The poems I wrote as a teenager helped me understand myself and my world. I didn’t know it yet, but , I was already following this blogs motto to question everything. At 14, I knew there were no simple answers. While I listened to the adults around me, I understood they could be wrong. The difference between 14 TK and TK today is that the questions haunted me. I thought everyone but me had the answers.
Somewhere in that confusion is where the following poem was born. A poem about poems, it explores the reasons behind my writing. This was written on November 21, 2004. I was a 14-year-old freshman in high school
Someone Who Knows
Most of my poems are depressing
They make you think of darkness drawing near
I would like to write something more exciting
Something filled with happiness, not tears
I guess it’s for my own sake
that I write so low
I keep all feeling bottled up inside me.
So I don’t know if anyone knows
Through my words I want to find
someone who understands the depths of my mind
Are there people out there who feel the same?
If life seems perfect, does that make you plain?
I want to know if I’m the only one
or are feelings like this inside everyone?
So I write down my soul in anger and fear
In hopes that someday I’ll find someone who knows
The pain of misunderstanding and misinterpretation
and of the confusion that then follows near.
Writing out my poems on this blog, I’ve realized my poems aren’t as depressing as I thought. While there are some particularly dark pieces, they all hold a certain amount of hope. I think I thought my poems were depressing because sadness was what motivated me to write. Rarely did I sit down to express and happy emotion because I didn’t feel happiness in such excess that I needed to write.
We often write based on an emotion we feel strongly. Whether it be a tweet or a whole blog post, whatever we have to say tends to be close to our hearts. It only stands to reason that I wouldn’t be able to write from a place of happiness if I wasn’t happy.
This poem seems ironic to me, as I express curiosity about the experiences of others. Allegedly, I wanted to know if other people felt the same way I did. Did they think the same things I did about life? Despite these questions, I refused to share my writing. People knew that I wrote, but I wouldn’t expose any of my poems to the world until extracurricular speech during my senior year. Even then, I only exposed two or three poems. This blog is the first time I have thrown everything out there.
There is one line that feels a little out-of-place if you don’t know where I’m coming from. “If life seems perfect, does that make you plain?” This one line is related to everything. There was nothing wrong on the outside. My parents were happily married and lived an apparent comfortable middle class life. I didn’t have any illnesses or injuries holding me back. As such, I felt guilty for being so depressed (which did not help me become less depressed).
My feelings were real, but were they plain because my life had no apparent problems aside from the dark clouds swimming in my head? Did that make my grievances less than those of everyone else?
This brings me to the end of the poem, where misunderstanding and misinterpretation bring on confusion. The way I thought about the world was logical and obvious to me. I don’t think I had the ability to fully understand how a person’s life could lead them to understand the world differently. An ignorant teenager, I still thought there was one truth in the world. Questioning society through my poetry, I thought I would find this elusive truth. Instead, I was slowly learning the only truth of the world is that there is no single truth. I was uncovering my own and slowly realizing that self-realization would never allow me to fully understand the truth of others. Perhaps that’s what causes so much confusion in the world.
Do you think there is one truth in this world, or does everyone find their own truth? Why do you write? Has that reason changed throughout the years? Having read my poems so far, how would you describe them? Would you say they mostly feel depressing?