15 Dec NOT ENOUGH
I wrote this poem as a meditation on the struggles of ordinary young people. We go about our day, smile and say ‘well thank you’ when asked, we do our readings, we go to our lectures, but going through the motions does not mean that we do not have our struggles that make doing them well extremely difficult. Not Enough is about going through these motions when dealing with mental health and other personal struggles. When someone breaks a leg, it is easy to see they are injured; they cannot run a race. But, it is not as easy to tell when someone is struggling internally. Hopefully, this poem reignites and reminds you of the simple message; we never know what is going on in the lives of those around us.
You are young.
Not young enough to hide behind figments of your imagination,
To be satisfied with home and pattern and comfort.
You should want adventure, to be free, to rebel.
You are pretty.
Not pretty enough to find identity here, not enough for it to be an excuse.
Smile less, don’t wear that, keep your head down. Know what you’re asking for.
You’re cold, stand off-ish, Bitch, a blank boring slate with a deceiving cover.
Clever enough to have adults fall in love with your mind,
To understand the minds of others,
Not clever enough to be exceptional, not enough to feel safe. You teeter on the edge of security.
You are stubborn.
Stubborn enough to hurt those you love.
Empathetic enough to feel their pain.
This will make you hate yourself. This will ensure your humanity.
You have lost my mind.
Or rather, you have watched your mind from gated sidelines become a pathetic, misshapen heap of what it once was.
With more heavy suffering than any ordeal in a pretty, perfect, privileged life; you have felt this pain.
But this is not enough.
Not enough to kill you.
To drain you of your sanity or drive or longing for a purpose.
You know who you are, what you want, you have always known these things.
But they do not know you. Often they do not wish to,
Young, pretty, clever, stubborn; empty labels. Not enough,
Not enough to exist past a broken mind.
HEADER IMAGE BY: ONLINE ILLUSTRATOR EILEEN RAISBECK