The Things I Carry This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I am a pretty low-maintenance girl. I don't spend hours on my hair, and hardly everwear make-up. All I need to survive is my favorite Chapstick and some clothes. MyChapstick is always on me; it weighs less then an ounce and fits nicely in all mypockets. Also, for my almost nonexistent hair emergencies, I carry two to fourbobby pins at all times, each weighing about a gram. When I carry my bag with meI have an entire first-aid kit: bandages, cream, peroxide, gauze, tonguedepressors, sewing needles, fishing line, iodine, Advil, Band-Aids of all sizesand shapes, scissors, things used for small-time surgery. Sarah learned once at aWendy's fast-food restaurant that what I had on hand was most needed.

Ona normal school day an assortment of books and necessities can be found in mybag, including a calculator, textbooks, folders, papers, food. My bag on a goodday weighs three pounds, on a bad day, up to seven.

My mind is a maze ofcomplications and thoughts that can't always be expressed. I have emotions thatcan't always escape. I try to release them once a week at my therapist's office.Thoughts about my family, what's going on in our lives, and how they are allscrewing up mine. I carry with me a feeling of worry, an uncertainty of what thefuture will hold. At times I don't even understand what I am going through. Myemotional thoughts often overtake my concentration so I sit there in a trancetrying to focus. I am often held captive at the mercy of such thoughts whichmakes concentrating on simple projects, like reading, much harder. I carry a keensense of sarcasm, and a need to be around people who are not complete imbeciles.I do not carry a high tolerance for annoying people. I carry love for people Iknow, and trust. I carry respect for people who deserve it. I also carry acertain disrespect for people who I feel do not deserve to be respected becauseof their actions.

I carry fears, fears that I may not know what tomorrowmay bring, fears of rejection, that I'm not good enough. I fear things I don'tknow about; scary movies chill me to the core, even simple ones. I carry theskills to overcome these fears.

I carry this all every day with a head ofshort blond hair, a small oval face with blue-green eyes, a small tight mouth, astraight pointy nose, broad shoulders, stubby muscular legs, all for a grandtotal of 110 pounds. I carry this package on two flip-flop-tanned feet, one witha weak ankle ready to give out at any moment. I carry myself with a mission,mostly of getting from one class to the other. When I am in the hall, I am in aworld of my own. I see the people around me merely as obstacles that I need toavoid so as not to get hurt.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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