You know that someone who lives inside, wondering, biding her time until she can be set free, free of her cage
Until she can break away from her jail cell where she lives her every day reflecting and becoming sadder and lonely
You hold her in only because you know she would be labeled and excluded by everyone
She would never fit in and would always be on the outside looking in wondering "what happened to my dream, what happened?"
Every day you struggle and plead with her to just keep inside lest she get hurt and broken
And every night she pleads with you saying that everything would be all right but you know that it would not and keep her locked away
Every time it gets harder and her pleading gets more and more desperate
Your dying inside, your heart is breaking because no one knows your true self and never will because she doesn't fit their mold for the standards of their expectations
Every day you tell her that you wish that she could come out and be set free but alas you don't want to lose her, to hurt her in any way
So every morning you lock her away in a far back corner of your heard, waiting for the day that you will be able to set her free at last; and that she would be able to fly away and be free forever
Ah, yes, the feelings of not fitting in. I struggled with this quite a bit, though I tried to cover for myself with pretending to be an extrovert. I always introduced myself to the new people and embraced any comments of being weird or strange...mostly. But inside I was constantly second guessing everything. Really, I'm still dealing with not fitting in, even as an adult.
I also wrote this around the time that I was coming to terms with some realizations regarding my father. My parents got divorced sometime around when I was 7. I remember them fighting, saying things like, "you get off my case!" "no, you get off my case!" I'm sure there was more but those were the things that stuck in my mind. From my memory it felt like my father disappeared from home abruptly and without warning, though looking back it shouldn't have been so surprising.
For years afterwards, when we got to see my father, I was a daddy's girl. I adored the marked difference between him an my mother. He'd let us do so many things that weren't often allowed at home. It was simple stuff like highly sugared cereal and lots of computer time to play games, etc. And I was a sucker for ALL of it.
Cut to high school and I was starting to get wise to the fact that it was always me or my brothers reaching out to see our father...never the other way around. I have this vivid memory of my youngest brother holding out the phone, asking if I wanted to talk to dad. "Did he ask to talk to me?" At that point I only wanted to talk to him if he wanted to talk to me. The answer I received was: nope...
I think this poem not only came out of my want to fit in but also my desperate need to find myself once it became clear that my father didn't want to be actively involved in my life. It was a cry to prove myself...to myself, my dad, to everyone? I'm not sure. Honestly that hurt so much more than any of the drama of high school. He had been a huge part of my world, albeit sometimes a distant and hoped for world, but an important part none the less.
Being a teenager isn't easy on a normal day but finding out that something you thought was solid was really your determination to make it so really throws a wrench in a lot of things.
Now, I'm feeling like it's probably extremely apparent why I chose the artistic direction for this poem. It may be a bit on the nose but this poem (and two more that are kind of a series) held so much that I couldn't say to anyone. I didn't feel like I truly fit with anyone enough to talk about this stuff, so I wrote poetry.
If you ask the critic in my head, it'd say this is bad poetry. I still can't shake the cringe factor of any of my high school poetry. I was extremely proud of this one, back then, and that makes me cringe so much more for the actual quality...the words are not well used, and the concept is heavy-handed. What I can say I enjoy and resonate with on such a deep level is the feels that are in each and every one of the poems. I can see the work that this poem did for me then, and I feel the drive that gives me for more work like it now.
I think that's what this blog has become, my way to do the work necessary for cultivating self love. It pushes me to analyze all parts of myself, my beliefs, my thoughts, my opinions, everything and dig down to the truth of my mind. Somehow, writing something and sending it out into the wild space of the internet works in a way that a journal never has. In a way this is like talking to someone who could hold me accountable. It's a nice thought since I seem to have trouble with self accountability. Working on it, though.
For some reason this one made me tired, processing all of the feelings that this poem evokes for me was a lot more than I had expected. I've thought through and processed both not fitting in and my father's abandonment many times. It gets easier but it never goes away.
—A Recovering Design Imposter