I sit at the dining room table across from my aunt. She looks exhausted. Mascara flakes sprinkle onto her cheeks as she massages her tired eyes. She has just returned from her new job in the city. I spent the last twelve hours looking after her two rambunctious daughters, who now lay asleep upstairs.
I sit in silence while my aunt whispers secrets to me. I collect these secrets and stuff them in my pocket like precious stones. I will turn them into poems later.
She tells me why she accepted such a demanding job.
"I wanted a challenge," she admits.
Later that night, I return home to my chaotic room. Somewhere in the corner, under all the crumpled papers, scribbled stanzas blotted coffee, and ink stains rest on my desk, where last night, I tried to be a poet.
There are days when I wear creativity like a pair of glasses. I can see poetry in the tiniest of details like how my aunt licks her lips after she says "I love you," as if she's trying to taste the sweetness of the words on her lips.
There are days when I'm blind to creativity and everything around me looks black and white. I'll sit at my desk, so badly wanting to be a poet, but I won't even manage to write down a single line.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm creative at all, for I've written more bad poems than good. Sometimes I wonder why I love poetry when it sends me to bed frustrated more often than not.
I wanted a challenge.
So, instead of discarding the old crumpled papers, I unfolded them and read the abandoned stanzas through the creases. Some time had passed since they had been written. I had become a stranger to that girl and could read her writing in a new light. I liked it. It wasn't perfect, but it did not deserve to be thrown away.
I hung the wrinkled poem on the wall to remind me that, even through crippling self-doubt; I am a poet.