Can't. The word, jailed long ago, mysteriously appeared in my attitude, transformed my mood, and escaped through my eyes; that word of long ago. Can't - a brickwall holding me back from dreams; thick, concrete, unstoppable. Can't - it kept me from taking the thrilling risk of riding a roller coaster, or singing out loud in a concert hall. Can't - it scared me, an evil monster ready to attack if I dared to let a challenging thought or awaiting experience intrigue me - tell me that for once I could. But, if that word, that fiend of the past, had not terrified me, would I have tried so hard to defeat it, to accomplish difficult tasks? Once I killed the monster, things changed. I started going to a tutor for help with schoolwork, I visited Disney World and interestingly enough found myself on Space Mountain. I started voice lessons, and my attitude transformed into something unreal. Slowly the monster deteriorated and before I knew it, I was on my own. But now I occasionally don't push myself hard enough, as if I had to climb over the concrete barricade, so I sometimes wish it would return, the monster of the past: can't.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.