Life As I Know It

I look at myself in a mirror
Repeating my name to my reflection
Many days I find myself staring,
But I often only see what once was me.

Radiant blue eyes in just the right light
Mixed with gray as time has passed.
I've seen enough pain
But I won't claim any rewards.
My life isn't the worst
But that won't keep me from mourning the dead
And hiding from the sharks that try to pull me down each day.
I wish my eyes never faded to gray.

Society shamed me
Played me
But in the end it made me
Stronger than I could ever be
Wiser than I could ever know
A loyal friend wherever I go,
And I've learned to move on
I've learned to hold my head up high
And look into the eyes
Of a world that tells me
That I am only an atheist because my mother is
As if religion is solely based on whether or not your parents believe
When really, it's just not my thing.

But let me tell you,
When I started to realize my sexuality
I prayed.
I would pray for a day
When I didn't have these feelings
Because the world tries to tell me that not being straight
Is grounds for hate
But now I'm proud to stand up
I'm bisexual, so what?
Don't tell me I'm wrong when I used to wish that you were right
And I wanted to change who I am.

I started changing myself as young as 10,
Dying darkened hair back to blonde
To hide the brown I thought I hated
And now that I wanna go back, I can't;
This over-treated hair long drowned in dye, bleach, and sun-in
Now naturally lightens in the sun
And I can't go back.
Maybe even the smallest changes are permanent.

But back then I didn't really know the meaning of 'permanent',
I thought of sharpie markers and stains

Instead of faded scars and memories of pain,
But I got older and I saw that this world is kind of cruel
I grew up reciting rule after rule
And learning right and wrong
And it wasn't very long
Until my teenage years brought stress and cruelty
Everything I never wanted to see
But there's no mistaking ordinary for royalty
So I didn't even try to pretend that I mattered.

My mind became scattered,
I couldn't find my way for a while,
I thought I could never fit in,
Getting lost in the dark.
But I didn't know the feeling of loss
Of struggling with the truth that no one can turn back time.
But since then I've seen death
And I'll see it again...
It’s taken a few I hold dear...
it's been just a year
since the last time I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

In the past I've fallen
Losing track of what is right
Losing track of the light that shined so brightly for me when I was a child.
I used to look at myself in the mirror and find myself hating all that I am
I'd find myself changing
And constantly wavering
And hating even my name.

But I can still see blue in my faded eyes
When I look up to the lights.
Looking into the glass
I think I used to think I wanted to be that person looking back at me
So I take off the mask
And I can't help but ask myself
"Who am I?"
Emily.

This poem is about: 
Me

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