Sunday, April 25, 2010

Individuality

This poem MUST remain a state secret for a while so don't tell anyone you saw it here- my niece is using it for a school assignment under her name but I was so excited with it that I just wanted to post it already. So just don't let anyone find out that she paid me to write it for her. :-)

Growing up I felt alone,
Had nowhere I felt right.
My friends were always noticed,
While I stood just out of sight.

They seemed to have it perfect
Knowing just what to do and say
Easy smiles, the right clothes,
They were accepted right away

So for a while I copied
Made sure to dress the same way too
Had the matching designer bags
And the perfect pair of shoes

The clothes didn’t seem to cut it
Even the compliments seemed fake
So I went back to my observing
And looked for another take

And then I cut my hair like they did
Laughed at the jokes I didn’t quite get
They laughed along and liked the hairstyle
But I didn’t fit just yet

And as much as I kept trying
To copy every expression on their faces
I never felt like I was me,
I was pieces in a thousand places

Then one day I woke up tired
Was so discouraged I could cry
I put my hair into a good old ponytail
And gave my own self a try.

That day at lunch I admitted
That those shoes pinched my toes
I laughed a real laugh then
When all I heard were a bunch of “I know’s!”

Slowly I stopped worrying
And stopped copying what they bought
Figured it was time to find out who I was
Without worrying what they thought

Funny thing happened then
As I started to make the shift
I became noticed more
Wasn’t lost now in the drift.

I guess when I was like them
I was just another face in the crowd
With those matching perfect shoes and bag
Nothing different to make me stand out

But now my hair is longer,
Pulled back into place
It’s not the raging style
But it looks good on my face

And my friends really accept me
For whom I am and what I have
They like me for what’s inside me
(Although I still love that designer bag!)

It was hard to make that realization
That I had to break away
Stop doing things just to be like them
And figure out my own way

But after all is said and done
It’s easy enough to see
That while it’s wonderful to feel accepted,
It feels better to feel like me.

19 comments:

Ruchie said...

I love it!

Anonymous said...

wow...very well written! and it's so true!! can i pay you to express my feelings too? :)

J.A.P. said...

Ruchie, thanks!

Anonymous, sure, I accept PayPal and anything encrusted with diamonds.

HS said...

Great Poem!
It's very similar idea to one of the articles you forward to me a while back, that you wrote.

Do you by any chance have any speaking arrangments coming up in the Brooklyn area?

J.A.P. said...

HS I dont remember what article that was.

Nope no speaking engagements here soon. Unless someone books me today... :-)

HS said...

I think you named it "out of a tree" and you told me it was also published in Mishpacha. You forward it to me about 5 months ago.
If your trying to figure out who i am, try my initials.

J.A.P. said...

Oh, yes. I remember that article.

HS never fear. I know who you are.

Anonymous said...

What happens if your niece or her teacher see this post?
Ohh.. i guess they will also keep it as a state secret until she hands in the assignment:-)
SO in that case I'll forward it to my friends and tell them not to share it. Nothing will happen if they share it with thier friends, of course after telling them not to pass it on...;-)

Great poem, I loved it!!

Chaya's Mother said...

Dear Abby, -whoops, I mean J.A.P.-
I was never one to copy the crowd just because it would help me be 'in', but it's been many years since school and I'm still trying to figure out who "me" is. You make is sound so easy and obvious. It is still important to conform to normal social standards on some level, especially for kids or they are viewed as total nebs. And even if you think you like being a neb, really you don't...how are KIDS supposed to figure out who they really are and still be accepted at the same time?

J.A.P. said...

Hey Chaya's Mom- yes I know that we still have to fit in to some degree- didnt you read the line about the girl still loving that designer bag even when she discovered her individuality?

Okay peoples, stop analyzing. It's just a poem. Enjoy it or not and move on. This is not a ninth grade literature lesson.

HS said...

yep its me. (if you claim you got it, then i guess you did:-)
I didn't see you at the Bar Mitzvah of E.T. 2 weeks ago, weren't you invited?

And yes, i agree with you that people should stop analyzing your poems and just enjoy them.
keep on writing and ignore those fans of yours that are never satisfied.

J.A.P. said...

HS I didn't go to the bar mitzvah. I don't normally go out to simchos that are further than a first cousin.

KA"H there are a lot of cousins and simchos on both sides of our families. With little kids at home it isnt fair or easy for me to disappear every other night for ditant cousins' affairs.

Maybe its snooty but I'm very picky about what occasions deserve a babysitter and a night out.

HS said...

No need for excuses, you are 100% right.
And the truth is she had so many people, So its not like she needed more.
I'm one step closer, and besides I'm still trying to utilize the time that i can still run to every simcha. As you said, when you have little kids you cant run out every other night.

itsagift said...

That's a great poem! Reminding me of high school days...some things just NEVER change. It's a good things teenagers change...sooner or later!

Brochi said...

Nice Poem

Anonymous said...

wow! very nice! Well said and well written!

Anonymous said...

Is there a winner for the best review already? If yes please post it.

Great Poem, but easier said than done!

YP said...

I LOVE THIS POEM! But agree with anonymous that its easier said than done.


Just read your article in the Horizons. I didn’t know you wrote for them. Where else do you write, and when do you have time?

Anonymous said...

very very nice! i love it!