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

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 248 comments. Post your own now!

WeLiveForScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm
I really praise the use of a metaphor, however I do think that you wore it out to a certain extent. You are an amazing writer though, I'd love to see more metaphors!
Chuckney said...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm
I like your sentiment to a degree and your writing is nice, except I think the shirt metaphor is being stretched a bit far and it would have been better to ease up a bit. Good piece though.
Littlecupcakedancer said...
Jan. 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm
We're reading this kind of stuff, opinion stuff for school. Yeah its really good! I love it. I like  how you refer it to a shirt
FireandWater This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 9:39 am
really like this, they way it's written in awesome, and the idea is awesome!  keep going!  :)
Anabelle said...
Jan. 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm
the metaphor of love and the shirt is really clever. it makes it very easy to understand and relate to =]
Poznma M. said...
Jan. 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm
The usage of language is really good. This is  one of the most cleverly and artistically written article. It is just awesome !
marzapan said...
Jan. 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm
it is one of the most heartfelt, and absolutly true things i have ever read, it was butiful, i just hope that  your worn shirt, mine will never be thrown away or torn 
jaineba said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm
this is a beautiful essay , that i have fallen in luv with :)
Save1 said...
Jan. 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm
Impressive. It was moving. thanks.
NeverLetYouGo.. said...
Dec. 31, 2010 at 3:00 pm
I think the word LOVE is the most irresponsibly used word ever...
cantabile said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm
wow. That was great! I don't know what to say because the story has taken the words away.
Katera said...
Dec. 21, 2010 at 11:42 am
this was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! great great great job i now exactly what you mean and i completely agree, no wonder this was published.
skoppy355 said...
Dec. 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm
All I can say is wow!  I'm so impressed by this piece, it's exactly what everyone needs to hear.
MarySunshinexoxo said...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I think it's time for me to go shopping for a shirt like yours! :)

Really though, that was amazing! Exactly what the world needs to hear.

PookieBaby_x3 said...
Dec. 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm
iAgree ^^ what do you do then ?
Smiley said...
Dec. 17, 2010 at 9:27 am
That was gr8!!!!!!!!!!!!
kaybear replied...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm
don't be lazy its spelled great
En1gma said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 5:53 am
I like that same old T-shirt too.
ravenwing92 said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm
Beautiful. Keep holding onto that t-shirt, no matter what the costs. May you be blessed always, girl :)
bluegirl440 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 10:52 pm
This is incredibly powerful goo job.
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