When I was little, I was told by society that I could be anything and everything I wanted to be as long as I worked for it
That I could be anything and can be a part of the American Dream
But what exactly is the American Dream?
When I was five I wanted to become a princess.
You know the type of princess that wasn’t born into wealth but had the face that captured the gaze of dazzling boys riding horses that were bejeweled in gold and a kingdom’s symbol.
But society said, “They don’t exist anymore.”
But wasn’t that what I wanted to be?
So when I was six I wanted to be an astronaut and travel around the world and do crazy stupid flips in a no gravity zone because I was a little heavy for a kid and was picked on a lot.
Society said, “That isn’t a typical woman’s job.”
So when I was seven I wanted to become a marine biologist because of my love of the deep blue and calming of a sea breeze.
But society said, “Think about your future kids, you won’t be able to take care of them if you’re always away at sea. It is a mother’s job or any woman’s place after all to be at home.”
But isn’t that what I wanted to be?
I thought these were the perfect things to me.
They fit my personality;
Did they not?
So far I didn’t know anything to be that fitted me in a world that whispered in my ear.
But I could never hear the mumbled answer.
So when I was eight I decided I would look up to my mother and become the very thing she was-
Moreover she even told me that she wanted me to do better than her;
I was too bright, too beautiful, too bold, and too honest of a girl to become just a mere teacher;
“You can do better,” she told me.
So when I was nine I found my love of writing
There were so many sleepless nights of writing fantasy to comedy stories that I can hardly remember where the journals I wrote them in were;
During that time I believed that this was my American dream;
It suited me;
It described me in every way;
As the daughter of an English teacher, I was poured the glass of logolepsy and eutony;
So one can imagine why that I was crushed by multiple beings of society saying;
“Do you not want a real job?”
At this age and still on today I am very sensitive yet have a strong opinion that hides behind the mask of quick wit and intelligence.
So when I was ten;
I denied myself the pleasure of thinking of the future and instead I allowed others do it for me;
I thought of all the games I would play after school;
All the friends I hoped to make in middle school in order to not feel the slight void in my heart of being the only child;
All the memories that I would make that were filled with laughter and pride of being acknowledged to be a very funny girl.
But society said, “You’re growing up! Look towards the future! Find out who you are!”
So at sixteen I believed to find my niche in life, the piece of the assembly line of society I can finally say I fit in at;
Because over the course of the years, I was always told what to do,
What to say,
What to be,
How to be not me-
The girl who has always talked too much for her own good;
The girl who was too quick to think for herself because apparently it is a crime;
The girl who doesn’t want to be a stay at home mom;
The independent girl who doesn’t date guys for their wealth;
The girl who lives in the present and past and denies her future the proper attention;
The brown girl who is always told not to be bold because men don’t like that;
The curvy girl who is told to dress a certain way by society because “You’re distracting the men.”
The weird girl who is fascinated by crime scene shows and reads fantasy novels dreaming about gifting the world with a fantasy novel herself;
The ambitious girl who wants to travel the world;
The intrinsic girl who wants to save the world;
The bold girl who wants to be heard
The girl who wants to be seen as good yet realistic;
The girl who wants to matter.
The girl who was taught to lie because her honesty is a little too brutal;
Is being honest too brutal or is the lie too soft?
So at Sixteen I am stuck with the irritating question of
Who Am I?
I did not know what I should begin to think about being in a world that tells me the opposites of my desires;
Over the years I have been fed by Society to act a certain way;
Dress a certain way;
Be a certain person;
Fit in a niche;
In other words;
Be who Society sees you fit to be;
Be the Imitation Society doesn’t see a problem in.
Sorry Society, but I will not be an Imitation.
So at sixteen I will be an intelligent, feminist activist seeking for social, economic, and political equalities among the sexes;
At sixteen now I will not stand to be told that my personality and preference of clothing on a hot sunny day should be oppressed because men cannot control themselves;
At sixteen I will flourish in knowledge and strive to be whatever I want because Society made the mistake of once telling me that I could be anything and everything I wanted to be as long as I worked for it;
That means my racial and gender should not determine that I should be a house wife or I should have a certain job because I am a woman or that the texture and style of my hair will not allow me to have a government job.
That means I should’ve listened to myself of what I thought and wanted to be all those years ago;
“But darling you were just a kid, a kid doesn’t know what they want.” Society said ;
But aren’t children the most authentic of us all? ;
They’re innocent of the mind; it is unmolded clay;
The thoughts of a child aren’t analytical or have multiple purposes;
They are of a simple value and do not necessarily fit into Society’s assembly line.
So at twenty-five I hope to be in Law School;
At thirty I will be a Lawyer;
At thirty-five I am one of the top political crisis managers in the world;
At forty I would have already made a difference;
At forty-five my kids would be teenagers;
At fifty I would have left my impression among the lives of others;
At sixty I would be sitting in a privately owned library staring kindly at a young girl who has asked me the question, “Who Am I?” I can answer with my words but not of what Society has trained me to want to say;
But she would tell me, “Just describe in a poem the most authentic version of yourself.”
Then I would kindly reply, “I can’t do that because a person is never their authentic self.
To be authentic you were never influenced by Society’s judgments or Society’s comments of what you should be.
You didn’t self-doubt your thoughts.
So no, I cannot answer your question…yet.”
The girl would sit there and ponder about my answer that was not answer.
She would get up and leave; there was nothing more she could say.
In the years to come I will never know who I am because a person cannot be authentic in one moment or just in the past, but a person is authentic from their very first breath to their last;
So to ask someone to describe their most authentic self, it is impossible to word correctly.
I wish I could tell you more but this all I have to offer of my spirit for now;
After all we unknowingly pass the anniversary of our deaths every day.