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When Will I Get to Live Life?
I sit under the soft glow of my computer screen
In my pitch dark house.
The city is asleep.
Every house on the block with its lights off
With only the street lights left
To accompany the lonely tar roads.
My MacBook quietly hums
As it tries its best to keep up.
In the same way I try my best to keep up
As I grow weary,
Working on my never-ending list of homework.
Falling asleep with my computer slipping off my lap
And dirty dinner plates covering my bed
Has become a habit.
My unfinished calculus homework
And incomprehensible biology assignments
Laying amidst the plates.
“Can I get one more day to finish,” I ask.
But all I get in return is, “Why didn’t you start earlier?”
As the pile of assignments from other classes turns to look at me
Wearing a menacing look
And I think about all the times I’ve fallen asleep at 4 a.m. doing homework
Waking up the next morning
Stressed on how to finish the assignment before its deadline
While I’m barely able to keep my eyes open in class
But the teacher doesn’t care about that.
Sick one day? Mom in the ER? Grandma just died?
Great, more homework for once you return.
Wearing a costume,
Built to play the role of pretending to be okay.
Easy to look happy,
But not so easy to actually feel happy.
Diverting your attention from urgent personal matters
Just to get the letter A written under your name
In black Helvetica Neue text.
The barrier between eustress and destress lies nonexistent
In this decade-old prison.
“It’s to prepare you for college,” they say,
But that’s just as good as saying “It’ll get better.”
Because it never really does.
We stress in high school for college
In college for a career
And in a career for retirement.
When life is finally at its end and we can reminisce
Enjoying our final few days
In what is now our brittle bruised bones
To do whatever our worn-out bodies will allow us to do.
But when will I get time to enjoy
The supposed “best time of my life.”
To slow down.
To chase after my dreams,
Whether that’s sitting at my desk painting the day away
Or working hard running my own business.
When will I get to roll the windows of my car down
And scream at the top of my lungs to my favorite song
As the sun sets
And not a worry in the world exists.
But here I am,
Stuck pulling my hair out about one assignment after another
And about whether I’ll get accepted into college
Even though I wasn’t the perfect student
Even though I didn’t find the cure for cancer
And even though I just tried to make it through
Day by day.
When will I get my turn to live life
And to embrace my youth?