The First Step in Finding Yourself is Understanding

It’s Wednesday, which means we are continuing the journey into young TK’s mind and how she came to understand herself. While today’s poem was not written with a name (I’ll give it one here), it is one of my better ones. Written on April 26th, 2004, when I was 14-years-old, this poem marks a very important step in my overall view of myself.

Understanding

Inside, I feel incomplete.

There is something missing.

There us a closed door in need of opening.

There is a person I have yet to meet.

There is a place I have let to see.

So many paths,

Sine right, and

so many wrong.

Which one is right for me?

Which one will lead me to success?

Which one will lead me to failure?

If I stay where I am, will I ever be satisfied?

Inside I am lonely.

Inside I am crowded.

Inside I understand.

Inside I know nothing.

Somewhere inside I am hiding.

Waiting for me to find me.

I am found and I am lost.

How am I to sort this all out?


 

Perhaps it seems odd to call this poem ‘Understanding.’ The author seems to be facing a great amount of confusion. Since I am an older and wiser version of this little writer,Ā I can tell you that is not the case. What this poem really shows is how young TK was starting to recognize the contradictions in her life. My life was fully of people who cared, and yet I felt lonely. I knew and possessed so much, and yet I felt like I had nothing. These contradictions did not make sense to me, but I knew them for the mystery they were.

I was incomplete because I was a mystery to myself. Up until this point in my life, I followed others. Whatever my parents and teachers told me I should be, is what I strives to become. Through this poem, we see the beginnings of change in that drive. Notice the following sentence.

Which one is right for me?

20140415_192820

In discussing what path I should take in life,I did not simply ask which was right and which was wrong, as if trying to decipher a moral code handed down by the adults in my life. This was different. I was asking myself which paths were right or wrong for me. Just because a person found success down one path did not mean I would also find success there. Just because one person found something to be wrong for them, did not mean it would also be wrong for me.

Just like that, I started to think about where my own dreams could be found. While I hadn’t figured everything out, yet, I was beginning to understand that my dreams might not line up with the dreams others had for me. That realization would prove to be a double edged sword. Finding myself would prove joyous, but realizing my dreams didn’t fit with what everyone wanted would bring considerable sadness.

Years would pass before I understood I didn’t have to live up to everyone else’s dreams for me in order to be happy.

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30 thoughts on “The First Step in Finding Yourself is Understanding”

  1. This is beautiful. Self reflection is a difficult pool in which to swim, especially at such a young age. Double whammy – self reflection of a self reflection. I appreciate the depths.

  2. We are so different, yet so alike. I went the other way. I rebelled against everything. I believed culture to be a fiction and authority figures automatons in uniform. But I aced poetry in 9 grade and was a pretty good artist too. I wanted to create, and change the world. I believe they broke my spirit, and I’m trying to recover it. Self analysis is a good way to see how I got to where I am. Thanks hun, great post šŸ™‚

    1. I used to describe high school as a place that tried to break spirits. Actually, I still think that. They try and get you to conform, to beat your spirit out of you. A kid is lucky to come out of the system with their soul in tact.

      I spent a lot of my younger days trying to be everyone’s definition of perfect. Whatever they wanted I tried to be. Through my poetry, I began to discover that this was part of the reason for my sadness. I was depressed and lost because I wasn’t trying to be a person I would like. I was trying to be what everyone else liked. I recognized that fighting with parents or teachers was useless as they had complete control of me by law. From 8th grade on, I just sat in wait for college. Every thing I did was to get into college. I saw it as the place I could finally be nothing more than myself without seeing the disappointment in the eyes of parents or teachers.

        1. Hahaha. I remember when I first saw that movie. It was on VH1 and my dad asked if I had ever seen it. I said no and he told me he’d do my chores for the day if I watched it. It would have been a fair trade even if it was a bad movie, but it was fantastic! I wonder if we could even pretend something like that would happen today. They’d all just be looking down at their cell phones once the teacher left.

  3. Completely captures the questions a 14 year old me thought and felt. And part of me still questions going to 20. The understanding is understanding that it is okay not to know. šŸ™‚

    1. Understanding that it’s okay not to know wouldn’t come to me until half way through college. I think it was hard for me to grasp at that age that some questions had no answer. I thought there were answers to everything, I just didn’t know them yet. You are right, though. True understanding comes, in part, from understanding there will always be questions without answers.

  4. These statements that you post remind me of the artist, Jenny Holzer. She would post random statements in strategic places. In Times Square in NYC, she posted, “Protect Me From What I Want” amidst a throng of huge Time Square style ads.

    1. That’s a neat concept. I just do it to point out the statements I think are important. I’ll have to look her up, though. She sounds like an interesting artist.

  5. Hi TK, I love your poem! Very wise and brave for such a young soul! Or are you an old soul? šŸ™‚ Anyway, I love all your quotes AND your blog! Pina

    1. Thank you. I’m not really sure if I’m an old soul or not. People older than me seem to think I am too naive/optimistic and people my age and younger seem to think I act like an old person. They have me confused. I have no idea how old my soul is, now.

  6. Am I out of line to use a twitter #annoyed ….I wrote a comment earlier and when I just checked I see that it somehow got lost in the world of lost comments on the net šŸ˜¦

    Sadly, this will be much shorter than what I wrote earlier; in a nutshell I find it really interesting that you say in finding yourself you weren’t as concerned with moral right/wrong….thats really fascinating to me šŸ™‚

    1. I feel I should clarify that it wasn’t as simple a moral right and wrong. What I mean by that is that I was becoming less concerned about the moral rights and wrongs that people told me. I In a year or two, I would come to the conclusion that everyone has their own “truth” in life and that that truth may not be the same for everyone (and that was okay). I was starting to consider what my own moral code was instead of blindly following what other people told me was right and wrong.

      For example, 16-year-old TK thought she should be a virgin until marriage. That was the path that felt right and moral to her. However, I had various friends who were having sex. They were good people following their own truth. They weren’t going to hell because they had sex and weren’t sorry because they were following their personal moral code developed through their own spiritual relationship (and I don’t believe religion needs to be involved to have spirituality)

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