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My Favorite Shirt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Love. It’s a simple but overused word. I love you. I love this song! I absolutely loved that movie! The word doesn’t mean much anymore, not to most. Some people scoff at it. We throw it around like a used shirt, wearing it because it’s comfortable, safe, and secure, but never truly understanding why we have it. We lend it out, forget about it, and years later, we think, “Hey, I really liked that shirt.”

But do we care? No. It’s probably gone now, thrown away because of a rip or sold for $3 at a garage sale. We forget; it doesn’t matter after that.

Then we see the world fall apart. From the safety of our living rooms we watch amateur video on the news or Internet, and sometimes we feel so helpless and alone we’re not sure what to do. We cry for the inhumanity, scream for the injustice, and wonder why the world is this way. We think we can change the world; we know we want to help those who need it most … then we remember that T-shirt we threw out years ago.

We want it back; we fight and scramble for it. We go out and buy new shirts, try them on, but none seems to fit. We’ve lost it – we’ve lost love. We are unnerved for a bit; we sit alone and beat ourselves up for letting it go. Then we just we shrug it off. We say, “I’ll do it later” or “I’m too busy.” I’m guilty of it too: “I don’t have the right resources” or “I’m too young” or “No one will care.” And it seems as if no one does. With high school students only bent on the next party or who’s dating whom, you wonder if, in the end, their shirts were ever worn.

Is my generation going to save the world? We try, a small group of us, but our shirts are faded among the bright colors of greed and the everyday and the wanting. We are pushed into the background. We try to push our way through the crowds, and we truly wonder: where has the love gone?

I don’t want my love to fade; though my shirt is tattered and worn, I wear it daily. I am honest and open, and when I say that simple, dead, four-letter word, I mean it. I know I’ve made mistakes with it in the past and I almost threw my shirt away; I carry it carefully now. It’s close to my heart, where it’s meant to be. I do lend it out every once in a while – I let those who need it try it on and feel the safety that I feel. I leave them pieces when I go, but my shirt never seems to tear. It stays just as simple as it ever was.

When the time comes, I will stand alone in this world and stare into the eyes of those with the shirts of greed and want and lust, and I will know that even though mine is not the most beautiful shirt in the crowd, it’s among the best.

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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This article has 239 comments. Post your own!

Naby Padaniya said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 11:48 am:
wonderful peice of  its writing! i loved it! m wid u! :) sm thoughts! :)
 
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she-is-a-strange-duck said...
Sept. 17, 2011 at 10:19 am:
Please understand that I really mean it when I say I LOVED this piece. Keep wearing your favorite shirt.
 
Ms.Brightside replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 11:02 am :
I think a shirt was a bad refernce, But I understand the pieces, heck, I see people everyday say Love after a day or 2 then hate the next moment
 
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loveshortstuff11 said...
Sept. 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm:
Wow! That was a great piece, and a great use of metaphor! Keep it up! :)
 
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Lizette said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm:
i loved the comparison! great job!
 
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CupcakeSaffy said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm:
You are very talented; this is a wonderful, thoughtful piece. Well done!
 
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xxtennis13xx said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm:
I feel guilty for rating "I love it", but this is one of the most honest, true, well-written ideas I have read on teenink. I have always thought that love is thrown around and has lost its true vlaue, but could never put it into such beautiful words like you have here. This is beautiful, I will definitely be showing this to my friends! Wonderful!
 
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panda97 said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 10:20 am:
okay this article was very well written like said before it really made me think about what love really is or what people should really feel about what the word means we need to think about how were using it before we say it
 
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Bookworm1998 said...
Aug. 22, 2011 at 11:58 am:
this is written very well! a very good and very true article that makes us really think... :)
 
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webweaver96 said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm:
I really relate to this. Sometimes trying can be so hard, because there always seems to be some obstacle that is too large to surpass. I agreee with every word you say, and the t-shirt metaphor, well, fits to a t. I hope our generation changes the world, because hope will be distant if we don't.
 
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savetheplanet said...
Aug. 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm:
Your article is simple and truthful and honest, just as love should be.  It is overused and I feel bad when people say it and don't mean it.  Thank you for writing this.
 
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RandomInspiration said...
Aug. 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm:
Not to be hurtful, but I think you stretched the metaphor too far in a couple places. Very well-written though :)
 
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FlashlevitationThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm:
thats excatly how i feel!
 
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Kandice said...
Jul. 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm:
This article is truely what everyone needs to hear!! I wish more people would see the world that way. I believe this article is pure genius.
 
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k.s.h said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 9:43 am:
This article is so good! I just adore it so much that I don't know what to say about it.
 
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Erin S. said...
Jul. 7, 2011 at 10:34 am:
Wow!!! The metophor in this story was wonderful!
 
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DoubleN said...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm:
Amazing. This is an incridible article!
 
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Ilovemybubay said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm:
WOW! That was truley  amazing. the second i started reading i didnt want to stop! you neede to keep writitng! that was amazing!
 
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introducingshelby said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 10:32 am:
The opening paragrpah.. I knew I could seriously relate to this article..
 
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justreadthis said...
May 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm:
"I dont want my love to fade; though my shirt is tattered and worn, I wear it daily." I really like this sentence. I mean Love this sentence. Well and the rest of it. 
 
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