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Writing, learn-ing, jewelry, deconstructing t-shirts and reality - it's what I do. I live to be inspired, and to inspire.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Growing Up

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?

There was one particular poem that makes me think, yes, though things didn't turn out according to plan, I am still exactly where I need to be. I held on to myself and haven't strayed from the fundamental hopes I had for my life. I'd like to think my poetry has grown as I have, but this poem is still poignant, speaking defiantly to the world in my seventeen year old voice.

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.

(Photo of teen Kelene circa 10 years ago by some random Carnival reveler courtesy Jeanette Awai one of my oldest closest friends from secondary (high) school)
Correction: Jeanette tells me I'm 20 in this pic. Working on finding a teen pic...

Hmmmm: I still have that top and the bead necklace (which I made myself) is the same one in my profile pic.


  1. Just recently, an 86 year old man saw me reading (The Shadow Effect)and paused to converse with me. He said, "Enjoy life 'cause it goes by fast."

    It seems that you are trying to do just that.

  2. Hi Kirt! Well the enjoyment of my life is a byproduct of doing what I want to do and living as fully as I can. I totally agree with the 86 year old man. I'm living my life as if I only have one :-)

  3. I guess you can say that. I like "non-traditional," and I still am. :-)

  4. Hey Kirt! Happy new year! Haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is well!