another day. just like the one before. and i want to feel something, okay? i want to find somewhere deep inside myself to actually give a shit. but i don’t, do i? not… when it comes down to it.
i’m just a flat grey. just eyes closed, teeth clenched, as i tell myself tomorrow will be better. but i don’t believe a single word i say.
and if i have a talent for anything, it’s repeating history. again, and again. so flip the page. because it’s my life to destroy, and what do i mean to you anyway?
am i your loving daughter? your dutiful friend? do i spend every sunday at my desk; all work and no play? do i buy expensive gifts, and spend tuesday at the ballet?
am i a withering autumn leaf? am i dark circles? am i the gap between your teeth?
you can say it, now. because i know what you want, from my body’s slow decay. so go on: take it. plant a kiss on my forehead. and be on your way.
I wrote this poem quite a while ago! Or, the first draft of it, anyway. It was an early-quarantine poem, penned around March. I scheduled it, looked over it again, and scrapped it in my drafts folder, because I didn’t really know how I wanted to polish it into something more enjoyable than the word-vomit it began as.
When I was young, although I never officially received the “gifted” classification, mostly just due to attending an underfunded, small, rural elementary school, where almost every kid in my class had some kind of trauma or mental health issue. Getting good grades, and being ahead of my peers was the least of the school system’s problems. But anyhow–despite this, I was widely considered throughout my early childhood, by my parents, peers and teachers as talented, brilliant, or otherwise superior to the other seven-year-olds. Essentially, as some flavour of “genius” or “gifted.”
I was destined for great things, everyone told me. And, I mean, I was seven years old, with cripplingly low self-esteem–of course I ate it up. The thing is, though, growing up believing that your entire identity is built around outpreforming others doesn’t work in the long run. You burn out–at some point, you just can’t keep up with that standard.
Years after coming to that conclusion, I struggle with that–still find old habits, creeping up on me when I least expect them. I’m learning, though–learning far more, ironically, than I ever did during that period of my life, when I was so fixated on being a genius.
I’m curious–were any of you classified as gifted kids? Did you know anyone who was? In general, what is/was your experience with the school system? I know mine’s been overall very negative, but obviously I have a very unique perspective on these things.
Lots of love,