Not My Sister's Galaxies

If you would have asked me in third grade

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would have told you a librarian

There was something so therapeutic to be in a room so contained

Yet so lively

And so open when those spines on those books crack

Waiting to show the worlds they hold inside

 

But that is no longer me.

 

If you would have asked me in eighth grade

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would have told you a model

My introverted tendencies contracting my choice

But my desire to be accepted

To be beautiful

To be noticed

Took charge of my thoughts daily

 

But that is no longer me.

 

If you would ask me now in my last year of high school

What do you want to be when you grow up?

As I try to stay afloat

Amid the four AP classes

Teachers on my backs

College at the corner

Anxieties in my chest each night

Parents telling me my grades aren’t good enough,

I would say an artist

A career that won’t pay the bills

But one that makes my heart sing

 

And for right now, this is me.

 

They always say that high school is a time to find yourself

So I tried

I took art on a whim because my sister did

And I liked it

And so I stayed

I didn’t start out good

I might not even be good now

But I have started finding myself

Because when my sister picked up her chalk pastels

And swirled them around on that paper

Creating colorful galaxies that no one has ever discovered

And she told me to try

I couldn’t

Those galaxies were not my own

That color was not my insides

That was not the real me

And I knew it

My galaxies were like scribbles

And so I thought my art was bad.

 

But I kept on trying

I tried painting

But that brush could not feel the emotions I did

That canvas did not play the music I wished it would

And those bright colors did not show my perceptions of the world

And so I thought my art was bad.

 

But I finally picked up that charcoal

And dragged it across that paper

Creating a face that this world has never seen

It was a face unique amongst seven billion others in the world

And I finally realized my art was good.

 

I am an artist

I see the world in black and white

I am not my sister

I am not my classmates

I am not my parents

I am not my pressures

I am me

I am an artist

And I am trying to see my art as good.

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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