Author’s Note: This poem reads two ways. Read it straight down as usual, then take a moment and only read the indented lines. This poem came to me through tears and heartache as I processed through some poignant emotions that resurfaced through a traumatic event.
I sometimes sense distance between who I am and who I could be.
It waivers and thins itself out,
building the insecurities that wrap me in a blanket
of meltdowns and inferiority complexes.
I forget my self-worth
through self-doubt and self-deprecation.
You see, I’m a selfer
With the selfies
But sometimes it is the self-hate
And the self-standards
that gives me a substandard way of emotional living.
Instead of knowing I can,
Because someone else steps into the light
And shines as bright
As I thought I was shining,
Only for me to find that my ego is a fraction of the opposition
And I am thrust into the situation
That causes me to panic and shut down
Because depression is great like that
Stacks you against yourself
Giving you odds that destroy your better half when you are at your worst.
To know my value would be giving myself credit
And I am nothing but a stack of debt
On a mound of anxiety and depression
Saying “sorry” for every step I took to shine
And for every moment I wanted to call mine.
To say that you love yourself
When you’re on your knees
Begging your insecurities
To step down from the ledge
Just so you can have a moment to accept a compliment.
I spend so much time trying to be perfect that I sometimes forget to be good
But nothing is…
Because I cannot always see
the point in being me
the blurred lines between vision and sight
I am someone who needs and seeks
The acknowledgment and acceptance of those around them.
I can tell someone to love who they are
While at the same time hating everything that I am because
Preaching and living are two different things.
To preach is to be a preacher
But to be alive isn’t to be a liver
That! cleanses the body and unburdens the soul.
Mine just shows my cowardice and lack of gaul.
Poetry perpetuates personal prosperity
Mass metaphors make music
So I aspire to note the facts:
I’m not as strong as I appear.
My insecurities cause havoc in my relationships.
I half-ass my career
Because I’ve never mastered anything
That jack who trades it all for a little of everything.
I hide behind my faults
and use them as catapults into my next marvelous moment
Where I make someone else feel better
Just so I can ignore
my own. damn. problems.
At this point, it’s a talent.
I, like Odyessus, can master any facade.
I am both victor and victim.
I am both nothing and everything.
I am somebody and nobody.
Maybe, for the first time, in a long time,
I can use this, this poem, these words, these thoughts
To feel good again
Because I would give anything
To feel good again.
Sadly, I cannot overnight ship confidence,
nor can I expedite my process.
I can only continue ever forward
like a boat that beats against the currents.
However slow this ride may be, I will not be another Gatsby.
I’ll rise above and uncage myself from myself to be myself for myself as myself
Because that! Is the answer to the question to be or not to be.
So, maybe my self-worth is a little self-centered.
Maybe my self-confidence is a little selfish.
Maybe my self-hate can be lessened with better self-love.
However you perceive me will no longer dictate my ignominy or nobility
I have enough animosity for my own impurity
Without your words licking the inside of my dignity
And I’ll no longer be feeding the demons that you bestow upon me.