
whose deep desire is independence from all;
who wants to have pride and not have the fall.
Well world I refuse to grow up in this way
and have my individuality stripped away,
and live a life full of false pretence,
and lose touch of truth and innocence.
If to laugh is childish and to cry immature,
to unshackle my emotions against some sacred law,
then keep growing up for those who do not know who they are
and hide behind a mask to conceal any scar.
As for me, I am free and open to what life has to offer
and I am willing to learn from the pains I may suffer.
I will not ransom who I am for who I’m supposed to be.I may not “grow up” but I will mature and become the greatest me.