Not even I am all knowing when it comes to my youth. When I read today’s poem, I was honestly at a loss. While I have a few guesses as to what I am talking about, for the first time, I am unsure what I mean. It makes the old writing a bit eerie. I have a feeling I was very upset when I wrote this.
The following was written on January 21st, 2005. I was a 14-year-old freshman in high school.
My life lives on without me.
My body is a shell without a soul.
I have left my body.
No one can catch me now.
The world has lost a great presence,
But I will not return.
I have finally escaped into the night.
Never will I be back,
To save the ones I hate.
Like most of these poems, this is written in my notebook without a title. I choose Abandon as the title because I felt a double meaning. People act with abandon, which tends to be something positive, while other abandon something or someone, often seen as negative.
High school was the place where my passions somehow managed to overcome my hate despite the oppressive conformity they tried to force me into. “They” meaning everyone – peers, teachers, family. In typical teenage fashion, I felt like no one understood me and I struggled in order to find myself. This was my abandon. I sought myself with a passion. The easier route would have been to give in and conform.
This poem describes another kind of abandon. It describes leaving, people, body and life. Again, we have another poem that ends with hate. While I overcame that emotion by the end of high school, it was still kicking during my freshman year. I’m sure I must have fought with someone, probably a friend or family member. This poem reeks of a girl misunderstood.
Remember the meditation practice I developed? I would sit in my closet, tearing down clothes and using them to block light into the small space. Closing my eyes, I would focus on forgetting each piece of existence. First, everything but my bedroom, then only the closet was left. Eventually, only I was left. I would focus further, until I forgot my body. I was left with a pure essence of myself. When I opened my eyes, I would still see the black of my closet. There was nothing to say I didn’t simply exist in a void in that moment (Rand Al’Thor would be so proud).
I imagine this poem called to that action. It may have been written just before or just after a good meditation session. When I finally let myself return to the world, it was with reluctance. I didn’t want to return. I didn’t want to be around these people.
Even without my nerdy ways, my interest in other cultures and world travel separated me from everyone else. While there’s nothing wrong with desiring a simple life, it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to marry before I was 25. I didn’t need to have children, although I had an idea of how many I would have if ever someone felt like asking for my hand. Most importantly, I did not see myself ever living in such a small area ever again.
Those feelings made me different. Today, at least half of my high school class still lives in the area. Many are married and/or have children and good amount have more than one child. I do not hate the elusive “them” anymore, but I am more convinced than ever that their life is not for me. I may always have the heart of a small town girl, but I was not meant to live a small town life.
Did you feel dramatically different from your peers in high school? How does your current life compare to what your teenage self wanted? Do you live in the town you grew up in or do you want to?