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My Non-Existent Future This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I sit here and watch a good ifriend plan her future, I casually notice that I haven't one.

In retrospect I suppose that I've wasted the first seventeen years of my life, spending each day telling myself that tomorrow will be different and that I'll actually try in algebra class. Then the next day I realize, at about noon, that things are turning out to be the same as before. I decide that the day is half over and not worth trying to change, and yesterday becomes today.

Then in my freshman year, the idea of work was painfully introduced to me when I almost failed algebra.

To alleviate my stress, I do what I've always done. I write. Then, while working on my latest short story, I begin to write run-on sentences and realize that I'm rambling on about nothing important or, for that matter, anything relevant to the plot. It was then that I began to write what I was thinking about on the way home.

So I write. I do what I want to do and I receive criticism for it constantly. I figure that I shouldn't bother wasting my time trying to please other people when I can waste that time pleasing myself. Like I've always said, "If you spend too much time trying to be someone else, you'll never find out who you really are." So maybe I wear odd clothes, plaid sometimes. I only own one pair of jeans, and pea green is my favorite color. Other people, who think original is cool, will go out of their way to be different. They do what they expect not to be expected and then get upset when people don't like it. Hypocrites, I can't stand them.

School has always been an odd concept to me. Somewhere in excess of three thousand students all gathered in the same place to do the same thing. No, not to learn, to socialize. I don't know a single person who goes to school truly because they love to learn, but most of the people I know do love their friends.

I figure that English should be my strong class, after all, I love to write. But my English teacher is a hypocrite who preaches originality and full use of your imagination, then gives a specific subject on which to write. For example, our latest assignment was to write a short story based on our families, but I have nothing to write about my family. So after much encouragement, from myself, I finally find some incredibly vague story that takes me hours of elaboration just to make it into half something half interesting. So I start a short road to failure because I can't write creatively unless I'm allowed to. At the end of first term, I have a C- in my favorite class.

Now I'm sitting here babbling on paper about my problems because there is no one else to tell them to, when I realize that I'm slowly going insane and that, by the time I'm twenty-four, I'll be in some thickly padded room, writing bad poetry (I think that's a little exaggerated).

Then I wonder if anyone else feels this way. Maybe if other people who are in as much trouble as I am, read this, they'll feel comfort in knowing that there is at least one other person who is in the same boat.

Now I wonder what will happen to me. In ten years where will I be and what will I be doing there? Maybe I'll, by some miracle, get into a halfway decent school, only to flunk out and turn to writing professionally. Possibly I'll get published, but saying, "I want to write," is like saying, "I want to be a movie star."

A serious lack of motivation has crept into my life as of late and I don't like it, nor do I think I can change it. Instead, I'll write until I'm either blue in the face or my typing fingers fall off, which ever comes first.

Lately, I've been getting a certain kind of almost inexplicable feeling in my gut. A feeling like I've been walking around life with this big embarrassment that everyone is making fun of but not telling me about. Kind of like when you get home, look in the mirror, and notice a huge zit on the end of your nose that you were too half asleep to notice in the morning. Or the feeling you get when you look down and notice that your zipper has been down since the last time you went to the bathroom, four hours before.

So, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go back to that short story I was working on. Or maybe I'll do some homework, tell a girl how I feel about her, call a friend and tell her my dreams, and buy a ticket to Australia. Maybe. n


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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