16 | Teen Ink

16

August 8, 2021
By weirdo-poet BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
weirdo-poet BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
4 articles 4 photos 1 comment

16


A fifteen-year-old one day past her expiration date

Older

Wiser

More responsible and experienced

Are none of the things I feel


My hair still hangs in frizzy waves around my face

Curtains

I utilize to hide my 

Bumps, scars, and dry flakes of skin

My shield’s function is deteriorating

My insecurities burn holes in my heart

That shine brighter each day


It’s funny how

If I maintain the same shield

It will become too weak for society’s insurmountable standards

As more birthdays pass

I feel it disintegrating into nothingness

Too fragile to catch my plummeting self-esteem


It’s funny how

Humans spend the first quarter of their lives

Waiting to be older

Waiting for more responsibility and experiences

And the other three

Waiting to die

Wishing they had seized the day when they were younger


It’s funny how

Society bases the majority of our worth

On our age

Our intelligence, experience, and relevance

All hinge on a number we can’t control

Just because I’m older doesn’t mean 

I have everything figured out

That I won’t fall down the mountain

More than once or twice


It’s funny how

Today is all that’s guaranteed

Yet we yearn for

We expect 

A tomorrow that may never exist

I don’t want to wait to feel valid or happy

I don’t want to celebrate a day that praises our discriminatory, stereotypical society

I don’t want to speed past the days of frustration or emptiness

Because success is not satisfying or rewarding

If there was never any struggle or growth

I don’t want to cherish a day that reminds me I’m one day closer to dying

That life is a ticking time bomb

And my time is running out


Now is always good enough

And now is all I’ve got


The author's comments:

I recently turned 16, and these are my thoughts on the meaning of birthdays and getting older, as well as society's message that our age defines our capabilities.


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