The Imitation

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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-

A teacher.

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;

And eleven;

And twelve;

And thirteen;

And fourteen;

And fifteen;

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;

Politics.

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 Elaborator-

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.

This poem is about: 
Me

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