This last writing prompt was hard because I have never really tried my hand at poetry. And there is something inherently intimidating about trying your hand at something you haven’t done before. I have always handicapped myself unnecessarily with wondering whether I am good enough or not, whether I should bother trying or not. If I can’t attain perfection what’s the point?
But then I remind myself it isn’t always about the destination but the journey, I know how cliche, but it is how we learn and grow, how we become the people we are in this moment. I remember signing up for college at UW Tacoma to get my Bachelor’s in Communications. I failed, I let life distract me and get in the way of my goals. I had this dream of becoming an editor maybe even going to Manhattan, publisher’s row as they call it. I remember talking to my mom on the phone and she telling me I was wasting everyone’s time and money. I should give up, I won’t get the degree. To this day I am sorry I didn’t prove her wrong. It wasn’t that I didn’t have it in me. It was I got lost along the way. I got wrapped up in the unnecessary drama of life.
I let someone force their way into my life and home and completely destroy me. He also told me I was worthless, a piece of garbage and undeserving of life, an utter failure. I think we do internalize what others say, especially if it mimics our insecurities as this did at the time. I was depressed I know now, and that’s why my grades slipped and I eventually dropped out with nothing to show for it except a mountain of student debt.
But, my mom, this guy, they were wrong about me. I was wrong about me. I know this now. They didn’t really know me, they knew what they thought of me, and I think mirrored their own insecurities onto me. They couldn’t do it. They wouldn’t do it. They would be wasting their time and money. I could have, had I been a stronger person. If I had learned to say no. If I had learned to stand taller, straighter and say, get the hell out of my head, i don’t need any naysayers. I can do whatever I damn well please, within reason. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but they all help to make up me. Who I am and who I will become. Being a life time learner means constant change and growth and never allowing oneself to become stagnant.
So if this poem isn’t a masterpiece, oh well. At least I tried my hand at it, and I didn’t give up. It was simple, and I did try my best and attempt at refining it in my clumsy way. Writing lifts me up to that higher place, where I can be at the mountaintops, where I can go to the moon in a rocket ship or sip coffee from a balcony in Sicily. I can do whatever I want when I am writing and it is nice to have some control when often in life your control is limited.
I am beyond caring about what people think of me but what matters to me is when I close my eyes, I know the person I am, and I care about what I think of me. Being true to myself and others and taking personal responsibility is the cornerstone of my life. That guy who was momentarily in my life also told me that the world was a dark and dreary place full of evil people and liars and that I wouldn’t stand a chance. I was too much of an idealist. My worldview wasn’t realistic.
I say I don’t want to live in that world, I would rather believe in a fantastical world than believe in his ugly dark world. Perceptions are part of reality and I choose to live in a brighter more beautiful world by choice. I choose to believe people are good at heart when I meet them. I choose to believe there is beauty truth and hope in the world. And, I believe I can attain perfection in a perfect moment at the perfect time. It is momentary, but when it happens you know, and it is the best feeling in the world. The striving is what counts. Keep striving, don’t give up. Knowing is half the battle, from GI Joe. Wisdom from a kid’s cartoon. But I have never forgotten it. Wisdom comes from everywhere.