I Wish I Could Tell You
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I Wish I Could Tell You

A letter to my high-school self

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I Wish I Could Tell You
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Warning: this poem contains references to anxiety and depression, and may disturb some readers. Discretion is advised.


I wish I could tell you

That I understand what you feel—

Like the world around you

Isn't listening, doesn't care,

Or a combination of both.

I also wish I could tell you

That the world around you

Won't change suddenly

To accept your black t-shirts, your black eyeliner,

Your symphonic metal that no one's heard of,

And your shuffling Tarot cards in class

To prove a point—

And that's okay.

This is proof that

You were not meant to fit in;

I wish I could tell you

And have you believe

How much of a radiant gem you are.

You were meant to

Run across the earth

And soak in information and experiences

Like the girls on reality TV

Soaked up UV radiation on the beach.

(By the way,

I'm glad you embraced

Your porcelain complexion;

People still think I'm eighteen.)


I wish I could tell you

That one day,

People will value

How you see beauty

In what some people would see

As strange, even dark—

Never lose that.

I wish I could tell you

That guys in high school

Will not give you

What you want

(Someone just like you,

Who values learning

And exploring the world,

And longs to discuss ideas—

Not people or events).

I wish I could tell you

That having someone to talk to

Can help the pain you feel,

But it won't make your problems

Go away.


I wish I could tell you

That despite your feelings otherwise,

It will get better.

I know the world around you

Is a dark place now,

And the demon within

That drags you down

Into loneliness and anxiety

Is hard to shake off,

But the effort to work with it

And the bravery to break free

From How-Things-Ought-To-Be

And Who-You-Should-Become

Is worth the sacrifices.

You were meant to

Pour your heart onto paper

Like ink ran through your veins.

You were meant to

Shatter every box and pigeonhole

That people tried to stuff you into.

You were meant to

Rise in a glorious flame

Like the amazing phoenix you are

And show the world

What you want of life

With neither hesitation

Nor apology.


I wish I could tell you

That your posturing as a badass

With your all-black clothes

And desire to learn martial arts

Only throws in people's faces

What they already know.

Your strength is a quiet one,

Meant to create, not tear down,

And that is even more powerful

Than what some people can imagine.


I wish I could tell you

No experience is a waste of time.

I wish I could tell you

Not to hide that beautiful spirit

That sees infinite joy in the smallest things.

I wish I could tell you

That those who really matter

Won't ask you to change who you are.

I wish I could tell you—

I wish I could tell you—

I wish I could tell you—


I wish I could tell you

That no matter what happens,

It will all work out,

And I love you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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